Fashionable anti-Americanism

Fashionable anti-Americanism

Reporter David Bruser poses as a friendly U.S. tourist on Toronto’s streets and finds Canadians aren’t as affable or open-minded as we’d like to think.

I wonder if I should be worried about going to Nova Scotia on my honeymoon. On the other hand, Canada has a phenomenon similar to our blue-state/red-state divide. Places like Ontario and Quebec tend toward more anti-Americanism than certain provinces, apparently.

“I think that the anti-Americanism is part of a regional character that fills a vacuum. The Canadian identity, which in some parts of Canada is quite strong, is not so strong here. I say with some trepidation, because it might sound very arrogant, but there are other places in Canada where the culture is richer and where people are more confident in their culture,” said Krauss.

Hopefully Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have strong regional character.

[Hat tip to Kathy Shaidle]
  • PEI is the only spot without abortions.  If you get there, Dom, try to look up Fr.  Melvin Doucette at his new beginning of a shrine to Our Lady of PEI.  He has a wonderful study for learning contemplation.

  • Domerino:

    The red state-blue state analysis is pretty much accurate, but it’s a bit more complicated, as Canadiana generally is.  Not only is Toronto (site of the anti-American BS cited by Kathy S.) a sort of blue state region, the city also has an enormous chip-like object on its shoulder: Torontonians are desperate to be New Yorkers. 

    I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, studied at McGill in Montreal, and lived in a few places in and around Toronto.  Taught high school there in urban and suburban settings.  It’s one of the rudest, least friendly places I’ve ever been to.  Sure, it’s clean, but clinically so—free of Big Apple-type street garbage, but also free of human feeling and welcome. 

    Nova Scotia and PEI, as even many Torontonians will admit, might as well sit in a different country.  The people in the former are down-to-earth, friendly, generally more “conservative” (although Canadians flee the label) and definitely embarrassed by the arrogant posing of the “New Yawk” wannabes of Toronto.

    The best response you can make to these people is, “So, what do you stand for, eh?

  • I could tell numerous stories of reactions to films from the audiences at the Toronto Film Festival, where I go every September. (Not only is that Toronto, but it’s also an art-house movie audience—a deadly combination.)

    First example to come to mind—the two- or three-minute standing ovation given to BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, which I saw at its North American premiere in 2002, with Michael Moore not 20 feet away from me. Especially well-applauded during the screening were several moments during the film (and Moore’s Q&A afterward) where he congratulates the audience on “the Canadian ethic.” Though the scenes where he walks into Torontonians’ homes to prove how safe they feel (which admittedly ARE funny in that gonzo Hunter Thompson sense) mostly won laughs that Canadian friends assured me were condescending chuckles. Canadians really do lock their doors, and there are neighborhoods where this is mandatory.

  • I grew up near the border with Canada and remember the old SCTV spoofs about Canada and Americans.

    gags included jokes about Canadian content in TV programming: “Monday Night Curling”, “Magnum PEI (Prince Edward Island)” and “the Fishing Musician”.