Graydon Carter: ‘I Used to Revel in my Canadianness’

When Craig Offman (pictured) interviewed lo those many years ago for the position of editorial assistant at Vanity Fair, Canada was a topic of conversation. His interviewer, Graydon Carter, counseled: “Don’t tell people in New York you’re from Canada. They don’t care.”

The Great White North came up once again earlier this month when Offman, now a feature writer with the Toronto Globe & Mail, sat down for lunch with his old boss at Carter’s Monkey Bar. Offman wound up working at VF for four years, ascending to the perch of horoscope editor:

The discussion naturally turns to the ancient homeland. Carter had just talked about the Jian Ghomeshi scandal with his mother over the phone. Justin Trudeau, whom the magazine featured in the December issue, also came up. “He’s not as good-looking as you’d expect,” Carter said. “He’s attractive for a politician.”

Even Carter’s potential retirement HQ, a fishing compound in rural Connecticut, gets the maple leaf treatment. “It’s a little pocket of Canada in the fifties,” Carter told Offman.

Many other topics are covered in this fun piece, but in the additional Q&A at the bottom of the article, Carter further expounds on that bygone interview advice:

“New York is a melting pot. Unless you’re from Mogadishu or some warring hot spot, it doesn’t really matter. Everyone is from somewhere else.”

“I used to revel in my Canadianness. I had a crest from the boat club we used to belong to on my blazer and I went to a Time event – the Time board of economists – as a reporter. Somebody said, “Are you a doorman or something?” I went home that night, and got a razor blade and sawed the little crest off the blazer. All I wanted to do is fit in.”

[Image via: @Craigoffman]