Friday, May 05, 2006

Waxing Canadian

National pride in Canada is a slightly different creature than in the United States. At least from what I can tell from television. And let me explain why I think this is so.

Firstly, we have an identity crisis. We have spent most of our national existence explaining to people that we are not American and we are not British and we are not French. Then the Quebecers are busy explaining how they are/are not Anglophones. The Newfies are saying something, but we haven't quite been able to figure out what it was (maybe if they wrote it down...). Comments could be made to generalize about the other provincial attitudes. Aboriginal people are not really into being Canadian, and are still quite irritated about the bum deal they got when (back when we were French and British) the whole power structure of the country was completely destroyed. So we have spent a lot of time defining what we are not.

What is our reaction to that? Well, we make sure we define things as Canadian. Obviously, there is hockey. Then, in a round-about way, we worship the hockey player that was Tim Horton (now the coffee and doughnut man). We have the Canadian content laws that rule our airways. What is comes down to, in my mind, is that we are kind of stuck in this adolescence of our nation asking who are we?

But I am a fierce patriot. I love the CBC, public health care, and rollin' up the rim. So please understand that some of my viewpoints are coloured by national pride.

For example, I am in love with Canadian music. Rock and folk, mainly. Be it the Canadian content laws that ensure that radio stations play a high percentage of Canadian tunes, or simply an affinity for the stuff, I love Canadian musicians. Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Alanis Morrisette, Jann Arden, Great Big Sea, even Nickleback at times. I needed you all aware of this, because I imagine that I will start quoting some of my favourite songs here. So know that, even if you don't care for Alanis or you think that Sarah's music is too saccharine, I know them better than you do. Trust me, I do. And I think they are deserving of my affection.

In that tone of educating the masses on all things Canadian, I want to direct you to the Rick Mercer website. Do you have the "Hand in my pocket" commercial where you live? For Capital One credit cards? Where the bankers are shown with their hands in the pockets of Workaday Joes as they go about their business? Well, our one and only Rick Mercer did a spoof on this that is just hilarious. Click on the clip entitled "Knee in my Package" and prepare to be entertained.

Mercer is indescribable in non-Canadian terms...he is a satirist, for whom nothing is sacred. And there is nothing that we Canadians enjoy more than a good, satirical laugh at ourselves and our neighbours.

In more topical news, I have begun using our recent eBay acquisition - the OPK strips. It is a little fun to pee in the cup and dip the strip and watch it turn colours. For any other dippers out there, it was recently recommended to me to use Dixie cups for pee collection. Then you just throw them away. The pee collection was always problematic and this solution was a wonderful epiphany for me. So I had to share.


kate said...

Re national identity -- i love Canada. What an excellent country it is! Just a stone's throw away from us in Detroit...and we even get CBC! When we lived in France, one of our best friends ran (ok, still runs) the Canadian bookstore in Paris. He made sure to introduce us to quite a few stellar Canadian authors. And, though national healthcare has it's problems, it beats the heck out of no healthcare at all -- which WAY too many people have over here.

Laura said...

Me too, I love Canada! I spent six weeks in London going to a summer music program at the University of Western Ontario. I have cousins in London that I stayed with, and I could just walk to school. I loved Canadian radio (and really missed it when I came home), and there was a really great folk music festival while I was there. And I didn't know that Tim Horton was a hockey player, I thought that he was just a keen maker of doughnut holes! But I do have to say--POUTINE--what the hell?

delphi said...

I assure you, I understand nothing about poutine. I am not a Quebecer.

Treggles said...

One on Mrs T's schoolfriends moved from Scotland to Canada when she was 14. She married a Canadian and now have two lovely girls.

They've stayed in touch all these years and a few years ago we got the chance to go and spend a couple of weeks staying with them in their home in Windsor, then a small guesthouse in Niagra-on-the-Lake and then in a hotel in downtown Toronto.

We loved it; it seems a beautiful country. Because they live in Windsor it was easier for us to fly into Detroit rather than Toronto, so we got to see just a little of America during our trip. Admittedly we only experienced a little, but I can quite categorically say that we preferred Canada!

Oone day I'll visit America properly so I can make more rounded judgement (I'd love to see New York), but until then Cananda is number one for me!

Treggles said...

Cananda?! Sorry!