Saturday, September 17, 2011

Canadians in...Canada

I have found one of the most intelligent and genuinely funny group of women with whom to hang. They never cease to be able to make me laugh out loud or provoke my admiration for deeply profound thought expressed elegantly in words. They also refuse to take themselves seriously, mostly, which endears them to me in a way I would never have believed possible. This is for two reasons.

1. They are people I have met online
2. They are American

For now, let's dicuss the second one which is also my own personal shame. The one where I thought all Americans were ignorant rednecks.



Now I know I was wrong about Americans. And rednecks.

It's true we share a continent and the longest undefended border in the world. We speak English, myself with no accent whatsoever. *stares defiantly* Because of satellites and cable we share the same TV listings. Even culturally, we are mostly similar. Here in Canada we are the colder, less populated baby sister who gazes out from under the US's shadow. All the while we are doing this, the US doesn't even think about our existence. In fact as a result of the maps supplied to schools many, too many, don't even know where we are located on the planet. This is a reason why:


Wow, if only there were a map displaying Canada attached to the US. Then it would be easy to point out where Canada lives.
Dear Canadians,

Can you really fault the country for its ignorance about us when this is what kids get in school?

Yours truly,

Repentant Bigot

PS: Notice where Alaska and Hawaii are? They are being portrayed as islands in the middle of Mexico!
I play online games. Sometimes a conversation will come up where people will say where in the world they are from. Often an American kid will say "America". So, I and the other players from any number of countries around the world will say, North or South America. They say "Just America". Seriously? We all laugh and they don't get what's funny. It's kind of sad. America, don't make laughing stocks out of your online gaming children.

American ignorance is a benign sort of ignorance on their part. In a sense, Americans don't know that they don't know and so they don't expend one iota of brain power over it. While up here we tend to look upon this benign ignorance with emotions ranging from mild amusement to anger. Mostly amusement. We know you don't know you don't know and it amuses us. This is so prevalent in Canada that a Molson Canadian beer ad a few years ago went like this:



You know the attitude is viral if advertisers are exploiting it. Oh and Canada is huge, so we don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzie from Canada, but my cousin punched Shania Twain's brother in the nose and knocked him out. She doesn't regret it, either.

So, I'm happy to say I have a much better more balanced opinion of Americans because of my friends...and all the other Americans won't have noticed in the slightest that I have changed toward them for the better. That's sad because right now Americans could use a little boost in the arm however small it might be.

PS: It's Zed, not Zee.


All hail the mighty beaver

5 comments:

Tonya said...

I think I'd like to address this on my blog. Can I copy this?

Frimmy said...

Sure!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post.

Ann

Bayou Jane said...

Fimmy...I am lucky enough to have an online friend from Canada who is patient enough to put up with, and answer the 1000s of questions I have about Canada. She has given me answers and pics that I had used in my social studies classes. Americans are ignorant of Canadian ways. But I am proud of the friends I have made. I'm in Louisiana and we have a different way of life than most Ams. Our Acadians (Cajuns) are part of Canadian history (or Canada is part of our history), depends on how you look at it. I'm also ashamed to say that I don't know as much as I should about Canada. But I am excited about learning and I do have a deep curiosity.
BTW, your pics brought me to your site. I enjoy what you have to say and look forward to more.
Hoping to extent my friendship,
Bayou Jane

Frimmy said...

Hi and welcome BayouJane =)

I actually just did a post about Cajuns and their roots in Acadian Canada. I would love to hear about your perspective as a native!

I really appreciate that what Americans don't know is not meant to be an intentional oversight. Every one I've met seemed genuinely curious and bewildered that they didn't know more about a country so close to them. I think it's upon our shoulders to not bear a grudge over this and just kindly answer questions and debunk myths. We're are on the same side.

@Ann, thanks =) I wasn't too hard on them was I?