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Intolerance in Canada???
September 22, 2005 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Despite our predominantly post-modern society in Canada, there are still pockets of ignorance and intolerance. The City of Surrey a very suburban suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, is pretty much the capital of Canada when it comes to this. A high school (ages 13-18) was rehearsing to perform "The Laramie Project" - a play about the murder of an American student Matthew Shephard (who was gay) and tolerance when the Surrey School Board pulled the plug on it. The play had recently been performed in a high school in a smaller, but less rednecky suburb, Mission. This is the same school board that tried to ban two excellent books teaching children tolerance for their friends that may have two dads or two mums. The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada. Perhaps a play of this nature is appropriate for high school students? Whaddya think?
posted by SSinVan (65 comments total)

 
As a Canadian, I resent being called post-modern.
posted by duck at 10:39 AM on September 22, 2005


Are you sure "post-modern" is the term you want to use here?
posted by delmoi at 10:50 AM on September 22, 2005


Canada, get over yourselves.
posted by cusack at 10:51 AM on September 22, 2005


Despite our predominantly post-modern society in Canada, there are still pockets of ignorance and intolerance.

*rolls eyes* sigh.

I hope you meant your naivete to be sarcasm. We are talking about Canada here right? The only place this Alabama boy has ever still seen Sambo figurines not only sold openly in stores, but prominently displayed in homes much like beanie baby collections.

Now I'm not saying that Canada is somehow worse than the US, but I'm am saying give me a break.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:55 AM on September 22, 2005


I don't get it, bigotry against homosexuals bad, bigotry against rednecks good? Weird.

What a rediculous post. The play contains PROFANITY. I'm as liberal as anyone, but I don't think it's appropritae for 12 and 13 year olds to perform a play with profanity. And it's a total red herring the whole "it's performed in 1500 high schools" arguement. Yeah, it's been performmed in high schools, by seniors, not by kids just out of elementary school.

It's almost like there's an agenda involved.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:56 AM on September 22, 2005


Mission is much more redneck than Surrey and can scarcely be considered a suburb of Vancouver, given that it's 69 km away. Even Surrey can scarcely be considered a suburb of Vancouver anymore; it is the fastest-growing city in the country and it's interesting how few people in Surrey ever go to Vancouver.

My grandmother's care home is in Surrey. I was chatting with one of her nurses just after I moved to Vancouver; she lived in Surrey and hadn't been to Vancouver in more than ten years.

Anyhow.

The play was banned not because of its gay themes, but because of inappropriate language. The Vancouver Sun this morning describes other gay-themed arts functions that went off without a hitch recently in Surrey, and the kafuffle about the kids books is long over.

I don't see this as being an anti-gay issue in the slightest.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:57 AM on September 22, 2005


First of all, I think it's odd that you equate "suburban" with "redneck," but maybe things are different up there (I'm American).

As to the issue, well, in my opinion 99% of the crap that goes on in the world today is due to people having opinions, and this case is no exception. You wrote that "the Surrey School Board pulled the plug," which means only that people on the Surrey School Board hold the opinion that homophobia is not necessarily bad. It is unfortunate that people with such backward views hold positions of power, but that's life.

As far as the play being appropriate for high schoolers, I'd have to agree with the author(?), who was quoted as saying something like homophobia is basically learned at that age and so putting the play on might be a good way to stop it before it starts.
posted by scratch at 11:02 AM on September 22, 2005


I hope you meant your naivete to be sarcasm. We are talking about Canada here right? The only place this Alabama boy has ever still seen Sambo figurines not only sold openly in stores, but prominently displayed in homes much like beanie baby collections.

Just for the record, I'm Canadian-born, and I have never seen a Little Black Sambo figurine anywhere in my entire life. The most I've heard about the book is that it sometimes got mentioned in my publishing program, or in children's literature classes in university, and then the reference made everyone give a well-bred shudder.
posted by orange swan at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2005


I don't think it's appropritae for 12 and 13 year olds to perform a play with profanity

Absolutely! Why, before you know it we'd... we'd have 12 AND 13 YEAR OLDS THAT SWEAR ROUTINELY! Maybe even in a non-artistic situation! Maybe... *gasp!*... even in the home and on the street! And that would surely be unthinkable. Society as we know it would crumble into a sort of swirling anarchic dust of immorality and casual rudery. I'm certainly grateful that when I was 12 and 13 years old no impure words ever assailed my ears or eyes and they certainly never passed my innocent lips.

Hmmm. On the other hand, maybe that was why my classmates were always calling me a fucking twatspastic.

I'm sorry, I'm rambling again. I miss my teddy.
posted by Decani at 11:04 AM on September 22, 2005


Absolutely! Why, before you know it we'd... we'd have 12 AND 13 YEAR OLDS THAT SWEAR ROUTINELY! Maybe even in a non-artistic situation! Maybe... *gasp!*... even in the home and on the street! And that would surely be unthinkable. Society as we know it would crumble into a sort of swirling anarchic dust of immorality and casual rudery. I'm certainly grateful that when I was 12 and 13 years old no impure words ever assailed my ears or eyes and they certainly never passed my innocent lips.


Nice one. If you fail to grasp the difference in societal behavioral standards between a formal educational setting, and kids hanging around out front of 7-11, you probably are present at a fair number of uncomfortable social situations.

You're probably alot of fun at a wedding though.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:12 AM on September 22, 2005


Mission is much more redneck than Surrey and can scarcely be considered a suburb of Vancouver, given that it's 69 km away. Even Surrey can scarcely be considered a suburb of Vancouver anymore; it is the fastest-growing city in the country and it's interesting how few people in Surrey ever go to Vancouver.

Wow! Who are those tens of thousands of people on the Westcoast express, SkyTrain, and Highways 1 and 7 every day? Isn't that the definition of Suburb - the fact that people that live there, commute to the "City" for their work and entertainment? I would argue that Surrey is scarcely even a city. Its a bedroom community. and although they have been trying for a decade to develop a downtown core, its remains pawnshop, hookers and porn shops.
posted by SSinVan at 11:15 AM on September 22, 2005


she lived in Surrey and hadn't been to Vancouver in more than ten years.

That's just well... sad.

There's a standard joke in the real estate market in the Vancouver area. Buying in [insert any locality] means never having to say you're Surrey.
posted by scheptech at 11:16 AM on September 22, 2005


Strachan said the play's content included sex, violence and foul language, which was considered inappropriate for elementary school siblings of students at the high school and grandparents who would likely be in the audience.

Hee, hee...I love the part where we have to protect grandparents from sex, violence and profanity.

Agreed, however, that I wouldn't want small children watching a play filled with violence, sex, and profanity and the school wanted to put on a play for the students' families, many of which include young children. If they want to promote tolerance let them find (or better yet, write) such a play that's not filled with material inappropriate for small children, or let them out on this play as a separate event instead of as part of the pre-Christmas play which is meant to be a family production.

Oh, and I don't know what a black sambo figurine is. Though (what I presume to be) the more general point that of course there's intolerance in Canada is obviously correct. Where did anyone get the idea that there wasn't.
posted by duck at 11:17 AM on September 22, 2005


If you fail to grasp the difference in societal behavioral standards between a formal educational setting, and kids hanging around out front of 7-11...

No, I'm very well aware of the differences, thanks.

you probably are present at a fair number of uncomfortable social situations.

Not as many as I'd like, sadly. Hey... isn't there an NYC meetup on Sunday?

You're probably alot of fun at a wedding though.

Sir, I assure you that I am a wild, pulsating bag of fun and ribald jollity on any conceivable occasion,.
posted by Decani at 11:22 AM on September 22, 2005


First of all, I think it's odd that you equate "suburban" with "redneck," but maybe things are different up there (I'm American).

Yes, things are the reverse in most Canadian cities, the closer you live to the downtown core, the more livable, desirable, and expensive. We're a pretty urban bunch - Vancouver in particular has a downtown density second only to Manhattan.
posted by SSinVan at 11:31 AM on September 22, 2005


Keith Talent: It's almost like there's an agenda involved.

Oh, there most certainly is an agenda here.
posted by illovich at 11:39 AM on September 22, 2005


I hope you meant your naivete to be sarcasm. We are talking about Canada here right? The only place this Alabama boy has ever still seen Sambo figurines not only sold openly in stores, but prominently displayed in homes much like beanie baby collections.

Well, that's mighty strange.

I married an Alabama girl and the only place I have ever seen Samba merchandise for sale was in Alabama antique stores (which I assume were proudly displayed like beanie baby collections on the mantles of Alabama homes). I've -never- seen such sold here in BC, or in Alberta, or in Ontario...all of which I'm fairly familiar with.

So...I call 'bullshit'.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:40 AM on September 22, 2005


Oh, there most certainly is an agenda here.

That version was funnier than the one posted yesterday.

One has to wonder however what motivates someone to alert the media when what they wanted to do at work was quashed by the boss. Most people would commisetrate with their friends over a beer after work about how their boss is a homophobe asshole, the calling in the media thing does kinda boogle the mind.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:47 AM on September 22, 2005


Sambo figurines

Did you turn it over to see the MADE IN U.S.A. stamp?
posted by dobbs at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2005


Isn't this story of the Matthew Shephard murder somewhat controversial anyway? There were reports printed after the trial that greatly altered the perceived nature of the crime.
posted by turner13 at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2005


I had no idea what 'Sambo' was until I googled around a bit.

Now I'm slightly dead inside.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:08 PM on September 22, 2005


How so, turner13?
posted by orange swan at 12:08 PM on September 22, 2005


Wow! Who are those tens of thousands of people on the Westcoast express, SkyTrain, and Highways 1 and 7 every day?

Wow! Who pissed in your cornflakes?

Surrey, maybe. Mission, not on your life.

Anti-gay agenda, not even close.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:16 PM on September 22, 2005


Surrey!
posted by ori at 12:22 PM on September 22, 2005


I had no idea what 'Sambo' was until I googled around a bit.

Now I'm slightly dead inside.


Why?

Sambo is great. What could better illustrate our collective ability for tolerance and to change ignorant attitudes over a relatively short period of time. I'm 36 and I vividly remember eating at Sambos, good pancakes too. When I was a kid there was nothing wrong with little black Sambo. If my kids said it today, they'd get a time out and a talk from dad.

I think it's very important to see the mementos and contemplate how they were accepted not that long ago. They should also illustrate how homophobia will also be eradicated in short order. I just don't know if a play with 13 year old actors swearing on stage is the best way to get there.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:25 PM on September 22, 2005


Keith Talent, thank you for sharing this:

I'm as liberal as anyone, but ... blah agenda blah...

A true classic of its genre. Why do you think 15-year-old kids should not have profanity in their literature? Do you think they never swear? Have you ever read Shakespeare? Do you think Shakespeare should be banned from schools?

Clearly, profanity is not the issue. The issue is kids being taught that it's OK to be gay. Some people do have a real problem with that. Obviously, not you, because you're as liberal as anyone.

And yes, isn't it terrible when the media starts exposing homophobic public education officials - I think I can see exactly why that boggles your mind.
posted by cleardawn at 12:26 PM on September 22, 2005


the play they'll be performing instead is The Crucible, in case anyone was wondering.
posted by heeeraldo at 12:28 PM on September 22, 2005


http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=277685&page=1
posted by turner13 at 12:31 PM on September 22, 2005


For the record, those of you who have read the article will see that the school board expresses no issue with the high school students using profanity in a play. I'm sure they're fully aware that kids swear and I'm sure they're putting their kids through the torture that is The Catcher in the Rye. Not to worry, I'm sure the school is exposing high school students to plenty of profanity, and sex, and violence.

Their issue is with profanity sex and violence in a play performed at an event where the intended audicence will include small children (I assume we're talking as young as 4 or 5 here). Most parents will not want to bring small kids to such a play. Since the play is being put on for parents to bring such children to, it's not an appropriate choice.
posted by duck at 12:32 PM on September 22, 2005


post-modernism is imaginary intellectualism, AKA ignorant wordy dribble. Science got over its excessive reductionism long before the humanities ever found out that scientists had been reductionist. Today, we have a bunch of "scholars" in the humanities trying to imagine away the fact that thier subjects are now of miniscule importance realitive to the next animal genome sequencing project.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:33 PM on September 22, 2005


Cleardawn, we're talking about 12-year-olds, not 15-year-olds. As previously explained, gay-themed arts functions have gone on without a hitch in Surrey schools recently and gay-themed elementary-school books, after a number of battles, are in schools in Surrey.

And, yes, I think that there are more appropriate plays for 12-year-olds than ones that use the word "fuck" repeatedly.

Does the school board have a history of homophobia? Yes. Is it why the play was banned? Possibly. Is the language in the play an equally valid reason to ban the play for 12-year-olds? Fuck, yes. We don't show R-rated movies to middle-school students, either. By law, they can't even get into the theaters to see an R-rated movie in BC.

This is a non-issue.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:34 PM on September 22, 2005


I would also say that painting Canada as Sambo Land is a bit rich. The only time I've ever seen such things for sale was a few years ago when I visited Tennessee. As I recall, even the Loretta Lynn Museum had racist souvenirs for sale. I was pretty shocked at the time.

Now if you're talking Golliwogs on the other hand...
posted by stinkycheese at 12:49 PM on September 22, 2005


I think I went to Little Black Slambo '91, in Medicine Hat. SNFU and Bauhaus were there, and we all had a great time...
posted by Darkman at 1:04 PM on September 22, 2005


Are you sure "post-modern" is the term you want to use here?

Yes, actually. Believe it or not, postmodernity actually has a relevant important meaning in political philosophy. Canada is a damn fine example of a society that at many levels, actually celebrates its lack of, (or weak,) traditional metanarratives.

It really angers me both when people misuse the term, (not here, but elsewhere,) and when people dismiss it as some kind of pseudo-intellectual jargon-speak. (Usually because of the abusers of the term.)

I'll stop ranting now, sorry.
posted by generichuman at 1:21 PM on September 22, 2005


I'll also apologize for my misplacement of commas in that post. It's been a long, long day.
posted by generichuman at 1:22 PM on September 22, 2005


If memory serves the "little black Sambo" featured in the "Sambo's" pancake restaurants that were once common in the US was from India. Not meaning to excuse anything here, just pointing out that the "Sambo in the Jungle" story was not about African Americans.
posted by telstar at 1:25 PM on September 22, 2005


Post-modern from Wikipedia:

"The philosopher Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard understood modernity as a cultural condition characterized by constant change in the pursuit of progress, and post-modernity to represent the culmination of this process, where constant change has become a status quo and the notion of progress, obsolete."

In Canada's case (and Sweden's and Norway's), the word progress refers to that of a social nature.
posted by SSinVan at 1:35 PM on September 22, 2005



Wow! Who are those tens of thousands of people on the Westcoast express, SkyTrain, and Highways 1 and 7 every day?

Wow! Who pissed in your cornflakes?

Surrey, maybe. Mission, not on your life.

Not to split hairs here, but you do know the West Coast Express has a terminus in Mission, right?
posted by trillion at 1:55 PM on September 22, 2005


Not to split hairs here, but you do know the West Coast Express has a terminus in Mission, right?

Yes, I understand that. I don't buy that this makes Mission a suburb of Vancouver anymore than the oft-repeated claim that frickin' Nanaimo is a suburb of Vancouver because of the hundreds of people who live there and take the cat to work and back every day. After all, Nanaimo's closer to Van and the commute can be shorter, despite the fact that the Strait of Georgia separates the two cities.

Mission, unlike Surrey, isn't even part of the GVRD. I wouldn't even call Aldergrove a suburb of Vancouver. Or Whistler.

Mission, Aldergrove and points east and north are part of an entirely separate district, the Fraser Valley Regional District.

And the primary reason why I don't consider Surrey to be a suburb is because it has become a city in its own right. It's like calling Oakland a suburb of San Francisco.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:08 PM on September 22, 2005


You know you're a Vancouverite when you argue as to which communities consitute suburbs and which are not. (And FWIW, everything between Squamish and Chilliwack is a suburb.)
posted by Keith Talent at 2:21 PM on September 22, 2005


I've got five bucks that says that any random urban planner working for the GVRD would disagree with you, Keith. And another five bucks that it'd take him at least fifteen seconds to stop laughing before he did so.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:00 PM on September 22, 2005


Hell probably, my only qualification is I've played a little Sim-city. Regardless of what some bureacrat may say, as a citizen my definition works for me though.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:28 PM on September 22, 2005


Most progressive urban planners that I know say that the whole Georgia Basin should be under the control of a central planning agency - expecially from an environmental (air, water, sustainable development) point of view.

Like you said, people are commuting from Nanaimo, the Sunshine Coast, Squamish, Chilliwack to get to Vancouver everyday. (people who make poor choices)
posted by SSinVan at 3:55 PM on September 22, 2005


Anyone who has been to Surrey will know that it is populated largely by Indian immigrants. Sikhs mainly. Calling Surrey redneck comes across as incredibly racist to me.
Anyway, some people think that a play about murder is not appropriate for schools, and I'm with 'em.
posted by Osmanthus at 4:11 PM on September 22, 2005


"Despite our predominantly post-modern society in Canada ..."

Do not underestimate the high regard in which Canadians hold themselves. They are taught from grade school by anti-American teachers that Canada is morally superior to the United States because it has collectivist health care, few guns and no military.
It's crap of course but it's the bilge they are taught to swallow.
posted by Fracmaster at 4:33 PM on September 22, 2005


Nice Osmanthus, resort to that.

Have a look at this website posted earlier. The issues in Surrey are not limited to any particular ethnic group.

The Sikhs in Surrey may actually have more serious issues. They are known across Canada and probably in India to be the most conservative in the country.
posted by SSinVan at 4:37 PM on September 22, 2005


Fracmaster, its not our schoolteachers that reinforce anti-Americanism.

Anyway, if you are looking for freedom (not "freedom"), and the American Dream - its north of 49.
posted by SSinVan at 4:52 PM on September 22, 2005


I am a lifelong Canadian and happy to live here north of the 49th parallel. Just sick of our moral vanity.
posted by Fracmaster at 4:55 PM on September 22, 2005


Do not underestimate the high regard in which Canadians hold themselves.

Seconded. As a non-white who grew up in Canada, in my experience, Canada doesn't have much of a problem with racism. But there's two major exceptions: racism against aboriginal people, and anti-Americanism.

I suspect the Canadian tendency towards anti-Americanism has been greatly exacerbated by the Bush administration.

They are taught from grade school by anti-American teachers --

Not in my personal experience. I don't ever recall any of my teachers ever discussing the US or contrasting the US with Canada. In fact I don't remember ever discussing this with anyone, outside the Internet. It seems to be an unspoken assumption (if anything, it's stronger for being unspoken).

My guess is that it's the US media, and the US tendency to be self-critical. We hear a lot about US problems, we contrast that with what we see around us, and we think, at least Canada isn't as bad as the US, eh?

One example: most Canadians know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I would guess that most Canadians don't know that Canadian pilots took part in the firebombing of Dresden.
posted by russilwvong at 5:00 PM on September 22, 2005


I somewhat agree with your analysis russilwvong.

The book Fire and Ice boasts tonnes of empirical evidence on how different we are on key social issues.
posted by SSinVan at 5:19 PM on September 22, 2005


As a former resident of North Delta, which is directly adjacent to Surrey I can share with you the main reason for the "conservative" attitude that is prevalent in Surrey. The cause is that there is a majority population of East Indians many of whom hold tenants of their religion(s) quite close. One tenant of one of the most popular religions is that that homosexuality is evil or something to that extent. This issue has come up a few times from this community in the news. For example, most immigrant populations in Canada tend to lean leftwards on most issues although this population tends to lean rightwards because of their attachment to principles of their conservative religion.
posted by bhouston at 6:22 PM on September 22, 2005


I suspect the Canadian tendency towards anti-Americanism has been greatly exacerbated by the Bush administration.

I've yet to hear actual "anti-Americanism" from anyone. We do freely criticize the Bush administration (this is an important distinction), and wonder how so many of you could have voted for him.

But then even here Bush has his defenders, and we had our own close shave last fall when Stephen Harper's Conservatives did not take power by a frighteningly narrow margin. He's a smart version of Bush, so it could have gotten really ugly.
posted by orange swan at 6:29 PM on September 22, 2005


It's crap of course but it's the bilge they are taught to swallow.

Imaginary, but even if it weren't, I can't see what you suggest comparing unfavorably to the 'America #1!' rah-rah group masturbation the yanks are so good at.

I'm no apologist for misplaced Canadian smugness, mind -- I left more than a decade ago, and may never return. There's much I love and much I do not about my country.

On-topic, a bit, we Vancouverites used to make redneck jokes about Surrey 20 years ago. There's nothing new there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:44 PM on September 22, 2005


I've yet to hear actual "anti-Americanism" from anyone.

I'm not talking about Canadians saying, "I hate Americans." I'm talking about Canadians feeling that they're morally and intellectually superior to Americans. And I'm saying that this feeling has been strengthened by Bush's presidency.

We do ... wonder how so many of you could have voted for him.

Exactly.
posted by russilwvong at 10:25 PM on September 22, 2005


If only had they refused to allow the play because it is the shallow creation of actors with journalistic desires but scant experience participating in a media orgy following the death of Matthew Shepherd, and their resulting "project" does little to add any new information to our inderstanding of Shepherd's murder.

Then I would agree, and applaud their ability to get that long sentence out without gasping for air.
posted by maxsparber at 11:36 PM on September 22, 2005


I'm talking about Canadians feeling that they're morally and intellectually superior to Americans. And I'm saying that this feeling has been strengthened by Bush's presidency.

We do ... wonder how so many of you could have voted for him.

Exactly.
posted by russilwvong at 1:25 AM EST on September 23 [!]


Anyway you look at it, that was one shitty choice that USians made. It's hardly smug to call a spade a spade.
posted by orange swan at 6:49 AM on September 23, 2005


Anyway you look at it, that was one shitty choice that USians made.

Sorry, I was unclear: I wasn't saying that your comment was a sign of smugness. I agree completely, I wasn't being ironic. I think Bush's only rival for "worst US president ever" is Warren Harding. (Not necessarily the worst possible president, though; that would be someone like Caligula.)

I'm just saying that given how badly Bush has governed, it's natural for Canadians to think that something must be seriously wrong with the average American voter. So his being president is reinforcing the existing Canadian feeling of superiority.

The most innocuous interpretation of Bush's re-election I can think of is that the people who voted for Bush trust him, and the Republicans in general, to make the right decisions; more so than they trust the Democrats. And they think all the criticism that Bush has been getting is just politics, so they ignore it.
posted by russilwvong at 11:06 AM on September 23, 2005


Do not underestimate the high regard in which Canadians hold themselves.

True, dat.

They are taught from grade school by anti-American teachers that Canada is morally superior to the United States because it has collectivist health care, few guns and no military. It's crap of course but it's the bilge they are taught to swallow.

Complete and utter bollocks, that. Why on earth would you write something so blatantly untrue? You must know you are going to be called on it.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:07 AM on September 23, 2005


russilwvong writes "I'm talking about Canadians feeling that they're morally and intellectually superior to Americans. And I'm saying that this feeling has been strengthened by Bush's presidency."

Wait, are you saying Canadians aren't morally and intellectually superior to Americans?

There are lots of things Americans do better than any one else. I can't imagine anyone else getting thousands of spectators to a high school football game. And if you want a country full of brown people bombed into the stone age the USA is your goto country. However I can't think of any metric that has Americans coming out ahead on moral grounds (geez the US still has the death penalty and they are not afraid to use it, even on minors) and few on intellectual grounds (mostly stuff like numbers of Ph.D.s per capita). They've even got regional goverments writing sexual discrimination into state constitutions. And don't me started on crap like PATRIOT, GitMo, rampent corporatism, low health care standards, etc.

On preview ditto the fishes.
posted by Mitheral at 11:15 AM on September 23, 2005


I can't imagine anyone else getting thousands of spectators to a high school football game.

But for the rest of your comment, I'd have thought this was a good thing...?
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2005


Wait, are you saying Canadians aren't morally and intellectually superior to Americans?

I think we're incommensurable.

The Americans have a great many historic achievements to their credit: establishing a liberal democracy, after winning their independence from the superpower of the day; helping to defeat Imperial Germany in World War I, and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II (yes, I know they were late); containing the Soviet Union, and rebuilding Western Europe and Japan, during the Cold War. Not to mention their contributions to science and technology.

Some Americans I admire: Fred Cuny. Norman Borlaug. George F. Kennan. Fred Soper.

Yes, the Americans have lots of problems. So do we.

I think our moral judgments are best applied to ourselves, not to other people.
posted by russilwvong at 1:08 PM on September 23, 2005


I think most Canadians realise that we are not moral superheroes. We only appear so by way of contrast with our neighbours to the south.

Let's face it: GW Bush seems hellbent on destroying civilization. And he was elected by American voters.

As stated many times in this thread, that gives a lot of folks elsewhere in the world serious pause. It's not just Canada that's giving Americans the cocked eyebrow since the last election.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:19 PM on September 23, 2005


I'm an American living in Canada:

I've yet to hear any true anti-American rhetoric. What I do hear is squarely aimed at our current political situation (Bush, Iraq, etc.). This is even around people who don't know I'm an American (and before you say they know I'm an American - I have been passing as Canadian, accent-wise, for quite some time). I have, on occasion, had to make it very clear that it's not my fault and not my choice.

I've never heard any Canadian saying Canada is better than the U.S. but I've gotten the feeling that they think so. But that may be, in part, my own prejudice for Canada. Yes, in a lot of social issues, I believe Canada is better. Sue me.

Surrey vs. Mission:
I can see where Keith Talent is coming from - it (Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley) is an urban sprawl with bits of farmland interspersed with Vancouver at the epicenter. In the same vein that would mean all of Southern California (from San Diego to Santa Barbara) is a suburb of Los Angeles. However, solid-one-love is correct. Most towns and cities here do have their own central core and are legitimately separate from Vancouver.
posted by deborah at 2:23 PM on September 23, 2005


sonofsamiam"But for the rest of your comment, I'd have thought this was a good thing...?"

Well if you wanted to have a contest on who could reliably get thousands out to a school event I'm thinking Americans would win. It was just an example of something, good or bad, Americans excel at.

stinkycheese writes "And he was elected by American voters. "

Twice. It's the twice part that blows most of us away leaving aside the dynastic implecations of him being elected the first time. I'm not worried for the US though unless Jeb gets the nod in 2008. That would be truely disturbing.
posted by Mitheral at 3:36 PM on September 23, 2005


Oh God, Jeb getting the Oval Office...

Yes, that sound you hear is me screaming.
posted by orange swan at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2005


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