Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chin-Up, Canada, You're Okay!

Timothy Egan writes in the New York Times today about the collective modesty of Canadians that prevents them from expressing their nationalism in the way that they deserve.

It seems like eons ago that the opening ceremony, a triumph complete with magical bears and sub-surface killer whales, prompted some Canadians to take a long overdue bow.

“It made me proud to be from here,” said Ian Brown, writing in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian national paper. But then he added, “I hesitate to say it. Such declarations are always unwise.”

No. Say it! Can you imagine an American being afraid to make such a simple declaration of national chauvinism? “Maybe for a while again,” Mr. Brown concluded, “we can feel alright about being Canadian.”

The prime minister, Stephen Harper, had to make a similar pitch last week in front of the British Columbia Parliament. He urged Canadians to show “an uncharacteristic outburst of patriotism and pride.”

Why the prodding? Why the lack of self-esteem? Canada — snap out of it! You’re gorgeous, baby, you’re sophisticated, you live well. No need for an apology. (source)

Yes, we do live well up here: low crime, beautiful cities, universal health care. We pay too much for phone and internet service, it's true, and I do find the characteristic modesty of Canadians gets in the way of entrepreneurial ministry. Yet among nations Canada has a LOT to be proud about, and the lack of a single national origin myth (read your John Rolston Saul) shouldn't prevent us from having a little pride in our country! The olympics are a good chance to show off!



Daniel Graves said...

It certainly, is nice to be buoyed up by those born south of the border. Feels good.

Sorry for feeling good.

I'll flagellate myself now for that sin.

mea cupla, father.


Felicity Pickup said...

Well actually, Tay [et al] it's not innate modesty nor lack of pride in our country nor lack of patriotism. It's that we think (or used to think) it in very poor taste (tacky, adolescent, even vulgar, certainly beneath us) to make that kind of declaration of national chauvinism that we so often heard from the United States.