Saturday, August 11, 2007

NDP was fun -- a great show and an awesome spectacle, but it isn't a patriotism-inducing event and it wasn't meant to be. All the excitement, the flag-waving, the sharing of common space with fellow citizens plus the state leadership all in smelling proximity to each other counts for nothing as far as nation-building goes. But as a birthday party, now there's reason for a rollicking good time if ever there was an excuse for one. There's no need to over-politicize the event, so when the Brown dude got all morose over it, it was such a wet blanket entry, I thought.

Since the nazis and the communists, we've become quite suspicious of large-scale nationalistic parades that we now view as brainwashing propaganda. We're now a lot more sophisticated, never again to be swayed like a brainless herd of sheep enforcing mob legitimacy for some bemedalled banana republic dictator. Never again, no, no, no!

C'mon, lighten up! Sure we have problems and other things to worry about. People don't have enough money to counter rising costs, transport sucks, there's no respect for the elderly (ahem), education is a high stress mess, our art and culture scene is a farce, a million and twenty-four things to fret over 364 days of the year. Is just one day a year to be thankful for what we do have too much to ask for?

Patriotism isn't about flag-waving, or banner hanging, or wearing the colours, or any of that outward nonsense. Patriotism is engendered by only 3 things in life: family, friends, and a roof over our heads. Family is the springboard, home base and supply depot from which we launch our adventures in life. Friends support the load, share the work, infect each other with motivation and drive, and fuel us with enough ha-has and :)s to keep us pushing forward when things get tough. And damned if I'm gonna give up any piece of that crappy roof over my head, especially when it's costing me 30 years of my working life to own it, friends notwithstanding.

So what does Nat Day ultimately remind us? That despite our troubles, our less-than perfect existance, and the overwhelming urge to point out that someone should do something about it, this rock is home to no one else but us, and the gaudy, cliched red-and-white bunting that waves above our heads is no one else's but ours. So there.

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