What I Don’t Like About Canadians

January 28, 2008 at 8:12 pm 12 comments

When I lived in the U.S. I would often get into conversations with friends that would go something like this:

 Friend:  “Did you see the new movie *insert name of current movie* yet?”

Me: “No.   But I want to.  It has *insert name of Canadian actor* in it.  I like him/her.  He/she is Canadian, you know.”

I used to do this without even realizing or thinking about it.  I would automatically and joyfully point out to my non-Canadian friends that so-and-so is Canadian.  This isn’t just limited to the acting arts, but covers any topic that can be conversed about.

“You know that business guy who just bilked his company for millions?  Yeah, he’s Canadian.”

“Hey did you watch that show about serial killers last night?  Yeah, that one mean guy who killed everyone and their pets.  He was Canadian.”

“Man, that was some good porno!  You know that actress that let all those guys &#$&#& her and then !#%!@$%  @$%$ with the !@$^%@$% and then @^%^% in the @$^@$^ and afterwards they all @^%@ @^@6 @^@^$ @^@^$@$@^^@$%^ @^@$^^ until they were too tired to do anything else?  Yeah, she’s Canadian.”

Invariably when the conversation streams into an area remotely pertaining to Canada or Canadians we, as a people, are only to happy to point out the Canadianess about the object of discussion.  It could be argued that this is because we are so proud of being Canadian, and there may be a grain of truth to that.

More likely, though, it does come from the Canadian sense of being a secondary citizen due to the proximity of our big-brother, America.   In many ways this habit — the habit of pointing out everything that is Canadian whether or not our audience wants to hear — is very much like the little sibling vying for attention.  “Look at me, I’ve done some cool things too!”

My advice to my fellow Canadians, STOP IT!!!  It’s annoying and sycophantic.  It’s not a sign of pride.  It doesn’t further the cause of being Canadian.

If you are truly proud to be Canadian, then just be Canadian.  Be a citizen of the world.  Stop living through our compatriots who have made a splash on the international scene.  Be proud of them, sure.  Acknowledge what they have done and what they represent, but there’s no need to drape a Canadian flag around their shoulders in order to show off their Canadianess to others.  Real strength is born in silence and not bluster.  Bluster is a front, and a front is to cover up a weakness.

Canadians aren’t weak.  We are strong.  So stop being little children, and grow up and just be.

That’s what I don’t like about Canadians.  Now excuse me, I have to go listen to some Arcade Fire and watch Juno while eating some poutine before I play some hockey with Kiefer Sutherland and discuss how Canadians won WWI at Vimy Ridge before paddling away in my canoe.


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Disfunctional Civilization Drunk History

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pages tagged "arcade fire"  |  January 29, 2008 at 6:04 am

    […] bookmarks tagged arcade fire What I Don’t Like About Canadians saved by 5 others     hargreaves5 bookmarked on 01/29/08 | […]

  • 2. Amelie  |  February 3, 2008 at 4:54 am

    I’m not canadian, but I did find your blog after drinking two tiny bottles of cold champagne alone on a Saturday night. People in canada have refrigerators. Plus I am from a city in Ohio that is only 40 minutes from Windsor, which is part of Canada…sort of. Although I’m pretty sure the population of Windsor is mostly 19 year old Americans taking advantage of the lowered drinking age. And your border guards are vicious. Nonetheless, I kind of want to be friends with a sassy canadian and you might fit the bill. Also I always wanted to know someone with a canoe. Yes. I’m using you for your canoe.

  • 3. C. Fraser  |  February 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I like the way you think! Especially the drinking champagne by yourself. Most people would say that’s a sign of some kind of social or alcoholic disorder. Me, I say that’s a sign of someone in tune with their personal needs! You also dissed Windsor. That’s pretty cool. Although I’ve never been to Windsor I think it’s OK to dis them, and the vicious border guards. Curse them!

    As for using me for my canoe. That’s OK too. It’s a big canoe. I think we can both use it at the same time and be happy. That’s what is known as a ‘win-win’ situation. Always happy to share with my American friends!

  • 4. Amelie  |  February 3, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I should tell you, although I am a Windsor-dissing American, my family has recently decided Canada is our number-2 choice if the rest of the world ever hates America enough (…actually, the way things are going, that may be tomorrow). I put up a good fight for New Zealand, but my sister hates flying. Europe is out because my mom doesn’t feel like learning a new language, and my Dad wants to go somewhere with hockey.

    My personal needs often include tiny bubbles and prissy glasses. And do you get to judge me since your blog claims to “remain alcoholic in nature” ? I think not.

    I think we have to be blog friends now, even though, as far as I know, there is no way to be “friends” in wordpress. We’re going to have to form our own Canadian-American alliance and it will be just like that pizza here that has Canadian bacon on it (one day we will get to the topic I’d really like to discuss: Do Canadians call what Americans call “Canadian bacon” just regular bacon? And if so, then what do Canadians call what Americans call regular bacon? There is a lot of meat discrepancy, but I think we’ll learn to appreciate our differences in due time.)

    Canamerica! Americanada!

  • 5. Amelie  |  February 3, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Ps: when I “mouse over” your name the “RELATED SEARCHES” box says:

    Polar bears, fermentation, Molson Canadian, and Maple Syrup.


  • 6. C. Fraser  |  February 3, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I agree with your families choices on alternate places to live. I’ve always had a fascination with New Zealand!

    There is lots of hockey in Europe, so your dad wouldn’t have to worry too much, although the new language situation could be an issue. Most Europeans have a functioning use of English, though.

    I agree, let’s make a Canadian-American alliance! Although your scrolling over your name leads to a ‘Picasa Web Album’. Those are some nice photo’s, but do you have a blog?

    Blog on Canadian Bacon coming up!

  • 7. Amelie  |  February 3, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Why doesn’t my name take you to my blog? It’s all very confusing. Yes, yes I DO have a blog, from which I thought I was responding:


    you had me at bacon.

  • 8. C. Fraser  |  February 4, 2008 at 12:42 am

    I don’t know why it does that. I always assumed that making a post should link back to your own blog…very strange. Thanks for the link, though.

  • 9. Amelie  |  February 4, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I’m still trying to figure this all out and using your block as the guinea pig. Champagne o’clock. cheers!

  • 10. daranee  |  February 4, 2008 at 2:06 am

    My husband does the same thing only he’s Scottish. So it’s did you know blank is Scottish.

    I’m from podunk Sacramento, California and I find myself saying every now and again did you know blank is from Sacramento.

    It’s universal.

  • 11. C. Fraser  |  February 4, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Daranee: To an extent I agree that it is “universal”, but it’s still based on the ‘little sibling syndrome’. People from regions near more dominant regions will be more vocal about local successes. As a whole Americans don’t say “Brad Pitt is American” when talking to people from other nations.

    Canada is in the Shadow of America.

    Scotland is in the Shadow of England. (and with the accent I’m not sure how anyone would not know a person is from Scotland, unless we’re talking authours)

    Sacramento is in the Shadow of San Fransisco/Los Angeles/San Diego etc. (I lived in Sacramento for a couple of years, actually). If I remember correctly Tom Hanks is from Sacramento, and the band Cake is a local group who made it big.

    For some people this phenomena is a much bigger part of the psyche than for others. It depends on the relative relationships between regional centers. It is a major part of the Canadian psyche.

    Nice cat.

  • 12. daranee  |  February 4, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Yeah, that’s true I’ve never heard anyone say that about Brad Pitt.

    I’ve used the Cake line.


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