Nov 30 2013

Canadians are so adorably awkward

They have conservatives up there, too. And here’s one, Brian Pallister, trying to be nice to atheists.


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  1. 1
    Nick Gotts

    …and remember, folks, if you’re planning to give your child one of these adorable klutzervatives for Christmas, they are going to need feeding, exercising and cleaning out (yuck!) all year round!

  2. 2

    Hmm, I’ve heard of backhanded compliments, but backhanded wishes of joy? However, he does spend most of the clip’s time talking about atheists.

  3. 3

    As we all know, atheists can’t really give thanks or be joyful during the holidays because our “religion” is crabbiness.

  4. 4
    David Wilford

    Awkward, but not nasty at least. I’m just a bit surprised he even mentioned infidels, er, atheists.

  5. 5
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I’ve never seen a backhanded wish of joy before. He, uh, tried? It is hilariously awkward, though.

    We put up a tree, though our ornaments are all stars, birds, hedgehogs, and a few bunnies and robots in there, nothing religious. I celebrate the solstice and more importantly, my birthday. We eat delicious food, and give gifts and make our loved ones happy. And continue with my family’s holiday tradition of wuxia or bad horror movies on Xmas eve. What a sad, lonely life. … Wait, no. It’s actually pretty wonderful. Especially without any bloodthirsty deities or teenagers knocked up by their own sons as the central theme.

  6. 6
    sigurd jorsalfar

    I can see Rob Ford’s new campaign slogan now: “I’m not addicted to crack, I’m just adorably awkward!”

  7. 7
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I’m just adorably crackward!


    Pallister, I thought, was clearly trying to be playful with “infidel atheists”. He’s attempting (IMO) to poke fun at the most reactionary forms of Christianity so that his less-reactionary form, which involves professing before cameras that one is celebrating the birth of (the) Christ*.

    *why do they always forget to put an article there? What is that? It’s not a name, it’s a title. And it just means “smeared with grease or oil” and the root word just means “grease/oil” or “greasy/oily”. Without the article, it hardly refers to the ceremony of smearing that recognizes someone’s special role in a community and instead “birth of christ” sounds like celebrating the first time someone pressed olives. I realize that words do, y’know, mean what we agree they mean, I just think this is a bizarre shift.

  8. 8
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Crip Dyke: In this climate and this time of year, it is really important to stay moisturized.

  9. 9

    I was thinking of celebrating the birth of Attis this year. He was believed to have been born on December 25th long before anyone heard of Jesus. Means about the same to me. Added bonus: no discussions of the “historical Attis.”

  10. 10
    The Mellow Monkey

    Hot damn. I think Crip Dyke just invented my favorite new holiday. Oliveoilmas. Mmm, delicious.

  11. 11
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Happiest Sadist & The Mellow Monkey:

    Twas not my intent, but I do think it would be fun to celebrate the birth of christ. Dec 25th is just as good a day as any. Just for family harmony, you can celebrate the birth of crisco, christ’s (much) younger brother, by making some pie crust for the feast.

  12. 12
    Reginald Selkirk

    He forgot to mention: some of his best friends are infidel atheists.

  13. 13
    Lynna, OM

    Dear Brian Pallister,

    I myself do not celebrate the birth of christ, nor The Christ. I do occasionally celebrate the awkwardness of trying-like-hell-to-be-nice Canadian politicians because they are so entertaining.

    I also celebrate olive oil.

    New Year’s Eve is coming up soon Brian, so Happy Arbitrarily Determined Beginning of Solar Orbit Eve for Planet Earth! (This greeting is a derivation of other Pharyngulite inventions from the Lounge.)

    An Infidel in Good Standing

  14. 14

    Still better than what most USAian politicians have to say to/about us.

  15. 15

    We put up trees (which are soundly denounced in that there bible book – Jeremiah 10:2-4), one for Cephalopodmas and one for Ratmas.

  16. 16
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I didn’t get the backhanded vibe at all. I thought it was kinda nice that he made such a point of including people who don’t do Christmas as a religious holiday–which is actually probably most people, even in conservative Manitoba.

    Mum and I spent the afternoon putting up & decorating our tree. Pretty.

  17. 17
    Dejan Tesic

    It has to be said that, at least historically, infidels != atheists.

  18. 18

    I live in Manitoba, where Mr. Pallister is leader of the (opposition) Conservative Party.
    Whereas Winnipeg (the capital city, where I live) is actually a reasonably liberal place, the surrounding rural areas are home to some truly batshit crazy fundamentalists.

    For example, in a recent federal byelection in a nearby rural region, the Conservative candidate made a reference to an incident where a local gay teenager was caught being bullied on camera. The candidate in question implied that the incident had been staged. This candidate won with 60% of the votes, and in his acceptance speech said “I thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ”.

    As a nation that prides itself on being “progressive”, we have a long way to go. (Lousy Canuck would probably agree.)

  19. 19


    Canadian here, and I absolutely agree; we’re not nearly as progressive as we could be — and should be. Certainly not helped by Harper, who’s roughly as progressive as Obama. I don’t even mean that as a joke.

  20. 20

    I suspect he is also celebrating “nothing”.

  21. 21

    I need to work on my car later today, so I expect I’ll be totally Christ afterwards.

  22. 22

    I suspect he is also celebrating “nothing”.

    That’s what I was thinking too.

    Its a peril of realism.* I like the sound of that.

    *from the next post: …pharyngula/2013/11/30/piety-masked-with-scholarship-is-particularly-revolting/

  23. 23
    Trickster Goddess

    Jesus the Greaser?

  24. 24

    I didn’t get the backhanded vibe at all.

    I don’t think anyone here got any ‘vibe’, negative or otherwise.

    It was only interesting that this fellow conflated ‘atheist’ with ‘infidel’.

    Which is most hilarious…from a non-religious point of view.

    Of course, it might take a religious perspective to conclude otherwise.

  25. 25
    John Horstman

    Aww, that’s sweet! I like “infidel”: it’s just (clipped) Latin for “not faithful”, which I am not.

  26. 26

    According to the radio news today, he wasn’t joking.

    But he is recanting, somewhat, if you’re offended it’s on you …

  27. 27
    David Marjanović

    Jesus the Greaser?

    …You know, those words really could be related. As far as I can tell, the consonants match perfectly!

  28. 28
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I suspect that he was sneaking into his sound bite that he’s a good Christian to appeal to his religious voters, without actually thumping his chest and proclaiming, “I’m a Christian, unlike some other people! Vote for me!”

  29. 29

    My problem is this: ‘Atheist’ is a definition, ‘Infidel’ is an accusation…You know, the thing you call someone before you decapitate them.

  30. 30
    shoebutton100 .

    Winnipeg Free Press journalist Bartley Kives responds with a lovely song called “Jingle Bells, Infidels!”

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