Starves the Soul, Feeds the Ego

It was another blogger who coined the term “starves the soul, feeds the ego” in regards to Canada, or at least introduced me to it. There is no more apt description of Canadian life.

There is something incredibly hollow and shallow about its society and culture. The media feeds the constantly needy caker-complex, bathing the national ego in anecdotes about politeness, kindness, desirability and superiority. Raging with insecurity, the caker is fed a nonstop barrage of supercilious tales regarding its southern neighbor; no matter the ailment, smug condescension is the balm that soothes.

Imagine the personification of Canada: a frail, thin, frowning man sitting at a long feast table among a crowd; the more they eat the fatter they grow, and yet Canada sits there woefully malnourished; eating and eating while never feeling full. The more he eats, the thinner he grows and the less satiated he feels: starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Such is life in a cultural wasteland where honesty is never valued, the past remains hidden, progress is undermined and souls burning with passion are slowly extinguished as they languish, whither and smoke out.

In Canada appearances are everything and take precedent over integrity, change and growth.

To appear progressive and liberal, Canada placed a black woman (Viola Desmond) on the ten dollar bill in order to gain plaudits from the international community. And yet, this same country hid its past of slavery for hundreds of years, from generations of its citizens. To this day, the overwhelming majority of Canadians don’t know their country had slavery for over two centuries; the few who do learned from open information now available through the internet, not their government.

On the opposite side of the bill is an image of the Museum for Human Rights located in Manitoba. Beside it is a feather meant to represent the First Nations peoples. Here too lies massive irony and rot. The museum cost $351 million dollars and is located in a small province (pop: less than 1.5 million) with the worst statistics for Indigenous people (racism, crime, poverty, living conditions), where one-third of children are living in poverty; a figure which rises to over 75% of Aboriginal children on reserves.

This bill is but one obvious example of Canada’s rank hypocrisy and desire for global promotion and accolades over substantial action at home. Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

When a sore point is touched on Canadian policy (foreign or domestic) or a light shined on internal issues, the default reaction is to look to the United States as a red herring for inaction and ineptitude. But despite the many well known issues of America, I am in agreement with this commentator:

There is something seriously sick about Canada, something that permeates the air with its rotten tones of corruption, denial, and monstrosity. At least in America there is an active and robust social dynamic that keeps the fresh air flowing over the dead bodies and the hope of change, but in Canada? They’re still a monarchical colony who worship a queen …

Rot, corruption, denial and sickness: the culture shows no promise of changing any time soon, but will continue to put on airs for the international community.

Starves the soul, feeds the ego.