02 July 2007

Proud to be Canadian

Yeah I am.

There are a bunch of reasons, none of which are really relevant because this is about other people who make me proud to be a Newfoundlander and proud to be a Canada. I don't see any contradiction in that because my definition of who I am as a person and who my people are is big enough to incorporate diversity. It isn't diverse enough though to include the sort of attitudes discussed in this piece at Offal News since fundamentally, I never felt so grossly insecure and afraid that I had to accept opinions and ideas only from pur laine Newfoundlanders.

Anyway, this post by Craig Welsh, led to a post by his buddy Dups who, six years ago became a Canadian citizen. Check the link to a piece for CBC Craig did about Dups.

On some level it reminds of me of a buddy of mine from years ago at university. He and his family came to Canada from Vietnam in the late 1970s. His family had earlier - 1954 to be exact - left their home in Hanoi to live in Saigon. April 1975 and they were looking to shift again, and decidedly not by choice.

Both his parents were well educated but they couldn't immediately find jobs in Canada of the type that should have had and like they'd had a home. Still, they persevered, put the children through university and, like my buddy, they are all now doing extremely well for themselves in different parts of the world.

Other buddies of mine from those days, with far less dramatic stories are doing very well for themselves both here in Newfoundland and Labrador or wherever they are. They don't whine about wanting to come home or look for simplistic excuses for things. Frankly they don't whine period, although, like any other normal human beings they do have their share of rants and complaints about banks and schools and taxes.

On this holiday Monday, the day after Canada Day, and thinking about people like Dups or Quoc Pham, stuff like this just seems more intensely like a pile of crap than it did on first reading.

And stuff like this commentary by Michael Temelini seems to epitomize the word "superficial." The problem with superficial commentaries - like Temelini's - is that they mistake a relatively small number of chronic moaners for a broadly based movement. The problem with superficial commentaries is that they consistently display a stupefying ignorance both of Canadian history and of the history of Newfoundland and Labrador Temelini presumes to describe.

Plenty of mainlanders and other come-from-aways have tackled local history with vigor and insight. Temelini isn't one of them and if he keeps going on the road he is going, superficial will be the politest word for what he does.

The problem with superficial commentaries - like Temelini's and that of mainlanders who take a sip at the Ship and then know-it-all - is that they derive their views from a ridiculously small and ridiculously biased sample.

And people like the famous Townie bastard? Or Dups? Or Dean? Or Ray or Quoc?

Superficial isn't a word you'd ever use to describe either of them.