Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Canada Day, Happy Memories of America

Last week I was slipped a copy of SiCKO. I waited until Canada Day to watch it, knowing full well that it shone a light quite favorably upon the Great White North, and upon the universal health care that our government provides. I waited until Canada Day to watch it so I could feel doubleplus proud of my home and native land.

It's somewhat tough to digest when your patriotism flows from a place of comparative analysis; when you are moved to think and then conclude, "God, I am so glad to live here and not there." It's a natural reaction, but an altogether unfair one, if you just leave it at that and don't explore the issue further. It would be unrealistic to suppose that there isn't a least one Canadian out there who derives their pleasure from being Canadian on the basis that they aren't American.

This is the Canadian who delights in telling the stories of Americans who sew Canadian flags on their backpacks while travelling abroad, in order to have an easier, more welcoming journey. This is the Canadian who somehow blames the whole of the U.S for seductively luring the brightest lights of Canada south of the border into permanent American residency and citizenship, like anybody could force Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, or that whole whack of brilliant Canuck comedians to do anything against their free will. It's called a career move, idiot, not a political statement.

Frankly, what I gotta say about that sort of issue is, thanks America for taking "Now lives in L.A.vril L.A.Vigne" off of hands, we owe ya one large! In exchange, we'll be happy to take "The Nuge" off your hands and throw him up to the Yukon Territory, under the proviso that he doesn't hunt and kill any of our wildlife.

But seriously, Canada would be worthy of all the accolades that we receive for being the kindest nation, if a certain percentage of our citizens would wise the fuck up and not buy into the effed-up notion that feeling pro-Canadian comes solely from feeling anti-American.

I think for this Canada day, I wish to celebrate Americans. Because they are us and we are them. Yes, our money here in Canada is colourful and apparently worth a little less than the boring, not-colourful-at-all U.S. dollar, but at the end of a hard day we all just want to feel like we have lived and that we have loved and have been loved.

I can remember going to down to Memphis back in '97 a couple of weeks after Jeff Buckley died to pay my respects. I didn't have much of a plan, I just needed to get there to "deal" with his death and grieve in my own way. I just threw some clothes in a bag, and went.

To make a long story short, once I got off the train in Memphis, I met an American who took me into his family home, where I was warmly received by his wonderful wife and daughter. They fed me, let me take a bath, drove me everywhere I needed to go, and because the gentleman knew the history of this glorious city so well, I received a first rate guided tour, complete with a stop at Graceland. Talk about grace. This American family personified the word.


Thank you America.

currently listening to: Jeff Buckley, Grace


harbinger said...

Well said, beautiful.

Godwhacker said...

Wow! what a beautiful story. And I share the sentiment. I am glad to have Canada as a neighbor and Canadians as friends. We share culture and a continent and both countries are better for it. Our similarities by far outweigh our differences.

Happy Canada Day and Happy 4th of July.

Allan said...


SamuraiFrog said...

That's a very nice story and a beautiful post, E. When the time comes for me to escape this country and its ever more totalitarian government, you're the first person I'm calling with suggestions on where I can crash!

Late, but Happy Canada Day. Should've said it on my blog, dammit. Un bon nombre d'amour. You're very bon indeed. Be good! A.

bonjourtristesse said...

Hey Harbinger...always a pleasure to see ya!! Thanks very much, you!!! Be good, eh???

Hi GW!! Thanks much, dearest! Happy 4th of July to you!!! Have a wonderful wonderful day!

Allan! Back at ya!! Big hugs!

Hi A.!Call me for sure, I will sort each and every deet out for ya...sanctuary is yours for the asking!! Thanks for the Canada Day shout out!! Sending hugs Canadian style, eh??? Happy 4th of July!!

Kohoutek said...

Excellent story, maybe you remember this on too?

I remember one time on the drive from Memphis to Athens when we stopped for gas and wouldn't ya know it the car wouldn't start. So we got it towed to some good ole boys workshop and he scavenged around his junkyard to find the part we needed. He didn't have an exact match but turns out close is good enough and with that we were back on the road to Athens.

God Bless American Ingenuity and the Canadians that trusted it.

bonjourtristesse said...

Okay, Kohoutek...I do remember that story!!! Wasn't it the altenator???OH MY GOD! I thought we were gonna get killed when dude started swinging that crow bar around!!! Those men were righteous, and yes indeed, another example of wonderful wonderful Americans! Remember when we got to Athens and you nearly had a heart attack when Stipe walked up to the record shop we were sitting in front of??? UNBELIEVABLE! And then you accidentally stole that postcard from Stipe's restaurant??? D.---is this really YOU?????

...if it isn't I just made an ass out of myself!!

Kohoutek said...

Nope you aren't makin' an ass outta yourself, it's really me and yes I'm guilty as charged stealing postcards from Stipe (but he can afford it).

Keep up the stories, they're great and drop me a line if ya getta chance.

bonjourtristesse said...

KOHO!!!! YAY!!!!!! Fantastic!!! So glad you are the hell are ya!!!??? I will drop ya a nice long line dis weekend, my brother!!

BOOT TO THE HEAD...wha' happened? We were supposed to rock the world!! LOL!!!

Do ya remember, Sinead, stunned silence in the stands? Do ya?????

Talk soon! XX