Monday, July 19, 2004


Tom Smith at The Right Coast asks "what is Canadian culture? And is it worth preserving?" Beats me. I say that as an American (I insist on the label, our neighbors north and south notwithstanding) whose ancestors are Anglo-Canadian (father's side) and French-Canadian (mother's side).

Canada is the U.S. with a colder climate. (Quebec? Think of Louisiana as a popsicle.) What does Canada have that we lack in the U.S.? Higher gasoline prices, socialized medicine, less freedom of speech, a serious secessionist movement, and a Queen. (Yes, the British Monarch is still considered Queen of Canada, for what that's worth.)

"Canadian culture" isn't exactly an oxymoron, it's more like a talking dog: a bizarre curiosity. Canada has given us some wonderful writers: Robertson Davies, Carol Shields (ex-American), and Elizabeth Hay, to name most of them. But that hardly makes up for Peter Jennings.