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An Invitation from Foreign Affairs Canada [-]

Canadian Expatriates, its contributors, and readers have been invited by Foreign Affairs Canada to participate in a series of eDiscussions. The current topic is “Showcasing Canadian Culture and Know-How Abroad”.

We are asked to consider the following questions:

  • What role does Canadian culture and know-how play in our foreign policy?

  • How might the government best promote Canadian talent and expertise in the world?

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    The Expat admin team encourages its readers to join in the eDiscussion at the Canadian International Policy website.



    Posted by Admin



  • Call for Contributors [-]

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    Posted by Admin


    Saturday, June 25, 2005

    Search and You Will Find It
    by Expat

    Recently, there have been a number of articles regarding a strong anti-American sentiment on the part of Canadians. While I don't doubt that there is such a problem (particularly considering how Canadians like to define themselves as "anti-American" in the sense that we are anything but American), I do take exception to the following article. In The Ugly Anti-American, David Bruser (a Canadian) poses as an American in Toronto. His article begins with several stereotypes of Americans before going into detail of his conversations with a handful of strangers (both Canadian and American), and then concludes that Canadians (at least in the Toronto area) are strongly anti-American.

    I find Bruser's methods to be quite interesting. Rather than acting how a normal American tourist in Toronto would act and simply observing people's reactions to that, Bruser approaches people on the street by first introducing himself as American and then observing that he has come across some "anti-Americanism" in Toronto. He, thereby, sets the stage for the conversation that is to follow and skews the results of his experiment. As such, the article reads more as a study in the concept of "if you search for something you will find it" than anything else. Perhaps the interviewees were not reacting so much to the fact that Bruser was American (or anything else for that matter), as they were to the fact that he was coming up to them and introducing himself as *fill in the blank* and following that up with his observations of anti-*fill in the blank*-ism. Could it be that his method of approaching people paramounted to a perceived criticism which set people on edge immediately?

    Bruser's interviews with the Americans that he met in Toronto serve to further discredit his findings. Four of the six Cardinal fans that he interviewed said that they loved Toronto while two said that the city was "inhospitable", which does not necessarily mean that they found it to be anti-American. Another account, that of the Houston couple in the souvenir store, pokes fun more at Canadians than at Americans. The couple were turned off when they saw a t-shirt in the store that read, "What's the definition of a Canadian? An unarmed American with healthcare." Clearly a poke at both the Canadian identity and how Canadians choose to identify themselves. The just of the joke, of course, is that Canadians and Americans are not all that different.

    Bruser ends his article in the same vein that he began - stereotypes of Americans - and all of them are by his own hand. First, he declares that "If ever there was an American in Toronto, [Ed] Peck was it." What exactly does this quintessential American in Canada look like, you ask? Why Bruser tells us that he is "moustachioed, athletic build, a tall cowboy hat fit snugly on his head. And unfailingly polite, with a firm handshake to send you off ". I find it interesting that Mr. Peck, who enjoyed his time in Canada, is then immortalized in print by Bruser's stereotyping and smart ass remark, "Y'all come back, hear?".

    Could it be that this story was just one giant self-fulfilling prophecy?




    Posted by Expat at 6:42 PM







    That article certainly is crap: a stupid idea, a poor execution, and a pathetic job of writing.

    We Canadians are so lucky to have so many national and regional columnists and journalists who are so willing to reinforce various Canadian stereotypes.




    Yeah, it's a poorly written article, but it's true...Americans suck. They're dirty and think they're superior. Although, their online shopping is far superior to anything found in Canada. :) Plus, they don't say that silly zed thing for zee.




    How do you really feel Flippy? LMAO

    You are completely right about the online shopping thing. I was trying to buy a wedding gift for my cousin through Amazon.com and learned that Amazon will ship very little to Canada. As such, I went to Amazon.ca. What a piece that site is. Their entire inventory consists of books. Nothing on that site is suitable for a wedding gift.

    UGH to crappy Canadian online shopping! :p

    PS. It is pronounced "zed" not "zee". Just ask Joe. ;)







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