While we await the main performance soon to begin in Iraq, here are a few distractions.
UP – UP AND AWAY!
Israel’s first astronaut blasted off into space yesterday aboard a US Shuttle. This is a huge deal for several reasons.
1) It places Israel in the most unique club – on and off the earth. Amongst other disciplines, this flight acknowledges Israel’s accomplishments in the sciences.
2) It sends a signal to the Arab and Moslem world that Israel is really a part of modernity, and as such will NEVER be like them.
3) It sends a message to the entire world that Israel is truly a friend, ally and partner to the United States of America. And not just through lip service.
4) Finally: this flight into history gives Israel a sense of credibility and affirmation like none other.
I am very proud of Israel and the United States for making this happen.
MORE FROM LEBANON’S AMBASSADOR TO CANADA:
Lebanon’s Ambassador to Canada “regrets” that his comments created “controversy”. But, he never apologized for his remark that Jews and/or a Zionist group controlled 90% of the Canadian media. Which of course is not true.
Nor did he apologize for his not so veiled threat against “visible” Canadians traveling in the Middle East; specifically in Lebanon.
But, as far as Bill Graham, Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs is concerned; he is satisfied with the Ambassador’s public statement, and considers the matter closed.
The only thing I consider closed, is our idiot Foreign Affairs Minister’s head.
WHAT CONSTITUTES CANADIAN CULTURE?
Michael Bliss, Canada’s most vocal historian used a great deal of printed space defining Canada’s culture, trying to establish from where we have come. And supposedly where we are going.
I’ll make it really easy for Michael Bliss: We don’t have much of a culture of our own. And that’s why our country is so envious of the Americans. Sure, we fought in several major wars, and honored ourselves above and beyond the call of duty. Unfortunately, up to, and including WWII, we served under the command of others. Specifically the British.
What Canada has, that constitutes a great part of our culture, are scraps and pieces from left-over vestiges of our past colonial days. What was British or French is NOT Canadian. But nonetheless, most of us refuse to let go.
This is partly why Quebec is desperately seeking to discover who and what they are. In many ways, Quebec really is distinct from the rest of Canada, mostly because they don’t buy this crap that we have a deep national cultural history. And if Canada is void of a national definition, Quebec is more than willing to do what it can to be something other than an appendage of a hollow vessel.
If indeed we are defining ourselves; we are doing so as a country that seems to stand for nothing. I guess that could be considered a culture. Standing for nothing that is.
It is true that we are NOT Americans, and in some ways, we reflect different values. But so what? Depending upon where Americans hail from within their own country, they too reflect a substantial range of differing values.
One enormous difference between us and the Americans is security in being. We are far too often smug as we look down upon our American neighbors. Yet, it is us who are in constant search of an identity and definition of whom we are.
The Americans: They know exactly who they are, from where they’ve come, and to where they’re headed. So how does our insecurity give us the right to be smug?
Our single largest problem, is that we are trying to steal the American culture without being willing to admit it. And as far as I’m concerned:
I love the American culture. I love American patriotism. I love the American Civil Rights Movement. I love the American 60’s. I love American football. I love Hollywood. I love American movies. I love the Academy Awards. I love the Grammy’s. I love the People’s Choice Awards. I love American television. I love American music. I love American politics. I love American history. I love Washington DC. I love Disney World. I love Florida. I love Northern California. I love Arizona. I love New York. I love Mom’s Apple Pie.
BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING: I love the freedoms GUARANTEED in the American BILL OF RIGHTS. And the absolute willingness of American’s to do whatever it takes to protect those freedoms and their Constitution.
In fact: I love the whole American experience. And what’s wrong with that?
Perhaps Canada’s culture is to pretend not to love all the things of which I have just written, even though these are the things most emulated by Canadians.
One of the few things I DON’T LOVE about America, is Celine Dion. But no country’s entirely perfect.