‘I confess I am something of a bad Canadian. By that I don’t mean a ‘bad’ human being, though I confess I have had moments that I’m not proud of, but bad in the Canadian sense in that there are many aspects of an otherwise enviable nation I don’t really subscribe to.
Since I was born here and am most definitely a citizen of my home and native land I don’t think they can send me off into exile or some sort of political prison for voicing the opinions that follow. And that, dear friends, is one of the things I truly do cherish about Canada. But there are other aspects I (personally, it’s just me, really) don’t feel emotionally tied to.
- I don’t like hockey: I’ve tried to. But the hockey gene is missing. I don’t dislike it as much as I dislike football, which is truly the most boring game of all, but I cannot get emotionally involved with Canada’s national sport. My idea of a nightmare is to have my viewing options restricted to CBC TV on a Saturday night when it is literally nothing but bloody hockey. Oh, and I do think Don Cherry should be executed just to clear the air of his reactionary rantings and also due to his boorishness and appalling taste in garb. Somehow, to me, he epitomizes the hockey mentality I have seen in some.
- I don’t regard the royal family as having any connectedness with me: The Queen is a lovely lady who has served ‘her’ country well. Her country is not my country, her country is the United Kingdom. I’m of UK heritage and I loved spending time therein, but even though I lived there for a while, I never regarded it as ‘home’. I’m a third generation Canadian and am proud of that. I am sorry too I couldn’t get very worked up about the new progeny. I mean, Kate is a comely lass by any standard and William seems an able enough young man and I am happy they gave birth to a healthy sprog. But I don’t know them and they don’t much enter my thoughts.
- I hold very little affection for the CBC: Olden days CBC radio used to be my default station on my car radio, but no more. It has lost a certain ‘Gzowski-ness’ and its ‘Gaberau-ness’ has also gone away. Now it offers little to grab and that’s sad. CBC TV was always second rate and with it’s commercials it cannot hold a candle to PBS (despite their infuriating fund raising drives) and certainly not to BC’s Knowledge Network. OK, Knowledge offers a plethora of Brit stuff, but it’s all hugely watchable. I like me a good shot of A Touch of Frost on a Saturday night, or Midsomer Murders in a pinch. CBC TV could go away and I wouldn’t pine for it.
- The North holds no lure for me: Although I have traveled fairly extensively, the farthest north I’ve been is Quesnel, BC. That seemed to be far enough. I used to work with a guy at the paper who didn’t like going to Campbell River because he didn’t care for northern climes. He eventually settled in Mexico. I ‘get’ it. I have flown over the Arctic many times and it doesn’t look inviting. Mainly trillions of lakes and you can almost hear the mosquitoes from 30,000 feet. True, I’d like to see the northern lights, but that’s about the limit and doesn’t provide enough incentive for me to actually go way up there. No, I’ll stick close to the border and travel south or west or waaaaaaaaaay east.
-I no longer know the lyrics to O Canada: And I doubt that I ever shall, so they can alter it to gender neutrality in the name of political correctness and it won’t matter. It’s kind of a banal and wimpy anthem in any case. Never makes me want to put on military garb and go out and vanquish people.
Now, you might think this screed is all curmudgeonly and that I hate my country. Au contraire (see, I can even be bilingual. I cherish Canada and think that as second rate powers go (which is the best way for a nation to be – countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia and places like Denmark and so forth have much to say for themselves – Canada is pretty darn neat. I love our political and economic freedom, our general dearth of social stratification, our eschewing of titles, our health care system, our politeness (though that is waning, alas), our relatively low violent crime rate, our judicial system as flawed as it might be, our general welcoming of diverse cultural groups, and the fact that I can sit down here and write pretty much what I want and I won’t be hauled off to some gulag.
That last one is really big.