I don't really like famous Canadians moving to the US. The reason being because people soon forget where they came from and associate them with America. Can you say Matthew Perry? Did anyone know he was Canadian? Alex Trebek, Joshua Jackson, Michael J. Fox, Kim Cattrall. Does anyone know these people are Canadian or at least once were?
It's like having someone borrow your car for a week and then everyone in the neighbourhood forgets that it's actually yours. Now, Canada doesn't "own" anybody but it kind of hurts when it seems almost embarrassing to admit you're from Canada.
Yes, I know, you can't make it big unless you make it in the US because we're just a puny little country with nothing to offer people who want to be famous. It's the truth and people move there, of there own volition, and some become American citizens. I mean, they spend all there time down there anyway so why would they want to be Canadian any longer? Ouch that stings.
Deep down inside it feels like a betrayal. They went for the big fish and left the small pond behind. I can understand why they would want to move up in the world but it makes me feel bad when they just don't want to be Canadian any longer. I think it's also jealousy. The US seems to have everything. They're big, they're rich and they had this big revolution that everyone knows about.
I suppose it's just an insecurity about being a Canadian and not really having an identity or at least, feeling as if you don't have one. I feel lost all the time but it's made worse by these neighbours who have this great sense of pride about their country, with flags and symbols everywhere. I totally don't begrudge them that; I'm happy that they have that, at least they know who they are. But it seems as if we're always trying to measure up to them, we're always in their shadow. They're Apollo goldenboy and we're not.
I mean, what the heck does it mean to be Canadian? We didn't have a big war to establish our country. Many people think Canadian history's boring because it's not as flashy as US history. We're like a teenager that's trying to find themselves, a problem I readily identify with. And I'm sure that anyone over the age of 12 can understand the problems associated with not knowing who you are.
Again it comes down to why do we care? Why do we care if a Cal-State student doesn't think about Canada? Why do we care if stars leave for brighter futures down south? Well, I suppose we want Americans to be obsessed about us as we are about them. Disgusting isn't it? We hang on every little word they say about us because we're so closely tied to them we might as well be strapped to the back of an eagle. (Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say like a beaver in the talons of an eagle but can you really see an eagle carrying off a 60 pound beaver?) But I think one of the reasons we look to them is because we don't know who we are and have to define ourselves through them. This is one of the rare instances when Canada just pisses me off. We all have to suffer because there is no conscious identity. I have enough problems trying to figure out who I am without trying to figure out what my country is.
"With or without the Royals, we are not Americans. Nor are we British. Or French. Or Void. We are something else. And the sooner we define this, the better."
"Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
"I guess Canada is a nice country. I've never thought much about it."
~Anon. Cal-State student
"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