The Zoey Blog: The True North Strong and Free (and quietly ambivalent) FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Friday, July 1, 2011

The True North Strong and Free (and quietly ambivalent)

It's Canada Day, which for all our unfamiliar 'Murican friends means we have to eat maple syrup and shoot pucks at moose all day, then spend our evenings apologizing to one another and anyone else who'll listen. Large quantities of beer must be consumed, you must wear a plaid shirt, and say something offensive about our typically kindred southerly neighbors. That's the way it works. Then we shoot off fireworks and bitch about our taxes while we wait for the beavers to come out and deliver us some new pale skinned babies, and carry all our garbage off to dumps in Michigan.

How do you celebrate the fourth?

Canada Day never meant a whole lot to me, not growing up a short bike ride from the US border. Even when I was a kid that whole National Pride thing seemed kind of silly to me considering that we were celebrating imaginary lines and illusionary cultures. I mean, were it not for certain circumstances wouldn't Texas and California be more fervently celebrating Cinqo de Mayo than the Fourth of July anyway (they kind of do anyway, don't they)? If it wasn't for a small little conflict in 1812 wouldn't half of Ontario be Michigan? My great grandfather stepped from a boat onto the streets of New York City and just because he knew someone in Detroit he wandered West. Then it turned out there were a lot of people from his neck of the woods chilling out over in Canada so he slipped over that imaginary line (no need for a work visa in 1912, or whenever it was) and settled in. Oh sure, I'm a proud Canadian, but Canada Day doesn't stir my soul or give me goose bumps. I leave that for events that really mean something, like Sidney Crosby's gold medal overtime goal in the Vancouver Olympics, or not having a housing market that looks like Joplin post-tornado. Today's a holiday, and people do some pretty cool stuff, and that's all.

Wait...that attitude in itself might be super-Canadian? I may have just wrote a post that has only an equivalent in a sincere shoulder shrug, and it may very well have summarized Canadian culture without even trying. Uhm, profound.

No we're not dressing Zedder in red and white flag paraphernalia today. We have frontal lobes that we use. She'll wear sunscreen and perhaps pig tails. We'll tell her all about Wayne Gretzky and feed her bacon all day, but we will not drape her in a flag. Of course, we'll hide her when the beavers come, and we'll spend a big chunk of the day teaching her funny things to say to her American friends, but most of our time will really be consumed listening to Glass Tiger records and wondering if Randy Bachman really is the anti-christ.


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