The 2010 Winter Olympics have begun. Though smaller and perhaps not as popular as the Summer Games, they are still an important part of national pride and culture.
The epitome of this culture is the opening ceremony of the host nation, which usually includes a cultural-specific performance of some sort.
Now, for those who live under a rock, the 2010 games are being held in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver is well known among my fellow geeks for being a hotspot for science fiction TV shows, notably The X-Files and the Stargate series’. Some might note our soon to be ex-governor, Jennifer Granholm, hails from Vancouver.
For most people, Vancouver is just another city in the frozen wasteland that is Canada, a backwater land where the ruler of England still holds actual power and a place so pathetic even the slums of India feel sorry for them.
Those that believe this are only partly right, however. Canadians are considered a very polite people. They are also considered a meek, humble people.
Pushovers, if you will, though you’d think we would have conquered them when we tried if they were. In any case the opening ceremony demonstrated that while a polite people, the Canadians do have national pride, they just hide it very well.
Perhaps Canada has the right idea. Maybe instead of arrogance, military might or a psycho with a nuke and a rocket launcher from a flea market, the key to national pride is the simple knowledge that whatever your countries’ flaws, it has its good points.
Canada and the United States have not always been the best of neighbors. We invaded them a few times way back when, and they got over it. Here’s another lesson.
Maybe instead of vowing revenge against your enemies, all you need is to forgive them. And then when it doesn’t work, you carpet-bomb them.
There is a time for words and a time for action, and Canada seems to have balanced the two quite well.
Canada may be a new evolution in global cooperation. Using some knowledge of chaos theory, you can see that Canada is sort of an experiment in global cooperation, trying a new path from the standard procedures. Using a combination of humility, military might and one of the world’s greatest superpowers as a friendly neighbor, Canada is a happy place.
This may be a simplified version, ignoring both Canada’s small population and it’s rather vast wasteland of frozen nothing, but nonetheless Canada’s example is still a viable one.
Whether that example will lead to a new era of peace and prosperity, or it will go the way of the lungfish, trapped forever in an isolated time as a living fossil, it cannot be denied that the Canadian method does have many positive aspects, and hopefully the 2010 winter Olympics will show that to the world.
Canada is not perfect, and they are a small nation in terms of population, but that shouldn’t automatically disqualify their methods.
Now, if you Canadians could kindly keep your politicians in your country? Thanks.