Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Keeping Stereotypes Alive Since 1975

There's this old Canadian commercial for beer where the campaign was called "I Am Canadian." It was one of those campaigns that gave Canadians a pride in their country the way no government commercial ever could. Some of you will scoff that we found our pride in our country in a beer commercial, because in the US, it's all about the "we live in the greatest country in the world," which often seems to be said by people who've never left the country. Having only lived in three countries, I'd never claim that any of them are the greatest, because I don't know enough about the other 164. But that's just me.

I think it's great that Canada can feel pride from a beer commercial. It's fitting, what with us having some of the best beer in the world. Beer is an intricate part of our national identity, you see.

The lyrics were the following, spoken by a twenty-something guy on a stage with images flashing behind him, I'm sure it'd be on You Tube somewhere:

I'm not a lumber jack
Or a fur trader
And I dont live in an igloo
Or eat blubber
Or own a dog sled
And I don't know
Jimmy, Jally or Suzie from Canada
Although I'm sure they're really really nice
I have a Prime Minister not a President
I speak English and French not American
And I pronounce it about not "a-boot"
I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack I believe in peackeeping not policing
Diversity not assimilation
And that the beaver is a truley proud and noble animal
A toque is a hat a chesterfield is a couch
And it is pronouced "zed" not "zee," "zed"!
Canada is the 2nd largest landmass!
The 1st nation in hockey!
And the best part of North America!
My name is Joe and I am Canadian!"

Now my favorite part of this? Since having moved away? Is the "And I don't know
Jimmy, Jally or Suzie from Canada, Although I'm sure they're really really nice." Because Canadians? We do get asked that all the time. Like I'll be asked where I'm from in Canada and I'll answer "Toronto." And people will say to me "I know Bob in Vancouver. Do you know Bob?"

But then, my two worlds collided. A few months ago, Emma told her readers to read Alissa's blog. And so I started reading her and saw that she's from Toronto.

Then I added her as a Facebook friend. And yesterday, I was goofing off on facebook, writing on one of my guy friend's pages and saw that in common, we had Alissa as a friend. And I thought WTF????

Ends up? Alissa? She worked with a good friend of mine at some point in her life.

And then? Out of curiosity from looking at her other friends? I come to find out that she also knows someone I went to university with, who I thought was one of the funniest people of all time.

Alissa and I? We totally could have met at least two different points in our lives.

So if you ask me if I know Alissa in Canada, well, yes. I can say that I do.

Anyone else have "It's a Small World Afterall" stuck in their head?




Pusher Robot said...

Here are some of MY favorites that I've been asked:

Are there trees in Canada?
What color is the sky?
Do they have schools in Canada?
Are there roads in Canada?

And the best is the fact that I should be USED to the cold since I'm from Canada, because as you well know, Canada is frozen everywhere, all year round. If it weren't for dogsleds we'd never get to the USA.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

Well, now I have It's a Small World stuck in my head, thanks a whole helluva lot for that. It's funny. I got that same kind of "Do you know" about Texas when I lived in Rhode Island. The fact that 25 million people live in Texas was not an obstacle, cause Jim Bob lived in Cuero & I should know him.

Ms. Porter said...

Small world!

One of my fav things about your blog when you post about "Canadian things"...I haven't bought coffee yet so I'm on a caffiene low so its hard to explain myself...but when you live here you don't even realize how different we are...even if it's a beer commercial or the way we speak...whatever.

Julie said...

I thought all you Canadians said "hoser" and "take off" all the time too?

Your post reminds me I need to log into Facebook.

AndreAnna said...

The funny thing about NJ is that everyone eventually leaves, so whenever we're on vacation somewhere, and people ask where we're from, they either know someonewho lives near us, or have mvoed out themselves.

Personally, I like NJ but there are a ton of things I could change about it, and if I could pack up all my friends and family with me, I'd be out in a heartbeat.

Emma in Canada said...

I thought that thing with Alissa was pretty funky. And, honestly, when I saw what college you went to I almost messaged you and said "hey do you know..." and then I realized that a lot of people went there and she is a good 3 years older than you.

I did love that commerical, though the beer is pretty gross (as are all beers in my opinion!)

Morgan Leigh said...

the thing i find hilarious. and i've seen this happen (or rather heard it) it's never been done to me, though, is when someone says something like "I'm from Australia" and the person they are talking to says, "Oh, wow. I have a cousin from Ireland."

Um, ok. That's nice. :-) It always makes me laugh to hear people say that.

Rachel said...

It really is a small world sometimes. Also, I am so damn retarded, I totally googled how many countries there are and it's 194.

Wow, I need help.

Blue Momma said...

Ok, so I've been totally impressed with Canada. Even before you.

But especially after!

I've even got a draft post dealing with all things I find great about Canada. Guess I better finish it up...

alissa said...

Okay, you just wrote that story sooo much better than I ever could have. My version? Probably more along the lines of, "Me & That Catwoman Chick? We know not one, BUT TWO of the same people. Weird, huh?"

The end.

Melissa said...

You know I had to go look it up on Youtube


Melissa said...

...and my fav part of that commercial was when they played it before a movie and the whole theatre would cheer!! It's one of the rare examples of Canadians being patriotic. (and I'll stop blog stalking you now!) =)