Years ago I incorrectly guessed that a New Zealander I'd met was from Australia. With beatific dignity he replied "Kiwi......like Auz, but bettahhhhh'. Since then I've often used that myself when asked if I was American....."Canada, like the U.S., but.......BETTER!!!!!".
The Bush 'W' years were great for being Canadian, the 'salad days' of Canadian self-righteousness. Everyone hated the US and loved us Canucks, most satisfyingly the few remaining rational Americans. This era saw the rise of the 'Self Hating Yank', an intelligent, guilt-ridden liberal from New York, Northern California, or Seattle. My friend Zach actually flaggellated himself everyday for 8 years, like a prostrate monk doing pennance for the bad voting habits of southern rednecks and soccer moms. For a while, as the US economy crashed like a cheap Pontiac on a crumbling New Jersey turnpike, our dollar was even worth more than theirs. Despite the fact that this resulted in my taking a %20 pay cut, it felt great to watch restaurants refusing greenbacks offered by American tourists. It was like their ears were unable to comprehend the words "your money is no good here".
What a great f'n time for the maple leaf. I walked with my nose high in the air and got used to the adoration, the drinks people bought me, the phone numbers foreign girls gave me, perhaps hoping for a strong Canuck husband who might give them a good home in Montreal, Winnipeg, or Ottobicoke.
Not so anymore. Post Obama, foreigners no longer look at you suspiciously, with slitted eyes, and mutter "American"? They run up to you, bright faced, and hopefully exclaim "American"! When I desperately retort with that impotent NZ line, "No, Canadian! Better!" they slap down "Obama!!!!!" like some kind of sick trump card. F**k off kid, we built the hospital in your refugee camp!
It's not just Barak's fault either. It's Alberta's. Compared to Bush, Harper looked like some kind of bumbling, harmless Gollum character. He was ugly, but you could safely ignore him. But let's face it, with our neighbours to the south having suddenly and unexpectedly gotten their s**t together, and Molmar Quadaffi hanging out with Bill Gates, we are being led by the worst neo-liberal, neo-fascist, carbon burning, goose stepper on the planet. Comon, with a few more seats in the house this guy would be banning Harry Potter books cus they promote sorcery, putting gay people and Quebecers in concentration camps, and outlawing trash recycling and dancing in public (except line dancing, he loves that s**t). People, we need to elect a cool, left leaning, non-white person ASAP (hey Liberals >>>>> Ujahl Dosanj??????) before the rest of the world adopts the 'Ugly Canadian' moniker and I am forced to rip the little flags off my luggage. If not we will be reduced to trotting out Michael Ignatieff in black face, like some kind of twisted, ivy-league Al Jolson.
Mr. Obama, in making America more like Canada, a move I supported you in doing (and props to you for making Canada your first state visit, you are welcome back any time), you have taken away one of the best things about being Canadian.