Don't you just love it when an Aussie gets all rhetorical and witty

Clive James uses the BBC to sell a Hollywood movie – and tell people how Australia doesn’t need no body, no how…

OK, I must admit I want to visit Australia one day – I suppose I could get past the Kangaroos, Wallabies and the odd Koala. They have a good swimming team, all named something vaguely Russian and can play cricket.

But dear Clive is on about – and quite derogatory, Canada, and…Lapland. We do have to remember that Clive is an Australian – he works really hard on his accent because he has lived in Britain for – well, like forever dude!

So what is it he is saying about Canada? What he is saying is the one thing that pisses me off – because unlike he, I live in Canada – and I know that the stereotype that Canadians want to be, or are like, Americans – well. G’night, Bruce!

Right there we get to the heart of this supposedly vital question about national identity. Small countries want the United States to have heard of them.

Britain counts as a big small country because it has a lot of people in it, but even the British are apt to waste time caring about whether the Americans have heard of them.

Not all their time, however, for which I bless their sanity. For smaller small countries – and I mean smaller by population – it can be a continuing obsession. The clearest case is Canada, which is large in area even by comparison with the US but is short of people.

Crucially, Canada is right next to the US, and speaks the same language. Everyone knows that Mexicans are Mexicans but few of us can tell a Canadian from an American unless the Canadian is speaking French. The Canadians are forever bothered by a sense of being dominated by their famous neighbour to the south.

The Canadians try to laugh, however. There was a Canadian best-selling book recently called Coping with Back Pain. It did so well that the Americans printed their own edition. But the Americans called it Conquering Back Pain because the US is a can-do nation that conquers, it doesn’t cope.

If dearest Clive thinks that Canada and the US speak the same language – he really should visit here, and soon! I have never met one Canadian that wants to be recognised by the US – to be even associated with the US other than a place where Canadians can, and do – often – take the proverbial piss out of Americans. A book about conquering back pain by Americans will, I can promise you, mean more fodder for Canadian comedians to write some classic jokes.

One would be about what has the US conquered lately? The answer would be contemporary silence.

This blog post isn’t about disliking Americans – but it is about and Australian, working for the BBC, in London, promoting a film about Australia because Australia doesn’t have many people and those that do live there are just about every nationality on the planet – especially Greek – and Turk.

And, of course, a lot of sheep.

Canada has an enormous amount of pride, that I can tell him from first hand knowledge. My wife is Canadian, and obviously so is her family. Canada has just about the most accommodating people on this planet – except for Toronto – but everyone hates Toronto – the city that tries so hard to be American. Is that what Clive is basing his bias on?

Come to Canada, Clive – come to the east coast and then the west. All the while promoting this piece about Canada and ‘small’ countries. You will see a very different Canada I can assure you. And you will be the butt of the jokes.

Canada laughs at herself just as much as the British do – but, and this is the crux of the matter – you live in and around London – Take a trip north once in a while, Americans do – and then they also know that those in the north don’t need their national identity being proclaimed something by those who live in the south.

PS: As a movie – Australia is shite!

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Blah!, Blogroll, Blogs, Comment, Media, Personal philosophy, psychology, Sociology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Don't you just love it when an Aussie gets all rhetorical and witty

  1. thebeadden says:

    Oh, Will…Will…Will.
    You are almost being a sheep when you say that about Toronto! Have you been there? Most of my work is there and I can tell you that is not true. Not accommodating? Come on! It is one of the most accommodating places I have ever been. How can you say that? Look at the mix of people there. Look at HOW MANY there are. There are at least at One million Mandarin, a million East Indian in the GTA. That’s just two nationalities.

    I know you read bad things in the news, but consider the population and diversity. They are not warring in the streets. There are groups and communities all over. Toronto is a great place. The people are wonderful. You only get to read about the bad stuff.

    It is awesome. You can go to one area and shop the Jewish bakeries for the best breads you’ll ever eat, go to another for spices. It’s like visiting these Countries in a small community. You get a dose of what it is like. Their clothes, their lifestyle and foods!

    I can go sit outside and eat on the patio of a Greek restaurant or Italian, for lunch, not know anyone, I’m just in the area working, but be guaranteed to have conversations with at least three people.

    Believe me when I say even though many of these people are from other places, they are happy to be Canadian. I don’t hear many kind words about the US. That is because many of these people are more aware of world issues and history (the real history. Many have lived it. They know more than we do about things that have happened and why.

    Don’t diss it until you’ve experienced it. And if you have, just where the heck were you?

    I’ve been out west and can tell you there is a lot of intolerance in places. Far more than I expected. I was too young when I went East to be aware of anything there. But I do hear wonderful things about it and hope to visit one day.

    Come to Toronto, Will. You will see a very different Toronto I can assure you…. 😉

    And this National identity thing is a joke. It’s for people with a complex. It is thing they trough around to rouse the people into agreeing with stuff. All, as you say…bull biscuits! I am Canadian. Proud of it. Canada doesn’t need an identity to be something, how stupid.

    Anyway, Take care

  2. Will Rhodes says:

    Bead – it was a joke post, lol. Hence the reference to the movie lol. 😛

  3. thebeadden says:

    Oh crap. Why do I always do this on YOUR site? Or maybe I do it on everyone’s and they just don’t say anything…

    Well then forget it. LOL!

    How many times do I have to say

    ‘Sorry, Will’

    Geez. See? That’s why I have been avoiding politics lately!

  4. Will Rhodes says:

    LOL – again, no apology needed!

    It must be the way I write – some people take me seriously all the time – maybe I am too dry-witted?

    Even the wife and kids have a hard time ‘getting’ me sometimes. Which is cool! 😀

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