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Sunday, October 08, 2006


This will come as a surprise to some readers, but this is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. For everyone who's not surprised by this, I have a little test that you might want to take before continuing to read. You might not like this post.

Consider this statement:

Canada Day sucks. It is half-heartedly celebrated by most, and ignored by the rest. It celebrates nothing, and represents nothing more than a bureaucratic agreement.

Now, evaluate your reaction. Is your heart beating faster? Are you already mentally composing an angry letter to the editor about how at least Canadian health care is better than American health care? (I swear, this is the feeblest argument I've ever heard in defense of anything.) If so, you probably should stop reading now.

I mean it.

*looks around*

This is your last chance to leave. And don't even THINK about writing an anonymous comment about how you hate George Bush's foreign policies.


Canadian Thanksgiving is the most useless holiday on the calendar. I spent my early years learning about the Pilgrims and the meal they shared with the Indians in thanks for helping them through the winter. A celebration of true thanks from one culture to another. The small detail that the Indians would not live much longer thanks to guns and European diseases was omitted from the story, as was the cultural annihilation that followed. But still, they were celebrating something.

Canadian Thanksgiving is nothing but a day off work when you are expected to eat turkey. Some people say it is a harvest festival. Hold on a second while I laugh bitterly. HA! HA! HA! You might as well have a national holiday to celebrate the sale of excess inventory at the mall. Oh wait, we've got one of those too, except we call it Boxing Day. Or a holiday to celebrate the birth of a foreign head of state. We call that Victoria Day.

Canada is a great country. I love to live here. But man oh man, are we ever wimpy. Canada Day sucks because there are no exciting stories to tell about early settlers banding together to form a new country and fight off their oppressors. (I apologize in advance to Quebec - they DO have these stories and are still making new ones.) Canada Day is about passing a new law. BOOOORING. Benedict Arnold is a hero here, but not for anything as exciting as treason to a foreign country: no real surprise. Canadian Thanksgiving is boring because there are no stories to tell at all. Canada is bland, and our holidays are blander. Just some pretty leaves - if you're in the right part of the country - and a turkey dinner.

If you're now seething with righteous indignation, don't bother telling me that the White House was burned to the ground by British citizens who lived in what is now Canada. I've heard this many times before. It's really the only story you've got, and it's not even Canadian. It's a British story. And please, stop defining your country by what it's not (God forbid it should be anything like the United States) and come up with some reasons why Canada is great all on its own. I know this country is amazing, and I intend to live here for a long long time. But I hate to see its citizens lie back and contribute to the blandness.