Part Two Of Jim’s Look At Don Cherry
II: BAD DON
The poofing of Don would be impractical for all the usual reasons utopian visions inevitably fail, however in Don’s case they don’t even come into play simply because The Media doesn’t want to retire Don, WE don’t want to retire Don and even if Don wanted to retire and tried to retire he can’t. Why? What is it about Don that makes him so irresistably appealing, at least to US, such that even his `unCanadian’ traits are attractive to some fans?
First, Don’s unCanadian attributes:
1) Don is a Leaf fan – yes, the Leaf Nation really does exist, there really are Leaf fans and yes, much to OUR consternation, they do have not only the right to exist but the right to support the hockey team of their choice, even the Leafs. Of course, this phenomenon is local and, although the Greater Trawna Region is, at least for the near future, part of the Canadian polity, once an NFL team settles in it will secede to the States. Bad Don.
2) Don is a Bruin fan – ditto 1, more or less). Bad Don.
3) Don is not infrequently rude. Yes, I am a stereotypical Canadian in that I inwardly cringe when Don acts in an obnoxious manner. But, so what? Lots of people are rude, even some Canadians. Nowadays, rudeness is fashionable, very much part of being cool and (supposedly) self-confident and honest, i.e. telling it like one thinks it is and Don is definitely guilty of this, eh? Bad Don.
4) Don is a bully: he’s loud and outspoken, he picks on poor Ron, says dumb/mean things about Euros, Quebecois, non-Leaf/Bruin players and thinks most sports journalists covering hockey are dopes. LOL.. As any semi-aware fan knows, Don is the bullied – his beloved wife, Rose, ruled him, Blue bosses him around, the CBC tells him what he can/cannot say and, as for Ron, ha! The seemingly meek mild passive victim of big bad Don is far from that – he’s a very tricky enabler. Without him playing the foil, setting Don off in all his dubious glory, Don’s profile would be much lower. As for Don picking on sports journalists? Ha! Guilds don’t get bullied, they bully – consider: who first raised this empty question and why? Okay, some people simply don’t like Don. Fair enough. But, in the absence of any reasonable pretext for poofing Don, could it be that a posse of like-minded (empty-headed?) pcers have planted the question in a bid to indirectly undermine Don’s status? Could this be a tactic in their crusade to shape Canada and Canadians to their specifications? Ahhh yes, the tried and true cheap innuendo ploy with the intent here being to insinuate that Don has worn out his welcome and that the really thoughtful responsible fans sense this growing discontent with The Don Cherry schtick? Or, could it be that this is simply another media-generated bit of hoopla intended to keep things stirred up however banal the stick doing the stirring may be? Something else? Spontaneous emergence, mayhap? Whatever.
The point is, it’s not Don doing the bullying here. And how many journalists worked themselves up into a frothing-at-the-mouth frenzy over Avery’s `sloppy seconds’ stupidity and Bertuzzi’s assault on Moore? What nobility! Caring nurturing mature males stepping up and being counted. Self-righteous `protectors’ of the weak and the innocent o-so-happy to, what?, could it be to fight the good fight? Indomitable warriors for what they KNOW is right and good – oh yeah, down with the barbaric atavistic code that underlay Bertuzzi’s attack (Hmm, could it be the same one informing the journalists’ attacks?). Granted, nothing beats a good hit of that ever-so-satisfying sense of well-being that one gets from the exercise of virtue. But if you must indulge yourself in this way hold yourself accountable to the same standards you are imposing on your targets. Not doing so, or at the very least not trying to do so, constitutes hypocricy of the meanest sort. And, it seems to me that The Media are most adept at this. Consider the slandering of Don by a supposedly reputable sports journalist to the effect that Don exploited children in a cynical way merely to enhance his self-serving personal agenda. A ugly vicious assault – far worse than what Avery said, the journalistic equivalent of Bertuzzi’s mugging? – but did The Media come down on this dood? Did the defenders of virtue band together and condemn him for his nastiness? Did they hound him, decry his ethical standards? Call into question his journalist credentials? Call for his firing? Demand judicial action? Of course not. Ha! Gimme Bad Don any old day.
5) Don is arrogant and insensitive – he mocks others, says they don’t know their hockey. Again, so what? First and foremost, Don mocks himself – look at the costumes he sports! And, excluding his reprehensible albeit perfectly natural irrational support of the Leafs and the Bruins, he does know his hockey better than most of us. Sorta Bad Don.
6) Don presents himself as an unabashed patriot – knock-down proof that he is unCanadian. He has and continues to bellow over and over again that Canadian hockey and Canadian players are the best in the world, that all others are pretenders. What unmitigated gall! Presenting himself as an advocate of something that all right-thinking Canadians, aka pcers and ideological visionaries, know to be inimical not only to our national well-being but to that of the world at large. Patriotism is the lackey of Petty Nationalism which all right-thinking Canadians know to be the main cause of human conflict and it must therefore be thwarted whenever it rears its ugly maw. We are NOT Yugoslavians! We are NOT Ruwandans! We are … ? which we can’t be as long as Don is around. Bad Bad Baaaad Don.
7) Don’s most egregious failing to the anti-Donians might well be that he comes across as a Show-off meaning that not only does he want and invite attention he actually succeeds at getting it! Horrors! How very, very unCanadian. We don’t beat our own drum. We’re modest. Why, who does he think he is? Lots of us know hockey as well or better than him. He needs a good slice of humble pie! We’ll make him eat crow. We’ll teach him not to be so `uppity’. We’ll get him retired! Yeah, right. Same old story, eh? The truly arrogant `self-annointed’ defenders of virtue hiding behind the guise of humility. Good Bad Don.
8) Don is a reprehensible examplar of all those reactionary western-rationalist patriarchical elitist racist ethnocentric values and virtues that the new improved Canada needs to suppress if the future is to be OURS. Don is loyal, steadfast, dependable, direct, compassionate, honourable, he believes in free speech and civic liberties, etc etc. Bad Good Don.So, what about Good Don? Tomorrow.