US view: Canada too nice for its own good ?

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DaveW
US view: Canada too nice for its own good ?

 

one of the most-viewed and commented Opinion pieces at NY Times this week:

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/allez-canada/?em

 

 

Issues Pages: 
DaveW

Why the prodding? Why the lack of self-esteem? Canada - snap out of it! You're gorgeous, baby, you're sophisticated, you live well. No need for an apology.

There are more people in California, at 38 million, than in all of Canada, with about 34 million. But if Canada were the 51st state, they would be on the American medals podium nightly: Their murder rate is just a third that of the United States. They have universal health care, and while the system prompts much grumbling, it works for most people - without the death panel quality of America's heartless private insurers.

And when our financial system caused the world economy to tank because of reckless deregulation, Canada's banks were steady as they go, boring and mostly healthy.

Unionist

Typical condescending U.S. liberal tripe - complete with ridicule of Canadian content regulations. His faint praise from the heart of the empire gives me neither warmth nor fuzziness.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

Typical condescending U.S. liberal tripe...

Well, I do think there's more than a little truth to the observation that Canadians have "unknowable insecurities" about who they are ("What is a Canadian?" seems to be a question that is incapable of being satisactorily answered -- by and for Canadians).  So, when Canadians are given any attention from south of the border that is anything less than grave and respectful, many Canadians get a bit self-consciously irritable.

Sven Sven's picture

I would add an observation about this thread's title: The "US view" of Canada is actually one of obliviousness.  I've never seen an actual poll on the question but I'd bet large coin that only a tiny fraction of Americans could name the Canadian Prime Minister (or even knows that Canada has a "prime minister").

kropotkin1951

Sven wrote:

I would add an observation about this thread's title: The "US view" of Canada is actually one of obliviousness.  I've never seen an actual poll on the question but I'd bet large coin that only a tiny fraction of Americans could name the Canadian Prime Minister (or even knows that Canada has a "prime minister").

People who live in the heatland of empires always beleive they are the centre of the universe.  That is what miltary might on an imperial scale does for a people's self image.

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sven wrote:

I would add an observation about this thread's title: The "US view" of Canada is actually one of obliviousness.  I've never seen an actual poll on the question but I'd bet large coin that only a tiny fraction of Americans could name the Canadian Prime Minister (or even knows that Canada has a "prime minister").

People who live in the heatland of empires always beleive they are the centre of the universe.  That is what miltary might on an imperial scale does for a people's self image.

Really?  That's the reason?

Hmmmm, I suspect that the very same thing could accurately be said about, say, the Mexican and Chinese populations regarding knowing the name of the Canadian Prime Minister.

George Victor

Sven wrote:

I would add an observation about this thread's title: The "US view" of Canada is actually one of obliviousness.  I've never seen an actual poll on the question but I'd bet large coin that only a tiny fraction of Americans could name the Canadian Prime Minister (or even knows that Canada has a "prime minister").

They'd be less likely be found among readers of the Chicago Tribune (if it still exists) than the NYTimes, eh Sven?   And I remember the day when the Times was just another jingistic 'Merican publication.  Amazing what the emergence of a hideously rightwing element in a nation will do for political perception.

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:

Amazing what the emergence of a hideously rightwing element in a nation will do for political perception.

See Post #6 above...

Sven Sven's picture

As to the question: What is a "Canadian"?

In the tortured, and decidedly ass-backward, grammar that happens to be so stylish at the moment, one answer might be:

"People of Niceness"

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

People who live in the heatland of empires always beleive they are the centre of the universe.

In a nutshell, a description of our Central Canadian Overlords.

conrad yablonski

NYT-KMFFA

George Victor

bagkitty wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

People who live in the heatland of empires always beleive they are the centre of the universe.

In a nutshell, a description of our Central Canadian Overlords.

That's oh so 20th Century, gb.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

GV - well, I wanted to get in on the orgy of historical grievances... especially the unresolved ones.

al-Qa'bong

Sven wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sven wrote:

I would add an observation about this thread's title: The "US view" of Canada is actually one of obliviousness.  I've never seen an actual poll on the question but I'd bet large coin that only a tiny fraction of Americans could name the Canadian Prime Minister (or even knows that Canada has a "prime minister").

People who live in the heatland of empires always beleive they are the centre of the universe.  That is what miltary might on an imperial scale does for a people's self image.

Really?  That's the reason?

Hmmmm, I suspect that the very same thing could accurately be said about, say, the Mexican and Chinese populations regarding knowing the name of the Canadian Prime Minister.

Sven's right.  We see ourselves as purty important, but few over the shining seas know we exist.  Take the French, for example.  Just about every French person I've met, upon discovering I'm Canadian, first gives me a blank look, then says, "Canada? It's cold there."

That's it.  A few acres of uninteresting snow.

George Victor

Perhaps they wanted to be polite and had learned a pat phrase in the guidebook produced by the ministry of tourism?

al-Qa'bong

Whose Ministry of Tourism?  I'd be over there visiting them when they'd say it's cold here.  Face it, Canada really doesn't register with many people who aren't Canadian, no more than, say, Burkino Faso registers with us.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I have a lot of dealings with someone who got out of Poland during the worst of the Jaruzelski period (well, got out is not quite accurate, invited to leave and being offered an exit visa is more like it). She loves telling people about her interview with the Canadian Immigration officials.

Immigration "Why do you want to come to Canada?"

Mrs. B "Because Canada is never in the news. I don't want to live someplace that is always in the news."

George Victor

But of course,the French ministry of tourism? Hence the singular repetitiveness of the question. Just four words eh?

Fidel

Ya our stooges have done a pretty good job of making it appear to be anything but a G7 country. Bananada was about as well known as Puerto Rico before the vicious toadies tookover Ottawa.

Tommy_Paine

 

 

As if American bombasity and British pomposity aren't masking deep seated insecurities.  But we must take the author's point: while in their cases there are reasons for insecurity, ours seems unearned, and therefore unfathomable to outsiders.

 

Anyway, I thought it not bad press at all, though the author, of course, doesn't see the utility of Cancon, being American.   Fish, they say, are unaware of water.

 

 

Tommy_Paine

Oh, and come on, you have to love this guy just for this:

 

...and savaging from a snit-loving British press that has no athletic feats of its own to cover...

 


George Victor

Careful.  The Brits did rise to become #4 in the world at Bejing, eh?  Fortunately, the odium from "own the podium" will put paid to reliance on advertising brainwaves