Yes, We Can (Seem Even More Pathetic and Needy) -

Yes, We Can (Seem Even More Pathetic and Needy)

CBC wants you to “help define Canadian culture” for the new President of the United States


Yes, We Can (Seem Even More Pathetic and Needy)

Have you heard about the Obama Playlist? In what is officially described as a contest but seems much more like a sad cry for help, CBC Radio 2 is encouraging listeners – at a current rate of approximately three times a minute – to send in nominations for songs that will “help define Canadian culture” for the new President of the United States.

This is a crucial and urgent exercise because understanding the nuances of Canadian culture is right up there near the top of Barack Obama’s list of priorities for his administration’s first 100 days:

1. Extricate world from most severe economic crisis in 75 years.
2. End war in Middle East.
3. Ponder the extent of April Wine’s influence over the development of the emerging 1970s’ Canadian rock ethos.
4. Reverse global warming.

Officially saddled with the cumbersome title 49 Songs From North of the 49th Parallel (Translation: We’re Up Here! Above You on the Map! Pay Attention to Us!!), the contest will culminate with Radio 2 enthusiasts voting for which 49 tunes will be brought together and sent to Obama, who will immediately listen with rapt attention to the compilation then take us aside the next day during recess to remark: “Wow, I thought you were nerdy and fairly inconsequential on the global stage, but from your wicked mix tape I see now that you are cool and awesome and I totally want to be your best friend and hang out all the time. Please come to my birthday party.”

Somehow sadder than the contest itself is this quote from Denise Donlon, executive director of CBC Radio: “We’re excited about the new President and we want him to be excited about us.”

Firing off some Nickelback and Celine Dion definitely ought to do the trick. But just to be sure, Denise, you might want to carry his books home after school and offer to do his homework for him.

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Yes, We Can (Seem Even More Pathetic and Needy)

  1. I nominate the theme song from Definition, that classic cheesy Canadian game show. Send along a blender – making Obama an honorary grand prize winner.

    • That piece of music is actually American as it was written by Quincy Jones and its real title is “Soul Bossa Nova.”

      • Hey, I learned something today. And here I thought Jim Perry stole it from Austin Powers.

        Can I send you a four slice toaster in appreciation? Made to CSA standards. Avocado.

  2. Did Moxy Fruvous record 49 songs? Send ’em all. Nothing but the finest for our man.

    • “Once I was the king of Spain” is a must in the least.

  3. Let me see, songs from north of the 49th parallel. . . that rules out most of the population of Ontario and Quebec, all of the Maritimes, and the residents of BC’s capital city. OK, Chilliwack, Nickelback, Joni Mitchell, Guess Who, and Great Big Sea’s hits – there’s your playlist!

  4. Radio 2 is really an embarrasssment these days. Such a sudden descent.

  5. Longtime (but now almost former) CBC listener cringes at every mention of this…it must be Shelagh Rogers’ idea….

  6. I thought this was another of Feschuk’s joke posts but commentators seem to be taking it seriously. Went to CBC website and saw that this contest does in fact exist. Send Obama a mixed tape of Adams, Dion and Kroeger, and some obscure ethnic music that 3 people listen to, and be done with it already.

    How far are CBC execs up their own arses?

  7. Anything from Trooper, especially “Raise a Little Hell” and “American Dream”.

    • And whatever Trooper is on the mix tape, it should be delivered by the Boys in the Bright White Sports Car.

      The officially handing of the tape over to Obama should be done by none other than jack-of-all trades Stan, and Jerry the garbage man.

  8. Surely this can revive the Shuffle Demons.

  9. If they want quality, send him 49 episodes of Music and Company.
    Free Tom Allen!!!

  10. I’m not sure which is worse, stupid radio contests or people who take stupid radio contests WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.

    • Dear Lord Kitchener’s Own:

      I am happy to provide the answer to your question: Which is worse?

      The answer (in order):

      1. Stupid radio contests
      2. The Ice Capades
      3. All TV shows that fit the format of “America’s Blankiest Blank.”
      4. Hemorrhoids,
      5. People who take stupid radio contests WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.

      You are welcome.

  11. The CBC continues to make Canadians look like weenies. Must be their still giddy and drunk from the Hopey – Changy Oboma win. For CBC radio 2 producers I suggest “Hangover” by Max Webster”.

  12. “American Woman” is the only obvious choice; this from a guy soooo old he was at the CNE the day the song was first performed publicly by the Guess Who, shortly after the last time the Leafs won the Cup; which I also remember. (please pass the geritol)

    • Well said, Ron. Now if we could just get Obama to a hockey game and have the Guess Who reunite to perform American Woman for him! Oh silly me, just have him watch Mike Meyer’s “Love Guru.” Now that was a trip, especially if you’re a frustrated Leafs fan.

  13. It’s all fun and there have been some great nominations. Good for the CBC for exploring possibilities and, by the way, generating tons of responses.

    It’s a lark folks. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. Play!

  14. I vote for Stompin Tom – I caught him years ago in a tiny little bar in Banff and it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever had – except for a bus ride with Burton Cummings many years ago what a hoot and I caught all the deflections from the ladies swooning all over the guy. Don’t forget Long John Baldry either sure I know he came to canada later in life but when it comes to singing the blues the guys voice was just quite simply incredible I went over to Salt Spring Island frequently at little locaql concerts to catch the guy it was brilaint – don’t try to lay any boogie woogie on the king of rock & roll – best intro to a rock song ever recorded.

    • I’m thinking David Wilcox and Obama. He could perform “the bearcat”

  15. Think CBC. Think mediocrity.

  16. If we just send him Randy Bachman, will Obama keep him?

    File under: if you lend someone twenty bucks and you never see them again, it was probably worth it.

  17. I salute your mix-tape angle, but we must take it up a notch. Canada can’t actually send the 49 songs to the new president-elect of our next door neighbour country, as then Obama will know that we like him. So we must go through a friend who can let us know how Obama responds to the mix-tape. This way we won’t be crushed when he says “What, you really don’t have pirates on the South Saskatchewan”.

    I suggest that the songs be delivered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He’s no friend to Quebec being libre and he got really wrecked at the G8 summit so he’s in our camp right? Also he’s married to a hot looking singer so he has credibility when it comes to mix-tape matters. And hey he’s actually getting a ceasefire in the Middle East with Egypt so he has credibility when it comes to something that really matters. Unlike an annoying and pathetic CBC Can Con mix-tape contest.

  18. It does smack of neediness in this context– if they’d been smarter they’d have just done it as an in-country thing a la Greatest Canadian, Canada Reads etc. It’s a fun idea in and of itself but made lame by the whole “Obama please love us” angle. However, as a self-centred Torontonian, I hereby nominate Maestro Fresh Wes’ “416/905 (The Party Anthem)”. Hehe.

    *ah T-dot y’all, we make it hot y’all*… (I’m doing the white man’s overbite as I type).

  19. There are 52 states. I think that ’49 Songs’ should be changed to “49 songs, divided by 52 states, equals 3 less Provinces, for us”. Yes, We Us.

    • Maybe we could trade them the mixed tape for some geography and math text books. Or is the “new math” I keep hearing so much about? Or are counting Guam and Samoa as states?

      • Puerto Rico?

    • Washington, DC? Virgin Islands? Or are we giving the States BC and New Brunswick?

  20. Um – looks like people have missed the obvious. The Arrogant Worms – “rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks…and WATER”. Played while driving over northern Lake Superior, or any other province for that matter. And throw in some Lightfoot.

    Now that’s thirty seconds that I’ll never get back – imagine how much time the CBC has spent thinking up and planning this exercise. Send them another couple of million…

  21. perhaps we could email him the songson his blackberry

  22. Now this contest has reached the level of satire. While we are educating Obama on Canadian culture, maybe we can send him copy of Bye, Bye new year’s eve show and also a recording of the producer and head writer’s press conference yesterday where they were accused of being racist due to their depiction of Obama in their special. Of course they claimed they weren’t racist, that they ‘cried’ in November and what it meant for US.

  23. “Fairly inconsequential on the world stage.”

    Yes, because we pay our bills and run our economy well and don’t go around invading people and are generally good world citizens, and because we’re not some bulls**t little postage-stamp slice of desert that contributes nothing meaningful to anything in terms of exports, imports, scientific innovation, legal insight, or other diplomatic usefulness but just happens to have a few holy spots that everyone is fighting over and where both ethic groups think it’s their land and that the skygod wants them to have that exact particular spot of land. Or we’re not some other postage-sized slice of rainy bullshit with leprechauns where people who believe in the same skygod and skyson can’t stop bombing each other or not letting their kids go to various schools with each other because they hate the fact that one side eats crackers and calls it god while the other thinks that the former is just stupid and enthralled to some dude in Rome who dresses gayer than any West Hollywood drag queen at a Pride parade.