Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oh, Canada.

[Warning: the following post contains some graphic videos. Click play at your own risk.]

Dear Canada,

First of all, know I love you. I have loved you since I was 8 years old and my parents drove from Seattle to Vancouver and we stayed in a hotel that shared our familial name and the concierge gave us free stuff. I really fell hard when I was 16 and visiting family in Toronto. In fact, I love you so much I considered going to school at U of T, but in a characteristic-Amanda move, decided I didn't want to go through the paperwork of getting a student visa and honestly, do you know how cold it gets up there? So cold, students have to walk through underground tunnels to get to class in the winter. That's darn cold, Canada.
I love you so much that if we were at a party together, I'd dig down deep and pull out the charm instead of standing off to the side, silently judging. That's how much I love you, Canada: I'd put away the bitchface just for you.

I also feel like I should apologise for the one time I went to Quebec City with my family and my mom stole that sign for Les Fetes de la Nouvelle France. I tried to keep her from defacing public property, but she wouldn't listen. I agree that the banner it was a part of did look a little funky after she ripped it apart, so thanks for turning a blind eye and not throwing us in jail. Neither of us look good in horizontal stripes.

Now that we've got the lovin' out of the way (that's what she said), I must confess, I have a bone to pick with you. Generally, whenever anyone says anything bad about you, Canada, it makes me want to take my earrings out and sharpen my nails. But I've come across something that I simply can not defend. Your Public Service Announcements.

This is the first one I saw and I kid you not when it gave me nightmares:

This one, I must admit, made me laugh a tiny bit:

Because when I fall off a ladder into a glass case, the first thing I do is stand up and lecture my horrified co-worker about job safety. No, no ambulance. We need to discuss the semantics of the word "accident". Script writing/acting FAIL.

There are more where these came from:

The two I've posted as stand-alones also appear in the video above. They're all equally awful.

Now I know that PSAs serve to scare sense into people; I saw one when I was about 4 years old about how babies can drown in two inches of water that scared me so badly I made my mom watch me in the bath even though I had been showering by myself for a while.
What bothers me, Canada, is that you show these incredibly graphic, violent 30 second crimes against sanity during primetime. Apparently, the first time the chef-PSA aired was in the afternoon during a hockey game. I don't normally sing soprano in the "OMG WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDRENS" chorus, but really Canada -- what about the children? How could your censors not realise the effect that such grotesque imagery could have on young viewers? Forget young viewers -- people in general! I'm 22 years old and a huge fan of gallows humour, yet I will never get the sound of that young woman's screams out of my head.

I'm sure there are ways to get the same point across with significantly less mind-scarring terror. Back to the drawing board, Canada. You're resourceful and creative. After all, you refer to your currency as "crazy".

Less of traumatizing PSAs, more of these:

Kind of unrelated (I'm sure it's a spoof), but this one is pretty great. It looks like something that would happen to me:

I'm still burning a candle for you, Canada.


Adam said...

I kind of liked these videos, but I didn't know they aired during Primetime. That does seem like a lapse in judgment on, er, Canada's part. Hah.

Vanessa said...

I actually saw these videos a few weeks ago when I ran into the chef PSA on another blog. It scared the living crap out of me-- I totally did NOT expect the ending at all. I was also freaked out by the electrical burns one, as unrealistic as it was. I think that the ads are effective (I work in a restaurant, and the chef one certainly made me rethink how conscientious we should all be about cleaning up spills, dropped forks, etc.), they probably shouldn't run on primetime where little kids will see them. THAT I think, they should change.

Diana said...

oh my gosh. the first video made me make a face I didn't even realize I was making, Scott freaks out and asks if I'm okay. And! I was watching the third video and trying to avoid the chef girl bit, i end up on exactly when the water splashes on her.
i love how you warned people, too! I just never had an idea this was so traumatizing!

thanks for the anniversary wishes!!

amanda said...

@Vanessa: The ads are a little too effective in my opinion. I now have a phobia of floors because of the chef PSA.
PSAs air during primetime so that their message reaches the largest audience possible. Granted the message is important, but the means are a bit too much to aired when children or those who may be suffering from PTSD may be watching.

Lesley Denford said...

I live in Canada, and I've seen most of those before. YES, they're terrifying! When you're not expecting to see something so shocking and graphic it really hits you hard. I guess that's the point of them...but you're right, what about the children? Had I seen those when I was little, I probably would've cried. And moved.

saturdayjane said...


Now everything everywhere seems dangerous. I tried to make bacon this morning, and kept having a compulsive "I AM ABOUT TO GET GREASE BURNS" reaction.