2001-07-03
Dear Diary:

We were part of a belated birthday party last night. See, technically Canada celebrated its 134th birthday on July 1 (and can I just say here it's a remarkably well preserved country and doesn't look a day over 125?).

Major thunderstorms rolled through here that night so Sherman changed the Canada Day potluck party and fireworks display in his meadow to last night instead.

My nachos part way finished.  Still lots of cheesy goodness to come, eh.My contribution to the meal was that well known Canadian dish, nachos.

Oh, be quiet.

I KNOW nachos aren't Canadian, eh.

And as I surveyed the potluck table, laden with everything from potato salad right through to chocolate brownies, I started joking with people about how Canadian all this food was--NOT.

So then we all tried to figure out a dish that was uniquely Canadian

The best we could come up with was Poutine and Beaver Tails.

See, that's the thing about being Canadian. We can't point to a unique cuisine, as the French can. Our two official languages are French and English -- we don't have an unusual language such as say, Swahili--matter of fact, most of us speak English with a North American accent.

Do we have a distinctive national costume such as those warmongerers, the Dutch? You know, something such as wooden shoes? Um, no, not really.

So, uh, just who are we?

Well, as my unindicted co-conspirator and fellow Canuckian CF188 pointed out, a beer company is running a very nationalist series of ads on and off that try to tap into what Canadians feel about being Canadian.

According to their current ad, Canadians are a railroad buildin', hockey lovin', extremely tolerant and fun loving multicultural tapestry.

Oh, and according to the ad, we love our beer, eh.

The first nationalist ad this same company ran was even more interesting, because it defined Canadians mostly as being NOT Americans.

Oh, and according to the ad we love our beer, eh.

Me, I'm not sure exactly what it means to be Canadian. I have to agree with the earlier ad that in many ways we define ourselves by who we aren't, which is rather odd when you think about it. I think the more recent ad taps into our icons, our mythical selves, but I don't believe it's a true reflection of who we are.

All of which goes to say I really don't know what it means to be Canadian, the part that goes beyond being born in a country.

Last night as the sun was setting and Richard and Mordecai began playing "O Canada", I felt my eyes well up. It caught me by surprise.

I am Canadian. I'm not sure exactly what that means, and yet it means the world to me.

--Marn

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This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

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2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.