The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Acer saccharum canadianae

To watch an American talk show host with a Canadian guest is to watch a horticulturalist examine an uncommon and somewhat exotic species of flower, to determine whether it deserves cultivation or is to be considered a weed.

The appearance of the Canadian is just common enough for the citizenship to be thought of as a quirk of personality or genetics, rather like the ability to touch one's tongue to one's nose, but rare enough that without warning the species can suddenly appear strange and unusual and even vaguely threatening to the native growth.

Is this part of the reason why an election right on the United States border, held by a country whose still-firm economy might possibly anchor an economy ten times its size from slipping into outright catastrophe, made not a blip on the American talk shows?


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