Friday, April 4, 2014

All Canadian Crime Writers: Arise and Cheer for Rob Ford!

 Remember the old days when Canadians were known as "nice"? When our largest city was dubbed "Toronto the Good"? Around the world, we had the reputation of being polite, moral, upright and uptight, and well...boring. That was not a good atmosphere for us crime and mystery writers.

In fact, most successful authors had to borrow other settings. We had to portray dark American cities or explore the European underbelly if we were to sound authentic. If we did use a local setting, we often had to import a Russian or a Turk to be the bad guy. Not many readers believed in a home grown Canadian really bad thing/person.

 So I think we authors owe a debt of gratitude to good old Rob. Not only has he admitted to some really bad things, he's become Canada's ambassador of not-so-nice-after-all. Suddenly we have the Mayor of our Toronto the Good not only admitting to criminal acts but retaining his exalted political position at the same time. He's actually got a shot at winning the seat again. How badass is that?

Suddenly Canada is the subject of late night US of A talk shows, international media attention, and word of mouth interest. Wow, the world is now saying, Canadians are really cool. They don't bat an eye when a mayor admits he smokes crack. What else might those not-so-nice people be up to? Other crimes perhaps? Does their blasé attitude toward Rob's misdeeds mean they're really really used to that kind of behaviour (with or without a "u")?

This is our chance, authors! We can point to other badass politicians (such as Mike and Pamela and Patrick). We can thank Justin, for bringing back sexy, the f-word, and pot.

If we went local, we could really wrack up the nasties, but they haven't yet garnered international attention, so we won't go there—yet. However, we can include any of the former in our crime novels because now everyone will believe us. We can set our books in Canada with impunity. We can create any number of crimes and criminals that are strictly Canadian and we'll be accepted!

Crime authors, unite.
Stand up and cheer for Rob!
Thank him for at last making Canada a great setting for homegrown fictional criminals, because now we'll have the ring of truth.

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