Saturday, June 19, 2004

Why do we care?

Last Saturday I was watched "The Day After Tomorrow" with some friends. While I was watching I heard one of the news anchors mention Canada at one point and Nova Scotia. For some reason I got really excited and poked my friends.

But after I got out of the theatre I started to wonder why I cared at all. Why do I care if an American movie mentions Canada? On the way home I discovered that it wasn't just movies, it was books, tv programs, radio, newspapers, etc. I seemed to care so much about American media mentioning Canada that I couldn't get enough of it. But why was this?

Was it because I'm a very proud Canadian and want my country to be mentioned everywhere all the time? Or was there something darker and more sinister about my reasons for caring?

It seems deeply rooted in Canadian psyche to not like ourselves or to at least not acknowledge that we like ourselves. We're far too polite to 'blow our own horn'. At least, that's the stereotype and for the most part it's true. But things do seem to be changing with our Joe Canada commercial and our 'I am Canadian' commercials. I just hope that we'll eventually move away from becoming a self-loathing country.

So, because we don't seem to like ourselves, we need someone else to like us. We need someone else to fill the big hole in our country's 'heart'. Who better than our neighbours to the south? We seem to constantly look for approval and recognition from America. Then we throw tantrums when we don't receive it.

Look at Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans". Sure it's funny and we get to see how Harvard professors think that there's an annual polar bear hunt in Alberta and that our National Igloo is melting. Sure it makes them look stupid but how many right answers did they clip from the footage they took? I bet that they'd get the same answers if they came to Canada and asked questions about the US. So why do we care? Why do we have to go make them look bad?

I think that as a whole we feel very inferior to our neighbour. Even though we're larger, they have more people. They have a military, we have a boat and a gun and a guy named Bob. (Sounds like a song to me). So why do we have to build ourselves up and tear them down?

Personally, I think it's time that we finally acknowledged how great we are instead of trying to make someone else look bad. I mean, we've got hockey, and basketball (invented by a Canadian, James Nasmith. He did teach in Massachusetts but people tend to forget where he's from). We've got the Stanley cup (it's just on loan Florida), we've got Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Kiefer Sutherland, Keanu Reeves, Bill Shatner. Of course, I'm pretty sure that all of these people now live in the US but that's beside the point. The list goes on and on. We have some great stuff going for us so we should start bragging about it.

People need to know that we are a proud nation and people need to stop caring about what the US says or doesn't say about us. We need to worry about ourselves first and everybody else second because we have a serious inferiority complex in this country.

Quote: "Canadians have been so busy explaining to the Americans that we aren't British, and to the British that we aren't Americans that we haven't had time to become Canadians."

- Helen Gordon McPherson

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