Thursday, October 20, 2005

Rick Mercer reports from Afghanistan

Readers who do not live in Canada (which is 72% of you, and nearly 100% of those who leave comments) presumably have no idea who Rick Mercer is.

(Shame on you! What passes for culture in the USA and the UK, anyhow?)

Mercer is a comedian from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. All the funniest Canadians hail from that province. Potatoes grow in the red earth of Prince Edward Island; comedians sprout from The Rock.

Mercer is an honest-to-goodness icon. I have irrefutable proof:  he has his own entry at Wikipedia. In the digital age, that's how you demonstrate that you've joined the ranks of the gods.

Anyway, Mercer just returned from a week in Afghanistan where he visited the Canadian troops and did the Bob Hope thing. Mercer comments:
Show-biz folk love a captive audience; we will gladly travel across the world and visit a war zone to find one.
Mercer is also a blogger. He has cleverly named his blog, Rick Mercer's blog. (No one is inspired 100% of the time.)

Mercer's posts on Afghanistan stand out among his usual fare. (Mostly he likes to roast Canadian politicians you've never heard of.) This excerpt is the highlight for me:
This was my second trip to Afghanistan and the capitol city of Kabul has changed dramatically since Canada showed up. Kabul looks and feels like a city on the mend. New construction is everywhere, the stores are crowded, there is fresh produce in abundance and women are seen everywhere on the streets — many without Burkas. Canada has played a huge part in this transformation.

Now things start to get real tricky. The bulk of Canada’s troops will soon be stationed in Kandahar. This is the Wild West. Kandahar is, bottom line, far more dangerous than Kabul. If you wanted to drive home this fact all you have to do is take a look inside the front gates of the Canadian camp. Inside the gate sits a British armoured vehicle that was recently hit by a suicide bomber. Because of the armour everyone walked away from that attack.

Kandahar 1

Kandahar 2
Canadians on patrol in this area drive now similar vehicles made by Mercedes.
But check it out for yourself — Mercer provides an interesting, first-person perspective.

2 Comments:

At 3:07 PM, October 23, 2005, Blogger Heather said...

Okay, for the record, I have left comments and I am a mere stones throw from where Mr Mercer hails. Well...a stone that is tossed really hard and really really far. Anyway - thanks for telling me about this...I am going to check out this blog. Its funny, sometimes I learn more about American Politics from John Steward and Canadian from Mercer. Thats a sad statement about myself.

 
At 9:12 AM, October 25, 2005, Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

If you happen to hit Mercer with one of those stones, he probably has it coming.

I think comedians inform a lot of people about news items they would otherwise miss. Of course, they view it from their own, rather skewed perspective … but the "straight" news arguably does, too.
Q

 

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