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9 October 2009

Canadians are never alone

Did you read the title of this post? That’s one argument made in “Letter from Canada: The Return of the Native,” Adam Gopnik’s recent New Yorker profile about Canadian academic-cum-politician Michael Ignatieff.

I am going to find a way to tie this notion to independent rock’n’roll, just you wait.

In contrast to our northern neighbors, the profile says Americans are strident individualists. Maybe that’s why Ignatieff is pointing at us in that photo up there: “You, yes you, I see you, you selfish bastard.”

The article spends a fair bit of time detailing the prime controversy of Ignatieff’s new political career. He spent much of the ’80s & ’90s away from his native Canada, teaching in the US & Europe and establishing his reputation; his emergence on the Canadian political stage caused some to paint him as an expat carpetbagger. Where the profile shines, however, is in its detailing why his long time residency outside of Canada matters.

Most Americans don’t consider Canadian identity to be distinct from that of us in the US. This article is passionate about the fact that it is. The argument is that Canadians often embrace the collective will over unhindered, American-style individual liberty. A key quote and my indie rock connection after the jump.

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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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