In Geist 9 we announced the Honorary Canadian Awards so that readers could speak their minds, statistically, about Canadians and non-Canadians who have distinguished themselves in one way or the other. We invited readers to vote by mail, phone, fax and courier, and some 300 of you did. Here’s what you decided:
The Neville Chamberlain Medal
To be awarded to the non-Canadian who in a single act characterized the Canadian identity.
The nominees: Admiral Stockdale, Woody Allen, Sinead O’Connor, Prince Charles.
The winner: SINEAD O’CONNOR, by a nose—a pope’s nose, actually: her single act was to tear up a picture of the grand fromage of the Vatican, and to fail to enjoy it. Way to go, Sinead! Drop in any time!
There were fourteen write-in votes—is that too unCanadian of us?—including Tina Brown, publisher of the New Yorker, who appears to know that success is achieved by “dressing sensibly and talking with a British accent”; the state of Colorado, for its anti-gay legislation (Canadian characteristic: “having your cake and not wanting to eat it too”); and Mr. Rogers, whose Canadianness is painfully evident in his “terminal niceness.”
The Bryan Adams Dishonourable Discharge Citation
To be awarded to the Canadian with the most profound disregard for the “Canadian identity.”
The nominees: Eric Lindros, Oscar Peterson, Roberta Bondar.
The winner: ERIC LINDROS, with more than twice as many votes as the runner-up (Oscar Peterson). Bad call, Eric! Hasn’t anyone told you how serious we are about our hockey heroes?
Write-ins included k.d. lang for not knowing that “beef-eating is a constitutional right”; Farley Mowat, because “the number of hours he has spent writing about his life exceeds the total hours he has lived”; Kim Campbell, for “wearing that stupid brooch”; William Shatner for being “too reckless—he plays polo and wears a toupee”; Neil Young, who “doesn’t drink beer”; and the producers of The Valor and the Horror—not, as you might suspect, for spelling valour without the u, but because they dared “to produce a Canadian war documentary not narrated by either Christopher Plummer or Gordon Pinsent.” The nerve!