Monday, November 14, 2005

The Ugly Canadian

I had to go to a conference the other day.

Teachers, even in international schools have to keep their certifications up to date. So, I went to hear some consultant talk about ESL even though I'm not an ESL teacher and never plan to be.

Amazingly enough, I enjoyed the speaker for the most part. She was funny reasonable and only a bit strange. The problem was lunch. There were teachers there from all over Asia. One I ran into was a Canadian teaching at a school in Japan. Her first question to me was "Did you leave the US to get away from George Bush?" Before I could answer she dropped off into the most vile anti-American diatribe I've heard in months. I hate to say this but I've met lots of Canadians like this. Usually when I was on vacation in Florida. I always thought it was palm tree envy.

Actually, I left the US, in part though not completely to get away from Bill Clinton but I didn't say that. I simply said "I came to Hong Kong in 1997 way before Mr. Bush was elected; my wife is Chinese and this is home." It is a good evasive answer especially since it is true. It is also a good way to change the subject and get out of a potentially explosive argument. I've never been able to argue effectively with ideolouges from any political stripe because they aren't interested logic or truth. Ideolouges they are interested in their ideology and how it makes them feel.

I call what this woman did the "I'm normal like everybody else" complex. We all want to think that everybody thinks like we do. She assumed that because she was an American-hating-George-Bush-hating-Canadian, that I must be an American-hating-George-Bush-hating-Texan.

I think that many non-socialist do what I did. We pass the question off and move on. I think this gives the more left leaning people the idea that there are more of them then is actually the case. I can't say if the opposit happens but maybe it does. I attribute this to the admonition to be polite that many people are taught as children. You know the Thumper Rabbit principle; "If you can't say something nice then don't say any thing at all."

I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I do it because I don't like to be vilified and then blamed for being a villain. I can't speak for other people.

Unlike her, I realize that my politics are waaaaaaaay out there. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. That's why I try to keep political opinions to myself

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Closet Anarchist Blogger

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