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Off-The-Cuff Nationalism

Craig S. Lloyd

only in Canada can a chicken that lives in a bag and a fake talking giraffe be considered an "institution." As an adult, the only time someone sees that is when he or she is on a bad trip. But, as a child, I was quite fond of Rusty and Jerome, from the Friendly Giant. They defiantly were a mainstay in Canadian culture between 1958 to 1985. As well we had an androgynous young person named Casey who lived in a tree-house with a dog. Also an institution.

All of the above information begs the question: What exactly is Canadian culture? Or, more generally, what does it mean to be a Canadian? Can it all be summed up in a television ad meant to make the masses go out and buy a certain type of beer?

I admit, it had a certain charm to it the first 10 times I saw it, but is that all to being Canadian there is? What does an actor who is probably looking for work in the US have to do with Canadian Nationalism? Why am I even talking about the commercial after Maclean's said it was passť to still be writing about it?

Canada is probably the only country where the people who identify themselves by who they are not. We are not Americans, or British, or any other nationality, for that matter. Well then, who are we? Are we beer guzzlers who play/watch hockey with our pet beavers, and don't live in igloos? Are we people who watch too many beer commercials?

I think the answer is simple. A Canadian is someone who knows Canada is the best place in the world to live.


Craig S. Lloyd is an "institution" at canadian content. He's also unemployed. Send job leads to clloyd@writeme.com

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