Saturday, July 01, 2017
Canada Day: Is It True Canadians Don't Know How To Party?
I must admit I'm in a mood to party, I've got so many reasons to celebrate.
The regatta season has begun. I've just graduated from more than two months of rehab to fully recover from my motorcycle accident. So I can finally join them out there this weekend.
I'm off to Europe next week, and I'm taking you with me.
And of course the best reason of all to party is that today is Canada's 150th birthday.
So you can imagine how shocked I was to see this recent story in the New York Times.
Declaring despite all the evidence to the contrary, that Canada doesn't know how to party.
July 1 is Canada’s 150th anniversary, but nobody seems particularly eager to join the party. The muted attempts at celebration have so far produced either awkwardness or embarrassment. A giant rubber duck, six stories tall, is supposed to arrive in Toronto Harbor on Canada Day, but its imminent appearance has been greeted by outrage over costs and suspicions of plagiarism.
The principal excitement of our sesquicentennial so far has been the fury of national self-critique it has inspired.
Could that be true? Could a giant rubber duck be so controversial?
Even though we have so many reasons to celebrate.
Our prime minister is glamorous and internationally recognized as a celebrity of progressive politics. We are among the last societies in the West not totally consumed by loathing of others. Canada leads the Group of 7 countries in economic growth. Our cultural power is real: Drake recently had 24 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time — for one shining moment he was nearly a quarter of popular music. Frankly, it’s not going to get much better than this for little old Canada.
Does our long colonial past condemn us to self loathing?
Colonized self-loathing seems to be a national trait we will never fully shake off. Canadian self-flagellation results always in the same warm, comfortingly smug sense of virtue. Self-righteousness is to Canada what violence is to America. It transcends the political spectrum. Whether it is Conservative insistence on frugality and small-town values or the furious outrage of identity politics on the left, everyone has the same point to make: We’re not as good as we think we are, and the government should do something about it.
Does that explain why so many Canadians have the apparently irresistible urge to bring down any Canadian who rises above the others, from Justin Bieber to Justin Trudeau?
And on a slightly brighter note, could this also be true?
Canada’s reluctance to celebrate itself is actually something worth celebrating. It has become abundantly clear in 2017 that patriotism is for losers. Patriotism is for people and for countries that need to justify their existence through symbols rather than achievements. Canada is doing well enough that it doesn’t require spackled vanity. It doesn’t need six-story-high rubber ducks.
You know what? Maybe all of the above is true.
Maybe we have a long way to go before we can truly say that we are the best country in the world. And the way we have treated our aboriginal people is still an open wound.
But I have hope that is finally changing, that we are on the right road to reconciliation however long and painful it may be.
So I'm still going to party as if there is no tomorrow, because our young country deserves it, it's so beautiful.
And I love it so much.
Our humble Canadian values ARE something to be proud about, and well worth saving from those who would destroy them.
Canadians will not be singing a gender-neutral national anthem on Canada Day after a bill before Parliament to officially change the lyrics has stalled.
Although the bill sailed through the House with government approval, Conservative senators opposed to the changes have scored a victory in the Red Chamber. A yearlong campaign successfully punted a vote on the bill until the fall, at the earliest, and even then the legislation faces an uncertain future.
The ghastly bigoted and sexist followers of this anti-Canadian monster...
Who would have turned today's celebration into an excuse to worship the military and himself.
The fact that he didn't get to preside over today's activities is for me reason alone to kick up my heels.
And I'm not a bit ashamed to say to all those party poopers, that my Canada Day this year includes this big rubber duck...
You know, they say that the organizers were looking for a large inflatable loon, but couldn't find one or couldn't afford it.
And isn't that tragically Canadian?
But aren't we lucky to live in this weird but wonderful and peaceful country?
Happy Canada Day everybody!!!