A news story hit the CBC tonight about a small New Brunswick school that removed the daily practice of the singing of O Canada (the national anthem).  While interesting, that's not what I consider the story here.  The story are the comments on the news article.  Flaming, pugilistic, racist, nationalist drivel.

The exact reason why the national anthem should not be played daily has nothing to do with political correctness with regard to its reference to God or its extremely mild male bias in phrasing, but rather blatant nationalistic indoctrination.

If you want to teach kids to be proud of Canada, how about instead of pounding "Stand on guard for thee" into their skulls, you teach them about the legally provided support of multiculturalism passed in 1971.  How about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that further stengthened prior rights by entrenching it in the Constitution itself in 1982.  Perhaps even a nod to Vancouver consistently being considered one of, if not the most livable city?  Push it all the way and even just the stereotype of Canadians being polite to a fault.

We take the values that, for better or worse, define Canada and throw them out the window at a pin drop.  Rather than suggesting that perhaps if the anthem were that precious that it would arise on its own outside of school -- that it'd have some purpose outside of daily brainwashing -- an angry mob responds with "Go back to your own country."

You know what?  There's one more Canadian value, which is anti-American sentiment.  The United States is a melting pot; this concept is that of the Borg: assimilate.  That multicultural law I mentioned earlier, which I consider the foundation of Canadian values, is the exact opposite.  No matter who you are, what your culture or values, bring them with you.  Enrich Canada with that culture, and that itself is what makes you Canadian.

The commenters are outraged about a song.  I'm ashamed at how un-Canadian-ly they have responded.
Posted by Ellyoda Thu, 29 Jan 2009 07:24:52 (comments: 7)
Thu, 29 Jan 2009 07:32:24
An additional note: The anthem is a complete and utter waste of time.  I give children a tonne of intellectual credit, but quite simply they do not understand the concept of government or countries, patriotism, history or the lyrics themselves for it to have any meaning.

Meanwhile, the time that could be spent learning all that is passing by.  You could do a search and replace with the whole comments section, replacing Canada with America, anthem with prayer or moment of silence and you'd have the same damn thing.  You can still do it on your own time, and if it were so important in the first place, that wouldn't be a problem.
Thu, 29 Jan 2009 07:37:14
First of all I agree with you right up to the point where you criticize the US.

America used to be a melting pot, but now it's a tossed salad.  (That comment is for Steel).  What I mean is that where I lived in the states everyone was truly accepted separately and their culture appreciated and celebrated (except the people from Mexico who were treated abhorently by all).

Now that I am in Australia I see a lot less acceptance of outside cultures (it's nuts, and a little scary).

But again, up to that point I agree with you entirely.

Thu, 29 Jan 2009 07:56:39
That paragraph was partly a joke (just like the Canadian anti-American sentiment).  In a country as large and populous as the United States, you're not going to be completely homogenous, it's simply impossible.  But the melting pot is inarguably a property associated with the United States and Americanism in general.

It also wasn't a criticism to state that it's a melting pot, however incomplete.  The point was there is a distinct cultural differentiation; Canada is a country that can't help but compare itself constantly to the United States, and this is a poignant philosophical, cultural and even legal line of divide.

I'd also not consider a melting pot necessarily the equivalence of xenophobia, while it may be tempting to mix the two.  Whereas a melting pot would be accepting of all peoples into its overall culture (thus rejecting the individual culture), a xenophobic culture rejects the people themselves.
Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:45:49
You know in the UK the concept of flags in schools and singing the national anthem would seem either absurd or nationalistic.
Thu, 29 Jan 2009 19:47:15
^ I hear you Yoda.
Fri, 30 Jan 2009 03:02:42
Amen brother. "Patriotism" in most forms is simply xenophobia.
Fri, 30 Jan 2009 03:24:41
1.5 minute song x 90 days per semester x 2 semesters per year x 12 years = 54 wasted hours, or more than a full week of teaching. At least we don't have to say a pledge on top of that?

Oh, and


Log in or Register for free to comment
Recently Spotted:
Login @ The VG Press
Remember me?