Great, albeit depressing, article by Alberto Manguel on the state of Canadian culture.
Overwhelmingly, the trend in Canada is to shrug things off. We care less and less about our neighbours, about our environment, about our artists. We have become willfully complacent. The openness of our country, the generosity that allowed newcomers (such as myself) to add their vision to the fluid identity of Canada, is closing in on itself, becoming less curious, more self-centred.
Mr. Parizeau's argument, that our culture is not "a very credible invention," is right in this: Every culture is an invention, a product of the imagination, the tone and colour we give to every basic human activity. Through our need for shelter we invent architecture, through our need to feed ourselves we invent cuisine, through our need for one another we invent the rituals of love, through our need to communicate we invent literature, painting, music, film, dance.
The trick is to believe in our inventions. We don't any longer. It is as if, defeated by the relentless appeals of greed, egotism, carelessness and sheer stupidity, we Canadians now lack the imaginative power to see ourselves at our human best, in all the richness of our creative possibilities.