O Canada, our home and native land. By thy sons command, I am expected to exhibit true patriot love, but who exactly are thy sons, Canada?
It has recently become clear that our nation has a distinct lack of well-known folk heroes. We have real people who have made great strides in freedom and have flipped off flippant reporters, but where are our heroes of fiction and lore?
I’m talking about an equivalent to the American immortals Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan and Al Gore, people who may or may not have existed but inform the very core of moral values that guide citizens’ everyday lives.
Maybe this is why the Canadian moral compass is so misguided. Our four modes of thought are comprised of kindness in the North, and apathy thrice everywhere else. Perhaps I am obsessing over what seems to be an incredibly minor lack in an otherwise peaceful and frigidly awesome country, but at heart I just really care about the children.
Children, who are going to grow up without Canadian folk icons to idolize as they make the early decisions that will distinguish the dainty from the dubious. Instead, they will look up to questionable characters such as the Insane Clown Posse or Jean Chrétien, and that can only lead to a life full of half-hearted patriotism and spirited “eh’s.”
Without these heroes, our neighbours to the south depict us as frightened primitives. Take for example the depiction of Canadians in the popular American sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in which a Canadian-born main character is afraid of the dark, gun-crazy (which seems a bit ironic given American culture) and completely apathetic to human emotion. Does this sound like anyone you know?
To the rest of the world, we are frostbitten nomads living igloo to igloo, enjoying brief hours of summer every year. While that may ring true to the northern one per cent of our fair nation, it is a far cry from the majority of us, whose only experience with igloos began and ended in our childhood snowball wars.
Maybe we were too late to the oral culture party and people grew more skeptical of their elders’ tales by the time our country began to form, but it is a shame nonetheless. Why are there no tales of Mounties who single-handedly fought back the snow beast rebellion, thereby protecting us from an eternity of slavery to our frozen masters? Now our kids will grow up not knowing real, fictional fear.
It is time for us to create folk heroes for our successors. Go grab a pack of exotic fruit seeds and start spreading them across the country. When our kids ask, we can always regale them with the story of how it rained fruits across the country because little Jimmy didn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom. That’ll learn ‘em good.