Five things we learned about Canada from Esquire magazine’s grudging cross-border compliment

Five things we learned about Canada from Esquire magazine’s grudging cross-border compliment

The stories just keep on coming: Canada has weathered the economic crisis relatively well, thanks to our prudent and stable banking system. We’ve been praised for it in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal and, earlier this week, Esquire. The monthly offers the compliment only backhandedly, though. Esquire expresses complete surprise that Canada could actually do something right, and dedicates a sizable amount of text to explaining why we suck so much. Below, the five key things we learned about our homeland from the glossy men’s mag.

1. Canadian culture is lame
Esquire sums up Canadian culture thusly: “Tim Hortons, Doug Henning, Justin Bieber, and Jason Bay [are] their primary contributions to higher culture.” Hey—what about Nickelback, the Barenaked Ladies and Train 48? Or Mike Myers, Jim Carrey and Pamela Anderson—all of whom have appeared on covers of Esquire?

2. Our businesspeople suck
We’re a modestly wealthy country, but the merit of individual Canadians has nothing to do with it, according to Esquire. “Much of the country’s wealth owes its origins not to ingenuity but to the vastness of its natural resources.” Come on. We invented the favorite toy of Barack Obama (and of Esquire contributor, Barry Sonnenfeld): the BlackBerry.

3. Canadian publicly traded companies are rife with fraud
“Executives at small Canadian mining companies have a habit of ‘falling’ out of helicopters traveling over Indonesia,” Esquire warns. Once isn’t a habit. Besides, we’re quite sure shareholder fraud happens in the U.S., too.

4. Our banks are yawn inducing
Apparently, banks can be exciting—and ours are anything but. “America’s freewheeling financial institutions have long clucked about the boring molasses Canadian banks had to slog through.” Clucking? We suppose they have to do something while waiting for those bailout cheques to arrive from the taxpayer.

5. Canadians are boring in general
The words “sleepy” and “boring” are common descriptors in this article of anything Canada-related (a thesaurus probably could have come in handy there). But the piece isn’t all mean. It concludes with an infographic titled “Other Boring Things That Aren’t Boring Anymore.” How kind. Now, do you Americans have any more banks we can buy?

How Canada’s Dollar Got Ahead, and Left America Behind [Esquire]