I wish I didn't have to experience that daily blast of mindless patriotism in a place ostensibly dedicated to learning.
"We can't change the past, but we can honour it by acknowledging its painful legacy."
I could never identify exactly what so moved me on November 11th, but I could always anticipate that I would need Kleenex up my sleeve cuff... if I was heading to the cenotaph. My patriotism is never more evident than it is on Remembrance Day.... Perhaps my emotional response to the poppy is because of my heart's immediate connection to memories of my Nan and Pop.
Respecting differences is rightfully Canada's claim to fame in the world, but that is not enough to guide this place to its fullest potential. Canadians cannot -- and should not -- embrace any particular race, language, or religion as their national marker, but they can and should embrace their country. Such an embrace constitutes a commitment to the people who share this land and, indeed, to the land itself. Canadians can put aside the fear that flying the Maple Leaf too high may yield a sudden intolerance in the ship's hull. It won't.
I've had people ask me if that's what I plan to do, as a bisexual person. But that's where the fact that being gay is only one part of me comes in. I'm also a staunchly patriotic Canadian. And I love the winter Olympics, a lot. There's a crossroads, here, for me. Because the delegation travelling from Canada to Sochi is also comprised of staunchly patriotic Canadians and talented athletes. Some of them happen to be gay. And I want to see them succeed.
We're not perfect, and we never have been. But lately, Harper has been slowly eroding Canada into something unrecognizable. I'm still just as patriotic as I always was but I just don't have to accept Canada as it is now -- and neither does anyone else.
I don't understand why we can't just let ourselves be what we are: a weird little country with issues. Like Belgium or Switzerland or something. That's a great thing to be! It makes people curious. It would fit us so much better. Just a funny, comfortable nation that happens to have national debates about things like cereal box fonts. Why do we need to be the sort of place whose flag is featured on beer shirts? I don't know if the world really loves Canadians. I'm not about to get wasted and tell it that. But we haven't pissed it off that much -- not yet. We're kind of under the radar, you know, arguing about street signs and putting gravy on things.It could be worse.
Bieber doesn't seem to know anything at all about Canada or its history. Maybe it's from being on the road too much and away from a Canadian classroom. If he wants to use his country as a marketing tool, he should learn something about it first.