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Canadians Should be More Conscious of America’s Particular Exceptionalism

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John Keegan is one of the world’s greatest military historians and in 2004 he wrote The Iraq War – a book that was not without its critics. I read it from a Canadian perspective, of course, and it was glaring to note the absence of any reference to Canada in the entire book. This was interesting because it summarized Canada’s foreign policy in a nutshell: as nothing. Or at its minimum, as poorly conveyed to its citizens.

The issue was not whether we chose to go or not but to give a coherent explanation for the decision. It’s not enough to say “we are not American.” If the Bush administration failed to explain its reasons for invading Iraq, then the Chretien government allowed its arrogance to cloud its ability to tell Canadians why they chose not to participate. In the aftermath of 9/11 only John Manley seemed to have his head screwed on properly as he said all the right things.

Anti-Americanism has always played an uncomfortable role in Canadian public life, but we should not let it direct our foreign policy. Canadians of all people should understand the complexities that the U.S. faces as a superpower.

Over the years, I have observed Canada’s pseudo-patriotism quietly grow as it teeters on unsubstantiated smugness. American-bashing, benign or otherwise, has been a part of the Canadian national discourse for decades. Naturally, friends and neighbours will have disputes. It wouldn’t be normal if there weren’t any. But Canadians should really get over 1812 and America’s failed attempt at invading us.

I have also noticed that we tend to ally our “values” and interests with Europe – a continent we trade very little with. While this is a social question, Canadians who go abroad should nonetheless resist the temptation to bad-mouth Americans for having their own standards. America is not Europe and it is not Canada.

Rather, when a European vehemently disputes America, Canadians should act as a prudent and enlightened mediator. Then again, this may be too much to ask. Canadians already possess a tenuous grasp of their own history. How can we be asked to know America’s?

For all intents and purposes, we are two countries sharing a history. Our goals are the same only we have chosen different paths to reach those goals. As such, our values differ in many ways. However, I fear that we continue to take one another for granted. One of the hallmarks of a true intellect is to borrow the proper ideas from other people. This premise holds true for nations. The only problem is that we are not examining one another free of the prevailing attitudes of our times. In other words, we are not being critical in the right places.

For their part, why should Americans care anyway? Americans can certainly go on without Canada. The reverse is less true for Canada. In this light, Canadians, who have a different perspective on issues, are the ones who need to be mature about their relationship with the U.S. I believe it is incumbent on Canadians to exhibit a reflective posture that can allow them to be intimate with the American experience. Yes, I am calling my country out.

Our own politicians seem oblivious to the exceptional position the U.S. is in. Heck, our leaders are oblivious to many things. If they were more attentive — as they were in the past — they would discount this in their irrational fears and perceptions about America, though new Prime Minister Stephen Harper bucks this trend.

This is not to dismiss America’s responsibilities towards us. Respect is a two-way street. I find that American politicians have been understanding of Canadian sensitivities in the past and governed accordingly. There were, however, some incidences where they were not so kind. These days, the patience in the U.S. to deal with Canadian soft spots is understandably thin. This shouldn’t offend us. Their needs have changed since 9/11, like it or not.

For this to become a reality, leadership is obviously important. Just as relevant, we need intellectual circles to free themselves of colonial shackles to pen essays of enlightened thought about this special bond. I further lament that Canada does not have a strong tradition of true open debate in a vibrant intellectual atmosphere. Ours is an under-siege, cut and paste approach. And don’t look to our newspapers for help on this front. I have no clue what’s going with the masters of our national print media.

I do think Canadians have confidence. We just have a hard time figuring out how to portray it regarding the United States. It’s either too excessive that teeters on wasted and empty arrogance or it is meek and childish in its orientation. We’re still trying to find a balance.

I’m not advocating complete submission to America. Far from it. If one is strong and free then one will act accordingly. What I am saying is that we need to be realistic. Those who complain that we are marionettes are impractical neo-cynics. They are the ones that have no inner confidence in their abilities. Nor should it matter how we are received by other nations. They are not us and they do not know the intricacies that guide and guard the aspirations of both countries. As such, they should not be passing judgement.

I can only draw conclusions from the Canadian perspective. Canada is a place that has not yet realized its full potential in my estimation. We should and can do more. We as Canadians alone should make choices in our best interests.

Alas, today we are not making any real choices. We are swinging around in the dark clinging on to age old myths about the Canadian identity. Don’t be fooled. It’s a mirage.

Time to grow up.

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About Alessandro Nicolo

  • smudge

    I stop reading any article when I come to a sentence that is poorly-researched; in this case…

    “The issue was not whether we chose to go or not but to give a coherent explanation for the decision.”

    Garbage. Google “Chretien” and “proof”. There’s your answer.

    All Chretien wanted was proof of WMDs in Iraq. You honestly don’t remember?

  • STM

    Alessandro old boy … what are you really trying to get at here? I’m unsure really, but I’ll address one key point: read some American books on WWII or watch some of the shows on the history channel and you’d think the US won it singlehandedly.

    The rest of us have been dealing with it for years and laughing it off, so that’s no big deal, surely? It has a lot to do with the isolationist attitudes of many in the US, but there’s more to it.

    One thing I’ve noticed about Canadians, and please regard this as constructive criticism, is that Canadians claim not to like Americans but seem overly worried about what America thinks of Canada.

    My tip: ignore their natural boastfulness, which I believe is just like the behaviour of a naughty child that has never grown up and subconsciously comes from a long-buried desire to do better than “mum” (a dysfunctional parent, at that). I guess we’re a bit like that Down Under, as well, although the Yanks do take it to extremes. Mind you, they HAVE done all right, haven’t they?

    You are better off liking them for what they are – a generally decent bunch with the same values as the rest of the English-speaking world – and not giving a shit about what they think of you.

    Because in truth, America and Americans are often more worried about what everyone else thinks of them. While Canada has its own problem in relation to its proximity to the US (America’s hat, except on my correctional map of the world with Australia at the top, which makes Canada America’s undies) all of us should be secure enough in the unique nature of our own national identities not to have to worry about what any other bastard thinks.

    I don’t think we should go along with everything they want, as they don’t always know best despite their own innate belief in American righteousness, but I’m also glad we’re all on the same side ;)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Alessandro,

    I’m know I’m not a Canadian, and pobably should keep mt trap shut. But living in Minnesota for two dcades gave me a closer view of you guys than most Yanks or ex-pats…

    If a long convoy of humvees and tanks drove up Hwy 61 frpm Duluth to take over Thunder Bay, who would stop them? I don’t think it is 1812 that has Canadians particularly concerned. It is right now. Mummy England isn’t there to burn up the White House for you if those evil Yanks decide to swallow the big empty to the north. I think that realization is what is behind the anti-US grumbling that is so persistent in your country’s discourse.

    Most Americans do not even think it worth the time of day to consider invading Canada. What’s the point? But I don’t think Canadians view things in quite the same light… There is always the reaslization that it could happen, unlikely as it seems.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Ruvy and STM, well put. Very interesting angles. As Smudge, I’m very close with people in Foreign Affair and there are more people in government who were sent mixed messages than you think. There was a period where they were all left in limbo. It’s how Chretien lead. That sentence you highlighted was propbably the most researched in the piece. Nor was I suggesting we did the wrong thing. The fact is that some Canadians expected more. Then again, you sopped reading – long ago probably. Shows what you know. Glad you stopped reading. I shutter to think…

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    STM, by the way, the whole point to my piece is that our anti-American rhetoric (hollow or not) rolls off our tonques a little too easily. One just needed to listen to certain Liberal politicians spew all sorts of unnecessary insults towards America. It’s one thing for other countries to have a reinforced neagtive (or positive) perception of America. But for me, given our shared history and proximity, Canadians are in the best position to judge. I remember an LA Times columnist calling Canada America “our unrealized possibilities.” I thought this to be an important comment. America can learn from Canada and vice-versa. Is that happening right now? I’m not sure because Canadians are in a smug phase. Once upon a time our smugness was backed up with facts and action. Under 15 years of Liberal leadership (Smudge) Canada was country that did an awful lot of talking and very little action. Overall, I think Canadians are more thin-skinned.

  • ss

    Smug pride driving a foriegn policy decision, you say?
    Lack of any meaningful discussion or dissent?
    Thank God it’s you Canadians with those problems.
    I’d hate to think of my country, the good ole US of A, drunk on a mix of fear and national pride listening to some smug assholes about lead us into a swamp we can’t afford to leave where it only gets worse as long as we stay.
    That’d be a nightmare.

    By the way, if Canada would like to get in on a once in a lifetime region building oppurtunity… For a small investment of oh, say, 140,000 troops, we could let you have a little country that we think is about to really turn it around. The plumbing and wiring need a little work, and a couple of neighbors have some dysfunctional kids who like to play with explosives…But you have to look at the positives.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    SS, no one is perfect! NIce last paragraph.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    ss,

    “By the way, if Canada would like to get in on a once in a lifetime region building oppurtunity… For a small investment of oh, say, 140,000 troops, we could let you have a little country that we think is about to really turn it around. The plumbing and wiring need a little work, and a couple of neighbors have some dysfunctional kids who like to play with explosives…But you have to look at the positives.”

    Wow, dude. What an offer! Does that come with the view of the Pacific from the Arizona seacoast, or is that extra?

  • Arch Conservative

    “Most Americans do not even think it worth the time of day to consider invading Canada. What’s the point?”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Ruvy. What would be the point? I mean it’s not as if America doesn’t have enough hockey pucks, shitty brands of beer, and back bacon already!

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    What about our resources and comedians?

  • STM

    Comedians?

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    STM, so young. Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Dan Ackroyd, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, SCTV, Kids in the Hall, Lorne Michaels (hey. He counts)- to name a few off the top of my head. Maybe it’s the water we drink. Anyway, there was a funny documentary once about how Canada was going to invade America with comedians. Pound for pound they produce people of humour.

  • STM

    I was always taught that Canadians didn’t have a sense of humour … that they were a dour bunch, a bit like their New Zealand cousins, both having a strong, sullen Scottish influence.

    Obviously, it’s a misconception judging by that little crew. As for the Kiwis ….

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Traditionally that’s the perception and it’s not entirely wrong. We’re also thin-skinned. Collectively we’re dull – though I must say that Quebec (where I live) is not dull. Our politics sometimes can be so tiresome – blame the sullen AND cheap Scottish influence too. However, individually we’re bit off. I mean, we play hockey. Pay attention to that sport. The branding of Canadian identity has sucked – with all respect to Dudley Do-Right but Canadians on a whole have done ok. In any event, if the PC wave continues we’ll all lose our sense of humour very soon.

  • STM

    In my view, you do suffer from your proximity to the US, if only in terms of how the rest of the world sees you.

    However, there is is some truth in the perception outside North America that Canada is not that different to the US and that it may well now be a a few extra de facto states of the US. Economically it is certainly tied up. And you only have to look at how most Canadian police officers dress and how the police cars look, and the proliferation of Detroit’s vehicles on Canadian roads to see how similar the two countries really are – whether you guys like to admit or not.

    Down here, possibly because of our geographical isloation from the rest of the English-speaking world, we have our own identity. Even many of our cars are locally designed and manufactured, although the parent companies are GM, Ford, Toyota, Mitsubish etc. But they ARE different.

    And the likelihood of Australians embracing ice hockey as a serious sport would be akin to Canada winning the world surf championships. Most Australians have never seen snow, and aren’t likely to.

    Paradoxically, although the Canadian flag is very distinctive, doing away with the union jack on your flag might have been your first mistake!

    Even though there’s no love lost here for the Brits, we see it as part of our heritage and therefore something to be proud of.

    If it’s good enough for the State of Hawaii to have a union jack in the corner of its flag …. (I do understand the rationale behind Canada’s flag, however)

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    STM, that was great. I think you hit the nail on the spot. Our proximity to the most powerful single entity the world has ever known has been difficult in terms of defining our identity – though Canada has done alright all things considered. However, we are also blessed to have the United States as a neighbour for so many reasons. One of my favorite quotes is by a Mexican patriot who once said, “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States!” This applies to Canada. In fact, Mexico at least maintains its Mesoamerican character. Canada remains a hybrid of British/American culture. Except for Quebec. Still, Quebec may be French but it holds a special affinity for the individualism and Republicanism America clings on to. Canada should have shed its Dominion links long ago. But the Empire had big plans for Canada. It was hoped that Canada was going to lead the Commonwealth one day. Instead, Britain limps on and Australia is too small and too far away. That said, my friends and I have always been impressed with Australia. We feel Australia is using and maximizing its potential better than Canada. Australia has indeed carved itself an identity that I think is more marketable than Canada’s in some ways. Yes, you do benefit from being so far from everyone and the only power in the region is Japan (China?). Even so, none of these countries speak English so the cultures are easily defined.

  • Clavos

    Alessandro,

    As you said, STM is right; one reason Australia has been able to establish its uniqueness is tha fact that it’s so far away from anything else, except New Zealand.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if the Kiwis feel they live in the shadow of Oz?

    STM; any thoughts?

  • STM

    Yes, they do guys … and they have the same love/hate relationship that Canadians have with big brother America. However, while Americans probably don’t give Canada much of a thought in terms of the relationship, the same isn’t true of us regarding NZ. I’m not sure the Kiwis really dislike us, either.

    We do like them a lot, even though they have shocking accents. They are a great bunch of people and as there are plenty of them here, we have got to know them warts and all over the years. Although much of their migration has been from the Pacific Islands of late, as a nation they have a similar multicultural background (Alessandro, if you do your homework on this I think you’ll find Australia has a much larger and more widespread migrant base than Canada – plenty of Italians here too, mate, whole bloody suburbs of them around Sydney and Melbourne where you can get a decent coffee. They and their other cousins from southern Europe, Greece mainly, have enriched our country no end).

    And in terms of Australia being too small, with a population of around 20m it’s only around 2/3rds the size of Canada in that way, perhaps a bit less, so there’s not that much difference.

    A healthier stand-alone economy, however, given the region we’re in. But much of the country can’t really be inhabited. Why live inland in the heat when you can live near the coast?

    As for sport, well … if there’s any nation on Earth more insane about it (or more successful) I’m yet to see one. In fact, it’s a national obsession that can just be a bit too much at times. We play a lot of sport, too, against the Kiwis, with our Super 14 rugby competition played across New Zealand, South Africa and Australia (five teams from NZ, five from Sth Africa and four from Australia) and the Tri-Nations series between the three countries.

    The New Zealanders are a class act on a rugby field. The best in the world I believe, and it’s their national sport. The buggers …

  • STM

    Also, Alessandro, I don’t agree that Canada should have shed its ties with Britain. It is a proud part of Canadian heritage, and if you are a hybrid of British/American culture, what’s wrong with that? Seriously.

    Geez, mate, you could a lot worse than to be a hybrid of the two longest-standing and greatest democratic systems on the planet. We are too, by the way, and happy about it.

    Our culture is very much a mix of British and American influence. The best of both worlds, is how I like to see it, with much of the bullshit not included.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    STM, yes I know about the immigration heritage. I have cousins in Melbourne. But they are too weird for me to visit them. I hope to get there one day. I have couple of friends who went and they simply loved it. Yes, I am aware of the unforgiving geography at the center. Interestingly, we share a similar habitation pattern. Where Australians live on the coastal areas because of the deserts in the middle, Canadians live predominantly along the U.S. border. Of course, our problem is the Arctic. And yes, Australia’s sports achievements have not gone unnoticed here. Thanks to Australia, there have been a few spirited debates about Canada’s pathetic Olympic performances. But that’s another debate. Canada has awesome athletes – we just don’t want to support them. That’s slowly changing. Canada has to replace its acceptance of mediocrity in sports and go for excellence. We need more sore losers running our programs not a ‘5th is good enough’ bunch.

  • Clavos

    I’m asking for harassment from other readers on this thread when I say this, but after reading your comments for a few months, and especially those last two above, STM, I’ve got to say you’re a fair dinkum bloke. Smart, too.

    You should post articles.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Clavos,

    STM does articles post under the name Stan Denham. And he is a fair dinkum bloke, even if the water goes the wrong way down the sink down his way…

  • Clavos

    Thanks for the info, Ruvy.

    Been wondering how you knew his name is Stan…

    The tropical storms go the other way, too.

  • DaveUSA

    Typical stereo types of americans that drive me bonkers.
    “your all fat !!”
    I am far from it. 6′ 205 pounds with less than 10 % body fat.Im not a “hoss” but I’m not far from it and I’m definately fit.

  • DaveUSA

    “Gun nut crazies.”
    Yes I have a weapon it sits in my house ready for use. It often gets dusty and sometimes I clean it. I keep a weapon in my house because I love my family. There are very few police that have to cover a HUGE area of responsibility. There is no crime in my area because all of the houses have guns. The crime and shooting sprees are in the cities of america “where people arent allowed guns!” pull that drive by crap in our neighbor hood people would load up and give chase. better have a fast ride too. I dont care if the world or even my own gov approves I will maintain my right to bear arms.

  • DaveUSA

    Ack I never got to my point. EVERY society produces bullies. The alpha males who think they can take what they want. Weapons neutralize that really fast. So in some ways I fall in with the “gun nut” stereo type. Not because I want to go around shooting people but because I beleive it’s every humans right to be able to protect themselfs and their families.

  • DaveUSA

    “americans are arrogant.”
    The english and australian accents are considered the heght of sophistication and culture in my neck of the woods. a friendly aussie or englishman (canadian..?? havent heard your accent much.) could easily get any girl in our area with accent alone. We come across as arrogant when that same person with the exotic and sophistication slanders america in some way. You are people that many americans look up to.The english accent is just way cool. look at james bond, crocadile dundee.that said an insulting comment from your crowd stings much more. When americans get insulted they instinctively fire back with military prowess and wealth. frankly most americans just dont consider themselfs sophisticated and cultured anough to argue anything else. we work we have our families .. thats our very basic lifes. Remember guys americans dont have a long established history and culture like you do. Were a young country and our freedom of speech allow papers to print whatever they wish. how can you have pride in your countries actions when your so flooded by opposing views of it that you do not know what the truth is. apathy is the norm because americans have a futile battle of trying to sort the truth at times. just keeping up with local and state politics can be time consuming. national and international politics are just to much to balance in with most americans life.

  • DaveUSA

    “isolationist” america alone is like 5 different countrys by itself. southeastern and north eastern are like two different countries. then you have the mid west, central, northwest,southwest, and …california *rolls eyes* the southeast and california would go to war I think if left to their own devices. Europe is a trip beyond my wildest dreams. first I’d have to get time off then arrange the flight get the passports and immunizations. Never happen on average american incomes. I have been to mexico but thats because its actually affordable.

  • DaveUSA

    No matter where I turn I am criticized. I am criticized by minorities in my own country because I’m “the man” ( no Idea when that happened.) the muslim community because I’m not muslim. the christian community because I’m not christian.Conservatives because I as a voter have allowed liberalism to steal away freedoms. Liberals because I have not helped oust the conservative party and helped fellow man. and thats just in my own country. Internationally I have the Iraq war , Afghan war, possible war with Russia, Our relations with republic of georgia, pakistan , CHINA!!. Dont forget its my taxes that helps pay for all of this crap. so I cant just ignore it. Its alot on my plate. I do not have a phd in socio economics to make the best decisions so people with phds try to tell me how to think.however I dont know that they arent working in their own self interests. At the end of my 12 hour workday with a porion of these topics bouncing around in my head I log into my fantasy world to escape it all. In game chat some idiot says americans are fat lazy retards. He says this playing World of Warcraft which is made by some very smart americans on american soil filled with millions of americans. He gives money to Blizzard monthly which inadvertantly helps the people he hates and judges. I get angry I want to rant and rave and tear him a new one. but I dont. I treat him the same way as I do everyone who continually criticizes my country and myself. I enable the ignore function. I find my happy place. I provide for my family and love them. I have a shotgun in the corner.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Europe is a trip beyond my wildest dreams. first I’d have to get time off then arrange the flight get the passports and immunizations.

    Immunizations, Dave? For Europe???

    Not something you should worry about. Europe is quite advanced in some ways. We have fire and the wheel and everything. Why, some of us even have inside toilets… and know how to flush them!

  • DaveUSA

    LOL sorry I wasnt meaning it to be insulting. We have required immunizations to get our kids into school so I assumed there would be immunizations to go to another country, To be honest im not sure if shots are required that was just an assumption sorry about that.

  • DaveUSA

    “Not something you should worry about. Europe is quite advanced in some ways. We have fire and the wheel and everything. Why, some of us even have inside toilets… and know how to flush them!”
    Actually most americans would consider themselfs less advanced than european countries. It would never cross their mind to think europeans were backwards. more likely they would worry about being viewed as backwards. Basicly you just demonstrated the exact response an american might have because their own view of their self worth. “you have CNN?” “oooh no” says the american “around here we like to watch the coondog lick his privates. (delivered with the same sarcastic tone.) both overreactions due to preconceived notions of the other parties veiw of your own worth.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Apart from the livelier parts of the Caucasus and possibly certain areas of south-eastern Europe, you’ll be perfectly fine with no shots whatsoever.

    Schoolkids in Europe do get immunizations too, but bear in mind that they’re wriggling around with other germy kids six or seven hours of every day, so the potential for contracting something nasty is magnified. Tourists, in contrast, usually whisk through a country so fast there’s barely time to catch a breath, never mind an exotic disease.

    And American tourists have a reputation in Europe (not entirely unjustified) for constantly opining in a loud voice how much better everything is in the US.

  • DaveUSA

    Thats a funny little part of southern american culture. “coon hunting” the closest european equivilant I can think of is fox hunting. A raccoon has hands though . so they can open latches and doors and became hated by farmers probably for the same reasons foxes were (?? eating chickens?)The differences would be the fact that its a bunch of farmers for one thing.Also raccons are mean as heck theyr small but sturdy and strong. super aggressive once they run out of running room. coon dogs are big hound dogs with floppy ears and whatnot.ugly and dumb looking but they go chase it and the farmers sit at the truck and wait . the raccoon is smart and will often double back on itself and go through water etc to try and throw off the dogs. (much like the fox?)and once the raccoon is tired he will climb a tree. The raccoon is nocturnal by the way so this all happens in the middle of the night. So the raccoon is in the tree and the dogs will bay and the farmers know to go to the dogs.By this time theyre completely sloshed because they’ve been drinking during the hour’s long chase. Sometimes the coon get tired of sitting in the tree and attacks the dogs and theres a fight. sometimes the raccoon finds a spot to hide in in top of the tree and the drunk hunter trys to climb the tree and dislodge it. sometimes they just shoot it out. and sometimes they gather up the dogs and leave. I have participated in said sport a couple of times and had a ton of fun with my friends. (were the gather the dogs and leave type. we dont have farms.)
    I would never go to another country and assume theyre more backwards than I am.Granted I am more country than much of america but still . lots of us working country boy types in america.

  • DaveUSA

    I dont know. Having not been I cant defend or deny. Although if I were in america and someone was talking about how much better it was back from whatever country they were from I’d feel insulted. I would have a strong urge to tell them to go on back then. I wouldnt because I’d rather avoid trouble though.

  • duane

    And American tourists have a reputation in Europe (not entirely unjustified) for constantly opining in a loud voice how much better everything is in the US.

    Well, we do have the decency to put ketchup on fries, rather than that mayo-like substance they use in the Low Countries. And I think we’re better at bathrooms. That’s something.

  • duane

    Although if I were in america and someone was talking about how much better it was back from whatever country they were from I’d feel insulted.

    I have never met a person who didn’t think the place where they grew up is vastly superior than my home state of California. Not surprisingly, I think California is my favorite place (all things considered) — and that’s probably only because I grew up here. It’s just human nature. I guess I know four exceptions, all involving NYC. Four guys from, respectively, Holland, China, Mexico, and Japan, prefer NYC to their home cities. But I think that has mainly to do with the opportunities for advancement in their chosen careers.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    that mayo-like substance they use in the Low Countries

    …Which would actually be mayo, Duane.

    It may surprise you to know that I also put mayo on my fries chips – in spite of the fact that I am from Britain, where vinegar is the usual goop of choice.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It may surprise you to know that I also put mayo on my fries chips – in spite of the fact that I am from Britain, where vinegar is the usual goop of choice.

    Yep yep.

  • http://intersportswire.com alessandro

    First of all, ketchup rules.

    Vinegar is ok.

    Mayo is just not right.

    Mind you, up here we have a french fry (is it french fry stiil?) place that specializes in serving up all sorts of sauces to go with your fries. Not bad actually.

    As for the traveling “ugly” American Doc, Canadians are not that far behind I must admit. Man we’ve become loud in recent years.

    Wow, Dave. Thanks for all that.

  • duane

    So, Doctor, speaking of fish and chips … let’s say you’ve got a small dish of tartar sauce served with it, and a coke — lunchtime. I like tartar sauce on fried fish. So, in the past, I would fork off a piece of fish, and dunk it in the sauce. Recently, there was a guy from Scotland at my table having the same thing, but with tea. He would fork off a bit of fish, and with his other hand, dunk his knife into the sauce, and spread it on the forked fish. So, I says to myself that this must be the proper way to eat fish ‘n’ chips. I can’t remember if he had ketchup. I did, naturally. What say you?

  • DaveUSA

    Long John Silvers fish with malt vinegar and I put it on the fries too . Probably loaded with enough MSG and cholesteral to kill a horse but I prefer it over any other expensive seafood places. I even ate at a place called Legal Sea food who has a reputation for fine seafood and I like the fish at LJS better. I also like it with lemon yum.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Sheesh, Duane, you don’t use a knife and fork to eat fish and chips. Those Scots have no class…! ;-)

    And Long John Silver’s is haddock poo.

  • duane

    Ah, OK, got it. Picnic style. Thanks, Doc.

    As for LJS, no comment. As for Legal Sea Food, only tried the one in Boston. Yummm….

  • DaveUSA

    LOL Haddock poo. legal seafoods in boston is where I ate . Took my wife there visiting a friend and we got a huge sampler plate. it was good but LJS is Awesome. Nice meeting you all. I need to go home my workday has ended.

  • http://intersportswire.com alessandro

    I want THAT job!

  • DaveUSA

    I love my job. the only drawback is the occasional bit of boredom which I fix by reading things on the net . by the way this is the first ever blog I’ve posted on. usually they devolve into fingerpointing and nasty completely useles comments that make me lose interest.

  • Joseph Bigras

    I m a Canadian I think the odd persons
    bitching about America should watch what
    they are saying they can squash Canada
    if they wanted too think about it but dont dish America
    if we were in trouble you know America would be down here to help in a minute so shut up about it for the person that was attacking
    black people get help you need it we are all humans this world dont need bigots