The few followers of this blog may have noticed that there were few posts in July. It's a dangerous thing to do to a blog, if you like to be read. I know I follow few blogs with that few postings in a month, and those with fewer than a posting a month not at all. I was abroad/home, but I had just as much Internet access. No excuses to offer.
Continuing the themes from July, looking at Toronto and Montréal from native and non-native points of view, I want to wrap up from my present vantage point: sitting on the floor of my well air-conditioned Tokyo apartment on one of the hottest days of the year. So brace yourself.
Canada, you're obese, lazy, petulant, and your political and personal opinions have precious little to do with reality. Few of you are 'individuals'; few of you are 'entitled to your opinions'; few of you do any of your own thinking. At best, you get your ideas from your social milleu; at worst from mass-media. The Japanese, to give them some credit, know they get their ideas from such poor sources, and few presume their ideas are intrinsically valid, coming from the same places as everyone else.
Dear Canadians, much of Canada is very beautiful, but if you give it a passing thought, the more beautiful places are that way when they have fewer of you on it! The places that were beautiful have been 'loved to death' by those of you who think that there's nothing a monster-second-home, jet-skis, and ashphalt for an SUV that will never touch gravel, can't improve: Muskoka, Niagara Falls, Canmore, Whistler... It's a real shame, because it is only your natural destinations that can bring in the tourists. Do you imagine that your cities do? You have a couple of bits of pretty cities, all of them doughnutted by big-box stores and drive-through vomitoria.
Destination cities in Canada? I can make short work of that:
- Vancouver? Pretty for the few months it doesn't rain, and you cannot afford to live there if you've lived an honest life.
- Toronto? American second-tier city. Bugger off, I've lived there more than elsewhere. Sadly.
- Quebec? Yes, worth a two-day visit.
- Montréal? Je t'aime!
- There are no other cities in Canada.
- There are towns, and a few are pretty, but no other 'destination cities'.
What bothers me the most about Canada, is what bothers me most about Pan-Anglo society, is what bothers me about most of 'Western' society: profound hypocrisy. There is a book in that, certainly not a blog posting, so I am not going to justify it. Only this: I can handle vice and weakness, but I cannot abide the excuses people come up with. I do not care if you smoke, eat crap, drink too much, and are an obese, wheezy and smelly specimen because of it. Just don't lie to yourself, or me. You made yourself that way. No, it's not your DNA (unless you are that one-percent or fewer for whom that is true). Did your grandparents let themselves go as badly? I thought not.
That's just the physical. I can't even begin to go after the intellectual and psychological. It's no more pretty. The sight of a Canadian crowd is a waddling abomination. To speak with them is no different. I did not despise my trip to Canada, in no small part because I spent little time talking to Canadians who were not vetted: my own friends mainly.