Thursday, February 11, 2010

An interesting characterization of Canada--the whole nation--as akin to a small town

Following is an excerpt from yesterday's report in the New York Times about Canada's stated quest to bring home 30 gold medals in the Winter Olympics that start tomorrow in Vancouver. The committee responsible for this ambitious effort is called "Own the Podium," and Charles McGrath's explanation of why it is "un-Canadian" follows.
Talk like this, so nakedly ambitious, makes some Canadians uneasy. Theirs is a vast country that in many ways is run like a small town, with small-town values, and it has a highly developed culture of modesty, if not a collective inferiority complex. The athletic record in general is a little underwhelming, and some Canadians think that is because their countrymen prefer that, considering a good effort just as valuable as a trunkload of trophies, maybe better.
Interesting to me is the suggestion that small town culture is a culture of modesty--and perhaps even of inferiority complexes.

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