Archive for November, 2007
Just found this site: Canada Free Press
Anything with the words ‘Free’ and ‘Press’ in it usually attracts my attention as I think it means ‘independent’ and ‘unbiased’. After a quick browse through the site, though, my initial impression is that the Canada Free Press is the Canada NeoCon Press.
OK, that may be a little harsh, but feel free to visit the site and form your own opinion.
Canada is ‘recognized’ internationally, again: UN ranks Canada in top 5 best places to live.
This is based on health, education and economic indicators.
So, why should we care? Why should anybody care? Will we actually use this data to try to help countries that are low on the list?
One of the biggest news stories of the past week has been about a bench clearing brawl between two teams of eight-year old hockey players. Those who aren’t Canadian may be surprised to learn that this isn’t a regular occurrence; and by that I mean brawls making the news and not the brawls happening.
I distinctly remember being involved in a bench-clearing brawl when I played hockey at that age. What I don’t remember – because it never happened – is the subsequent hoopla over the situation. We didn’t get any media attention for our brawl. Of course there also weren’t camera phones in every pocket when I was that age either.
But there is also a change in the average Canadian’s opinion on fighting and aggression in hockey. The debate about the role of fighting in hockey has grown louder year by year. One camp feels that fighting has no place in the sport and something needs to be done to eliminate it from the game. The other side runs over to the ‘pacifists’ and proceeds to smack them around in an extremely visceral argument. The pacifists then feel morally superior. And so it goes…
One side feels that Don Cherry is the devil incarnate. The other side embraces Don Cherry for being the devil incarnate. At least the two sides can agree on something.
You wake up at 7:00 a.m. to go to Tim Horton’s for a Double-Double and there’s already a line-up ten people deep.
From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
The term “nationalism” is generally used to describe two phenomena: (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination. (1) raises questions about the concept of nation (or national identity), which is often defined in terms of common origin, ethnicity, or cultural ties, and while an individual’s membership in a nation is often regarded as involuntary, it is sometimes regarded as voluntary. (2) raises questions about whether self-determination must be understood as involving having full statehood with complete authority over domestic and international affairs, or whether something less is required.
And, from the same site, a particularly Canadian example:
It is traditional, therefore, to distinguish nations from states — whereas a nation often consists of an ethnic or cultural community, a state is a political entity with a high degree of sovereignty. While many states are nations in some sense, there are many nations which are not fully sovereign states. As an example, the Native American Iroquois constitute a nation but not a state, since they do not possess the requisite political authority over their internal or external affairs. If the members of the Iroquois nation were to strive to form a sovereign state in the effort to preserve their identity as a people, they would be exhibiting a state-focused nationalism.
I find it interesting that the Iroquois, a people found in Canada, were used as an example. Canada, and Canadians are fond of introspection with regards what we are. What is Canadian culture? What is the Canadian Nation, as opposed to the Canadian State? Is there even such a thing as a Canadian Nation?
Canada is big.
Canada is filled with big things, like the CN Tower, the Rocky Mountains, and our egos. Just kidding. The Rockies aren’t that big.
Your average Canadian is proud of this country, the land, and what we have built out of it. Canada and its municipalities are regularly recognized as some of the most desirable places in the world to live. Canada is considered to have a very high standard of living.
Canadian cities were well represented, and recognized, in the just released International Awards for Liveable Communities, including the city of Oshawa in Ontario, which is near the offices of Canadian Fermentation.
Canada is the land of poutine, the most important culinary export of our nation. It’s also important for Canadians to eat lots of poutine during the months leading up to winter. It gets cold here and we need all insulation we can obtain.
Canada is also on the leading edge of technology with creations such as the Blackberry, the canoe and five-pin bowling.
In other word, we rock!
But, who cares and why should we care? Is nationalism an archaic form of political necessity or do we still need to promote the benefits and superiority of nation-states? Superiority is an inherant attribute of nationalism; when promoting and crowing about the things that make ones nation better than others you are automatically putting down the others to build up your own. Is this something that we still need to deal with in the modern age?
Why should we allow our emotions and global outlook be manipulated by imaginary geo-political boundaries?
Please don’t misunderstand. I”m as proud a Canadian as anyone. In fact I have a red maple leaf tattoo on my shoulder. While living in the U.S.A I was proud to support and promote all things Canadian. I have been known as a protector of Canadian Culture, without even really knowing what Canadian Culture really is — you tell me.
But the question stands. Has nationalism run its course and is it time for a new cultural paradigm? Or can we (and by we I mean all people who are proud of their nationalities no matter what they may be) and should we maintain our independent nationalistic pride at the expense of the rest of the world?