March 3, 2010

true patriot love

Posted in shit happening tagged , , , at 4:28 am by ben

The patriotism is running high here in the great not-so-white north.   From sea to shining sea we are celebrating.  We love our country and without being gauche or in your face we’ve become a nation of red and white wearing, flag wavers.  I’m really digging it.

Canada tends to be a bit like the wallflower at a high school dance.  She is content to watch others in the spotlight, she applauds the prom queen without malice or petty jealousy and she’s pretty happy to be at the party even if her dance card isn’t full.  (“Dance card” is me showing my age… not that I am quite old enough to have ever had one.) When she does dance, she doesn’t need a partner (or she can choose one of the same sex) and she bops to her own beat even if it’s not quite as popular as what the other kids are doing.  These Olympics have made her the belle of the ball, it’s given her a little taste of the limelight and I think she likes it.

The furor is over the 2010 Winter Olympics.  We had high hopes of finally winning a gold medal on home soil and instead we broke the record for the most gold medals ever won in a winter Olympics.  This is huge for Canada, though in all sincerity we’re the kind of people who take pride in effort as well as achievements.  Our athletes and all of the people involved with the games did us proud.  It’s not just about winning, we’re not the type to brag (most of us anyway) but finally we are more than just a cold weather joke.  We’ve shown the world that we have what it takes to win and throw a wicked shindig.

It’s been said that we have no culture, that because we are a melting pot we don’t really know who we are.  I disagree.  We know exactly who we are, we are everyone from everywhere.  This is why we are tolerant.  This is why we don’t discriminate.  We aren’t a melting pot, we are multicultural and there is a difference.  Melting pot infers that we all must blend into one.  The only people who have been here forever are the First Nations, the rest of us came from somewhere else.  It would be hypocritical to expect immigrants to become us when we’re not exactly living in teepees and eating pemmican ourselves.  What makes us special is that in this country blending is not necessary, we don’t just appreciate individuality we embrace it.  From one end of this land to the other are entire communities and communities within communities celebrating their culture.  Vancouver has the largest Chinatown in North America after San Francisco, the east coast is a bizarre and wonderful Celtic mix and there are little Italy’s, India’s, Poland’s, Ukraine’s etc. all over the place and my own town was founded by Swiss guides.  Our culture, our heritage is that of the immigrant.  We all strive to give our children a better life than we had, we share with our neighbors and help them out whenever they need a hand whether it’s building a barn or rebuilding Haiti.  We preach and practice compassion and a “live and let live” philosophy.  I am proud to live in a country where my freedom really means something, where my voice is heard and no religion or religious ideology (or idiocy) is forced down my throat.  I can choose my faith as I can choose to have an abortion, marry another woman and smoke weed… all at the same time if I want!

What ties us all together?  It’s a shared experience in a land where we can live free of persecution, full of hope and opportunity.

We believe that health care is a right not a privilege.  Our system (like our country and indeed those of us in it) is not without flaws but we’ll keep working on it until we get it right.  We are of hardy stock up here, perseverance is something we’ve gotten pretty good at.

Something is different in this country today, we might be walking a little taller, we might even be strutting a little, and dammit, we should be!  We rocked it, on and off the podium.  I think Canadians have always been proud of who and what we are, this whole Olympic thing just gives us a reason to shout it out.

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12 Comments »

  1. ben said,

    Just for fun.

    You know you’re Canadian if…

    -You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.


    -You believe that if it has no snow, it is not a real mountain.

    -You think of swimming an indoor sport.


    -You know that Dawson Creek is a town, not a TV show.


    -You measure distance in hours.  
    “How far is it from Calgary to Vancouver?”  
    “About 12 hours.”


    -You often switch from “heat” to “a/c” in your car in the same day.


    -You’ve had to buy hot dogs in packages of twelve and buns in packages of eight.


    -You have a favorite recipe for moose meat


    -You design your kids’ Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.


    -You know who “Relic” was.


    -You know that a mickey, a 2-4 and a 40 pounder are found at the liquor store.

    -You know that Mounties “don’t always look like that.”


    -You dismiss all beers under 6% as “for children and the elderly.”


    -You know what a “Robertson” screwdriver is.


    -Someone accidently steps on your foot, you apologize. 


    -You’re not offended by the term “HOMO MILK”


    -You know you’re in trouble if you smell burnt toast

    • my good friend rox send me over…I’m glad she did..you just said everything that I think about Canada. I wish we were more like you. NO!..I wish we were you..I found myself rooting for the Canadians over the USA more than once..and every time your kids and the crowd sang your national anthem, I cried. Our kids don’t even know the words to our crappy anthem.( we do need to switch it to America the Beautiful)….You all did your country proud..in more ways than one…Goddess bless Canada.

      • ben said,

        Welcome and thanks for the comment, I always love when people agree with me.
        I will return the favour and agree with you, America the Beautiful is a much prettier song and much easier to sing… even for Roseanne Barr I bet. 😉

  2. KingOfAnkh said,

    I’m a big fan of patriotism, being a proud Welshman and all and I applaud Canada’s mighty effort in the Olympics, the UK got one too, not bad for a nation that normally never gets much snow….
    I feel that people don’t celebrate their heritage very often, which is a shame, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of who you are and where you come from. As a Welshman living in England I almost always wear a Welsh rugby shirt and nobody bats an eyelid, but it seems to be frowned upon for the English to be nationalistic because they are then assumed to be part of the far right idiot brigade. Shame really…
    Of all the nations on the planet I do identify most with Canada, I’d love to visit or even spend a few years living over there, the whole ethos and country appeals to me, plus it looks like a stunning place to wake up in the mornings. I wonder if you have enough room for a little guy like me? 😛

  3. heartinhand said,

    It could be the fact that I’m riding the white saddle right now, or it could be National Pride, but girl, this post made me BAWL!

    You like, totally summed up what it’s like to be Canadian! WOOT!

    You know, I still tear up when I picture the men’s hockey team, Kevin Martin’s team, and those ice dancers all singing the anthem. OMG…where’s the fucking Kleenex?!

  4. me said,

    homo milk? homogenised?

    • ben said,

      Yes, and I think it’s only the whole milk, but on the carton it says “HOMO Milk.”

      • me said,

        LOL!!!! gonna add that to stuff dykes like

  5. Moominboy said,

    I think Canada is a wonderful country. It’s what U.S. could have been if it wasn’t for religious fanaticism and dogmatic application of economic models (without modification). I am happy that you got all those medals 🙂 Also, many of my Polish folk dancing friends have close ties to Polish folk groups from Canada, and they all adore the country as well.

    And omg, I forgot to taste pemmican when I was there! Gah, now I have to go back 😛

  6. postncough said,

    Five pin bowling is also Canadian!! It explains why Americans were confused when I told them that I’d never been ten-pin bowling before…

    I just learned that today. Can you tell how exciting my afternoon has been?

  7. LOTGK said,

    I actually watched some of the Olympics this year. The Luge, Bobsled, Snowboarding, and Down hill skiing.

    “You’ve had to buy hot dogs in packages of twelve and buns in packages of eight.
.”

    Some things are alike all over.

  8. LOTGK said,

    test


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