rough notes

Ellen Page: So Nova Scotia

with one comment

Is there anyone else in Halifax or Nova Scotia that has grown tired of the “Bring Dave Letterman to Nova Scotiacampaign? I was bored with it from the moment CBC Halifax‘s Information Morning interpreted the talk show host’s witty banter with Halifax actor Ellen Page that he’d like to “one day visit” Nova Scotia as a sincere statement. Letterman, who has been speaking platitudes to America for over twenty-five years, was simply doing the right thing, and doing what he pays himself to do – establish an artifice of sincerity and general ‘kookiness’ on camera.

See Letterman play nice to Ellen Page and speak the words that have led Halifax into a frenzied belief that he may actually want to visit some time at 5:25:

Now the local CBC Radio One morning show has taken his four or five words and manifested an all-out campaign to convince some one who has far more important things to do to bring his television programme to Halifax. To make things worse, they’ve opened up the idea to its listeners, who, like kindergarten students, are lining up to take part in this rah-rah amateur, provincial example of civic boosterism. It has captured Halifax and Nova Scotia by storm, to the point that Premier Rodney MacDonald and his PR staff have cooked up their own “Top Ten List” of reasons why Letterman should feign interest and visit Canada’s Ocean Playground.

Granted, there are a couple witty remarks in his Top Ten List, like the mention of Shag Harbour, or the Lockeport Greasepole (as mentioned by Page on the television programme). MacDonald’s final reason – that the province’s political leader knows how to play the fiddle – also plays up the juvenile masturbatory humour often seen on late night programmes (credit must be given here – it is a funny joke). But all of his reasons, and most of top ten lists and ideas put on air, do nothing but perpetuate the myth (or is it fact?) that Halifax is nothing more than a small, provincial city, situated on the periphery of North American mass culture. Premier MacDonald might as well put on a kilt while he dances for the camera, perhaps while other Nova Scotian images and icons such as Acadian folk dancers, coal miners, bagpipers, lobster fishermen and call centre operators fill the mise-en-scene.

There are two items fueling my angst here, I admit. First, the CBC should not be so foolish to think that David Letterman truly intends to visit Nova Scotia one day – his statement was merely a pleasant thing to say in the middle of a conversation, like speaking about the weather in an elevator. Second, the Premier of Nova Scotia, who so wants the province to shed its “down home yokel” image but still maintain a “traditional way of life”, must realize that he can’t have his cake and eat it, too. Dancing for the camera will not garner the respect of Ottawa and the rest of the nation. So long as Premier MacDonald fiddles for David Letterman, this province will remain only a magical land of bagpipers, fishermen, and lighthouses.

Be sure to check out the YouTube footage of our Premier as a wee young lad stepdancing at local festivals in Cape Breton Island:

that boy can dance!

Mr. MacDonald, our Cape Breton Fiddling Sensation, and Premier.

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Written by mitchellirons

January 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm

One Response

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  1. I agree the whole thing is cringe-inducingly embarrassing. But the preem has pretty good delivery and perhaps for the first time since those stepdancing days, doesn’t seem robotic.


    January 11, 2008 at 7:12 pm

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