Dominion Day

While I am comprehensively ashamed of Canada — “my home and native land” — that does not mean I fail to love it, and indeed to love the people I find here, including the most shameful. Moreover, I find that for the first time in many years I am feeling slightly merry on this Dominion Day (as I still call it), and this despite the cardiac specialist at Toronto General who tells me I must avoid alcohol. (Of course I would only drink it to spite him.)

Shame is a more reliable indication of love than any form of pleasure. It means that you really care about the creature (“Canada” at large) in question. An honest pride might be another. Note, a dishonest pride, or as I like to think an “ideological pride,” is one of those false things of which we should be more methodically ashamed.

The past of Canada is, to tell the truth as we always ought to do, a mixed bag. Canadians have, like everyone’s countrymen, not behaved in a consistent manner, though on occasion (especially wartime) fairly well. Most, so far as I can see, are downright mediocre, and why they should be collectively celebrated is lost on me. But I don’t think they should be collectively shot, either. At worst, we must put up with them, in the hope that some will be amusing.

History is anyway a fraud. Most of it was being misrepresented even while it was happening. However, because people are rarely as evil as their enemies paint them, much of it was comparatively innocent.