Skip to main content

all rise for the national anthem


some of you may have gotten sucked into watching the olympics recently, or at least have been exposed to some vitriolic coverage of the games currently taking place in vancouver.

many of you may not be familiar with canada, since we are a somewhat quiet nation, thought of (in some circles) as perhaps a bit dull or slow, especially compared to our rather dynamic neighbour to the south.

so many of you may not know that canada is the second largest country by area in the world, or that we are home to the second largest french-speaking city in the world. or that canada was the unlikely site of the largest pre-atomic explosion in world history. likewise, you may not have heard that in the one war fought between canada (then a british colony) and her neighbour to the south, that we not only defended ourselves admirably, but marched south and sacked the capital. (we probably wouldn't try this again nowadays. of course nowadays, if the americans burned toronto, a lot of canadians would probably bring them gas cans and kindling. (the country's odium towards its largest city is another thing about canada that seems to remain a national secret.)

the battle that raged around washington inspired an american by the name of francis scott key to pen a hopeful little poem called "the defence of fort mchenry" when he saw that the tattered flag of his young nation had survived a brutal assault on chesapeake bay by the british navy.

canada's own national anthem is a bit of a mystery, with its oddly ungrammatical lyrics, its self-deprecating humour and its melody, which demands to be sung at such volume that no sober human can hope to do it justice. whereas other national anthems project gravitas and pride, ours is simply one more of the strange bonds that ties our unwieldy country together.

ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the lyrics of "o canada":

O Canada
Your home’s on native land
True pastry love
That all of us command
With glowing hearts
We seethe and rise
The true north song we freed
Flung far and white
On cannonballs
We stand on carts and freeze
Cod feed our land
Glory of the seas
O Canada
We stand on God for thee
O Canada
We stand on God for thee!

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: the dangers of diagnosing

when you take a look at any reputable online source of information about mental health, it comes with a warning that anything you read on the site should not be considered a substitute for evaluation by a medical professional. so why are so many people jumping on the bandwagon to diagnose donald trump?

it's not uncommon for people to make glib judgments about the mental health of others, because we think that we understand what disorders entail. when i was working in offices, i noticed a lot of this: an immature and garrulous employee being labeled and partially excused because others were certain he had adhd, or a moody and indecisive boss dismissed as bipolar. [as you can imagine, that one struck me as particularly ignorant and, since i was the audience, ironic.] but in the case of trump, even professionals are weighing in on the subject. no fewer than twenty-seven psychiatrists have collaborated on a book called the dangerous case of donald trump. up to now, it's been unde…

making faces :: a winter tale

so this is it. we've reached the final season in our colour year. so far we've looked at spring, with its heart of citrus yellow, summer and its symphony of cool blues and autumn with its spicy bronzes and golds. and i'm still not sure i've found a good place to rest my face. i've chosen seasonal winners in each category, but are they really me?

it's a bit of a rhetorical question, of course, because i already had an inkling that my precocious childhood self might have been onto something when she declared herself a "winter". not that she knew what she was talking about, of course, but sometimes even fools say the right thing without meaning to. even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. [unless you're in europe and use a twenty-four hour clock, which actually makes a lot more sense.]

as with all the other seasons, winter is divided into three parts, the true winter at the centre, flanked by neighbours who carry a hint of the adjacent …