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the great white north

June 12, 2009

I think I might blog more often if I felt I had something truly compelling to say.

Which is a sign that my writing isn’t going as well as I’d hoped.  When the writing is flowing any one direction, it is often flowing in all of them.  I can look at the weeks with more blog posts and see that they were also the weeks my novel progressed in a general forward direction.

This week saw me north of the Canadian border, where I visited with the women in my immediate family. 

When people find/figure out that I am Canadian, there’s always some hoser someone who has to start saying, “eh?” as often as the conversation will permit.  Believe me, it gets old.

If you know what a hoser is, you likely saw Bob & Doug McKenzie skits from SCTV in the 80’s.  If you don’t, you probably didn’t have access to CBC (Canadian public television). 

The Wiki reference includes this note:

The sketch was conceived when SCTV moved to the CBC television network. Each episode to be broadcast on that network was two minutes longer than those syndicated to the United States. The CBC network heads asked the show’s producers to add specifically and identifiably Canadian content for those two minutes.

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas thought that this was a ridiculous request, since the show had been taped in Canada, with a mostly Canadian cast and crew, for two years. The request inspired them to create a parody that would incorporate every aspect of the humorous stereotype of Canadians

 “Canadian content” is something all Canadians grow up with – it’s our way of maintaining some distinct sense of identity in the face of the monolith that is the American media giant (broadcasting, film, and publishing).

But Canadians are somewhat ambivalent about what it means to be Canadian – it is definitely NOT American, but it is not always clear what it IS.  The guys at SCTV had their ideas.  (Remember, this is parody.)

There is also an excellent book by William Ferguson, called Why I Hate Canadians, which goes to the heart of that ambivalence, AND speaks to what makes Canada distinct from her neighbours to the south.

Tomorrow: Next post: a few of my favourite (Canadian) things.

 

 

listening to: Feist, I Feel It All

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