Heather Mallick's column in yesterday's Toronto Star is dedicated to the proposition that "Canadians and Americans are different." The United States is "childish," she says, not at all like grown-up Canada. The evidence? American adults dress like kids, in their baseball caps and sneakers. They eat "huge servings of fried foods," and drink through "primitive" straws. They fetishize Disney characters. They go on "crass, all-you-can-eat vacations." They smile too much, and get weepy at the slightest pretext. Their movies are infantile.
It is astounding that Mallick should indulge such crude generalizations in 2017, but perhaps not surprising. Donald Trump has made anti-Americanism great again. Not long ago, sensible, stoic, haute-cuisine-eating, art-house-film-viewing, altogether-adult-minded Canadian elites were bemoaning the fact that Americans had a leader as enlightened as Barrack Obama while we were stuck with the uptight, parochial Stephen Harper. In those dark days it was a source of consternation that most ordinary Canadians' dining, deportment, viewing and vacationing habits were identical to Americans'—and had been since the 1920s. Luckily, though, the Canadian-flag-on-the-backpack trope never gets old. "We [Canadians] know that other nations exist and do things differently from us," Mallick writes. "It’s one reason we’re reluctant to wage war."
That's the burden of being Canadian—depending on the U.S. for our security and prosperity, and expressing our gratitude by demanding that Americans "grow up."