Thursday, June 30, 2005

this ain't no yolk...

the greatest american...

if you remember, awhile back there was a show on the cbc where canadians choose "the greatest canadian".

well, the americans bought the franchise and choose the "greatest american" on the discovery channel. interesting results...

the greatest american? in order, from greatest to least great,

Ronald Reagan
Abraham Lincoln
Martin Luther King
George Washington
Benjamin Franklin
George W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Elvis Presley
Oprah Winfrey
Franklin D. Roosevelt

the greatest canadian? to refresh your memories,

tommy douglas
terry fox
pierre eliott trudeau
sir frederick banting
dave suzuki
lester b. pearson
don cherry
sir john a. macdonald
alexander graham bell
wayne gretzky

first, the americans.

ronald reagan. you either love or hate the guy. to me he's just another run of the mill war mongering american president. ok, the berlin wall came down and the soviet empire cease to exist during his tenure. i argue that the reasoning behind these events were serendipitous. he spent the soviet into oblivion with massive unprecedented military spending. besides, the empire was already on the bubble as it was.

reaganomics never really worked. huge tax cuts for the rich and famous. however, there was no trickle down to da po' proletariats. his lasting legacy? an astronomical debt. funny a republican would preside over such a debt. history would repeat itself. someone named dubya reading at the moment?

oh, i forgot a lil' thing called the iran-contra affair. you remember the gipper's scheme of the illegally selling arms to iran (during their war with iraq) in order to fund a counter-revolutionary war in nicaragua. sort of what robin hood use to do with picnic baskets. now that was nasty.

i sneaked a peek at his biographical summary. the top item? he was the "great communicator". whoop-dee-ding. i'm good with pie charts, as well. some kind of personality cult goin' on here.

so he's the greatest american? c'mon... really.

ok, the rest. oprah winfrey? gimme a break. this one's a joke, right...? i rank her up with don cherry. elvis presley? this one's kind of a head scratcher. what he did as an entertainer has had much greater staying power than oprah...but still, does he belong in the top ten? another don cherry-type candidate.

george dubya? pffft... i think the saudi royal family had something to do with his inclusion... history will have fun with this dude.

bill clinton? he almost got a peace deal between the palestinians and israelis until the principals started getting wacked one by one. good try... otherwise, extreme partisanship in washington during his time essentially rendered his presidency impotent (ha!). nothing special...

george washington? that was so long ago... what did he do? anyone remember? oh, he was the first president? yah, ok... oh, i forgot he fought the british in the revolutionary war... definitely deserved higher ranking than the 2 previous characters. by the way, didn't he own slaves? doh...

benjamin franklin? he was the guy who nearly electrocuted himself flying a key attached a kite... personally, i'd rank all of the canadian scientists ahead of this guy. yes, he invented bifocals. lenscrafters probably sponsored his spot on the top 10.

martin luther king, jr.? the civil rights leader certainly done good for the bruthas. preached non-violence as a way to the promised land. i quiz my bro about the South. he's been to alabam many times. segregation is no more, at least officially (like i've said before, you just can't legislate away things like racism). be interesting if he was still alive.

abraham lincoln? freed the slaves. preserved the union (too bad it took a civil war to do it). gave a few nifty speeches. how cool was that? enuff said.

my choice for greatest american? it's a toss up between martin luther king and abraham lincoln. both were inspirational and visionaries, characteristics that are sorely lacking in the rest of the bunch. i'll lean a little towards lincoln... ronald reagan...pffft. too much crack down there.

even more eyeopening is the comparison between the canadian and american winners. tommy douglas (my choice) vs. ronald reagan? we're communists! ha! in that case, i'm proud to be a communist. there is no comparison between douglas and reagan...


soapyDave said...

Americans must not think very highly of themselves if Ronnie's the best they can do for No. 1.

I'm surprised John Wayne didn't make the cut.

Mike said...

Oooh I hate Oprah Winfrey.Nay, I loathe Oprah Winfrey.

bubba said...

dave, if i remember correctly, alot of americans believed,upon his death, that reagan made them "feel good" to be americans again... i've never met an american whose felt otherwise. puzzling...

i was surprised at john wayne's exclusion as well. but then again, if you've got "the gipper" as a fav, who needs "the duke", eh?

dean said...

What's wrong with Oprah? What's she done to you Mike?

Al, didn't you recently say that you love her in one of your blogs?

soapyDave said...

one day Oprah will take over the world with her legion of adoring white women.

Mike said...

Dave, you have just described my version of hell.

Dean, the reason I hate Oprah is the way she talks. She changes her voice depending on her guest so that she can sound cooler, or more educated, or hipper. It's like she has to pander to them so that they like her. If I ever were a celebrity I would never go on her show.

dean said...

You're talking about the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (I think that's the award she was given?).

C'mon she's done a lot of good for so many people. Can you at least give her credit for that? You don't have to like her though.

Mike said...

She got a peace prize?! oh my god. I give up. I've lost all hope for the world. I give up. I have no strength to go on.