There is generally a sense within our own country that Canadians lack the hyper-patriotism exhibited by our southern neighbors. I'm not so sure this is true and I give you Exhibit A: CBC article: What does Canada mean to you? in which famous or perhaps semi-famous Canadians list off the reasons why the love this country. The most often regurgitated comments are of course about how great and multi-cultural we are as a nation. Pat yourselves on the back you all-inclusive maple huggers.
As I found myself travelling through the endless supply quotes about our nation's greatness I found myself growing more and more queezy. This isn't even a thinly veiled patriotic fluff piece, it's full on propaganda. Enter Exhibit B:
"Canada is 'the land of lakes and trees,' as my ex-pat father used to describe it. A poutine-chompin', multicultural beaver yelling at the hockey game in-between Molson "I am Canadian" commercials. It's the flag stitched onto some kid's knapsack as she takes that glorious ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. It is our dream of being peacekeepers stuck in a post 9/11 tarsand sinkhole. A majestic land of four seasons in full flower, especially the winter. Did I mention the winter?"
– Jesse Cook, Juno award-winning flamenco guitarist
I can't skate and I don't like hockey. Molson Canadian beer sucks and those commercials are contrived and unimaginative (much like the music of Jesse Cook). A flag stitched on to some kid's backpack? Gimme a break.
Then the post 9/11 peacekeepers... do you mean the Canadian soldiers actively engaged in war with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda? Those aren't peacekeepers Jesse, those are soldiers which who's job it is to help Afghanistan exterminate terrorists. It's an insult to the soldiers who are giving their lives to help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country. This one hit wonder hasn't even taken the time to learn the first thing about their mission before he goes on national media to bathe himself in pseudo-pacifistic drool.
You know what I like about Canada? I have the ability to access media from around the world in which I can learn about things like the out-dated Canadian drug laws which still criminalize marijuana use in the 21st century. I can learn about how this nation is one of the world's top polluters and how our government has done very little to deal with this problem. I can read about how they instead grow excited about the new shipping possibilities melting ice-caps will soon provide. I can turn on the radio and listen, like I did last summer, to politicians apologize to Native people for their treatment in residential schools, and then just as quickly turn their back on them. I have access to polls which tell us that less than %50 of Canadians believe in the theory of evolution, which puts us right up there with the USA and Turkey. But the thing I like most about this country is my blog. Here I'm free to say whatever I want and no one has the right to stop me. If I so desired I could say things like Fuck the Queen and her homeopathically retarded inbred offspring.
Our country has the resources to not only make our country a better place, but also the entire world. This is a job we are failing to do and we need to work harder. Patriotism is not a blind allegiance to set of stereotypes. To me patriotism is about punching your own country in the nuts until it pukes up a better tomorrow.