Just An Observation: Canada Day Mayhem
Sunday, July 1, 20120 Comments
Alright people, Canada Day is here. Grab your lawn chair and a two-four of
something cheap, right? Well Iʼm here to put a burst into your Canada Day bubble.
While youʼre ﬁtting into some red and white attire, arming yourself with sparklers and
adorning your face with maple leaf stick-ons, ask yourself the following: what are we
Some will scoff and say that it is obviously a day to celebrate your Canadian
awesomeness and get hammered. Great. History nerds will pipe up and remind with a
drawl, that it’s to commemorate the Constitution Act of 1867. You know, the one that
united the scattered colonies into a single country within the British Empire, a.k.a.
Canada. Swell. And then thereʼs that student in the back of the classroom, quiet as all
heck. The one everyone wants to befriend because it would be just so cool, really
cultural and hip to be in with someone who was, “You know, like First Nations.” Same
goes for acquiring a gay friend, extra points for scoring a transexual. Some people want
to collect them all, because thatʼs just what we do.
We spread our multicoloured ﬂag of Canadian pride, and wear multicultural association
like a big shiny button that ﬂashes iʼm hip, iʼmcool, iʼm happening-- Iʼm a learned academic
yo. We want so badly to cut our colonial ties that we collect friendships, friendly knowing
glances, and go home patting our own backs. The fact of the matter is that beneath the
celebration of nationality lie our deep colonial roots. With national identity comes casual
assimilation, even the Canadian kind.
“Oh no, weʼre not a melting pot like the United States, here in Canada we promote a
mosaic of cultures. Right?” Riiight.
Now, there are a few ways people deal with the points raised concerning Canadian
A. They adopt a heavy guilt complex, renounce their colonial associations and proceed
to join a number of clubs and dance solemnly in a slew of “traditional” dances.
B. They put up their hands, take a step back and say, “Hey! S--t happens...itʼs just
C. Others pull out their passports, their motherʼs passports and their motherʼs motherʼs
passports to show that they werenʼt here when it all went down, “It was before my family
even got here, man.”
I sympathize with all of the reactions listed above, I really do. But, hereʼs what I
Stop with the guilt. Itʼs a selﬁsh indulgence and to be honest, completely useless to
everyone around you. Step away from the feathered headdress. It won’t make anyone
feel better and you look ridiculous. Truly, you do. Get off your newly immigrated high-
horse. Youʼve adopted the country as your new home and that comes with history.
Instead, why not take the time to learn a bit about how Canada came to be as we know
it today, and check your sources while youʼre at it (itʼs always a good thing to ﬁnd out
Rather than aiming to get through all twenty four bottles in one night, pay homage to the
people of this land (all of the people) by quietly raising your glass on Canada Day and
looking around with new awareness and as little pretension as you can muster.
Weʼre all here now. Letʼs just not be ignorant slobber-drunk-faced jerks about it.
Iʼm still working on that too.