Countercultural Canada

  Countercultural Canada

Posted by CN Staff on July 05, 2003 at 18:36:01 PT
Questions for Naomi Klein 
Source: New York Times  

Q. As Canada's best-known political columnist outside Canada, you probably have something to say about the news that a court in Ontario recently legalized same-sex marriages.It's great. There's been a wave of gay weddings in Toronto in just the past few weeks. The American Library Association was in town, so we had 19,000 librarians in Toronto, and some of them were gay Americans who rushed to get married here. City Hall has extended its hours. 
Toronto has become the gay Las Vegas.I'm so glad it's helping the tourist industry. The American media's coverage of SARS has been hysterical. Most people don't know that much about Canadian geography, so they think that the whole country is living a SARS epidemic, when in fact there was a very contained outbreak in a few Toronto hospitals. I was watching CNN, and they kept showing pictures of people wearing masks in Toronto. I haven't seen one person wearing a mask in Toronto. We thought it might be retaliation against our stand on Iraq. Canada has become Bush's worst nightmare right across the border.It's pretty clear the two countries are not getting along. The trouble started during Bush's election, because the Chretien government wanted Gore to win. Our prime minister, Jean Chretien, has never been invited to the ranch in Texas or stayed at the White House. It is pretty embarrassing. Canada has been slighted. But I think it is healthy for Canada to acknowledge that we don't have the same interests as the United States. When did Canada become so liberal?Perhaps it's just that the United States became more conservative. The main difference between the two countries is that the United States is driven by fear. There is not a strong social safety net in the U.S., so you worry that you will have no money when you retire, or have no one to take care of you when you get sick. The look-after-yourself mentality is at the core of how the United States has chosen to build its society. On the plus side, the United States is a far more vivid place. What has Canada contributed to world culture besides a bunch of hockey players?Well, it's true that we're seen as boring. But we do have some great novelists -- including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Yann Martel, Ann-Marie MacDonald -- and maybe with this new burst of independence, we're just late bloomers. Canada certainly acted independently in May, when it moved to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.Unlike America, we never had a revolution where we violently severed ties from England. Instead, we came to a gentleman's agreement. Canada is now a less British place, but we still have the queen on our money. Canada is a little bit like the kids who never rebelled, but when they turn 40, they start smoking pot. It seems as if the counterculture movement in Canada hasn't been commodified the way it has been in the United States.I think the American draft dodgers have a lot to do with the booming pot industry in Canada. A lot of hippies who came to Canada ended up setting up communes, a back-to-the-land movement, in pockets of British Columbia, and that is the region where most of the pot is being grown. So we can blame the Americans. Your parents were American conscientious objectors who fled to Canada to avoid the draft.Yes, but we were on the East Coast, so we didn't grow pot. The draft dodgers were actually a reverse brain drain that brought a lot of artists and professionals to Canada. Maybe now that the U.S. is becoming a harder place for so many people, we're going to have another wave. Interview by Deborah Solomon.Source: New York Times Magazine (NY)Published:  July 06, 2003 Copyright: 2003 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters Website: Articles:Canada: Hippie Nation?! Canada! - Washington Post and Confused - Detroit Metro Times

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Comment #8 posted by Jose Melendez on July 07, 2003 at 08:31:08 PT
Just say no to war on drugs
"Indeed, when you open a can of worms, you see worms." 
Adrian E.. Cristobal§=3&fname=OPED/2003-07/OE03070135407f.txtsee also:
Arrest Prohibitionists: Drug War is Treason!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 07, 2003 at 08:18:36 PT

If I were a Canadian I would be insulted by some of these articles too. Canada is light years ahead of the USA. The best actors and musicians have come from Canada. Even Dan Ackroyd is a Canadian! So is Neil Young. I even think that Steve Martin is a Canadian and Martin Short. I could go on and on. Hold your heads high! I'm proud of all of you! I'm ashamed of the way we are forced to think down here.
Neil Young - Greendale 2003
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Comment #5 posted by Doobinie on July 07, 2003 at 06:15:22 PT

I'm not sure, but I think that I am insulted...
"On the plus side, the United States is a far more vivid place. What has Canada contributed to world culture besides a bunch of hockey players?"I am aware that most Americans are not very conscious of the world outside the borders of the United States. What astounds me is how little they are aware of their own culture. It has been said, in a conspiratorial kind of way, that the Jews run Hollywood. I think that the conspiracy is valid, but the culprits are not the Jews. Here's a little conspiracy you can spread around if you want: Hollywood is run by Canadians. As proud as America is of its entertainment industry, much of it, if not most, is run/populated by Canadians. A few notable examples:Lorne Michaels: So, I guess you could say that SNL and everything that came from it is actually Canadian, and produced with American funds.Mike Myers: An SNL alumnus, and a Canadian, which means that Austin Powers and the rest are actually Canadian.I could go on, but I guess I just wanted to point out that what Canadians have contributed to world culture is actually quite substantial. We just let you guys call it American culture because you paid for it 8-). To be honest, I actually believe that Canadians in your entertainment industry are largely to thank for the United States not being more fascist/conservative than it is.Please forgive my outburst. I'm having a bad century.Love and peace from the cultural void known as Soviet Canuckistan.Doobinie
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Comment #4 posted by freedom fighter on July 06, 2003 at 03:12:02 PT

Hey, MOG
Good to see ya! Doing what you just said...PASS THE WORD!!pazff
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Comment #3 posted by military officer guy on July 05, 2003 at 21:13:02 PT

pass the word
vote libertarian in '04...
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on July 05, 2003 at 20:22:25 PT

Show me the movie. 
Perhaps it's just that the United States became more conservative.No. This isn't to cast all Nazis in the worst possible light. I myself have no restraint in saying it is the American Nazis and their arrangements with Israel on down. It is the crushing of the people by the ones that own two-thirds or everything with their system of stuff casting ballots instead of people. It is the American Nazis that hold all media looking inwards for best mind control that are two blame. Just look at the Extremist Party 4th of July Nazi Awards. George Nazi Busch will feed you his lies. Gettysburg was fought the first three days of July, 140 years ago and it gave us words to inpire us people that think the path to the best public good would lead to a more perfect Union. You know that there are two community colleges that video products for entry into media as a career. Show me the movie already. Don't you guys have projects. Can't you see a story when you see it. How about a story of a man that is building a house or better yet a hospice. A mortuary creamates AIDS victims and others that have died because cannabis prohibition is mass murder and the ashes are inbedded into a 12 inch block to make a wall of 12 inch thick cement. Now these block are stacked to make a wall 6 feet high and each 12x12 has the last words on the brick as a tombstone. They are awaiting funds to build this kick-ass hospice for when people are not killed by cannabis prohibition. And the memes from Cnews that virus with every death have the longest wall. Now each block must contain the words Cannabis Prohibition because this is my movie and I want to advance the worthy memes.  These are good earthquake brick with holes so they can be assembled like Lincoln logs, but more like lincoln concrete block and two inch pipe. They are all twelve inches thick but you but different links. Only 12 inches in lenth per person but any length brick available. The North wall will all be made with the blocks with the words "Cannabis prohibition is mas murder." It is the chief internal program line in reasoning toward the issue of medical marijuana. I do not want to enter a debate about weather the Schedule One Lie is figuratively the size of Greenland or Australia in the world of American Nazi lies. Cannabis prohibition is a hoax and cannabis prohibition is mass murder make two of the walls. You got other people under the "Cannabis prohibition is robbery" is currently in third place, because people do not like be threatened continually by their own government while creating a situation of turning a 45 pound bundle of bud for $20 in Mexico into price of gold stuff if someone would take the stems and seeds out of it. Why them Mexicans send seeds and stems up here I'll never know.I hate being robbed. If I die now I want in the "Cannabis prohibition is robbery" theme. Make a movie. Go to Spain or go to Canada. Get a clue. I am sure junior year was the best two years of your life, but get a job. Make a movie. The government is robbing us and killing us. They are lying to us and taking our children from us and our houses and good name. What would you prize above your health, and they will rob you of that too. There is a story in there somewher kid. And go somewhere and take a summer course on rebellion. Be sure and make those Nazis look like the treasonous robbing, lying, killing, and threatening evil doers they are. What are you going to school for? Make a movie or learn to lay bricks.
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Comment #1 posted by Kegan on July 05, 2003 at 18:49:48 PT

4rth Reich
Germany in the 1930's....The US in 2003.....Gonna get worse before it gets better. Bush by a stolen landslide in `04.
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