Canadaland’s transcripts are edited to the best of our ability to ensure accuracy from audio to text. Please contact email@example.com should you have a correction.
Intro:Jesse Brown: Hey everyone, we are off for the statutory holiday and we are bringing you an excellent episode from our recent archives, one of our favourites. It was such a treat to get to talk to Marc Maron. Hope you enjoy it.
(Canadaland theme plays)
Jesse Brown: I Don’t know what we’re supposed to make of these American celebrities when they say that they’re going to move to Canada because of how bad things have gotten in their own country. I mean, first of all, it’s almost always total bullshit. You know, Snoop Dogg, Lena Dunham, Barbra Streisand, they weren’t serious.
They’re not moving to Canada. You’re not going to run into them at Canadian Tire. They never had the slightest intention of following through. But like even in the rare case where an American celebrity is actually ready to pack their bags and move to Canada, I’m not like super quick to just take the compliment that this is about how great Canada is and I should just feel lucky and flattered that they’re coming. Like, what’s the idea behind this?
I think the idea is that they are the decent, reasonable Americans, but America itself has become so overrun by maniacs that their only option is to flee for Canada, a country which they assume does not suffer from the same problems. And I got to tell you, I kind of doubt that they bothered to check, you know, if they did, they might be a little bit surprised and disappointed.
But more than that, more than that, my issue is like, I don’t know- I feel like they’re just kind of being quitters. You know, like, that’s it. You give up. You’re just you’re just going to leave. I want to say to them, like from that Leonard Cohen song, Come on, come on back to the war.
Don’t be embarrassed. Pick up your tiny burden. Don’t be a tourist. Anyhow, that’s the imaginary conversation that I have with Snoop Dogg in my head. I mean, it’s not like I actually get to discuss this stuff with actual American celebrities, except for the other week when I did. Marc Maron and I connected for a conversation.
Maron, of course, is the host of WTF, which is like one of the first great podcasts, just this pioneering show, this interview show where Marc Maron has spoken to everybody from Robin Williams to Barack Obama. Maron is also a great stand up comedian. You may have seen his specials on Netflix. You may have seen him acting in a bunch of different shows and movies.
He and I were only supposed to get together to quickly record promos for each other’s shows. It’s a podcaster thing, like he recommends this show to his listeners. I recommend his show to mine. And I do. But you know, it was just supposed to last for a few minutes, but we got to talking. We got to talking about his plans to move to Canada. And yes, he is serious about it. He’s applied for permanent residency here. He’s thinking about Vancouver.
And we got to talking about a bunch of other stuff, too. And I had a chance to mention to him the simple fact that if I had never heard his podcast, I may not have ever launched this one. Okay, so here it is, my conversation with Marc Maron. Wait for it.
(Canadaland Patreon sting plays)
Jesse Brown: This episode is brought to you by Brian Donahue, Lauren Garcia, Frank Cirinna, Justin Saint-Amour, Brian Carson, Shannon Fidler, Lyra Shevek and Christopher.
Patreon Supporter Christopher: Hi, my name is Christopher. I live in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, and I am a high school teacher. I support Canadaland because a healthy and credible media ecosystem is an integral part of a healthy society and is necessary to keep government and politicians accountable to the citizenry. It is one of the few podcasts I recommend to my students.
(Canadaland sting plays)
Jesse Brown: Hey, Mark.
Marc Maron: What’s up, Jesse? How’s it going? It’s going.
Jesse Brown: All right. Thanks so much for finding the time for us.
Marc Maron: Where are you? What are you doing? Where are you now?
Jesse Brown: In our studio in Toronto.
Marc Maron: You’re in Toronto? Yeah. Yeah, I was in Toronto. I like Toronto.
Jesse Brown: It’s okay.
Marc Maron: But that’s the whole thing, isn’t it? It’s- everything’s just okay.
Jesse Brown: Yeah.
Marc Maron: In Canada.
Jesse Brown: Steady B minus across the board.
Marc Maron: Wrap it, I’m ready. B minus for boring, I’m in. I’ve had enough, I’m coming.
Jesse Brown: Well, let’s get into that.
Marc Maron: Okay, you have questions for me? I think I probably have more for you. Do you have questions for me along the lines of, like, why would you come here?
Jesse Brown: Well, I guess I want to just be of service. I’m a good Canadian. You’ve applied for permanent residency in Canada?
Marc Maron: Yes.
Jesse Brown: I’m the host of a podcast about Canada. I don’t have any, you know, consular status. I’ve yet to be recognized by the crown or anything like that. But I still want to help, like uh-
Marc Maron: You don’t know the guy? If you could get a word in with the guy who’s processing the application, that’d be helpful. I hear he’s like somewhere in, like, Newfoundland or somewhere.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, I probably can’t help. I got no schlep there. I can’t help you with that.
Marc Maron: Uh huh, All right.
Jesse Brown: But if there’s anything I can, you know, what can I do? What do you need to know?
Marc Maron: I mean, am I romanticizing- here’s my impression. Okay, So I’ve been going to Canada for years. And many years ago, probably 20, 30 years I’ve been going up there for the festivals and working in different places. Like I used to think like, well, it’s kind of like America only without the fear, without the anxiety permeating, you know, every part of the environment.
And I think that’s kind of true. I just remember having that moment where I was outside. It was like one in the morning and there was just a guy riding a bike and a couple of people walking. I’m like, Where? Where the fuck am I? How is this happening? Just people comfortably walking with no sense of panic. And as time went on, I grew to believe that was it was boring.
And then like something started to shift after Trump and after, you know, the chaos started here and I became older. It was like as soon as I got to Canada, within 20 minutes of being off a plane, it was like, Oh my God, the cancer isn’t here. Like, I felt a tangible physical relief that lasted.
Jesse Brown: It’s only fair to give you context that the concept of Canada that you’re describing that we’re much like the states, but just more sane and a bit more progressive and a bit more harmonious and evolved is a concept that I’ve dedicated most of my adult life to dismantling. So that’s like a caveat that we should have.
Marc Maron: Well, look, you know, I understand that and I appreciate that. But here’s the deal. There’s not that many people up there, dude, and you can dismantle. But like my sense of it without knowing it, that fundamentally, when you don’t have a culture based on guns and everybody gets, you know, at least basic health care, it may not happen promptly and it may not happen in time, but it’s there.
Marc Maron standup clip: Montreal is amazing. I’ve been here a week. I’ve been here a week. I’ve been taken to eat poutine three times, (Audience cheers), smoked meat twice, everyone here smoked cigarettes. What the hell is going on? How do you people live like this? Then I realized, Oh, you have health care. (Crowd laughs)
Marc Maron: So I think that somehow or another, your sense of mortality and existential dread changes and the sense of capitalism infused in every waking second of one’s day, that’s also like, yeah, I know you can get it from here, but it’s not culturally endemic to Canada. So those three things to me, no matter what you say, I’m going to push back.
Jesse Brown: You know what? I’m not even here to dissuade you from like, I think you’re going to get what you’re after. I think you’re looking for, like, a bit of relief. Like, Oh, fuck, You know?
Marc Maron: Yeah, yeah.
Jesse Brown: It’s a long road. And you want, like, that’s. That’s that’s here. You’ll get it here. I know you a bit. As the one knows somebody who knows somebody who’s podcast like-
Marc Maron: Yeah.
Jesse Brown: If you are a person who values extreme sports and the rugged wilderness-
Marc Maron: Yeah
Jesse Brown: If you’re really into nutrition and wellness, spirituality-
Marc Maron: No.
Jesse Brown: real estate speculation, no, I think Vancouver is going to be great. If you value culture, if you like having conversations with artists and creators and authors and comedians, if you like talking to sharp, funny people who might be damaged. But they’re very interesting-.
Marc Maron: Right.
Jesse Brown: You may be going to the worst city in the world for that.
Marc Maron: What, Vancouver?
Jesse Brown: Nobody has ever, like been inspired by Vancouver to, like, write a great novel. No one’s ever written a kick-ass rock song about Vancouver. It’s like mean, but it’s a vacuum.
Marc Maron: Look, you know, I’m going to be, you know, if it works out, if what I want to unfold unfolds, I’ll be in my 60s, number one. Number two, I don’t have to spend my entire life up there. Yeah, but wait, all that stuff like about nutrition and real estate speculation, that’s all in Vancouver or not?
Jesse Brown: Oh, yeah, you got it.
Marc Maron: That’s what it.
Jesse Brown: In spades, yes.
Marc Maron: It’s like Denver, Colorado. It’s just healthy people everywhere. Like, I did a joke about Vancouver when I was there last saying that in Vancouver, everyone looks like they’re like 20 minutes away from hiking. Where as in Montreal, everyone looks like they’re 20 minutes away from fucking in the streets, so-
Jesse Brown: Yeah, I prefer Montreal, but you’re right. But look, Vancouver is all those things, but it’s also psychotic. It’s just a different kind of psychotic than you’re used to. I mean, it’s flesh it out.
Marc Maron: What do you mean?
Jesse Brown: Well, how would you describe a city that has, like, the highest homeless rate in Canada, but also the highest number of vacant condos and mansions?
Marc Maron: That’s very American.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, it’s it’s a place where people there’s a lot of money parked in Vancouver, people speculating on real estate.
Marc Maron: You know, I read Gabor Maté I know that guy and his, you know, experience with the drug addiction and homelessness in Vancouver. And I’ve seen it and I and I understand that. And that’s something I am used to in terms of seeing it here. But there’s still something about the just uh- just the atmospheric piece. I understand all the craziness that exists there.
Jesse Brown: Yeah.
Marc Maron: But there’s just something about like there’s a ceiling to the Canadian personality. Like, I don’t know why, but you know, it’s only going to go like all the guys that are nuts and talented, they leave. So I think what you’re left with, because they’re here, they’re here making $1 billion. Yeah. So what, you’re left with is fairly reasonable people. That’s my belief. Look, drug addiction and homelessness. I understand that.
Jesse Brown: It’s so insulting. Just. Just the moderate, mediocre is what’s left behind. Would it offend you if I described you as a New York Jew?
Marc Maron: Yes, because I don’t think I am.
Jesse Brown: Like DNA. Like in your disposition and your outlook on life.
Marc Maron: Jersey, I go with Jersey Jew. I’m genetically Jersey, but East Coast Jew. I think that that is what I come from. That is the primordial soup I crawled out of.
Jesse Brown: As my dad says, it’s pretty far from a bagel. I mean, there’s definitely Jews in Vancouver, but like you met Seth Rogen. He’s maybe the most well-adjusted Jewish comedian you’re ever going to meet.
Marc Maron: It’s a lot of that is a lot of that is weed.
Jesse Brown: (Jesse chuckles) That could go the other way with weed, too. He seems okay.
Marc Maron: Yeah. I mean, it seems that there’s more Jews in the Montreal that more came from the Montreal area.
Jesse Brown: There’s not a lot of Jews left, but there’s more of a Jewish culture history.
Marc Maron: Yeah, it seems like that’s where they came in. If they, if they were coming from Europe
Jesse Brown: My family came through Montreal to Winnipeg and then, you know, so, yeah, through Montreal is the.
Marc Maron: Winnipeg outside of weather is sort of a culturally advanced place, I didn’t mind it.
Jesse Brown: It’s got its own thing. I mean, it’s not good in a lot of ways. They’re surrounded by so many hundreds of kilometers of nothing in every direction that if you’re weird, you better find your people. Yeah. And you better hunker down and do your thing. So a lot of interesting people come out of there.
Marc Maron: Right. But yeah, you know, the Jewish thing, you know, I’m not too hung up on it. And I’ve experienced the sort of range of Jewishness in Montreal, you know, like the bagels, the meat. I know a few Jewish people. It’s interesting how many of those Eastern European customs and food gets reinterpreted in different places.
I’m not really gunning for Quebec because I don’t know French, and I didn’t put that on my application. So but like, Toronto is not out of the picture for me either. I don’t mind Toronto.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, it’s fine. It’s totally fine.
Marc Maron: Come to Canada, it’s fine.
Jesse Brown: That’s the slogan. As far as I’m concerned, I think you can be pretty, but you’re going to go back and forth.
Marc Maron: Look, it’s all a dream. And that would be the thing, you know, the idea would be is that somehow or another, some minor lever in my brain is going to enable me the peace of mind to enjoy life without being full of dread and constantly comparing myself against people more successful than me. And I’ll be able to kind of enjoy the mountains in Vancouver and, you know, enjoy sort of the air and the like. I love the way it looks up there.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, it’s stunning. It’s stunning.
Marc Maron: And, you know, maybe that lever won’t throw, but like right now I’m in this waiting zone. Like I’m not. I have to spend two years out of five up there. Not in a row if I get this visa, this permanent residence. Yeah. So that will kind of, you know, throw me into action.
And the guy said there’s a good 2 to 3 year wait on the thing. So it all seemed to time out in my mind correctly, like the fantasy now is to have a place there and if there’s still water in L.A, I’ll stay here. If not, I’ll maybe get a place in New York, but that would be easier to go to Toronto from New York, wouldn’t it?
Jesse Brown: Yeah, that would make some sense. And I don’t know. There’s something weird to me about Canada as a refuge from both climate change and fascism, both because we’re causing a lot of climate change here. We got the oil sands here, which has got a carbon footprint like the state of California. It’s the dirtiest energy that you could produce.
And then- all right, what do you think? I don’t know if this is sci fi stuff, but we’ve got the Great Lakes and it’s, you know, one of the world’s largest reserves of freshwater. And we’ve got an undefended border. And our neighbour is the most militarized country in history. How much autonomy can we really expect to maintain in the long run?
Marc Maron: Oh, I see. You think that maybe we’ll all end up in Canada anyway?
Jesse Brown: I don’t know! I don’t know.
Marc Maron: In a hostile, hostile takeover for water in the Great Lakes, aren’t the Great Lakes half ours?
Jesse Brown: You got some of it? Yeah. I think that if you decided that they’re all yours.
Marc Maron: Sure. To me, the only way that’ll happen is if this is just a burning shit heap of apocalyptic garbage. And there’s a whole new pioneer, literally covered wagon class that is going to head up into Canada to resettle. You know, that’s the only way that is attractive. If you get some real off the grid fucks, which we have a lot of. Yeah. Who decide like let’s take over Canada and settle all that area around Winnipeg.
Jesse Brown: (Jesse chuckles) Just Minnesota moving up. It’s just…
Marc Maron: Well, Minnesota, you don’t have to worry about what’s happening in Minnesota. It’s basically Canadian.
Jesse Brown: Well, that’s that’s true Like Vancouver has more in common with Seattle than Toronto.
Marc Maron: Yeah, Minnesota. I love Minnesota. And I and I love a lot of those states up there. That border outside of, I guess, New York that the difference between Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Canada, that is the difference between the two countries.
Jesse Brown: We have more wax museums than you.
Marc Maron: I don’t know, man. It’s like Niagara Falls on our side is just a beat up, horrible town. Yeah, it’s really sad.
Jesse Brown: No, Upstate New York is pretty depressing. For the most part.
Marc Maron: It’s rough. But look, you know, I hear you and I appreciate all the insight.
Jesse Brown: Speaking about comedians, your big interview Lorne Michaels. I interviewed Hart Pomerantz. You know who Hart Pomerantz is?
Marc Maron: Yes, the other guy.
Jesse Brown: He’s the other guy. This is the nation of the other guy. That’s what we got here-
Hart Pomerantz Clip: In 1970 Hart and Lorne left Laugh-In. They landed a deal to produce, write and star in their own series of hip original specials for CBC. Eventually, creative differences caused Hart and Lorne to part ways, so Lorne went back to Los Angeles, more experienced and more determined to make his mark.
Marc Maron: But what’s wrong after, you know, after a lifetime of chasing it, and to limited success myself, but not really being ambitious or careerist, you know, you do get to a point where you’re like, you make a choice about lifestyle and how you want to sort of kind of ride out the rest of it.
Jesse Brown: God bless. I’m not trying to shit on it. Like, it’s like there’s a lot of Canadians that call them snowbirds, like parents who go to San Miguel de Allende, right? They don’t want to hear about the narco war in Mexico. They’re not there to to solve corruption in Mexico. They’re there because Mexico is beautiful. And thats-
Marc Maron: Is it there job to solve it? No, I mean, they’re Canadian. Look, I (Marc laws).
Jesse Brown: Welcome you’re very welcome here. But if you’re curious about these things, I can tell you a bit about them.
Marc Maron: But yeah, the French Canadians go to where my mother lives and, you know, outside of, you know, still wearing speedos. They seem like pleasant people.
Jesse Brown: First of all, this is an anomaly. Like we export comedians, we don’t import. But have you noticed something in your conversations with Canadian comedians about a difference in the type of comedian that comes out of Canada?
Marc Maron: Well, yeah, there’s that kind of like nebulous core of a certain type of talent that they seem very proficient in a lot of things, you know, voices, charm, energy outside of like, you know, Mike McDonald or a couple of the old drug warriors.
Mike MacDonald Standup Clip: Coming back to Canada. Always a pleasure. Best way to describe it simply is as soon as the plane touches down in Canada, I set that phaser back to stun. You know what I mean?
Marc Maron: But yeah, I mean, I don’t know for standups, but certainly the larger talent that comes out, they seem to. Be pretty broad, but not troubled. Except for some of the kids in the hall. But like when I think, well, that’s not true, I guess they’re all weirdly troubled. But like, when I think about Ryan Reynolds. Yeah. Mike Myers. I think about Gosling’s Canadian, Howie Mandel.
Jesse Brown: The first thing I think worth noting is that it’s almost all sketch and hardly any stand up.
Marc Maron: But there are some stand ups there. I guess so. But yes, sketch invaded the United States, too, in the generation or two after me through Second City, which might have kind of been influenced through Canada, through Chicago, you know, down through the Kids in the hall. But it’s all sketch now. But yeah, I get what you’re saying.
Jesse Brown: It makes sense, right? Because it’s the American thing is to stand there and hold forth. Right. And the Canadian thing is we’re just gawking at you like we’re mimicking you. We’re like, you can’t help it if you’ve got a neighbor like America. You’re just like, what the fuck is that? And then you put on a wig and make fun of it. You know, it seems like that’s more of the absurdity of life is the Canadian comedy.
Canadian Sketch Clip: “Waynes World. Waynes World! Party time.”
“Yes. My name is Ed Grimley. It’s very pleasant meeting you must say. Why don’t you take a seat? Take it. All right.”
“Who are you? I’m Fire Marshal Bill Burns. And this magic show could be a hazard to life and limb.”
“I mean, I’m only crushing your head.”
Marc Maron: Yeah, but it’s all because that anger doesn’t exist there, you know? I guess you would get angry at the desolation. There’s not as much menace existentially or physically.
Jesse Brown: No, it’s just subsumed. It’s a very British Protestant hangover thing. It’s just under the surface. It’s not balls out in the same way.
(Canadaland Chapter music plays)
Jesse Brown: Here’s something, too. We punch above our weight with fascists here. Like, you know, the guy who started the Proud Boys is a Canadian. Yes.
Marc Maron: Yes, Gavin McGinnis.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, and a lot of people, they know him from Vice. But did you know that he was a failed stand up comic?
Failed comic Gavin McGinnis Clip: Please welcome to the stage Gavin McGinnis.
Hi, everyone. Hello. Thanks for coming to this show tonight. I just finished a book called How to Piss in Public. That is about my life. And I’m going to go around the entire Northeast without missing one city. I believe there’s five in total. And just talk about the book stories in the book and be really, really fucking funny the entire time.
Marc Maron: I know everything about that guy.
Jesse Brown: You do, huh?
Marc Maron: Yeah, sure. He was around, and then I interviewed him once, and we didn’t put it up because he was just bad. And, you know, he got himself into trouble. He was there to promote that horrible movie he made about being a standup. He’s a failed everything, that guy.
Jesse Brown: Yeah.
Marc Maron: And he’s a provocateur in the worst way where it was sort of a bit, but it wasn’t. It was a bit founded in his nihilism. And now, like, he’s had to lock into this fascist trip because the bit went too far. And now he’s like that guy.
Jesse Brown: We got a lot of those guys. We put out a lot of those alt right guys out into the ecosystem from here.
Marc Maron: How does that happen?
Jesse Brown: I don’t know what it is. I feel like I mean, first of all, we’re just not that different. Like for you trying to outrun American fascism by coming to Canada, to me, that’s like that’s like once upon a time, a Jew who says, like, I see where things are headed here in Germany. Like, I got to get out while the getting’s good. I’m going to Poland. It’s going to be great.
Marc Maron: I mean, I get that and I see a lot of the fascist trolls seem to have Canadian addresses. Like as a Jew, I like Canadian Jews. There’s a whole bunch of Montreal Jews that are like, you know, kind of real deal Jews. Yeah. What is the anti-Semitism? How is it up there? Medium? Hot?
Jesse Brown: It’s here. But it’s all just like, how do you detach it from what’s happening? Like the biggest news in Canadian anti-Semitism is the same as is Chappelle right now. Is Kanye right? Like it’s the same thing. We’re drinking from the same well as you.
Marc Maron: That’s weird, I don’t know why you choose to do that.
Jesse Brown: We have no choice, you know? Has there ever been a cultural force like the United States of America? If your next door to that.
Marc Maron: It’s like it’s a cancer. I know. Yeah, I understand that. There’s this fascism there and there’s, you know, people with shotguns, but not necessarily AR-15s outside of the cities.
Jesse Brown: You’re getting ahead of it. You’re getting a good 5 to 10 year advance, I think. Yeah.
Marc Maron: But it would have to it would require the whole country would have to shift its politics, number one. And number two, you’d need an influx. You’d need an influx of people to have any sufficient momentum.
I mean, here we got like thousands and thousands of whack jobs, heavily armed with just shy of tanks who can be mobilized. The second that that clown McGinnis says it’s time. So do you have that infrastructure up there?
Jesse Brown: Did you see the convoy protests here?
Marc Maron: Yeah, I saw the trucks. I mean, you know, okay.
Jesse Brown: We can’t compete, I agree. And a lot of people wanted that to be our January 6th. It wasn’t our January 6th. And a lot of those people were not off the deep end the same way that that yours are. A lot of them are actually like regular people who are just pissed off.
Marc Maron: And what are they pissed off about?
Jesse Brown: I mean they get dismissed a lot and I’ve taken heat for trying to see things from their perspective. But if you’ve been locked up, you know, the pandemic we had a lock up here in Canada that was more restrictive than yours and for good reasons, right?
Marc Maron: Yeah.
Jesse Brown: But it didn’t hit everybody the same way. You know, some people suffered a lot more than other people. Some people’s businesses were affected more. Some people it depends on what kind of work you do. And it was a class thing.
So I think some people said that it’s been going on longer here than anywhere else and kids have been out of school here longer than anywhere else. And then there is this rolling cavalcade on the way to Ottawa and they went and they had a party just to say, enough of this shit. You know, some of them were real, were real wackos, and some of them were just along for the ride. Just to say I’m in for a party and I want to I want to flip the bird to this prime minister.
Marc Maron: Right. But you don’t have like this. There’s this sort of constitutional ideas here that are exploited by these whack jobs. And you don’t have that in Canada?
Jesse Brown: No.
Marc Maron: If you have some whack jobs, that’s fine. But here, you know, the whack jobs get emboldened by whether it’s Russian propaganda or actual fascists here. And they distort the foundation of the countries, you know, documents to create whole cultures around, you know, something antithetical to a progressive constitution. So I don’t- you don’t seem to have that.
Jesse Brown: No, we don’t have it baked in in this way that we don’t have the Second Amendment. We don’t have You’re born a Democrat or a Republican. We don’t have a lot of that. But the breakdown in just sanity that is afflicting the world is we’re not going to be immune from that. And it’s just different. Like if you’re going to move to Vancouver. So you’ve got two choices on the dial, we have three.
Marc Maron: I’m not moving to Winnipeg, I’m not moving to Edmonton, I’m not-
Jesse Brown: But let me tell you about BC Okay, like in B.C. So we got we’ve got the furthest left you can go with the main parties is NDP and NDP, basically that’s it. In B.C. they’re running, they’re running BC.
So if you run the NDP in BC, then you’re the premier of BC, and there was a woman who looked like she might have been on her way to running to being the leader of the NDP in BC, and they just booted her off the ticket for being too environmentalist. That’s basically what happened. She was actually looking to take radical action on climate change and they just they found some bylaw.
|This is a very Canadian way of doing things. They found some technicality and she’s out. And nobody really got to choose who the premier is. Just it was just installed. It was like a coronation. So, you know, you guys are like, it’s really hardcore about individual liberties and rights, but it’s possible to go too far the other way as well. There’s there’s not even a choice, you know?
Marc Maron: Right, but I’ve noticed that there’s just not that many people in Canada.
Jesse Brown: Yeah.
Marc Maron: I think you need people. So I think I’m going to be maybe they’ll let me in. I’m dealing with an immigration consultant and, you know, he tells me that they’re they’re kind of they’re starting to get some movement post-COVID, but it’s primarily refugee oriented right now. They’ll get to the comedians later.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, I’m actually glad to hear that. Like, you’re very welcome here. As far as I’m concerned, in my authority. I welcome you here. But probably the refugees first. I don’t know.
Marc Maron: Yeah I think so. But it sounds to me like it sounds like your show. You’re on the pulse of the underbelly of Canada, but it sounds to me like even that as deep and dark as it goes, it’s not even halfway as deep and dark as here. So-
Jesse Brown: It does no good. The comparison doesn’t help at all. Like we did a show called Thunder Bay about a town where the anti-indigenous racism is like the Jim Crow South and teenagers keep showing up dead. So what does it do for anybody there to say, Well, it’s not as bad as it is. It doesn’t. Do anything. It’s not helpful. You know, we got our own shit to deal with here.
Marc Maron: Well the Indigenous issue here is, you know, it’s equally as awful, but it’s not as prominent in terms of the attention it gets there.
Jesse Brown: The states have some catching up to do, like we’re at least starting starting to look at it. And it seems like that’s totally buried in the States right now.
Marc Maron: Well, I think the way they deal with it here is Hollywood gives Sterlin Harjo a TV show.
Reservation Dog man-moon clip: Most people think a war means to be all macho like that. But no, being a warrior means being in touch with your feminine side, and Crazy Horse, he did that. He was a true warrior in touch with his man-moon. Most people don’t remember that we once had a man-moon. Bleed once a month happened every sacred time for us. Crazy Horse was the last one of us to have a man- moon. And then the white man took it from us.
Marc Maron: And he casts natives and he has natives on the crew and it’s entirely a native production. And that’s some restitution that in casinos, I think.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, yeah. You know, it ain’t much. No. And I won’t say that we’re much more beyond that here but, but there’s something starting to happen which is good.
Marc Maron: But it just seems like it’s a constant conversation there, whereas here it’s not really a conversation at all.
Jesse Brown: Well, America, I think, has been struggling through a different racial conversation and at least looking at it for a while.
Marc Maron: Yeah, that’s another thing you don’t have: slavery.
Jesse Brown: Yeah, we do. It just never on an industrial scale. But we did have it here. It just was. It just never took off. We didn’t have the climate for it.
Marc Maron: Well, maybe I have to do some studying up. Maybe I’ll read your book, the Canadaland book, and I’ll get hip to Canadian history. I’ll try to like hockey. I drink Tim Hortons even though it’s not great. I still think it has a little a little, some sort of mild amphetamine.
Jesse Brown: It’s awful, it’s just the worst shit. And it’s a Brazilian company anyhow.
Marc Maron: It is?
Jesse Brown: Yeah, they bought it.
Marc Maron: Oh, see, Another another myth broken. Busted. I just. I put it on on the same level as Dunkin Donuts here. Whereas I believe that there’s something magically wrong about the coffee that gets me really jittery and I like.
Jesse Brown: It. I don’t know. Everything you’re looking for is the health care, but it’s the health care thing is like if you need a new liver, we got you like tomorrow. If you need, like, a family doctor, you’re fucked if you need a psychiatrist, sorry.
Marc Maron: Dude. Got to be honest with you. That’s better than what we’re dealing with now.
Jesse Brown: Yeah. All right, come.
Marc Maron: But the. (Marc laughs) But the problem is here. Money still means.
Jesse Brown: Something. Oh, yeah.
Marc Maron: You can get anything you need with money health care wise. Can you do that there?
Jesse Brown: No. And you’re going to find, just in general, as a rich person, Canada is going to frustrate you. We take more of it in taxation and what you have left over spends a lot worse than it does. And there’s some things that there are some things you just can’t get.
Marc Maron: Like what?
Jesse Brown: Well, like. Like. Like first class health care. That’s a big one. And the rich are fighting hard for it. They want it here. They want to create a two class system here really bad.
Marc Maron: No kidding.
Jesse Brown: How’s that going? It’s going well for them. They’re making inroads. And basically the plan is to make the public system so shitty that it starts to make sense.
Marc Maron: Okay, well, this is all exciting stuff. How much is this stuff that you talk about all the time on the show?
Jesse Brown: This is an interesting one for you in your conception of Canada. So we’ve got medically assisted death here, right? A very enlightened Canadian idea.
Marc Maron: Well, see, again, that’s a great appeal for me.
Jesse Brown: So there you go. But here’s what happened. And this was a very a very progressive idea. I think that, you know, might be a nonstarter in the states, that if people’s quality of life, if they can’t live with dignity, if they’ve got a terminal illness, they should be able to opt out and their doctor should help them do that, right?
Marc Maron: Right.
Jesse Brown: And then that moves well. Do you have to be terminal? Do you have to be terminal to have that choice if you’re just living in agony, can you. Okay. Yeah. So now it’s if you’re living in agony, you can decide that too. If a doctor says, okay.
Well, if we’re going to consider mental health to be as significant a type of health as any other, what if you have simply mental health issues that make your life intolerable? Can you then just decide, yeah, so now we’re bringing that into, but then you get into a situation with people who if the system, if the social safety net here would pay for them to live with dignity, they would choose to live. But it doesn’t. So. Well, we have another option for you here, right?
Marc Maron: I used to do a joke about how the reason we don’t have it here is insurance companies would take advantage of it.
Marc Maron standup clip: Oh, yeah. You got no job, can’t afford insurance. You got undiagnosed heart disease. Bam, you lose. Thanks for playing American capitalism. Is that, you know, it wouldn’t just be about right. Terminal illness would be like, Hey, man, you know, you could fix this leg, but you’re not going to have a great quality of life after this. You know, they just recommend it for everything.
Jesse Brown: Your joke is the reality. That is what we’re dealing with here right now. And Tucker Carlson is on Fox saying, look at Canada. They’re just they’re killing people.
Tucker Carlson Clip: The doctors signed off on killing a guy because he couldn’t afford rent. A new federal law in Canada will allow euthanasia for the mentally ill beginning in March of next year.
Jesse Brown: Really, it’s you can turn it into a critique of Canada as a socialist hell, that we’re killing people rather than taking care of them from a right wing perspective. But from a true progressive perspective, you’d say we should be giving these people quality of life where they wouldn’t want to take that option.
Marc Maron: Well, that’s it. Yeah. It’s the same with owning a gun, oddly. Is that like if you’re having a bad day and you don’t have a gun, the odds of you killing yourself are much less.
Jesse Brown: I got to tell you something. I got into this ten years ago. I was sort of a public radio guy trying to figure out my next move, and I stumbled upon your show, and so I owe you something. Not just for the time I spent listening to your show, but it was definitely a point of inspiration. So it had an impact on my life. The work that you do. Thank you for that.
Marc Maron: Oh, great. You’re welcome. Okay, so when I come up there next, we’ll hang out and you’ll show me Toronto.
Jesse Brown: I’ll show you good stuff. I don’t have to just bum you out. There’s good stuff, too. Good.
Marc Maron: Good, thanks man. Good talking to you.
Jesse Brown: Likewise, Mark. Thank you.
(Canadaland theme plays)
Jesse Brown: Hey, that’s your Canadaland. If you value this podcast, please support it. We rely on listeners like you paying for journalism, and as a supporter, we’re going to give you all kinds of stuff. Premium access to all of our shows ad-free, including early releases, bonus content. You’ll also get our exclusive newsletter. You’ll get discounts on Canadaland merchandise invites and tickets to our live and virtual events. More than anything, what you’ll be doing is you’ll be a part of the solution to Canada’s journalism crisis. You’ll be keeping our work free and accessible to everybody. Come join us now. Click the link in the show notes or go to canadaland.com/join.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I read everything you send. We’re on Twitter @Canadaland. Tristan Capacchione is our audio editor and our technical producer. Special thanks this week to Dori Smith, Jessica Valentin and Brendan McDonald. I’m your host, Jesse Brown. Our theme music is by so-called syndication is handled by CFUV 101.9 FM in Victoria. You can visit them online at CFUV.ca.
You can listen to Canadaland ad-free on Amazon Music, which is included with Prime. If you like our work, please support it.