Yesterday I took a few friendly jabs at the monster down South. I poked sticks under the bed, I inadvertently stabbed a few innocent Americans in the eye. Harm or malice was not, of course, my intention. My point, I think, was to offer Americans a window to the rest of the world. Americans can be very insular, I wanted to let them know what the neighbors were thinking. I did that, it was a hit. Fun, in the end, was had by all.
But why the obsession with the United States of America? I am Canadian goddamn it, and I couldn't be prouder. Why I am 'obsessed' with the United States? Well it all comes back to noise. The racket coming from downstairs is impossible to tone out. I might as well embrace, then rail against it. It's that or go complete off my rocker; pills, straight jacket, RUBBER ROOM!
Oh Canada our home and native land. Damn it, I forgot to take my hat off. No, I will not stand and face the Queen, nor will I ever, ever sing God Save the Queen in a public place. Maybe at a party, but only the Sex Pistol's version:
'God save the queen
Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems'
That is a quick history lesson. Yes we are a member of the British Commonwealth. Canada is mother Britain's golden child. The smart, polite, relatively successful one that rarely gets into any trouble. We aren't all that sexy, we are a bit of a global wall flower. Most folks like us, but they aren't really sure why. It might be because we look, sound, smell and taste like Americans, but we aren't Americans? Maybe it is because we come off as polite and unassuming? Maybe it is our tag as peace keepers? Maybe it is the forbidden love that all the planet has for hockey, bacon and donuts? Maybe it is polar bears, oceans, mountains, and geographic scale? I don't know? I am just happy be to a member of this well-liked lot. My home and native land ROCKS!
There, some big love of country, and yes I love my country. But Canada doesn't only shit rainbows. It has its warts. The weather is horrible. There is the whole dark history of abuse, guarded racism, and embarrassing mismanagement of Canadian Aboriginal communities, and other minorities. The Canadian political landscape is awful, there isn't a leader, or an inspirational member anywhere near Ottawa. This once proud social democracy has been forced right, by a Prime Minister who has benefited from a weird political vacuum. Much of what it means to be Canadian faces deep cuts, or the chopping block altogether. The CBC, chop, Arts & Culture, chop, responsible taxation in order to insure and strengthen Canada's cherished social safety net, CHOP. Stephen Harper and his fuzzy mandate, is making a mess of things nationally and internationally, yet some how we majority can't rid ourselves of the donut gobbling swine. Democracy indeed.
But where was I? Is this a rant at Canadian politics? Nope, hell if Prime Minister Harper is good at anything, he is good at making we the people forget about the going ons in Ottawa. He sends powerful waves of ennui from his Bat Cave deep in the bowels of 24 Sussex Drive. Shag him, he doesn't represent Canada, at least not to me. He is but a pimple on the ass of Canadian political history. He is not Canada. But what the hell is Canada? Is that not the focus of this whole bloody rant? I don't know. Truly, I don't. There are no easy terms to describe what it is to be Canadian. Freedom loving, flag waving, democracy lovers? NOPE. They aside from the flag waving are not anti-Canadian notions, but Canadians are more subtle than that. Perhaps we are the fuzzy middle, a cultural hodge-podge, a socio-political mix and match. We might be the global everyman.
Now that that is all cleared up. Now that has become crystal clear what it is to be a Canadian. Can I get back to my bacon, beer and donuts? Everybody go away. It is October 1st, the Leafs are playing the Canadiens, it's the season opener. Drop the puck, take off eh.