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Being A Successful Canadian Nationalist By: Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 16, 2000

THE INTENSE debate that has been triggered by the now-famous Molson commercial tells us something interesting, and also tragic, about Canadians. More than anything else, it reveals the necessity of expert intervention. Indeed, that just one article (Jeff Jacoby's The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian) could have set off such a heated and bitter national outcry reveals, in the most profound sense, the empty void that needs to be filled in the Canadian psyche.

To be sure, it must be hard to be Canadian today. I would know—I am one. You see, NAFTA is a fact. Free Trade is here to stay. The cultural boundaries between the United States and Canada are growing increasingly blurry. Due to this process of continentalism, the unfortunate Canadians who aspire to be proud "nationalists" are in a very serious bind. They face the nightmare of losing their entire reason for being.

Thus, a very serious problem exists for aspiring Canadian nationalists who seek to define themselves but really don't know how. This is where I come in. I offer my services to these identity searchers. Having spent most of my life surrounded by people who consider themselves Canadian nationalists, I provide excellent lessons on how to be one. I do one-on-one sessions with clients and now, because of the storm that the Molson commercial set off, I am preparing a "How-To" video infomercial that provides a step-by-step instructional guide on how to be a good Canadian nationalist. Let me summarize the ten basic tips from this infomercial—that I hope will be on Canadian Cable networks soon. I am certain that aspiring nationalists will find these tips indispensable in their odyssey of Canadian self-enlightenment.


Tip #1—Insist that you are not like "those Americans."
This is very important. Without distinguishing yourself from the Americans, you will not be able to be a patriotic Canadian. You simply must tell everyone that you are not like "those" Americans. Make fun of Americans. Sit around with other Canadians who think they are being proud of their country and say things like: "Oh, those Americans." Say this with a patronizing despair, as if there is absolutely no hope for Americans.

Consistently employ double standards in your anti-Americanism. For instance, complain that Americans are too arrogant and that they think they are better than everyone else. At the same time, do not consider the arrogance it takes to imply that you are better than Americans. In other words, condemn the Americans for being too patriotic and then swell with your own patriotic pride that you are not like them. Look down at the Americans for what you believe is their elitism, but ignore the much uglier, and more dishonest, elitism upon which your own disposition is based.

If you are in a crowd where you think you might get away with it, say things like: "Canada isn't racist like the States." Then demonstrate your strong position on this issue by showing "zero tolerance" for anyone who makes stereotypes or generalizations about anyone else. At the same time, however, constantly articulate stereotypes about Americans—and make them all negative. Never consider that your anti-Americanism can be easily related with racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, since it categorizes and demonizes an entire group of people. It is OK to be a bigot, just as long as it involves despising Americans.

By practicing this hypocrisy daily, you can begin to make yourself, and others, really believe that you are not like "those Americans." Be a good little Canadian nationalist.


Tip #2—Make constant excuses for America’s enemies.
This is simply crucial. Constantly apologize for regimes that have, or had, adversarial relations with Washington. Make excuses for these regimes, no matter how pernicious they are. Most importantly, imply moral equivalence when re-evaluating the Cold War. Say things like: "OK, so the Soviets had Stalin, but the Americans had McCarthy." Never get too specific about this statement, especially about what impact these phenomena had on actual human lives. If anyone ever brings up Iraq or North Korea, say that no one has the right to judge these societies. Then judge American society.

Meanwhile, in private, feel completely relieved that you don't have to live under the regimes that you exonerate from their barbarity and authoritarianism. Argue that America is the most oppressive society in the world; then go on a wonderful and relaxing vacation in America.


Tip #3—Get really mad that Americans don’t know anything about Canadians.
In order to be a good Canadian nationalist, you must always remain furious about how Americans in Los Angeles don’t know anything about fascinating places like Manitoba. You must absolutely obsess about this everyday. Complain how stupid Americans are. Laugh about how they don't even know anything about Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Never wonder why anyone living in New York City would have to know anything about Yarmouth. More importantly, never try to imagine an American complaining about how Canadians don't know anything about America. Deny that you are angry because you hate the fact that Canadians need to know about Americans and that Americans don't need to know about Canadians. Instead, demand that the U.S. government should enforce laws that would make all Americans watch the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian programs like the Dini Petty show, and, of course, the Molson commercial.

Sit around with people who think like you and then try to define your identity with statements like: "Yeh, we've got Pamela Wallin." Never imagine Americans defining themselves by saying how they "have" a certain talk-show host. This simply would never happen and the reason for it is too painful for a good Canadian nationalist to explore. So just stay away from this issue. Instead, say things like: "Yeh, we've got medicare." Imagine that this somehow defines your identity.


Tip #4—Watch the Molson commercial over and over again.
Invite a group of Canadian nationalists over to your house and play a videotape of the Molson commercial. Play it over and over again. All of you should say the words aloud along with the commercial. You must do this with a virulent and tenacious dogmatism. Play the commercial over and over again, roughly about 200 times, and chant the words in the commercial until you work each other up into a frenzy. Then storm out into the street and start shouting the words of the commercial with a ferocious vigilance. Imagine that this event is at the epicenter of world civilization. Do not try to reconcile this belief with the fact that you are somewhere in northern Saskatchewan.

Go to parties where nothing else but the Molson commercial is being discussed. Approach people by saying certain phrases from the commercial and then listen to them repeat other phrases of the commercial back to you. Then say a different phrase from the commercial, or—and this is the best part—say the same thing you said the last time, or the same thing he/she said the last time, but put a different tone on it. There are endless possibilities to this, so be creative. Do this back and forth all night with everyone. Never tire of it, and never actually get a life.


Tip #5—Put down American television.
Sometimes you should take a rest from repeating quotes from the Molson commercial and condemn American television. But keep watching it. Then, one day, suddenly refuse to watch American television and tell everyone about it. Convince yourself that you are making a very powerful social statement and that everyone is in complete and utter awe about your courage and dedication to such a heroic political principle. Never consider the reality—which is that people just feel sorry for how out of touch you are.

As you grow increasingly bored by denying yourself the luxury of American television, buy a satellite to start watching Japanese or Albanian television. Try to convince your friends to watch it with you. When this fails, force yourself to watch Canadian television, but of course never watch hockey, the most Canadian game of all, since it is the favorite of lowbrow non-intellectual types like Don Cherry. True, Cherry and his beer-drinking fans are Canadian nationalists but, unlike you and your better-knowing friends, they are the wrong kinds of Canadian nationalists. They lack anti-American fervor. In fact, Cherry should be censored to prevent his politically incorrect brand of nationalism from spreading among the unenlightened masses.

Instead, watch endless reruns of The Littlest Hobo. Laugh hysterically during parts of Canadian comedy that are simply not funny whatsoever—just to show what a proud Canadian you are. While you are privately agonizing over what you are missing on American television, laugh more and more frantically while watching Canadian comedy. Do not be concerned when your laugh gradually transforms into a neurotic and pathological whimper, and then, in turn, into a violent fit of rage. When this happens, just get into a fetal position and shake and squirm, all the while reminding yourself about how you different you are from the Americans.

When you finally start watching American television again, rationalize that you are "keeping an eye" on the enemy.


Tip #6—Get back to saying how you are not like "those" Americans.
Don't forget to do this. You are a good Canadian nationalist and you are not like "those Americans." Constantly say things like: "We're different, we're not like those Americans. We've got better social programs." Say this over and over again, and make sure the people you hang around are also saying this over and over again. All of you should try to sound like a broken record. Look down at the people who aren't saying this over and over again. Say that they are suffering from "false consciousness" and then take the moral high ground. You are, after all, not like the Americans.

At this stage, it is absolutely crucial for you to define yourself according to who you are not, rather than according to who you are. In other words, never try to define your own identity through positive intrinsic terms—just define yourself in opposition to Americans. Never say what exactly you are without bringing up Americans. Just keep the little-brother complex going on and on, forever and ever.

Sprinkle in lots of meaningless statements while engaging in your exhibitionism of non-Americanism. Say things like, "Oh yeh, we're not like the Americans, we're really multicultural." Never figure that America is multicultural as well. If anyone brings this up, just say that Canada is "more" multicultural, and believe that when you say something it automatically makes it true. More importantly, while priding yourself on your incredible tolerance and "multiculturalism," do not wonder how all of this fits with your outright and categorical rejection of American culture. Do not consider what your anti-Americanism actually says about your "multiculturalism."


Tip #7—Imagine that you are a victim of American "imperialism."
I cannot stress this enough if you want to be a good Canadian nationalist. You simply must see Canada as a victim vis-à-vis the United States. You must. You can become really good at this if you do visualization exercises in which you imagine how oppressed you are by American "culture." Imagine that you are a victim of American sitcoms. Convince yourself that you deserve the ultimate claim to martyrdom.

Never compare the Canadian experience with the reality of, say, the Ukrainian people vis-à-vis the Soviet empire. This will confuse the issue. Never wonder how lucky Canada has been to be a U.S. ally and neighbor, whether it is in the context of the standard of living caused by American investment, or of the advantages received from American military might throughout World War II and the Cold War. Just enjoy the luxury that American superpowermanship has afforded you. Then despise the Americans.


Tip #8—Oppose Quebec separatism for the need of self-definition.
Oppose Quebec separatism, and never, under any circumstances, consider that your position is largely based on the knowledge that, without Quebec, English Canada would lose its last pretence of possessing any unique characteristics whatsoever. Also never consider that without anti-Americanism, Canada might just cease to exist altogether—and that you yourself might lose your entire reason for being. So oppose Quebec separatism with a fanaticism that is completely disproportional to the matter at hand. You simply must, for if Quebec separates, you might never again be able to say, "We're not like those Americans" without someone responding "Oh, and how is that?"


Tip #9Avoid the reality of being an American.
While you are engaged in your important journey of self-definition, don't be concerned when you agonize privately at night about the fact that you are actually an American. This is natural. These haunting thoughts will come to you when you are alone and do not have the distraction of articulating meaningless slogans with your like-minded friends. Just hold on. Never seriously question that you might actually be an American in everything but name. If the reality gets too painful while you are alone late at night, immediately call another Canadian nationalist on the phone. Start talking about the Molson commercial and then distinguish yourself from "those Americans" by bringing up Margaret Atwood. Talk about Atwood with your friend into the late hours of the night. Romanticize her existence. Talk about her as if she has developed some kind of an original or profound idea. Never mention what this idea is. Just say how she is the "Canadian Dostoevsky." Ignore the reality that no one outside of Canada, except for maybe four people, has even heard of her. When you finally get off the phone, slip under the covers and repeat the words of the Molson commercial like a rosary prayer or a Hindu mantra. This is better than counting sheep and will help you get to sleep.

The next day, engage in every and any anti-American criticism you can possibly think of. While doing this, ignore the fact that almost every anti-American sentiment you can possibly formulate has its origins in America. Push this fact out of your consciousness because, if you don't, you might realize that anti-Americanism is exported from America—that it is indigenous. You don't want to know, by any means, that Canadian anti-Americanism is actually an American phenomenon, and that Canadian anti-Americanism is the creation of Americans themselves—from the Loyalists to the Vietnam draft-dodgers, and all the others that migrated North to nurture a revulsion against their own society and institutions. By denying all of this, you will never have to accept the fact that your hatred of America is actually not unique or original in any way, and, more frightening yet, not even Canadian. All of this is too dark and deep. It is your greatest and most tragic nightmare: your anti-Americanism is, when all is said and done, American. The truth can be a very painful thing. So just stay in denial. After all, remember: the Canadian nationalist’s greatest desire is to be told lies.

Most importantly, laugh hysterically while watching endless reruns of Canadian comedies like Wayne and Schuster. Laugh when it's not funny. Laugh even if you are bored out of your mind. Force yourself to laugh. Be a good little Canadian nationalist.


Tip #10—Watch the Molson Commercial.

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union and is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. His new book is United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.

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