The Twentieth Century and the Peculiarity of Canadian Politics

“A better world? There is no better world!”

Canadian politics is arguably just as troubling and problematic as our neighbor’s situation across the border. On the eve of election night, where our candidates include a homophobic nitwit, a black-face cretin, an alt-right fascist, and the occasionally decent individual; it’s hard not to get worked up in a minefield of political haphazardness. In the past few months alone, citizens of our decaying nation have been seen revolting for a greater cause; against the systematic rulings of government mandated officials. From climate change to immigration policies, we Canadians demand change. Yet, if we’re completely real here, we all know the result of this large, multi-million year-long propaganda ordeal. It’s a coin toss between the liberals and conservatives; both under extreme scrutiny from recent media developments. This election has been a giant joke for the most part; a horrendous black comedy of problematic decision making, from the perspective of an incompetent elected clown.

When reflecting on Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, the film isn’t just a gonzo biopic based on one of Canada’s most obscure cultural figures. It’s a ghastly portrait of our current society, from the point of view of a whiny, irresponsibly naive contestant in a great game of hype-masculine one-upmanship. Adapted loosely from the young-adult life of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Rankin’s 16mm hallucinogenic fever-dream of boot fetishes, the prevalent nature of national dignity, weaponized ice skates, and an ejaculating cactus, is a pitch-perfect exercise in satire. It doesn’t always make the most sense whenever it delves into the realm of terrorist plots and Quebecois revolutionists; yet that was never the intention to begin with. The film is first and foremost a vivid comparison piece on the disastrous state of our current modern population; a nation built on theft, greed, and a supposed replica of the “American Dream.” 

A specific scene in The Twentieth Century adequately mocks our present competitive political environment thoroughly; where a group of potential Prime Ministers round up to compete in a series of ridiculous activities based on nationality and Canadian stereotypes. King particularly prevails in a match of seal clubbing, where he maniacally gores a plethora of indigent creatures with maximalist appeal. It isn’t until he loses the competition, where his true colors shine. William Lyon Mackenzie King, out of all people, whines and pouts about his loss, and the unfairness of the competition. Later, King enters into a whirlpool of kinks and violent addictions.

Poor sportsmanship never gets anyone anywhere, especially when one’s reputation is at constant risk. Sex scandals, trafficking, corruption, and public indecency can all call for the potential ruining of a campaign; solely based on the merits of a singular, tragic event. Politics has also caused the suffering and incomprehensible damage of innocent civilians. Since the 19th century, Canada was never ours. Our culture has always been based on the humiliation of other minorities, where the hive-minded group of colonists, paved a path to a more detestable community. The Twentieth Century is a revenge piece of sorts, for all the historically wronged citizens searching for comedic redemption!

Whether you agree or disagree with any political platform, it’s your duty —for any reader whose over the age of 18— to vote immediately. Regardless of how idiotic, senseless, and subhuman politicians can be, it’s important that we vote out the tawdry outliers, in order to keep away reckless, hateful people from a position of power. Looking at you America!

The Twentieth Century screened at this year’s Festival Du Nouveau Cinema. The film will hit select Canadian cinemas on December 20th

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