Great piece by Nora Jacobson on anti-Americanism. Jacobson is an American living in Toronto.
For me, it’s been [an] almost daily confrontation with a powerful anti-Americanism that pervades many aspects of life. When I’ve mentioned this phenomenon to Canadian friends, they’ve furrowed their brows sympathetically and said, “Yes, Canadian anti-Americanism can be very subtle.” My response is, there’s nothing subtle about it.
The anti-Americanism I experience generally takes this form: Canadians bring up “the States” or “Americans” to make comparisons or evaluations that mix a kind of smug contempt with a wariness that alternates between the paranoid and the absurd.
Thus, Canadian media discussion of President Bush’s upcoming official visit on Tuesday focuses on the snub implied by his not having visited earlier. It’s reported that when he does come, he will not speak to a Parliament that’s so hostile it can’t be trusted to receive him politely.
Living here and coping with it has forced me to confront my own feelings about America. And it’s helped me discover what I do value about it: its contradictions, its eccentricities, its expansive spirit, all the intensity and opportunity of a deeply flawed, widely inconsistent, but always interesting country. Perhaps I am a typical American, after all.
Jacobson, Nora. 2004. Before You Flee to Canada, Can We Talk. Washington Post. November 28, 2004. here
McCracken, Grant 2004. Carolyn Parrish is a big fat idiot (on anti-Americanism in Canada) here
With thanks to Verbum Ipsum for the heads up.