Happy 13th birthday, Canada! You’re growing up into quite a respectable young nation, aren’t you? Pretty soon, you’ll be all grown up, and living on your own.
Oh, I know the calendar says something different. What is it now, 144 years, or something like that? By all rights, you should be all grown up by now, but let’s be honest. As a country, Canada, you’re still a celebrity infatuated teenager inclined towards fits of jealously.
Is that rude, or unfair? I don’t think so.
Consider that business about Edmonton hosting a World Expo to celebrate Canada’s 150th (roughly 18th in maturity years) birthday. Edmonton came up with this really cool idea of having a world’s fair, and inviting the entire world to come to Edmonton to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. What fun! And all we’d need is several hundred million dollars.
Well, things were looking pretty good for a while, until grumpy old Uncle Ottawa stepped in. Uncle Ottawa said that he wouldn’t help in fitting the bill for the party because it was too expensive. Or at least, that’s what Uncle Ottawa said. Turns out that wasn’t the only reason. Uncle Ottawa was afraid that if Edmonton got to hold a big party, other parts of Canada would want to hold a big party, too. So instead of everyone getting together for one big blast, we’re not going to have one at all. That’s called jealousy.
And how about the case of our cousin, Vancouver? Remember how they just about won the Stanley Cup? And probably 80 per cent of the country was pulling AGAINST them? Sure, they were a despicable team, filled with thugs and divers and Swedes. But even if they were a team made up of 25 Wayne Gretzky clones, most of us STILL wouldn’t have wanted Vancouver to win because Vancouver is an arrogant snot — yes, a beautiful one, but an arrogant snot still — and we really don’t want any of our cousin cities to win the Stanley Cup before we do. Except Winnipeg, because we kinda feel sorry for it.
And remember Vancouver, again, when they didn’t win? They had a huge hissy fit, stomping their feet and crying and breaking things. Not the sign of a mature city.
And then there’s this royal visit crap. You might have heard that the accomplished couple of Prince William and Whatever She Is Kate and touring the provinces. Huge crowds of adoring throngs are turning out to ‘catch a glimpse’ of the newlywed couple. What brings out the crowds? Who knows? It’s not like William and Kate actually DO anything. I’ve caught some video of their waving, and it seems fairly professional. But other than waving and just being there, they don’t do a damn thing (which is basically what all royals do, or don’t do). And yet, tonnes of newsprint and hours of TV time will be devoted to slavering coverage as they do nothing. Maybe somebody can explain to me the difference between the screaming crowds of teenage girls who come out the ‘catch a glimpse’ of Justin Bieber and the screaming crowds of adults who come out to ‘catch a glimpse’ of William and Kate.
Is all this hero worship of two people who have yet to accomplish anything in their lives — and who will probably never accomplish anything — the sign of a mature country?
Hey, Canada, we’ve got a long way to go before we can call ourselves a grown up country. But enjoy your birthday. Just don’t get drunk tonight.