m a r k a n d e y a

The Inside Scoop

Posted by Brian on April 17, 2006

Last month, the Korea Herald ran a short piece on a local club that was organized as a sort of multi-cultural social group that invited people from any and all nationalities across the globe. But… Canadians were singled out as personae non grata at their get-togethers. The KH article created quite a stir among the international community here in Korea with several bloggers commentating on it; the KH even had to run a short follow-up to explain that the hate mail should not be targeting them, but rather, the group organizers themselves.

It was quite the bellylaugh and all, but something seemed a bit off about it. I had the sneaking suspicion that someone was pulling our collective leg with this story of the hated Canuck. Well, as it turns out, my suspicion was on the mark. Here's the true story…

The truth was revealed to me by a (Canadian) friend who was, in fact, the "Bernard Carlton" mentioned in the original KH piece. According to him, the real organizer of the club was a (Canadian) friend of his, a person I've met a few times. He came up with the idea as a joke while chatting with friends over drinks at the Three Alley Pub in Itaewon. He scribbled out the ad and decided to send it in to KScene for shits and giggles.

Once placed, it received some attention, but not a lot, probably reflecting the magazine's less than stellar readership numbers. He got the occasional nasty email from Canadians with their cold noses bent out of shape, as well as a email or two from non-Canadians who happened to agree with his assessment. I saw some of these message myself and I must say, a few Canadians were pissed.

It was at this point that my friend got involved. He was given access to the email account used to set up the club and began responding to some of the complaints in his Maple Leaf-hating Bernard guise. He had a back-and-forth with one woman in particular that wouldn't end until he finally told her it was just a big, fat joke designed to poke some fun at thin-skinned Canadians.

Apparently, this woman reported on their email to the Herald reporter (priot to hearing it was done in jest), whose writing gave the impression that they had actually done some sort of sit-down interview with Bernard "Canadians are scum" Carlton. And once the Herald printed the story, it exploded. The bogus email address that the ad gave was inundated with messages of furious anger from Canadians living locally, many of whom made it a point to clarify that Canadians are not actually "self-loving, welfare supporting, over taxing, work ethic hating scum." Glad we got that cleared up.

So, the mastermind of this little gag is Canadian, and his lackey was also Canadian. It was supposed to be a silly joke that went no further than the KScene magazine, but the dilligence of a one KH reporter broke it wide open, resulting in the hurt feelings of many Canadian-flag-patch-on-the-backpack Canadians.

On a final note, while discussing this hoax with "Mr. Carlton" and some other Canadian friends, I let slip a joke about Canada (something to do with polar bears, I think). One of the guys took exception and corrected my misconception ("I assure you that there are no polar bears in Tonronto or any other major Canadian metropolis"). "Mr. Carlton" made clear that this was *exactly* the sort of hyper-sensitivity they had in mind when the ad was made.


19 Responses to “The Inside Scoop”

  1. Ian said

    Cue Nelson Munz – HaHA!

  2. canucksaram said

    Now, now, Brian. All humour aside, that defensive quip about polar bears should not be so readily dismissed because of the story I related to (on the same day that your “inside source” spilled the beans)about the American in Kitchener, Waterloo with skis on the roof of his car (in July!) asking aobut “Eskimos” and “the Arctic.”

  3. canucksaram said

    Forgive me my spelling and editing mistakes; I hit the “post” button before fully reviewing my post.


  4. canucksaram said

    And . . . on an unrelated note, what’s with the new fleur-de-lis image on your blog?

    Not having another jibe at Canada, are you?

  5. Pelagius said

    It’s hard out here for a Canuck:
    From Al Kamen’s column in the Washington Post

    The Canadian government’s three-week subway poster campaign to remind Americans of our northern cousins’ military efforts in Afghanistan has been a success, Canadian officials said last week.

    Lots of “positive feedback” to the $18,000 campaign, says embassy spokesman Bernard Etzinger , from U.S. military personnel, Hill folks and others. Posters showing a Canadian soldier with Afghans were put in seven area subway stops — especially at the Pentagon — and places where riders change trains.

    “We often get overlooked in the media,” Etzinger said, but “we’re shouldering a serious load” in Afghanistan, with about 2,300 troops and lots of aid and reconstruction projects. So far, 11 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed there and 46 soldiers have been wounded, Etzinger said.

  6. The Goat said

    It is not hard to believe that a rag such as the KH printed that. Also not hard to believe that some dumbasses thought it was real. (Cdn here btw)

  7. […] In a piece of hard-hitting investigative journalism, Brian of Cathartidae REVEALS THE TRUTH behind the “Canucks need not apply” ad. […]

  8. sewing said

    Hah hah, I knew it! No one could have been as on-the-mark with the anti-Canadian insults except a fellow Canucklehead. And the name was a dead giveaway. What more stereotypically stuffily Anglo-Canadian name could there be than “Bernard Carleton”?

  9. That’s pretty much what I expected.

    Long term, I’m thinking of starting up a quick and dirty alternative weekly serving the Greater Seoul Metro area expat community.

    Just gotta find the time and buy some of the equipment.

  10. Ders said

    We’d thought the KH article was an April Fools joke that accidentally got published two days early…

  11. EFL Geek said

    That’s one good joke.

  12. Nathan B. said

    I had suspected that was a joke, too, and never commented on it on my own blog. As an Air Farce-loving Canadian, I regularly enjoy Canada-deprecating humor!

  13. Bubba said

    I can’t believe anyone fell for it.

  14. EFL Geek said

    Just saw Leno doing it on the headlines bit.

  15. suck down a molsen and shut up, eh?

  16. Bernard Carleton said

    Hey thanks Cathartidae for the explanation. I will go over the latest replies and forward some of the hate mail to you _sans_ addresses to be polite and safe… good Canadian that I am…

    Cheers, and remember to have a nice day.

  17. Applegate said

    Leno showed the original KScene ad. Pics here: http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Tonight_Show_with_Jay_Leno/headlines/H_3125/19.shtml

  18. Welfare Will said

    I can tell you with absolute certainity, there are polar bears in Toronto. Some of them are even on welfare. That’s a fact.

  19. Kurogane said

    That article was quite big for a spot on Gaijinpot, the Japanese website for foreigners.

    I also saw it on the Tonight Show a while ago.

    What fun. I got suckered.

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