Sunday, December 13, 2009

Boring Canadians?

A 1996 report from London claims that the English find Canadians boring when compared to Americans. The English as a people are too intelligent to indulge in such stereotyping. But, to the extent there may be people anywhere who believe we are boring, read on.

The United States of America was born in violent revolution, Canada in orderly progress. The American Civil War ranks as one of the most violent and bloody in all history, relative to the size of the combatant populations. Canadian civil unrest consisted mainly of skirmishes on street corners after the pitchfork-wielding rebels had emerged from the local tavern.

The American West was developed through violence. Homesteaders killed each other, vying for choice land. Cattle ranchers waged war with farmers. Known murderers roamed the streets. Occasionally, a sheriff proclaimed law and order. He was summarily shot. It took the U.S. cavalry and the vigilantes, with their potential for even greater violence, to control the situation.

In Canada, the North West Mounted Police assured that the rule of law preceded the settlers. When the time came for settlement, pioneers gathered at a predetermined place. From a hat, they drew numbers which described the land each was granted. No violence.

Peace, order and good government (originally peace, welfare and good government)still reflects our attitude of courtesy and non-violence. Whereas, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the right to bear arms birthed American gun culture.
All this bespeaks a people whose psyche appears to an outsider as fixated on violence. U.S. television and film industries have followed suit. 

Due South or a pillow fight with Ann of Green Gables is about as confrontational as our programming gets.

If it takes violence for a nation to be noticed, then world, please avert your eyes. You will notice us when Europe once again needs liberating from more self-inflicted mischief, or when the world cries out for peacekeepers.

When I see a map of the United States, I see it surrounded by police tape marked :"Crime scene".

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