Monday, November 07, 2005

Life in the Great White North

Ok. It's not right to refer to our boreal neighbors by that epithet (nor do I want to offend one of my 7 regular readers, who is Canadian).

Anyway, got this link from the Curt Jester, analyzing the move to legalize euthanasia in Canada. Think slippery slope arguments are overreaching? Think again!

Compassion my friggin a**.

And to those who'd wanted to move to Canada after ol' W won: if this is the definition of a "free" and "progressive" state, then I'll stick right here in redneck, country-music lovin', pick-up truck drivin', crazy about football, a**-damn-backwards, patriotic, flying-an-American-flag-the-size-of-God-in-a-car-dealership, Bible-thumpin', oh-so-red state, South Carolina.

There. I said it.

Hey, I've lived here for like 10 years. A third of my life.

So, shoot me.

(Ok, I just love literary excess and hyperbole and apoplectic overreaction. I sound even better. Ask those who've heard! :) . It shore feels good, ya know! :) No, I'm not ignoring the maddening paradoxes of the South, nor the structural injustices built into society, especially around race [uh, like there's no racism up North either]. But, don't give me the "it's better up there" line. It might be all clean and environmentally sound and progressive and supposedly unbigoted. But there's enough darn scary issues. Besides they [the ultra secularists] hate religion to boot. Bottom line: there's no perfect place. Not this side of the Kingdom. Our citizenship, after all, is in heaven. 'Till then, I guess, we choose our poison, eh?)


assiniboine said...

Oh do try and keep your shirt on, Gashwin!

I keep fairly close tabs on the Canadian news and there was nary a word anywhere about euthanasia; I had to follow your links to find out what the Sam Hill you were talking about.

You've been away from home too long and have forgotten how lower houses operate in parliamentary democracies: a private member's bill introduced in the House by a member of an opposition party has approximately the significance of a crank letter to the editor.

And "Great White North" was somewhat before your time: it was a television satire by two comedians on the Canadian content regulations for public broadcasting: Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas responded, "Oh yeah?" and came up with Doug and Bob Mackenzie, two Molson's-guzzling yobbos in toques and parkas who delivered themselves of every halfwitted prejudice that was ever uttered down at the pool hall in small town Canada ("You want Canadian content? We'll give you Canadian content!") It was utterly hilarious and of course they were in due course summoned to Rideau Hall to be awarded Canada's highest civilian order of merit.

No, no, assuming that "great white north" is a term of disparagement is akin to poor Richard Nixon's thinking it an effective dirty trick to plant fake Democratic campaign literature referring to French Canadians as "Canucks." Pardon? With not one but two hockey teams in the NHL rejoicing in that name?

No one knows better than its natives how improbable a country Canada is! I devoutly hope you manage to keep your healthy Indian sense of the ludicrous; America has a great deal to recommend it and I am the last to climb on anti-American bandwagons -- well, truth to tell, I wave them on -- but its appreciation of absurdity is sometimes a little deficient.

assiniboine said...

(I hope you don't feel I was beating up on you there. Maybe two tight slaps, as Mrs Rupa Mehra is always offering in "A Suitable Boy.")

Gashwin said...

Ok ok, I'll take your two tight slaps. :) At least when it comes to the "Great White North" remark. Apparently for thinking that it might be offensive. :)

Anyway, a little more Googling reveals (and I posted this without much Googling. That's the nature of this medium. Knee-jerk responses are plastered permanently in all their electronic glory) that this was a debate that was going on in September and October of this year. I can't seem to find what the result was.

However, this, combined with the repeated push for legalized euthanasia in Britain (and I don't make the distinction between assisted suicide and euthanasia), the way this has developed in Oregon and the Netherlands, indeed points to a disturbing trend. This isn't so much about Canada, as about an ultra-secular society that devalues human life, in the name of compassion and liberty.

I feel, though this is just instinct and not a reasoned conclusion, that the greater conservative nature, especially the religiously conservative nature of American society is somewhat of an innoculant against such measures taking any real root here. Oregon just seems to prove that: the northwest is quite possibly the most secularized part of the country. But then, as I said, this isn't the result of sustained reflection.

assiniboine said...

Clearly it ended dead on the House of Commons order paper and doubtless there it will stay. Googling is all very well, but it throws up every kook's sound and fury signifying nothing. As I say, a private member's bill introduced by a backbencher from a minor opposition party doesn't make for a reliable indication of the Zeitgeist. I think you can safely re-assess your view of Canada's wild-eyed radicalism. On the other hand...are you not a tad short in the tooth to be making quite such old fogey prognostications?!

Gashwin said...

Maybe so maybe so. I'm just quite pessimistic when it comes to what JPII called "culture of death" issues ... :)