There are a lot of things about Canada that piss me off: the spawn of Satan that is the Prime Minister; the racism towards Aboriginal peoples; the lack of progressive leadership in addressing poverty; a popular culture that is highly masturbatory for anyone and anything Canadian, oh I could go on and on...
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good things as well and generally I think Canada is alright, though that really does depend where you're at. I love the west coast but I sure as hell would not want to live in Tisdale, Saskatchewan:
(Not my photo, found it on the net, here.)
By rape they mean rapeseed, that bright yellow crop that is grown for canola oil. And you maybe, like me, might have thought that that's just an old photo and the powers that be in Tisdale have since adjusted the wording a bit. Oh, but no. It's right there on the town's website.
I'm not easily offended and I do have a sense of humour. I laughed at the linguistic 'funny' in the slogan and the uncomfortableness it produced. Thankfully, for my sake, it was only uncomfortableness that I could laugh off.
When thinking about sharing this with a couple of friends, I had to remember that quite a few of my friends have actually been raped, one by her own father. As I have never been raped or sexually abused I wondered how they might interpret the words.
I talked to two friends and very gently explained what I had found and asked what they thought about it. They felt sick to their stomachs. Obviously.
I can imagine that in Tisdale, SK the word 'rape' most likely conjures up ideas of yellow fields much more for people living there than it does in my mind. They are surrounded by the crop, it's integral to their economy, it's a part of their daily lives. Perhaps the people working at the town's hall are genuinely unaware of alternative interpretations.
Perhaps they are fully aware and the notoriety produced by the town's slogan is the only way for Tisdale to let the world out there know that they exist.
It's just another typically backasswards small rural Canadian town. A town that on the surface is full of friendly happy shiny people but contains an underbelly of red necked sexist machismo (and various other yuckiness, no doubt).
Whichever way, this highlights another thing that pisses me off about Canada. Many Canadians will bleat on about how friendly, peace-lovin, tolerant, egalitarian Canada is yet behave in the exact opposite manner, turn a blind eye to anything that doesn't conform to their sugar-coated stereotypes or just be so incredibly ignorant of the world beyond their front porches.
And breathe, Marnie.................
I feel a meeting with a punching bag brewing. ;-)
Am I over-reacting?