Joni Mitchell

Canada: Top Ten Things To Love and Hate

Last week, in honor of Canada Day, I decided to whip off a list of The Top Ten Reasons We Here in The Great White North Should Be Both Proud and Ashamed of Being Canadian.

However, I soon realized that it wasn't something that could simply be whipped off in a few minutes, so I decided to take a few more days to think about it and here, finally, is my official list of the top ten things I love and hate about this country:

Furious Prairie Folk and The Ferocious Saskatuan Monster

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place,
'cause girl, there's a better life... for me and you

       The Animals, "We Gotta Get out of This Place"



Don’t Mess With The Prairie Folk

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in recent days it’s that you should never mess with the prairie folk, not unless you're willing to face the dreaded Saskatuan sarcasm mechanism.

Here’s how it all went down:

This past week, after the main Neil Young fan site, Neil Young News/Thrasher’s Wheat, put up an excerpt from an old piece of mine called Talkin' Prairie Triangle of Inspiration (A.K.A. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell Make Their Great Escape) a backlash of sorts occurred, one initiated and led by a few of those afore-mentioned good folk out on the prairie... and all of a sudden I found myself facing a barrage of bitter, angry, sarcasm. Yes, words of indignation were unceremoniously being spewed in my general direction. And I literally unleashed a monster.

You Got A Lotta Nerve: Dylan Named One of The Greatest Singers of All Time

"So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear"

       - Bob Dylan, "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"

"Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while"

       - Bob Dylan, "Visions Of Johanna"


Bob Dylan as one of the greatest singers ever? I know from many a heated discussion that this confuses, confounds and perplexes a lot of people. And even enrages a few others. But, as I've argued for years now, particularly in my earlier piece The BOB ON BOB Rave ("This Old Man"), there's just no denying the greatness of Dylan as a singer. That's right, contrary to popular perception, Bob is indeed one of the greatest singers of all time. And now I've got a major music magazine backing me up on this.

Talkin' Prairie Triangle of Inspiration (A.K.A. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell Make Their Great Escape)

Saskatchewan-Manitoba-Minnesota

You've heard of the Bermuda Triangle, right? But have you ever heard of the Prairie Triangle of Inspiration? It's not a place where people get lost forever, like in that infamous triangle around Bermuda. No, it's a place that people get the hell out of as soon as possible... though not before becoming incredibly inspired and creative.

The "BOB ON BOB" Rave ("This Old Man")

You've got to read this fantastic New Yorker Magazine article about Bob Dylan from the end of August entitled "BOB ON BOB". Written by Louis Menand, the article starts off as a review of "Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews", a book I just read earlier this summer, but it soon becomes much more than just a simple book review.

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