Remember Bob? The man who identified as being from Calgary and happened to pen The New York Times’ most popular comment ever? If not, check this out for a quick refresher.
Well after that story made the rounds on social media, people made it their mission to track down this Bob guy once and for all. From coast-to-coast, Canadians scoured their friend lists and even dusted off their old Rolodexes to find him.
Naturally, though, it was only a matter of time before the internet tracked him down. Only it turns out that Bob from Calgary isn’t actually from Calgary at all.
In a comment left in the Times’ story about his most popular comment ever, Bob explains that he actually hails from Edmonton. And what he said this time is so quintessentially Canadian that we can’t even handle it.
Bob writes that, first off, he just wants to “apologise for those offended” by his comment (points for British spelling there, Bob), adding that he’s actually “a bit embarrassed” by all the attention it received.
“I’m surprised that the comment was so popular; also a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t taken better care to write it more eloquently & accurately,” he wrote.
He explained that his original comment was only posted in Calgary, but that he lives in Alberta’s capital. Then, right around New Year’s Day, he went public with his identity on Twitter and also in a column published in the Globe and Mail. Bob’s full name is actually Robert Summers, and he works as an instructor of earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Alberta. Here is his full response to that original comment:
I’m Bob from Calgary who is actually Bob from Edmonton (I was posting from Calgary). I’m surprised that the comment was so popular; also a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t taken better care to write it more eloquently & accurately.
I think that the comment becoming popular had nothing to do with any comparison between Canada & the USA, but rather it was because Americans are seeking the re-establishment of an economic system that benefits the middle classes, the poor, & the wealthy in an equitable way. The want to return to being a compassionate society. One where there are opportunities for all to succeed through hard work (the American Dream!).
Through the example of Canada, the comment demonstrated that this caring middle class-oriented society is not just a relic of the 1960s or some radical socialist pipe dream, but a real option for America.
It challenges the right wing orthodoxy that low taxes on the rich, and small & ineffective government are necessary for prosperity.
I apologise for those offended by my comment. I love your country. I am proud, though, that Canada has resisted practices such as gerrymandering and the undue influence of corporations and the wealthy on democracy.
I hope that the presence of Trump & Carson motivate informed & progressive Americans everywhere to dedicate themselves to restoring an effective democracy to the USA. It has been hijacked for too long and the consequences are devastating.
Good luck in this my American friends!
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Bob.