You read the headline right: Canadians too patriotic for sensitive Americans. A story in the National Post reports on findings from focus groups carried out in four American cities where the Canadian government is building consulates:
In focus groups held this fall in four U.S. cities where the federal government is opening consulates, Americans acknowledged they don’t know much about Canadians and have low awareness that the country had not supported the U.S. in the war in Iraq.
“Some participants expressed a certain amount of annoyance at what is perceived as a systematic attempt by Canadians to make the statement that they are not Americans by sporting the maple leaf,” said the recently released report.
You’d think that a country that debates the legality of burning the flag would understand if people from another country would wear their own flag proudly, but noooo…
The report says even Americans who blame the Bush administration to some extent for the country’s poor relations with the world do not seem to understand why friendly countries and neighbours such as Canada would want to distance themselves from Americans.
For instance, an American from San Diego is quoted saying: “What bugs me about Canadians, if I may, is that they wear that damn patch on their bags, the Canadian flag patch. That way, they differentiate themselves from us.”
“They look like us, they sound sorta like us, they got most of the same fast-food chains…why ain’t they us?”
Really, my American friends, relax. Have a beer. Er. make that two, since it’s more watery than ours.
Near the end of the story:
Most participants said they were “shocked” by a fact sheet about Canada that they were presented during the focus groups.
“A few express some concern over the U.S.’s implied dependence on Canada for energy . . . However, Canada should be careful not to appear “boastful,” which could backfire, as Americans do not like to be reminded of any kind of dependence on another country,” the report warned.
Hey, dudes, we’re your friends, for Chrissakes! Your neighbours! Your poorer, quirkier, cooler neighbours! The Simpsons to your Flanders!
You want a real cause for concern? You should be considerably more shocked at your dependence on Saudi Arabia and their pals. Think about it: we sew flag patches on our backpacks and tell the occasional “dumb American” joke; those two-faced rat-bastards sold you jet fuel and then used the proceeds to train people to fly that fuel into the World Trade Center.
I’m sure I speak for the majority of Canadians when I say We like our American neighbours (in fact, we find some of you downright cuddly).
Maybe what I need to do is invite all of America over to my place for a party. You bring the apple pie and the rock and roll, we’ll provide poutine and beer, we’ll all pile into the hot tub truck and watch Red Dawn (“Wolveriiiiiines!”). Sound like fun?