The Shotgun Blog
Friday, July 02, 2004
Land that we love
My first note of consciousness this morning was a radio news report about numerous knifings that occurred throughout the night in Calgary and Edmonton. Now, last night being Canada Day, I began formulating in my mind the mood of these partying patriots. I came to the conclusion that they must have took it upon themselves to form some sort of a defence (the knife wielding Canadians no doubt just had their registered firearms confiscated not too long ago) against yet another wave of U.S. manifest destiny.
Anyhoo, I was walking down lovely 17 Ave. Calgary on my way to work this morning and it struck me odd that there was a lack of activity on this hip-inner city stroll that has been incorrectly compared to rue St. Catherines and Yonge Street: Just where are all the shopkeeps and mucky-mucks? Heck, even the bums seemed to be sleeping in. I correlate this with my morning wake-up radio show, whose lovely sounding traffic girl remarked “every 10 minutes on the one” that there were no accidents, traffic congestion or stalls to speak of in this burgeoning cosmopolitan centre.
Canada Day was yesterday, yet my sources in the blue-collar community have told me that a choice was given (life, as I’ve been told, is all about choices, is it not?) to work the Thursday and take today off, or to take Canada Day off and come in to the shop on Friday. Being 5 months removed from the toils and tribulations of a man who makes his money with his muscle, I would concur that this is not something new and long-weekends were voted for in abundance. But being new to the exploits and politics of the white-collar world I suppose I expected to see a bustling Calgary business core this morning. But does a long-weekend mean more to Canadians than the day we have designated to celebrate our independence? Having lived and travelled throughout those United States just south of the 49th parallel I must report that such rationalized patriotism would not be tolerated.
Which brings me (thankfully) to my next and last point. Last Sunday, I was counted among the 30 odd thousand fans who attended the Stampeder-Alouettes football match. In a fit of unbridled patriotism the staff working the doors to McMahon stadium enthusiastically handed out little Canadian flags to the good people in attendance. “Maybe Shelia Copps will be singing the national anthem,” I wondered to myself. Alas, time told that was not the case.
As the game wore on and the Alouettes successfully began to lay the smack down on the Stamps, my attention diverted away from the field to the stands itself. I noticed hundreds of these little flags gracing the cement floor of the bleachers, along with all the spilt beer, chewing gum and excess nacho cheese. Unfortunate, but again I say you would never see such disrespect for a flag in America nor I suspect Mexico nor as say Croatia nor Germany. Maybe because those countries actually fought for their independence, whereas we Canadians were thrown a bone from Great Britain once they figured they had all the fur they needed? Was it not our first Prime Minister who ran with this British style of governance and then gave it to us making so bold as to claim the West will be Canada’s crown colony? Now, as a Westerner it seems to me that these reports of patriotism-gone-bad maybe stem from this laid-back Canadian attitude. Oh well, since nobody else is here this morning maybe I’ll just go and do my Canadian duty and hit the pub, because I... am... Canadian.
Posted by Cyril Doll on July 2, 2004 | Permalink
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Cyril Doll on Canada Day celebrations in Calgary. Which is today, of course. (Only in Canada do we work on our national holiday, if it means trading it for a long weekend.) Last Sunday, I was counted among the... [Read More]
Tracked on 2004-07-02 12:06:54 PM
In the States, if you got tired of holding a little flag, it would go in your pocket or purse. However, even with today's horrible manners, it is almost unthinkable that you would put any flag on the ground, even a cheesy 99-cent thin nylon one. This is inculcated at an early age and never ends. What would the guy on the other side of you think? That you'd been raised in a barn? A couple of nacho "cheese"-covered flags would be grounds for a fight - or clear evidence of active French subversion . . .
Posted by: Meg in Dallas | 2004-07-02 12:58:42 PM
As a fellow Calgarian, the reason is simple......there is no great love for this entity known as Canada....especially in Alberta....
We do not feel connected........and many of us are downright hostile to Canada........I am not proud of the Canadian flag in the least....however, I am proud of the Albertan Flag.....if I choose to ever have a flag pole in my backyard, it will be this flag that will fly high!
Posted by: Albertadude | 2004-07-02 6:20:30 PM
In some farmyards and many businesses close to the Saskatchewan/US border, you'll see both the Canadian and American flags flying.
Posted by: Kate | 2004-07-02 6:43:30 PM
From Kingston, Ont., east along the Saint Lawrence
River to Cornwall, Ont., and farther East, one sees many US & Canadian flags on the same flag pole. Homes and businesses fly both flags. The Red Ensign and the Union Jack are also seen.
Posted by: gg | 2004-07-02 7:09:07 PM
It is better for Albertans to fly the Stars and Stripes than the Maple Leaf.
The Easterners don't care about anything but the 3 P's - property, privilege, and profit.
We should start by removing the Maple Leaf flag from public display at government buildings - and removing pictures of monarchy and federal officials.
Then rename Alberta as "The Commonwealth of Alberta", like the official titles of the states of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia.
In fact, speaking of Virginia, ALberta should adopt the image of a man standing over a fallen king, like that of the Virginia flag. Instead of a king, the figure should like like Trudeau *May God curse him*.
The Premier should be retitled "Governor".
July 1 should be "Alberta Day", as it was the day Alberta became under Canadian rule (without regard to the people, I might add - but to the Easterners, we're not people.)
July 4 should be an official but not statutory holiday that honors the peace, co-operation and prosperity of the North American continent. Too bad if the Easterners won't like it.
I wish that all the Easterners currently invading Alberta would just leave and go home to Toronto.
Posted by: Scott | 2004-07-02 8:24:42 PM
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