I don’t think I really thought about this until the last few years. But lately, I just haven’t been able to stand when the national anthem is on. It just feels so, I don’t know, nationalistic. As a sea of people stand up for this song, for their country, I can’t help but see it as another exercise that we participate in to cover up the atrocities that our country has committed. Of course, people will be quick to point out that Canada has also been a very good country and done good in the world. Yet still, that doesn’t seem to make up for the horrible oppressive system that is our government.
Last night at an OHL game, I didn’t stand and a man probably in his thirties looked at me in disgust with his arm around his eight year old daughter and said “Do you have no respect?” I answered “No, I don’t.” Which I think threw him off a bit and he continued on with his standing. The strange part was that he said that at the beginning of the United States National Anthem. If I’m not standing for Canada, I’m most certainly not standing for our southern neighbours.
By standing, I feel like I’m accepting and and ignoring the atrocities that Canada has committed towards the aboriginal peoples whose land we are on. I feel like I’m approving of the wars and the bombs and the military force that Canada participates in. I feel like I’m singing to forget about all the missing indigenous women. I feel like I’m saying that my identity rests in my country.
Every morning in my private Christian elementary school we sang the national anthem and a pledge to the Christian flag. Every morning still, students everywhere stand while the national anthem is played over the intercom. Doesn’t this seem like a subtle indoctrination? Having these words repeated every single day for the duration of all childhoods everywhere in this country seems a bit much. It is a very subtle yet I’m sure effective form of propaganda that sways masses to give them meaning.
Is our ‘country’ just another king that we must worship? Are we bound to the nationalistic ideology of our country that we must ‘respect’ it by taking part in these religious ceremonies of nationalism?
Regardless, Borat is great.
Thanks to Rob Nickels for posting this one.
Also, how in the world can you stand for a country who uses it’s police force in the interests of corporations that are raping the land? This is happening right now!
I guess the better question is why am I at an OHL game and not protesting and stabbing the tires of these trucks.