Patting Canada on the back

Jenny - posted on 01/29/2011 ( 26 moms have responded )

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British newspaper salutes Canada . .
- Kevin Myers , 'The Sunday Telegraph' LONDON :

Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops are deployed in the region.

And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the world, as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.. It seems that Canada 's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.

Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent with the United States , and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.

For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions: It seemed to be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it deserved.

Yet it's purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada's entire population of seven million people served in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.

Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it's unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular memory as somehow or other the work of the 'British.'

The Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlantic against U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.

Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had the previous time.

Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which the United States had clearly not participated - a touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter, Mike Weir and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British.

It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them. The Canadians proudly say of themselves - and are unheard by anyone else - that 1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the world's peacekeeping forces.

Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth - in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia , in which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan?

Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac , Canada repeatedly does honourable things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains something of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past year more grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

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Krista - posted on 01/29/2011

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I love that article.

I guess that's why I was so pissed off when George W. Bush scorned and ignored Canada for not entering into the war in Iraq.

Basically, to us, 9/11 was like some asshole sucker-punching our big brother. So of course we were going to leap into the fray and help out.

Then, in all the chaos, while we're getting pounded on, we look around and our brother is nowhere to be found. And then we get a text from him saying, "Over at the bar next door. This guy's looking at me funny, so I'm gonna kick his ass. You in? You better be in, because we're family!"

So when the U.S. decided to go to war in Iraq, that loud sound you heard from up north was the sound of an entire country saying, "Are you fucking KIDDING me?"

Jenn - posted on 01/30/2011

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@Meghan - I don't think we're pushovers, but no we're not as tough as Americans - and I thank God for that! I do not want to be an American and if someone foolishly makes that assumption they are quickly corrected. If you travel internationally and want the best treatment, be sure to sew a Canadian Flag on your backpack so they know you're not American. I can identify plenty that makes me different than our southern neighbours. The word neighbour for one - how many other words are spelled improperly there? Lots. I think our health care system, while flawed, far outranks theirs. I have always found that Canada/Canadians are much more open, honest, friendly, and welcoming. As for economic strength - we are doing FAR better than the Americans and take a look at our dollar and employment rates.



Somehow this just seemed appropriate right now:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXtVrDPhH...

Isobel - posted on 01/29/2011

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Michael Buble, Pamela Anderson, Jim Carrey, Martin Short, John Candy, Leslie Neilson, Catherine Ohara, Ryan Reynolds, Kim Catrell, Will from Will & Grace...this list goes on and on.



and it was a Canadian who figured out how to survive the mustard gas attacks.



we invented the zipper, velcro, the light bulb (that one's a shocker), insulin, the gyroscope, the flight suit that fighter pilots wear, the rocket, the telephone, mapped the human brain...

Johnny - posted on 01/29/2011

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Canada has lost 154 soldiers in Afghanistan. Next to Denmark, we've lost the most per capita. Please remember when looking at the following statistics that Canada has 10% of the population of the US and half the population of the UK. Germany's population is 2 1/2 times that of Canada's.

Deployed:
United States – 98,000
United Kingdom – 10,500
Germany – 4,877
France – 4,000
Italy – 3,770
Canada – 2,913
Poland – 2,688
Turkey – 1,815
Romania – 1,664
Australia – 1,550
Spain – 1,505
Georgia – 924
Denmark – 750

Casualties:
USA: 1,391
UK: 350
Canada: 154
France: 53
Germany: 49
Denmark: 40
Italy: 36
Spain: 30
Netherlands: 25
Poland: 24
Australia: 21
Romania: 17
Norway: 9
Estonia: 8
Georgia: 5
Sweden: 5
Hungary: 4
Czech Republic: 3
Latvia: 3
Portugal: 2
South Korea: 2
Turkey: 2
Belgium: 1
Finland: 1
Jordan: 1
Lithuania: 1
New Zealand: 1
TOTAL: 2,237

Johnny - posted on 01/29/2011

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...the pacemaker, Java computer language, basketball, and not to be forgotten, the retractable beer carton handle, lol.

26 Comments

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Jenn - posted on 01/30/2011

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@Julianne - I know - I got totally distracted on youtube looking at some of them LOL!!!

[deleted account]

Meghan, why you bein' a debbie downer? I'm PROUD to be Canadian. I didn't realize that we were discussing our faults here!! ;)

Desiree - posted on 01/30/2011

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You may think that there is nothing that defines you from America, Well to all you Canadians out there thats where you are wrong. I am from Africa, and we can tell the difference when you speak. Your accent is different, your manners are different and you guys know how to spell correctly too. Just the way you say "Hey" tells us where you are from.

@ Jen really loved your 25 ways to know you're Canadian.

The best is it is all true. Very few people understand the little nuances that each english speaking Country has, the terms are interesting for me to hear, its wonderful.

As to what makes America so special well they are a country that knows how to sell ice to the Eskimo Its very good at selling itself and making it look like the best.

[deleted account]

Canada is so different from America... I think people say that when they dont know much about Canada, or have only been to down town Toronto, which has some parts with the American mentality.

Jenn - posted on 01/30/2011

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OK - I can't help but wonder now, after you mentioned that there's nothing to identify us apart from the Americans (which I totally disagree with), but it made me think: what identifies an American? I mean, you hear all the time about American pride, and how people are proud to be an American. Well, what does that mean to you? What makes you a proud American? Why are you proud of your country? Is it just too easy to jump on the bandwagon and shout from the hilltops "GO USA", or is there something that really stands out and makes you proud?

Jenn - posted on 01/30/2011

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25 SIGNS YOU MAY BE CANADIAN:

1. You're not offended by the term "HOMO MILK".

2. You understand the phrase "Could you pass me a serviette, I just dropped
my poutine, on the chesterfield."

3. You eat chocolate bars, not candy bars.

4. You drink Pop, not Soda.

5. You know that a Mickey and 24's mean, "party at the camp, eh!!!"

6. You don't care about the fuss with Cuba. It's a cheap place to go for
your holidays, with good cigars .

7. You know that a pike is a type of fish, not part of a highway.

8. You drive on a highway, not a freeway.

9. You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.

10. You know that Casey and Finnegan were not part of a Celtic musical
group.

11. You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.

12. You brag to Americans that; Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion & Mike
Myers are Canadians. ... also , Alex Trebec, David Foley, Matthew Perry etc.etc.

13. You know that the C.E.O. of American Airlines is a Canadian!

14. You know what a toque is.

15. You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

16. You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always
pronounced "Zed".

17. Your local newspaper covers the national news on 2 pages, but requires 6
pages for hockey.

18. You know that the four seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still
winter, and road work.

19. You know that when it's 25 degrees outside, it's a warm day.

20. You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.

21. You know how to pronounce and spell "Saskatchewan".

22. You perk up when you hear the theme song from 'Hockey Night in Canada'.

23. You are in grade 12, not the 12th grade.

24. "Eh?" is a very important part of your vocabulary, and is more polite
than, "Huh?"

25. You actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all of your
Canadian friends! Then you send them to your American friends just to
confuse them!

Desiree - posted on 01/29/2011

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I knew that Canada has always helped out. Sorry to those who are from the States but in my opion the best Actors and Actresses are not American, Canada makes some of the best Series along with Britain. But please remember this is a matter of choice I prefer British and Canadian shows. Not to much swearing and killing. Even Austraila has given Hollywood some of its best. Music the same.. but then again I prefer classical Micheal Buble being a favorite. Yes Canada has plenty to be proud of. It's the people who don't punt their worth to the world that in the end are better than the rest. Canada doesn't need to keep reasuring itself that its the best in the world sometimes its best that way. Then you are not a target for all the insane people in the world. I am not Canadian, but you really have a lot to be proud of. Congrats!!

Meghan - posted on 01/29/2011

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*Sigh* Canadians are push overs. Maybe if we stood up instead of bent over, this wouldn't be an issue. We don't have the resources and we don't have the economic strength (at this point.) We claim to have it all together, yet most of us can not identify what actually makes us different from our southern neighbors, we continue to elect government officials that we bitch about, and claim that we are peace keepers. Canadian government is JUST as corrupt as any other; there are immigration, health care, education, and social assistant issues here...very large ones at that.

Jenn - posted on 01/29/2011

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Canada - we're bigger and on top. If this were jail, you'd be our bitch.

Lacye - posted on 01/29/2011

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Screw Beiber! Give me some Ryan Reynolds any day of the week! Woo Hoo!

Mary - posted on 01/29/2011

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Perhaps this is ignorant of me, but, as an American, I guess I sort of think of Canada as "one of us". It's not a lack of respect, it's more...hmmm...I don't really view Canadians as "foreigners".

Before anyone gets offended or jumps down my thoat, please remember that I live in a country that is not only geographically large, but is also extremely diverse from state to state. Although Alabama, New York, Montana, Alaska, and California are all Americans, our cultures, dialects, and even state laws are not the same. It not far-fetched to say that people from the northernmost states are probably more alike with Canadians than they are with those residing in Texas or Arkansas.

Therefore, I often forget to think of her people as a separate entity. It's not that I was unaware that Canadian troops were involved in the clusterfuck that is the Middle East...I guess I just assumed her losses were on par with ours...just as tragic and worthy of respect and gratitude.

Perhaps Canada is just a bit wiser than the rest of the world...by not being so in-your-face, she still maintains her dignity and integrity, without being the object of hatred.

And just for the record....I wouldn't be so quick to lay claim to Justin Beiber, either!

[deleted account]

I come from a military family, most of them have been overseas in this war :( I wish the fighting would just end already..

Jenn - posted on 01/29/2011

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Love this and am going to repost - thanks for posting this! Only 3 replies I see and 1 didn't know about Michael J Fox being Canadian, and 1 didn't know we were/are in Afghanistan. Is it bad that I'm not shocked by this?

Lady Heather - posted on 01/29/2011

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I'm quite surprised people don't know we're in Afghanistan. I don't know why. I'm sure I can't name every country that's there. I've just had lots of friends over there and my brother in law was there for a year as a civilian government worker and it just seems like something people should know.

Sadly this list leaves out our most culturally significant pop icon - the Biebs.

Lacye - posted on 01/29/2011

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I did know that there were Canadian troops helping out in Afghanistan. But it is true, Canada does seem to be pushed to the side a lot. I didn't realize some of those actors were Canadian. It just never really mattered to me if they were or not.

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