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Doug vs. Japanese Snack Foods: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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diaryland: sirilyan.diaryland.com: entry for 2000-07-02 (20:10:48)
In which our plucky young hero thinks the capital of Alberta is Albertville.

Every Canada day, there are three things you can rely on:

First, I'll sleep in and then not go down to the park for cake and pie and children's songs and face-painting and whatever the hell else.

Second, the United Nations will announce that Canada is the best country in the world to live in.

Third, goldbricking teevee reporters will say, "Hey, you know what would be fun? Take a few questions from the citizenship test that immigrants have to pass and ask some people on the street. Ha ha ha! Look, that guy thinks Manitoba is a kind of fish!" It's stupid and lazy. You don't need any actual skills, you just need to be able to hold a camera steady once you find the rube who thinks that Canada became a country in 1776.

The worst part of these non-stories is that they just utterly destroy the finest cliche of all: those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. We haven't elected John A. McDonald in years, Manitoba hasn't petitioned to be let into Confederation for quite some time, and I sincerely doubt that anyone will ever again use the phrase "Progressive Conservative Party" and the phrase "major political force" in the same sentence, no matter how much we don't know about John Diefenbaker, who has an airport named after him.

Let's ask people things that matter. Sure, nobody can remember when Lester B. Pearson was elected Prime Minister (trick question, he was appointed by King Richard III) or the capital of Prince Edward Island (Green Gables). But how often are you faced with a dilemma like know when Pearson was elected or die?

Instead, let's ask relevant questions. Not just of our current citizens but of the prospective ones as well. I can live with someone getting into the country even if they don't know when Newfoundland joined Confederation (last Wednesday, around 5:20pm) or who Louis Riel was (the guy who built the video arcade at the university student center). But having to share my country with someone who thinks it's pronounced zee, not zed? Unthinkable.

So tell you what: next year, scrap the lazy citizenship story and start asking people about beer commercials. And in return, I promise to be very patriotic and take a tour of our nation's legislative building, the CN Tower.

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