Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oh CanaDUH

I encourage everyone to read this article from Macleans Magazine:

This survey, to me, really speaks volumes of the intellectual crisis in Canada. While the columnist calls the idea of a "literary crisis" a tad alarmist, I am in agreement that we are in a crisis, though I wouldn't call it literary, but rather an intellectual one.

The fact that these figures are so high shows just how dis-engaged Canadian culture is. Perhaps this is why we're so polite, we simply don't know what it means to engage and thus just apologize and thank everyone for anything, not because we know why we're apologizing or saying thank you, but because it's the "tolerant" thing to do. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to engage your ideas and put them to the test of reason", "thank you for your opinion, it has given me a new perspective" (if only Joe Smith knew what perspective was!).

It is not to say that politics are the be-all end-all litmus test of our society's brain drain, but it is a good indicator. And I know what one complaint will be, "America is taking all our smart people". Well now, is America taking them, or are Canadians leaving Canada because they're fed up with the lack of engagement of the country? I would argue that if you talk to anyone, it's the latter. Let us leave America out of it. Most people are simply jealous of the many achievements America has made and so just presume that everything American is bad. Let us stop blaming people and start taking action!

Let us begin engaging people and actually giving them an education. Let us stop defining being Canadian with hockey, beer, and Tim Hortons. Materialism is not the way to defining what it means to be Canadian, let me assure you!

While I was stuck in London I met another Canadian who seemed to put his life on beer and swearing. The unfortunate thing is, however, that this is not uncommon. People in Canada do not think. I know I am making a generalized statement, because I am obviously thinking right now and giving reasons for what I am saying. But the sweeping majority simply do not care about thinking. In fact, many men actually identify with the stupid-man character on so many TV sitcoms. It has now become the status quo that if you are like the men on TV, then you are a real man. I'm sorry, but real manhood is not that, I hate to burst the bubble.

It is time to stop this cultural pacifism and start getting engaged. Perhaps we can start at a level all people can understand, though. Let us put on each box of Tim Hortons a line from the Constitution Act, or on a can of beer a name of a Prime Minister with their face. Perhaps we can still educate this country before it falls into intellectual nothingness.


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