Hey Canadians!

Just finished up Coupland’s “Hey Nostradamus!”. A clever story with an innovative narrative style. However, the initial premise is a little hard to believe, so it took me a while to get into it seriously. Not that a high school massacre couldn’t happen in Canada, but it seems to be such a remote tragedy that perhaps Coupland is banking on our growing and collaborative sense of doom — that comes from watching too many American television news channels. I like to think that I don’t subscribe to Michael Moore’s idyllic vision of Canada, but let’s just say I’m optimistic about the Canadian people — that we at least try to rise above the horrors we hear about so often from south of the border. We are more skeptical about our society, and how our media portrays it. We seem to know that the American media is as insanely right-wing as our own media is left-wing. We make it a point to pick on Conservatives and Republicans, although we know that our own thoughs and policies can run conservative. We (at times) seem vehemently anti-American, though we basically all stand for the same things — liberal Canadians identify with at least half of the American population.
I think Coupland’s latched on to that — the sense of a “oneness” of our two countries. We derive most of our modern culture from the same sources, and, aside from some minor, almost imperceptible idiosyncrasies, Americans and Canadians in the same room would be indistinguishable from each other. I think that’s why he makes the Canadian character in “Generation X” the crazy, chaotic one — it’s almost the opposite of how most Canadians would have it, if they were writing the story.

Comments are closed.