Friday, July 01, 2005

Friday Random Ten - "Home And Native Land" Edition

The Electric Mayhem Random Ten, out of 291 tracks:

1. The Postal Service - Sleeping In
2. Bill Janovitz & Crown Victoria - Almost Falls Apart
3. Ringo Starr - Photograph
4. Tom Cochrane - Willie Dixon Said
5. The Arcade Fire - No Cars Go
6. Interpol - Say Hello To The Angels
7. Rufus Wainwright - Across The Universe
8. Queens of the Stone Age - In My Head
9. Aimee Mann - Going Through The Motions
10. Coldplay - Don't Panic

Well, it's Canada Day, and instead of going to see home-grown musicians or consuming alcohol, I'm celebrating it by writing a paper on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. I'm the worst Canadian ever. At least I'm a good student. Or a bad one, depending on your definition.

I was talking to one of my professors on Wednesday, who's originally from the States, and asked him if he was doing anything special on Monday, as he's not getting the day off or anything. He said that he was just keeping it mellow; having a bar-be-queue with just a few friends. He then said that living in Canada means that he has to reign in his in-bred (not "inbred") patriotism at times, and it's becoming easier the longer he lives here. Got me thinking on the subject of patriotism, and why people are proud of their countries. I mean, it's like Bill Hicks said: "
I was over in Australia and I was asked, 'Are you proud to be an American,' and I was like, 'I don't know. I didn't have a lot to do with it, you know. My parents fucked there, that's about all.' "

I'm proud of my country, and I think it's a great place to live. And sure, it's easy to take potshots at Americans, and I get upset when they do it to me. Intellectually, though, I think it's rather futile. I think that patriotism is just outwardly directed selfishness, and it is ultimately one of the things that is holding society back. Focusing on how great you are eventually leads to you focusing on how crappy everyone else is, and how you're superior, and that's counter-productive. I truly believe all of that, intellectually. And yet, when I see the flag, hear the national anthem, or even just see a friggin' beaver, I can't help but feel strangely proud. Cognitive dissonance can get really confusing.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

"Focusing on how great you are eventually leads to you focusing on how crappy everyone else is, and how you're superior, and that's counter-productive." Excellent point. For me, another counter-productive aspect of patriotism is how undeserved it seems. We should be proud of great accomplishments and heroic acts, but to be proud in a country "just 'cause its your country" has always seemed ridiculous. Feeling pride from looking at a Beaver is a totally different thing, however. :D