superman invented Canada
July 5, 2009, 5:43 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , ,

Supermanpatriotism has always seemed like a strange concept to me. we paint lines on a map that dictate where we’re from, and we feel a strange sense of loyalty to this place within the imaginary lines christopher columbus and lewis & clark discovered (commonly confused with lois & clark, the superman and his mistress). i know that’s not how we came to be known as the country of Canada, but it was so much easier to make that up than to actually do the research. so superman invented Canada, and i never really understood why people feel so proud to be from here. or from any country, for that matter. i mean, at least Canada was invented by superman (which i hope i get credit from for that discovery in national geographic) so at least we have a bit more going for us than those other lousy countries. they were probably invented by the green goblin, or robin, who is pretty much as lame as a super villain. jk, usa.

it’s not that i don’t like Canada. i love living here, and i love that i am free to eat as much taco bell as i can in one sitting. without that, though, what makes us any different from afghanistan or zimbabwe? lots, i guess. so that’s kind of a stupid question. forget i said that. at any rate, i don’t think people of the world are all that different, and so it really confuses me when people are so proud of a flag, which is essentially a piece of fabric, and a song (not the hockey song by tom connors, but our anthem) which i remember most vividly for some Vegas lounge singer singing the wrong words during a CFL game during the dreaded expansion years when i was a kid. his beautiful flowing majestic hair couldn’t get him out of that firestorm. and so for a long time, i have told people i think it’s dumb to be proud of a place we randomly ended up at. we can be thankful. but pride just never made sense to me. but that was a while ago. and now i am seeing things in a different light.

when i look at our country, there are many things that i am proud of. i am proud that we are free. free to go to Roughriders games and get soaked in the sweat and beer of the greasy old man sitting next to us. free to let our lawns grow as long as our neighbors can tolerate it before they politely mow it for us (thanks, by the way). but seriously, just free. i know there are many places in this world that aren’t free. and with freedom comes great responsibility, and for the most part, Canada does well with being responsible at home and around the globe. and as much as our politicians might make us want to vomit our chicken pot pie while we’re watching the evening news, they love this country, and look out for our best interests (most of the time). all partisanship aside (because lord knows i am a partisan, or is it parmesan?), i think most politicians are really there because they care about people, and that says something about the country we live in. and they offer us this freedom. i don’t care if stephane dion couldn’t pronounce saskatchewan, there was no doubt in my mind that he loved people and was doing his job because of that love. and our military. i have always struggled with this. because i don’t approve of war. i don’t ever think there is a valid reason to raise a gun towards another human being. but i know they are fighting for something bigger than themselves. and i know that it’s complicated. and to trivialize it with slogans does a disservice to the men and women who give their lives to protect people. i find it humorous (and disgusting) that americans often make fun of canada for our lack of military prowess. but that is a source of pride for me. because i have no doubt we could defend ourselves. that is not why i’m proud. but i am proud for our role in peacekeeping and rebuilding missions. i am proud that we often support the downtrodden and offer protection for those who need it. and while i don’t always approve of the reasons behind a war, i will never look down upon someone who is giving a piece of their life so that i can live. that is noble. so go ahead and make fun of the peacekeepers. we are an accepting country, which is also a source of pride for me. and while there will always be bigots, racists and homophobes, Canadians generally do not put limits on who is accepted as a human being. for that i am grateful, especially with much of the world drowning in these issues. i am not naive. i know this stuff still happens on much too large a scale. i live in a city that is surrounded with racism and bigotry. and that must change. generally speaking, though, these are attitudes that most Canadians do not adopt. for that, i am extremely grateful. 

the older i get, the more i realize there is reason to be proud to be from Canada. but not because we live in these imaginary lines drawn on a map. but because of the people. the people who exemplify Canada. the soldiers and peacekeepers, the politicians (that almost made me barf to say, but i am thankful nonetheless), the people who give Canada the stereotype of being full of nice people, the people who believe in the dignity and worth of others, the people who offer and receive universal healthcare…those and many more are the reasons that i am proud. not a flag or a song. the people. the people are what makes a country, and so if you feel pride in anything, feel proud of the people that make your country beautiful.images-5 and know that other countries are full of beautiful people too. don’t let patriotism feed nationalism. the world is a beautiful place. and i am thankful and proud to be a citizen of the world.

i know this is a departure from my normal story telling structure, but this is what’s been on my heart lately and i felt i needed to say it. in my next blog, you will hear the amazing story of how i, kenneth blair roberts, made the incredible discovery that superman invented canada. it involves the da vinci code, tom hanks, and a giant garbage bin filled with old comics. that’s all i can say for now.

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1 Comment so far
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Remember the d.b.s. Song about this sort of stuff? Sweet band.

Comment by jerms




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