Canadians obsess, non-neurotically in my view, about the influence of the U.S. on our reality. We're less aware of the American sense of Canada's impact there. In particular, they've often shown a kind of Canuckophilia. Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore's 1995 Canadian Bacon was a love letter. He'd have clearly welcomed annexation -- though he's since been dismayed by the Harper era. The Rob Ford fascination in the U.S. isn't just another wacko mayor story; it's because he's Canadian. It has a man-bites-dog, Canadian-isn't-nice element.
I hardly know what to say about Rosemary Sexton's book, Home Before Dark, and that's a rare gift from an author. It's a rambling, riveting, often trivial diary of her life between 1998 and 2002. Why that span? No particular reason.
Related rabble.ca story:
Ice is in our blood.
Through the years, hockey has helped define this nation. Like the countless lakes and rivers that carve the land just begging to be skated upon once frozen, the collective love for hockey connects Canadians.
As the country has evolved, hockey has endured, seeping into the very core of the culture. The game is treasured. The countless Stanley Cups. The '72 Summit Series. The gold medals in Vancouver and Sochi. What happens on the ice is a point of national pride, along with names like Gretzky and Messier and Henderson and Crosby.
The "debate" about CBC resonates less and less. It's probably time for the super-verbalizing to end and for CBC to either produce or get off the pot. Consider the despoliation of language in just this recent round. (This doesn't apply, by the way, to CBC Radio, which has an audience that actually cares.)
When I came to Canada nearly 15 years ago, I could not have imagined that the place which is now my new home would be so accepting, accommodating and tolerant of other cultures. Here we learn how to earn respect by giving respect to others. This is the beauty of Canadian society, which allows hundreds of cultures to co-exist peacefully.
When Sally Field received her second Oscar as best actress, she burbled, or was perceived to: "You like me. You really like me." This became a trope. The Canadian equivalent, nation to nation, us to the U.S., is: "You're interested in us. You're really interested in us." We keep count: over three recent days, U.S. media reports on Rob Ford were mentioned 200 times in Canada and 700 times in the U.S. That's reports of reports, not the story itself. We want to know how often they mention their coverage of us. It's practically mystical.
A version of this paper was read at a seminar on "Racism in Academia" held at The Centre of Excellence for Research (CERIS) on Immigration and Settlement, York University, on November 21, 2012.
During the 2010 Metropolis conference held in Montreal, Dr. Luin Goldring, Director of CERIS asked me to suggest a topic for a university seminar. I immediately proposed the topic "Racism in Academia," as I had written on the same issue a few years back.
My observations and inferences were based on the real experiences of Dr. Shiva Sadeghi, Faculty Associate and senior researcher at the University of Toronto. She was very disappointed, discouraged and disgusted with her job experiences and the painful realities faced by some communities on campus.