Wednesday, January 11, 2017

BOOK: Canada by Mike Myers

Canada by Mike Myers, 304 pages

Thank you Mike Myers.

You have written a wonderful book, a love letter of sorts, to Canada. For its 150th birthday! 

I so enjoyed this book. There are probably a number of reasons for this:

1. Mike Myers is awesome and funny. He is also so quintessentially Canadian - talented, funny, appreciative, humble. This is really what his book is about, what makes Canada, and what made Mike Myers.

2. Mike and I are both of a certain age (50ish) so he hits all my cultural markers of growing up in the seventies/eighties. That's also what the book is about - the era of the 'making of a great nation' from 1967-1976, when Canada came of age as a country, from Expo '67 to the Montreal Olympics.

3. Mike is famous. The section about his making it big drops a lot of names, and I almost forgot how big and funny he was. I mean, Wayne's World? Classic comedy. He also dishes about how Wayne's World, while set in Illinois, is really very Canadian, and he purposefully included all these Canadian references. 

4. Did I say he dishes? Not true. Myers is too nice to dish. He only has wonderful things to say, and if he was less than impressed with someone, he does not name names. This comes down to his innate goodness and wanting to look at the good side of things, and be appreciative of his opportunities. He periodically thanks Canadians as he talks about them in the book.

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I posted some pictures on Facebook as I was reading the book, wanting to share my fun. This Fitness Award badge generated lots of comments and memories. In the seventies, a government department promoted fitness  Participaction commercials and the Canadian Fitness Award. All students across Canada competed in 5 or 6 challenges and got bronze, silver, gold or award of excellence badges. (I never got an award of excellence fitness badge - the bar hang got me everytime down to bronze.)

Mike shared his memories of the Fitness Award in the book. The book is filled with pictures and random memories of growing up in Canada. (25 cent bags of Ketchup chips)

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The first part of the book contains all the cultural notices, things that make Canada Canada. Pictured above, Stompin' Tom Connors, and the Canadian Tire, aka Crappy Tire, logo. True fact: every Canadian has a drawer stuffed with Canadian Tire money. 

I'd be interested to hear what a non-Canadian thinks of this book. I have to say again, I loved this book. It reminded me of a cross between Martin Short's autobiography, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, and Douglas Coupland's more visual Souvenir of Canada.  

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Myers covers a lot in the book - his childhood, getting into show business, getting famous. Also, Canada and how the nation grew and evolved, the differences between Canada and US. Some political stuff - he was a huge fan of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and then he ends with Justin Trudeau, which is such a stark contrast to the politics in the States right now. (Sorry, says this Canadian)

Image may contain: textThanks again, Mike.