The great thing about Canada, Canadians will tell you, is that it’s so boring. No big drama, no insurrections on the steps of Parliament, no QAnon lunatics impeaching the prime minister, and no prime minister, for that matter, doing his damndest to overthrow a legitimate election. Just law, order and good government.
It’s national news when a moose crosses the road in Bobcaygeon.
So it is in this spirit that I want to applaud the entirely boring Inauguration Speech by President Joe Biden in the US this week. Honesty and truth? Boring! Common decency, consideration for others? Boring! Stopping a pandemic? Boring! Tackling climate change? Boring, boring boring!!!
Mind you, one unintended benefit of these four golden years of the Trump era is that the US has shown – nakedly, garishly, like a Brueghel painting, or Hogarth’s depictions of a gin-sodden London – exactly what a fetid state of corruption and misgovernment actually looks like.
Some other states that I can think of are no more virtuous; the difference being that they are better at hiding it. Extra-judicial killings, surveillance, disappearances, the gulags and even ordinary, institutionalised every-day lies and evasion can work wonders.
But the US, bless it, has as always been a shining example. Look at your ex-President, Americans, and think what you have given those of us poor benighted souls who live in ‘shithole’ countries – which I assume includes places like Norway and New Zealand. You have shown us the ugliness and venality – oh, and the arrogant, hilarious, know-nothing incompetence – that other, less fortunate countries, endure in silence.
The lesson, I guess, is that boring is beautiful, normal is to be treasured, truth matters. And lies are lies, everywhere and always.
So thank you, President Biden, and thank you, America.
A Biden Hope, all of ya.