Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Can we please
change the subject?

Canadians once again embrace
the Americans’ preoccupation with their president

April 11, 2017

Canadians follow American obsession with American presidents

It’s enough to make you wish that guy would do something to screw this country. That might justify Canadians’ constant carping about the American president, jabber that could be as ubiquitous here as the U.S. Yet for the most part, Canadians are simply complaining that he fucking exists. Just as these same conventional Canadians fell conventionally, emotionally and Americanly in love with the last U.S. president, Canuckleheads have once again taken on a Yank trend, oblivious of its unsuitability to our country.

Of course there have been Canadian supporters of the American president too. They’ve sometimes clashed physically with Canadian opponents of the American president. Ditto for the Americans—or actually ditto for Canadians. This is the copy-cat country.

By probably a year before the U.S. election, Trump talk had already saturated the chatter among American/Canadian journalists and other really average people. The banality shows no sign of abating. His name gets interjected into topics ranging from (just a few examples) residential schools to B.C. liquor laws, often by people expressing either anger or self-righteousness.

Nothing new here. We’ve certainly seen it in reverse with Obamamania. During the run-up to the 2012 U.S. election a Rogers Arena audience actually gave Barbra Streisand “wild applause” for telling “us all to vote for Obama.” That incident was buried in a Vancouver Province story and not, as far as I’ve seen, reported in other accounts of Streisand’s performance. What the fuck country do Canadian journalists think they live in?

Evidently, something like the U.S.A. Would any other country adulate a Yank for assuming their country was hers?

Of course Anglo-Canadians’ interest in matters political began with 1960s American protest culture. Previously, Canadians rarely had a whole hell of a lot to say on such subjects. That changed when young Canadians started aping their American counterparts’ activism, especially against American involvement in Vietnam. Canadians took up that Yank cause as their own while their contemporaries in other Western countries protested other causes.

The anti-Americanism once expressed by Canadians was in itself an American fad. Down the dustbin of history it’s gone, partly because the complementary cause of Canadian nationalism has become politically incorrect. But American activism spawned a mainstream Canadian culture in which the most ordinary Canadians espouse their political awareness and proclaim their convictions with about the same frequency and banality as long-gone generations discussed the weather.

These constant declarations and denunciations show a herd-like mentality that might be called the prattle from the cattle. They show about as much bravery and individuality of thought as it took to denounce Jews in Nazi Germany.

And if Americans en masse ever resort to that…

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