Canadians are full of it.
The media slant of this year’s Canada Day was that we are a shy country, which now — at long last — believes in itself.
What a load of hockey pucks. We’re downright delusional.
This notion that we are a country that “finally” found its national identity is a story we’ve told ourselves a dozen times.
Confederation, Vimy Ridge, entering the Second World War, Expo ‘67, the 1972 goal by Paul Henderson. And all those things happened before I was born. How many times can a country come of age?
It’s a myth that Canadians are not patriotic. I was recently at a bar sitting next to a guy who was waxing nostalgic about Sidney Crosby’s overtime Olympic goal. He said he had been “everywhere,” but Canada is the best. When I said I had travelled a lot and enjoy New Zealand and Austria as much as Canada, he looked at me like I had strangled a beaver.
Canadians are not arrogant in the American way, but we are incredibly smug. We’re as likely as Americans to say our country is better than everybody else’s (whatever that means), and surely we’re the only nation in the world that boasts about being humble. We’re proud of how we pronounce the last letter of the alphabet, for God’s sake.
We love to believe we’re the withering wallflower who bursts onto the dance floor after years of longing gazes toward the world-class girl. But, in reality, we’ve always been the self-satisfied guy, who smirks to himself and wonders when everyone will notice how awesome he is.
We cling to our “humility” and then claim we’re newly proud every time anything noteworthy happens, like joining American military missions, staying out of American military missions, getting mentioned on The Daily Show, or winning Olympic gold.
Clinging to the myth of humility makes it too easy to pat ourselves on the back for things that don’t really matter, like our geography and our hockey medals. Our worth as a nation will never be determined on the power play.
I don’t do Canadian stereotypes. I’m sorry.