I’ve been worried lately that some of my followers might think I’m anti-American. It started a couple of months ago when I made a tongue-in-cheek joke about how “you can tell” when people are Americans. I didn’t say it but I have heard it said. In reality the only way you can tell if someone is American is if they have an accent.
About a month later, we had a local ‘incident’ when hundreds of Americans on floats were blown across the St. Clair River and had to be rescued. I used the story in “One Liner Wednesday” so I could use Mayor Bradley’s quote; “You can’t legislate IQ levels”.
It didn’t even enter my mind that implied Americans were less intelligent than Canadians. This event runs every year just by word-of-mouth, it’s not organized by anyone taking responsibility, it’s on a major shipping route and its dangerous. It’s something young (but not always) drunken people think sounds like fun. But that doesn’t have anything to do with being American. We Canadians can out-stupid/drunk Americans any day of the week. Our beer is stronger!
My ex-husband was American but I don’t hold that against Americans. On the contrary; I traveled around the States many, many times and found us all to be alike, with only surface cultural differences. I’ve been to many different countries and found humans are the same everywhere in the world. We all have some good people. We all have some assholes. We all have some racists and we all have some stupid drunken people.
The most interesting difference is in our history. When American was the Wild, Wild West, Canada was a Dominion with laws enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They upheld the law to the far ends of Canada and it’s North.
America was still expanding at this time so it was more or less anarchy. They had better weather and more people. The army could barely rule the vast expanse that was being ‘settled’. Guns ruled and the strongest survived.
That’s how we were stereo-typed as straight-laced English types while Americans were rebels; wild and adventurous.
We Canadians take a lot of ribbing in the media and TV shows but we love it! It’s like we finally got noticed by the Football Captain. In the past, Americans knew very little about us when we knew everything about them. That’s because our media was all from America; TV, radio and magazines. When I was young there were only American TV stations. We were too far from Toronto and closer to Detroit.
Better Home and Gardens, Seventeen, Reader’s Digest….. these were our social guides. Nothing was Canadian. We didn’t have much of an identity of our own. Everything we wanted was in America.
Then came Pierre Elliot Trudeau who made us proud to be Canadian. (We made his son, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister just because we loved his Dad so much!) We got our own TV stations. Now we have Canadian TV shows that air in The States. Our musicians who “make it” in America will confess they are Canadian because now its cool. Americans are starting to get to know us better.
You many not know this, America, but the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) makes sure we don’t get too “Americanized”. We have to have a large percentage of “Canadian Content” aired on our TV stations. Every American show you see will have one Canadian actor, or writer or a reference to something Canadian during the show. If they don’t, it can’t be aired in Canada.
(If this interests you here is their mandate;)http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/cancon/mandate.htm
I love that The United States of America came into being as a whole, new concept; that a country could be ruled by the people and for the people. That we can strive for Liberty, Justice and Freedom for all. That everyone has the right to pursue happiness and feel safe. I hope America can uphold those ideals.
We had a little fun with these American rafters;
With the possibility of Trump or Clinton becoming president, the residents of Port Huron, Michigan have fled their homeland in makeshift rafts to seek asylum in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The Canadian coast guard rounded up the refugees and sent them packing back to the US with some stern warnings to “sort shit out”.