January 14, 2013

Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Those stopped clocks who run Canada’s state broadcaster aren”€™t even right twice a day. The best they can manage is once a week.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) says taxpayers must keep funding this great unwatched billion-dollar behemoth because the network has a never-hear-the-end-of-it “€œmandate”€ to “€œreflect Canadian values.”€

Which “€œthe Corpse“€ does indeed, but for just about nine minutes every Saturday night, and only during hockey season, and by accident rather than design.

That’s when Don Cherry’s red light goes on and the former Boston Bruins coach begins bellowing about the fruitcakes and foreigners destroying his beloved game.

He’s old, white, loud, and uneducated. He’s bigoted, mawkishly patriotic, and he dresses like an Edwardian time traveler stuck in 1970s Detroit trying to pass himself off as a pimp”€”and Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner has also been the CBC’s highest rated…thing for generations. It’s not even a show, you see, just a segment”€”possibly the only “€œintermission”€ in history that prompts people to run to their seats instead of away from them.

“€œCherry tells embarrassing truths on purpose.”€

By lucky chance, “€œshhhh!”€ is the same “€œword”€ in both official languages, and that’s the sound heard in sports bars and rec rooms across Quebec and the ROC (Rest of Canada) as the show’s familiar intro gallops into millions of ears.

To the countless Canucks who can”€™t stand him, however, Cherry is a perpetual outrage machine. The coach doesn”€™t make “€œKinsley gaffes,”€ either”€”those “€œcontroversial”€ statements which accidentally reveal some embarrassing truth. Cherry tells embarrassing truths on purpose. His only “€œcrime”€ is saying things lots of his countrymen agree with but aren”€™t allowed to say”€”or even let themselves think“€”anymore.

The latest Don Cherry “€œcontroversy”€ fits that category neatly.

In 2010, an earthquake killed approximately 300,000 people in Haiti but otherwise left it looking pretty much as filthy and broken as it has since it attained what is laughingly referred to as “€œindependence.”€

A few days before that event’s anniversary, Cherry sent out a series of Tweets:

Maybe it’s just me. But Canada gave Haiti 49.5 million dollars last year. Are we nuts?

We”€™ve got a guy dying in Toronto waiting 3 hours for an ambulance.

We got people waiting 7, 8, 10 hours, if they”€™re lucky, in a waiting room with one doctor for a zillion people.

The working guy is getting kind of sick of people spending money like that….Lets [sic] smarten up. As the old saying goes, charity begins at home. Am I right or is it just me?


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