Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic Hockey Gold ... and I couldn't care less

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.

5 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

Excuse me but just who is cheering on the rape of Haiti and Afghanistan? Perhaps if that is how you see Canada you should take another look because that is sheer delusion.

900ft Jesus said...

I feel the same way, thwap. CBC radio ran a couple of the closing speeches as part of the morning news, and I was disgusted by some of the comments (Canada has never been so united...all Canadians feel this way...blah-blah-blah)

When such lies are told under the guise of pride and patriotism, then the event is a travesty since it is used whether intentionally or not to spread lies and create a diversion.

As for cheering on the rape of Haiti and Afghanistan, those prone to blind patriotism and the unquestioning support of the government do indeed cheer those things on whether they realize it or not. I don't believe it's deliberate, but ignorance does not excuse. Question the mission = failure to support our troops, such types say, so the damage caused to Afghanistan and its people by our murky mission, our government’s failure to respect the Geneva conventions, and its support of a corrupt leader (Karzai) continues amid the patriotic cheers of blind patriotism. We aren't helping Afghanees. We are causing them more harm.

Haiti - how many Canadians know how we stepped on that country’s jugular, kept it poor to our benefit? Cheering on the current government’s blatant self-promotional aid efforts while failing to look at our past actions with Haiti is like a rapist expecting praise for mailing a band-aid to his victim. I am sure the aid given by individuals and most groups was given without ulterior motives. The government is not so clean. Not this one, or previous ones when it comes to Haiti.

Rape is a strong word, and not always the best in an analogy.

thwap said...

Yeah, it's mostly delusion that cheers on these things.

But there are people who know more about what we did to those countries and who think it's a good thing.

This is especially the case in Afghanistan, where the Blogging Tories bray everyday about how we should just kill all our prisoners and if the people of that shit-hole are ungrateful to us for murdering them, then fuck 'em.

Those sorts of people can cheer for a hockey game win. I'm no less not-united to them than I was before those guys won their game.

900ft Jesus said...

"and if the people of that shit-hole are ungrateful to us for murdering them, then fuck 'em" - yeah, you're right, I was being generous.

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