Western Patriotism

Two Americans and a Canadian walk into a bar. The first American orders a bud and the second orders a coors. The Canadian thinks about it for a moment, before he orders a coke. The two Americans turn to him and ask him why he didn’t order a beer. The Canadian replies with “Neither of you did”.

People are fiercely patriotic, often about the weirdest things and I’ve been guilty of that more than once.

It’s always wars, beers, bagels, vodkas and other nonsense that get us all riled up and tugging on our hearstrings. We cling to things that either can kill you, will kill you or that taste good but probably aren’t all that good for you with more patriotic pride than the words of our national anthem and the histories of our lands.

I wonder what testosterone-fuelled debates would be like in a world where people argued about the good things, and tried to one-up each other in areas of competition that weren’t about destroying ourselves.

Was there ever an instance when a fiercely loyal Canadian and a wickedly proud Finn got into a fight over whose country had a better human rights record? Or which Scandinavian country has the highest standard of living. I can see it now: an entire pub of drunk of med schoolers raging and screaming over which resuscitation technique has the greatest chance of saving lives.

Maybe arguing about good things isn’t all that much of an argument. No one really wants to get drunk and have a shouting match over which IKEA collection has the best futon (well, maybe interior designers do) because it feels so trivial.

It doesn’t seem like there’s much competition when you compare Western countries against one another either in areas that don’t involve us killing each other. We basically have a monopoly on the quality of life index, have better access to beer and bagels, and all the time in the world to argue about them. Maybe it’s the good things that give us all the time we need to argue about the bad things.


By alexander

Drinker of bad wine and writer of many things. Alexander used to be in web development. Now he writes and edits and dabbles in SEO. He has a master's degree and is slowly trying to complete his PhD. One day you will refer to him as Doctor. One day...