Saturday, August 07, 2004

Displaying Flags

OK, what has happened to Canadians? Did everyone decide that they needed to display their patriotism on their sleeve while I was gone? Yesterday while walking through the streets of Toronto - great city, by the way - I kept seeing Canadian flags all around. Some folks even have them flying alongside their minivans. A street peddler was getting into the spirit: his sign read "can you spare some change? I AM CANADIAN." Jeesh. Am I supposed to feel more inclined to give him a loonie cause we're both canucks? I don't know, maybe I just didn't notice it in 1999, but it seems like there's more red and white out there.

You know, last year (August 14, 2003 to be exact) the power shut off in New York and they initially blamed Canada for the outage. After it was discovered that, in fact, the outage originated from a problem in the United States, my American coworkers sang the annoying South Park song, Blame Canada. Well, for the rampant flag waving, I say Blame America. Even before 9/11, Americans have had an insatiable appetite for displaying "Old Glory." When I lived in Washington, DC I took the bus to work every morning. I remember one morning I counted the number of American flags in the 25 minute bus ride: 66. On every bus. Draped over the sides of buildings. Flanking the entrances of corporate offices. On lapels. On dogs. On mannequins. Et cetera.

I haven't counted the number of Canadian flags on any particular journey around Toronto but I would guess that there are still fewer flags here than, say, DC. Still, I say Blame America.