If you’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with a Canadian you’ll know that we’re sorry. Not for anything in particular, just generally. If you bump into one of us on the street, we’ll be the ones to apologize.
Like any country with running water and a stock market, we have had a checkered history with the original tenants of our land, and several run-ins with the French, but never has a country fetishized their sins as thoroughly as Canada has. Our airports and government buildings use Native art the way Persian homosexuals use leopard print, and everything we read is coupled with a French translation, even though I’m personally more likely to have a conversation in Tagalog. Our art funding goes disproportionately to multicultural projects, to a point where we haven’t just turned our guilt into an art form, we have adopted it as a national identity so pervasive that it makes one wonder what would be left if all that went away.
In the end, I still prefer living in a country that settles its grievances with art funding and tax policy to once which uses settlement camps and suicide bombers, and I like having the French language around, if only for aesthetics. That said, with America acting like Al Pacino during the last act of Scarface, the Middle East fighting their way back to the seventeenth century, and Europe resembling a great sweater that has seen one too many winters, maybe my countrymen can celebrate this Canada Day by grading the world on a curve, and letting ourselves off the hook for long enough to forge a culture of modernity, build on our accomplishments and not just our indiscretions.
A little glimpse of the part of our culture that doesn’t involve nature, aboriginals, or winter sports, here’s a mix of some Canadian rock and new wave from the eh-ties.
Trooper – The Boys In the Bright White Sports Car
Gino Vannelli – Black Cars
The Parachute Club – Rise Up
Platinum Blonde – Situation Critical
Loverboy – Working For the Weekend (Demo Version)
Martha & the Muffins – Swimming
Men Without Hats – Pop Goes the World
Gowan – You’re a Strange Animal
The Payolas – Eyes of a Stranger
Bruce Cockburn – Lovers In a Dangerous Time
Honeymoon Suite – New Girl Now
Rough Trade – High School Confidential
Glass Tiger – Someday
Chilliwack – My Girl
Doug & the Slugs – Who Knows How (To Make Love Stay)
Kim Mitchell – Patio Lanterns
Corey Hart – It Ain’t Enough
Barenaked Ladies – What A Good Boy
The Tragically Hip – Wheat Kings
Stompin’ Tom Connors – C-A-N-A-D-A (Cross Canada)
Electric Adolescence – we spell canada with lower case letters (right click to download) 45 mins/ 320 kbps/ 103MB