Tag Archives: not lovin it leavin it blog

#4 Blue Collar

5 Aug

Canada is, for all intents and purposes the man’s man of countries.  Surely it makes sense with all the natural resources this vast country has, that there would be a large market for the services of the blue collar, manual labour worker.  In fact, it seems that entire Canadian provinces exist solely as a home for blue collar workers and their families.

Now before you get all riled up about this and accuse me of being classist or some other such silly thing, let me just put this straight right here and now: I don’t have a problem with working class people.  I think that a lot of them do very important jobs that keep society functioning on many different  levels.  What I do have a problem with however, is the blue collar mentality.

Uhhh...why?

Should you not understand exactly what it is that I mean by the blue collar mentality, allow me to explain.  As I’ve previously mentioned, there is a great deal of industrial/ manual labour done in Canada.  These jobs are predominantly done by men and radiate a sub genre of  a man’s man way of thinking.  Furthermore, given the small population of Canada and the close proximity everywhere of rural areas, it’s easy to see that the majority of Canadians don’t live in large, cosmopolitan, urban environments.  The end result of a melding of the man’s man sub-genre and the rural way of life inevitably equals the blue collar mentality.  What’s particularly distinct about Canada in this respect is that even in the handful of moderately populated cities that Canada has, the blue collar mentality still exists and thrives.  That is, this way of life/thinking does not end when you leave Canadian rural environments.  It is entirely, 100% prevalent  throughout the entire country.

In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that the blue collar mentality is by far the single most common, unifying identity that Canadians have.  Canadian males are particularly consumed with living up to some nationwide established condition of what it means to be a man.  Conservative, uptight, uncultured, parochial – these are words that best describe the blue collar mentality.  It’s what fuels Canadian men toward maintaining that aggressive and unfriendly vibe toward one another in public settings.  This may be hard for some people to understand when I talk about something as seemingly vague as a “vibe”, but it’s there.  Take for example, Asia.  Walk the streets of any Asian city and what you won’t find are men looking to consistently prove that they are the top dog, that they are not to be fucked with.  Walk through Tokyo – one of the biggest cities in the world, with a population greater than Canada’s entire population, and bump into another male.  Problem?  No, not in the least.  Walk through Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, etc and bump into another male.  Problem?  It’s extremely possible, yes.

Incase you can't read what it says on Canada, allow me: Hockey, Beer and Peace. Sigh...

It seems to me that the majority of men in Canada can quite effortlessly explain to you how a truck’s engine works or where the best places are to go fishing or drive an ATV around all day, but talk to them about art or travel or anything beyond the blue collar frame of reference and they’ll most likely think you’re “weird” or even a little bit fruity.  Naturally when I talk about Canadian men this way, I’m not referring to everyone. I mean, there are gays and men who do have a clue about all the aforementioned things.  It’s just that what I’m getting at here is that as a whole, the Canadian population is not very progressive, cosmopolitan or culturally aware.  If you don’t agree, then be honest with yourself and compare the average male in Canada to the average male in Western Europe or Asia.  There’s a whole lot of people in a whole lot of landmass who will quickly prove me correct on this one.

As a matter of fact, any nation that is as consumed by such a stubborn, troglodytic mentality as Canada is can’t help but be completely lacking in the progressive arena.  And any nation that lacks in progressive action and mentality is not one that I care to reside in or to call my home.

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#3 Patriotism

21 Jul

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

– George Bernard Shaw

Over the course of the last ten years, Canadians have increasingly adopted the rather repugnant behavioural patterns of the Flag Waver.  Before I get into this, however, I wanted to first point out the greatest inherent hypocrisy in Canadians being obsessive Flag Wavers.

For as long as I can recall, one of the biggest complaints that Canadians have maintained against Americans (that is, people from the USA), is that as a nation, Americans are far too patriotic and the biggest Flag Wavers of all.  How funny then, that Canadians would begin to completely emulate this behaviour.  I wonder exactly why it is that Canadians feel that it’s perfectly alright to hang the Canadian flag from their apartment window or attach one of those stupid fucking car flags to the window of their car, but Americans are “overly patriotic” when they do the exact same thing.  In fact, these days in Canada it’s becoming increasingly difficult to go anywhere where the Canadian flag isn’t being waved to excess.  This ridiculous increase in meaningless allegiance isn’t something I’m imagining either.  According to this study, Canada is the sixth most patriotic country in the world.

Things only got worse once the winter Olympics came to Vancouver in 2010.  The flag waving and false sense of egotistical pride that goes hand in hand with patriotism was at an all time high.  Perhaps that’s to be expected given that the Olympics are an event in which national pride is pushed to the extreme.  The thing is, that level of national pride didn’t dissipate after the games ended, nor did the flag waving.  Suddenly, hanging a Canadian flag from your balcony became the norm.  As far as I’m concerned, there are few gestures that are both as empty and as obnoxious as is flag waving.

Don’t get me wrong here – there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your country.  Yet at the same time, it’s necessary to understand several things.  For starters, being born in Canada isn’t a skill.  I don’t care who you are, being born is nothing to brag about.  Second, your country isn’t the greatest in the world for the simple fact that no such thing exists.  To insist upon as much makes one come off as uncultured, untraveled and absolutely miniscule minded.

The thing about Canadians that not too many people outside of Canada know is that a very strong sense of insecurity exists here.  Constantly portrayed as the USA’s little brother, Canadians are desperate to prove that they’re a big deal.  The lack of a unifying national culture is the thorn in the Canadian side, and Canadians will do anything and everything to distract themselves from the glaring reality of that fact.

Certainly there are other countries out there that are far more patriotic than Canada.  Take for example, Malaysia.  Malaysians are some of the kindest, most sincere people that I have ever had the pleasure to meet in all my life.  Their country is amazing and I have returned there on several occasions simply because it is so damn great.  But holy shit, do Malaysians love to wave a flag.  If you can go five seconds in Malaysia without seeing at least a dozen Malaysian flags on display, then you must be staring at the ground the entire time.  Why I’m a little more sympathetic to this fanatical nationalism is that Malaysians actually have something to celebrate.  Their country has only been in their hands for 53 years now.  Before that, the British ruled the roost.

And so it’s the same with so many other countries that have seen the suffocating grip of a colonial power strip them of their national culture.  The Philippines, India, Mexico, Cuba, South Africa – even the United States of America.  These countries are steeped in history and people whose emancipation from a foreign ruler actually meant something.  Canada is nowhere near in the same league and as such, doesn’t have any reason whatsoever to be so goddamned flamboyantly patriotic.

It also strikes me that whenever I see overtly patriotic people here in Canada, they always come off as redneck, blue collar morons whose inherent ugliness is only amplified by their stubborn, shallow desire to scream about Canada being the greatest place on earth.  If these people had actually ever left Canada, hell, had actually ever left North America, they would have something to compare their beloved Canada to.  And what they would quickly realize – if they were honest and true enough to do such a thing – is that while Canada may be a large landmass with lots of beautiful mountains and streams and hardly any population to speak of; screaming about these things in any sort of proprietorial sense is the sum total of an vacant, obnoxious pride that serves only to make them look ridiculous and small.

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