Friday, June 29, 2007

The Great White Decline

Say what you want about David Amulet, but he’s certainly a man who celebrates diversity and appreciates other cultures. He may show it oddly—by mocking everyone equally, with the possible exception of the French—but there’s a lot of affection behind it. Or so he’d have you believe.

Among the many countries I respect is Canada. As America’s neighbor to the north, it holds a special place in my heart. Canada has given the world many things to be grateful for, including:

Mike Myers
Finger Eleven
Donald Sutherland
Michael J. Fox
Alexander Keith’s beer
William Shatner
The Guess Who
The phrase, “eh?”
Pamela Anderson

I could go on, but I won’t. It goes downhill from there, trust me.

Because my love for Canada runs so deep, I’m very disappointed in the news out this week about the country’s sad decline. According to Reuters, a recent poll indicates that more than half of Canadians have such a poor understanding of their homeland that they would fail the simple test given to potential immigrants. The results show a 33% decline in basic knowledge from a similar poll taken ten years ago.

Less than 5 percent could identify the three requirements a Canadian must meet to vote. I’m not Canadian, but I already know two of them: When waiting to vote, Canadians must (1) be polite to each other in line, and (2) wear a hockey jersey.

Only about 30 percent could identify the number of provinces and territories. My count may be off, too, but I’m guessing most Canadians forgot to include North Dakota, Maine, and the Gaza Strip.

And, sadly, only 8 percent knew that the Queen was officially Canada’s head of state. The poll didn’t say whether any respondents correctly identified the name of the Queen, which I’m smart enough to know is “Latifah.”

The most disturbing potential lack of Canadian self-awareness, however, didn’t even show up in the poll.

With global warming, it won’t be too long before Canada’s real estate becomes tropical. Soon, the Great White North will be the Great White Beach, a lush paradise containing Earth’s best weather. Do Canadians know they are about to become the destination of choice for the world’s jet set?

Probably. After all, Canadians like Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, and Céline Dion will be perfect for lounges at cheap resorts.


At June 29, 2007 3:14 PM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

I’m surprised as well that they didn’t know the head of state was Queen Latifah!

At June 29, 2007 3:34 PM, Blogger dragonflyfilly replied to my musings ...

Finger Eleven - YES! Donald Sutherland - some people don't believe me when i tell them he sat with me for two hours on a ferry ride to Nanaimo many many many years ago - he told me he was Donald Sutherland, the Doctor, not the Actor, he really had me going for awhile, but a week later, when i saw him filming a B-movie downtown, i KNEW that it was really he who i had been talking to!

I will be planting a row of paper Canadian Flags in my Balcony Planter for Canada Day on Monday.

cheers for now,

At June 29, 2007 3:37 PM, Blogger dragonflyfilly replied to my musings ...


e.u. i cannot STAND Avril Lavighn, or Celene; and by the way, we are ALREADY a destination choice of the world's jet setters, they just keep it secret.

At June 29, 2007 4:14 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

ahh a post about "american jr!" hahaha that's a simpsons reference

you forgot Alan Thicke come on now eh? I did a paper in college once on Canadians for a PR class, it was quite interesting because my prof was from Canada.

At June 29, 2007 4:36 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jeff: More of them probably guessed Prince Charles than Queen Elizabeth.

PJ: That's a great Donald Sutherland story. I wonder if he still shares the story of meeting you with his blogging buddies.

Phats: Alan Thicke never impressed me enough to make my Top Things Aboot Canada list. Alex Trebek, either. You professor might make your list ... did you get a good grade?

-- david

At June 29, 2007 7:34 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Canadian Red Devils, WWII elite unit that beat the crap out of many Nazis is another feather in their touck. (How the hell do you spell that, anyway?) Also, all EMD train locomotives are made in London Ont. Well, there's an explanation for the cofusion, if the Queen is the head of State and lives in London, why can't they find her? Canadian mountains, mmmm, did you say something about Pamela Anderson...

At June 29, 2007 7:49 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

Maybe it's waiting 6 weeks for an MRI or any other kind of medical test that's making them more stupid.

As bad as it's getting up there, I bet Americans are even more ignorant about our own country.

At June 29, 2007 9:13 PM, Blogger goldennib replied to my musings ...

And they use weird measurements like liters and stuff.

At June 29, 2007 10:02 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

I got A thank you very much it was on how they live their lifestyle and how in America it wouldn't work.

Jason Priestly? Come on Brandon Walsh should be on there

At June 30, 2007 9:53 AM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

Hey, what about Neil Young & Bryan Adams? Bryan even made it onto the best songs list.

But I second what The Phoenix said. We are even more ignorant of our own system and history here. I've been doing some political outreach on a prestigious university the past few weeks. People know more about their football team then they do politics. Football is a great game, but the real game is coming up in the next election.

Maybe if the candidates wore skin-tight uniforms, people would be more involved. But on second thought no, Duncan Hunter in football pants is definitely not a crowd pleaser.

At June 30, 2007 10:35 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Growing up on the NY/Quebec border I also have a deep and enduring love of Canada. It's a beautiful country that I spent considerable time in as a young child-- bicycling the bike trails of Ottawa with my parents, their friends and the children of their friends, staying with my grandparents in their cottage on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.

And most Americans don't fully appreciate or realize how popular hockey is up there. It's more popular than baseball, football, basketball, and NASCAR COMBINED... whereas here in the US, it's not as popular as ANY of those sports. Hockey isn't a sport in Canada, it's their state religion!

At June 30, 2007 11:29 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mike: I've given up trying to spell Canadian-isms. And yes, Canada has had some notable hills and valleys ...

Phoenix: I have no doubt that this sign of ignorance about one's own country is just another case of Canada becoming more and more like the U.S.

GN: Is a liter longer or shorter than a meter? And how do those relate to cubits?

Phats: Jason Priestly may deserve a shout-out. After all, he did have a role in the made-for-TV movie about the PMRC and Dee Snider's efforts to fight their album-labeling crusade.

GW: Bryan Adams may have had an exceptionally well-crafted pop song, but that doesn't mean he's in the same league as Rush or "eh?" or Mike Myers. And looking at most our candidates for '08, I agree with you--let's NOT move toward athletic wear.

Perplexio: I've heard hockey is growing rapidly in popularity across the U.S. I think Americans are finally becoming willing to put up with the low scoring in order to see fighting on ice skates.

-- david

At June 30, 2007 2:34 PM, Blogger dragonflyfilly replied to my musings ...

hi David,
do you think Donald Sutherland has blogging buddies? (do you know something i don't know?)

and...although some people i have met have told me i am unforgetable (not always in a good way), i somehow doubt i had the same impace on Donald that he had on me!
*chuckle*, are you going to join in the Canada Day celebrations?

At June 30, 2007 2:35 PM, Blogger dragonflyfilly replied to my musings ...

i mean "impact"

At June 30, 2007 3:06 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

I have a special affinity for Canada, since that's where most of my ancestors on my father's side migrated from.
Not sure if you knew this, but the late Peter Jennings was a native of Canada.

At July 02, 2007 2:46 AM, Blogger tworabbitshow replied to my musings ...

You might like their music, but Finger Eleven is dull as paint to interview, trust me. You can practically hear me snoring on the tape.

BTW, you completely forgot poutine on your list. For shame.

At July 02, 2007 9:13 AM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Let's not forget "Strange Brew"

*Breathes heavy*
"You OK?"
"Givin to the Dark Side of the force Luke"
"He saw Jedi 17 times, eh!"

Take off you hoser!

At July 02, 2007 2:00 PM, Blogger BV replied to my musings ...

David, this is one of your best yet. Should definitely be a best of.

At July 02, 2007 8:30 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

They just celebrated their version of fourth of July, I think on July 1st. I think, not so sure. I'm going to google it now.

At July 03, 2007 1:04 AM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

Where I live will be underwater come that time.
Which will be fine if Celine comes to town.

And....Happy 4th of July to you!

At July 03, 2007 7:04 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

PJ: Perhaps one of our anonymous blogger friends is D.S. We'll never know. For Canada Day, I spoke with my Canadian friend, that's about it.

Bruce: My aforementioned buddy tells me that Peter J. is considered a big-time sell-out in Canada.

TwoRabbitShow: I never thought about FE's interviewability. My list stands, but I respect anyone else's different and equally amusing list!

Angel: Nice to see you here again. I think you're referring to Canada Day, which is conveniently close to our national day.

Tai: Stay afloat! And Happy 4th to you, too.

-- david

At July 03, 2007 7:06 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

BV: Thanks! It's probably been long enough for another call for help from my readers for an updated "best of" list. I"ll try to remember your idea, but if not please remind me then!

-- david

At July 03, 2007 11:19 AM, Blogger Beth replied to my musings ...

That's so American!

You forgot Neil Young ... Dan Ackroyd and Gilda Radner and Paul Shaffer and Harol Ramis ... and Suzanne Somers.

At July 07, 2007 12:39 PM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

Let's take a trip to Thunder Bay!

I'm deeply surprised you missed Anvil, Helix and Piledriver!

Seriously, I dig Canada too, and I'm a real hockeyhead, so I'd be honored to vote in line with a hockey jersey on.

At July 07, 2007 12:40 PM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

and the glorious Voivod while we're at it! Oh yeah, Bryan Adams, too, just to mix genres a little


Post a Comment

<< Home