So Canada's Olympic hockey team won the gold medal last night. I'm not sure why this is supposed to be meaningful to a sane person. If being Canadian stirs any sort of pride in me, it's for any of the good things that Canadians have done and not for a random series of victories attributed to strangers who were born within the same political boundaries as me, or who came to this part of the world and obtained Canadian citizenship.
If Canada were truly a beacon of democracy and hope, an example of many cultures living together in peace and harmony, a focus for good in the world (banning landmines, keeping the peace, generously sharing its wealth) then I'd be prepared to get swept-up in the tribalism of watching young Canadian men and women winning athletic competitions. (To an extent, anyway.)
But if Canada has become a place where we shrug our shoulders as the oil industry controls the prime minister to deny global warming and contribute to starvation, despair and death for billions, if Canada has become a place where the monkey-brained portion of the electorate cheers on the rape of Haiti and Afghanistan, and the torture of Muslim fellow citizens, then you'll excuse me if I fail to rouse myself. If too many Canadians are still complacent, selfish, self-deluded airheads, filling their oversized homes with consumerist junk and voting for whatever harpercon or Liberal status-quo liar promises them the biggest tax cut, and griping about the cash settlements to torture victims, then I honestly don't care about our athletic victories.
I'm not above waving a silly flag and feeling a tiny bit patriotic, if our country keeps on the slow, grudging path to decency and sanity. For the past few years we've been on a reverse trajectory though and my enthusiasm for the very idea of Canada has diminished.