Re: Colonial Resistence

Sat, 4 Dec 1993 18:43:49 EST

Gordon (and others)
I grew up in Michigan, right on the border with Canada (an island in
the Detroit River to be precise), so I've always been somewhat obsessed
about U.S./Canadian interaction (I think the awareness of another culture
right across the water influenced me to be an anthropologist, actually).
I first became aware of the trial in question on Sunday when I read about
it in the Detroit News (I was visiting my parents for (american) Thanks-
giving). A sidebar to the story explained that newspaper distributors
in Windsor had chosen not to distribute the News (last I heard, Windsor
had no local Sunday paper, by the way).
The news NBC news program "Now" ran a lenghty piece on the trial (act-
ually, it was more about the reporting restrictions) and showed Canadian
customs officers stopping cars in Buffalo (and Detroit, if I recall cor-
rectly) and confiscating copies of U.S. newspapers from canadian citizens).
Now that looks to me like there are many canadians who want to know
more about the trial, even in defiance of the canadian constitutional
values of peace and order. I won't deny that much of this situation is
in fact the U.S. media projecting U.S. freedoms/values to Canada (aka
"The 51st state") but there's also an element of supply/demand. By
supply & demand, I mean both the traditional capitalist ethic (sex sells)
and an unwitting appeal to U.S. journalists' explicit subcultural values.
Canadians HAVE expressed a desire to know more about the trial, and
journalists have customarily seen themselves as providing "important"
(i.e. desired) information to the "man on the street"--they probably
didn't even think about the U.S./Canadian perspective until they got in
trouble with the canadian government.
Getting around to my final point, how many canadians really agree
with the traditional (and your?) view of "canadian responsibilities"?
There seem to be an awful lot of canadians who feel they do deserve to
know more about the trial than the government thinks. Maybe this is
just evidence of U.S. values osmosing into Canada (a common canadian
concern, yes?) or some more complex internally-motivated change. In
either event, it's a complex situation.

Michael Bauser, Dept Anthro, Kent State University, Kent OH 44242, USA | IP | Voice: +1 216 672 7380