The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Seven of Nine (in my case 5 of 13)

by Steve Gajadhar

The Canadian Writer’s Collective (The CWC).

As far as names go, The CWC is rather amorphous, especially that last bit, collective. Down here in the US they already think of us Canadians as socialist pansies, so how do I feel when I direct my American friends to this site and they see The Canadian Writer’s Collective. “Is that like Collectivism?” they ask. “Are you The Borg?”

So just what the hell is The CWC anyway? Good question. Let’s see what collective means and we can go from there. According to a collective is:
1. Assembled or accumulated into a whole.
2. Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision.
1. An undertaking, such as a business operation, set up on the principles or system of collectivism.

Uh-oh. Collectivism: the socialist principle of control by the people collectively, or the state, of all means of production or economic activity. And here I started into this blog entry thinking that collective and collectivism are miles apart. Fellow CWCers, what have we gotten ourselves into? We’re probably on the CSIS watch list. JTF2 commandos are hiding in the bushes outside Tibbetts’ front door. I’d like to point out that we nominated him as our defacto leader so, watchdogs, if you’re reading this, it’s Tibbetts you want, not me (and, by the way, he turned it down, so we’re leaderless and if that doesn’t scream commie pinko I don’t know what does…). Sorry, Andrew, I guess some American style paranoia is rubbing off on me.

But would CSIS even bother to watch us? Perhaps Canada really is a haven for watered down socialist sympathizers? It can’t be. Can it? Canada doesn’t control production or economic activity? No way. But how can we tell? What’s important to Canadians? And is it in any way socialist or related to the idea of collectivism? We need a rational analysis and a rational scoring system. I propose we use the highly respected scientific method of thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs even.

Thumbs up = we’re okay.
Thumbs down = we’re shot.
Thumbs even = it’s a wash.

As for analysis, I’ll approach it from the perspective of a Canadian male because it’s the only one I know. Here we go:

What’s important to Canadians (in no particular order):

1. Hockey: clearly not controlled in any way by Canada. Heck, most of the teams are in the US. When was the last time a Canadian team even won Lord Stanley’s cup? 1993, that’s when, and it was a bit of fluke. It’s not like they brought in a salary cap to control the economics and keep Canadian teams competitive in markets they would otherwise be forced to leave. And, it’s not like almost half the players are Canadian and therefore the NHL would have a vested interest in keeping teams in Canada and keeping us Canadians happy. Wait a sec. I better not dig any deeper. Thumbs even.

2. Booze. Beer. Cokeskeys. Candy. Paralyzers. Okay, so Canada flat out fails here. Most provinces (and territories) have a lock on the sale of all booze products. They regulate availability and price and they make a tidy profit. For example, I just picked up 24 Coors for $14.99. Try getting that deal in Mother Canada. I can even get 12 Moosehead for 11.99 and that’s in Hawaii people, middle of the frickin Pacific Ocean, and a hell of a long ways from the Moosehead brewery in St. John. Thumbs way down.

3. Health Care. I’m torn on this one, clearly a socialist system, but also clearly better than most other systems. But, in the spirit of the scientific method, this is a thumbs down. Harper is working hard toward getting this one to a thumbs even, so check back in a couple years.

4. The Weather. Sounds absurd, but weather is important to Canadians. It’s all we talk about because it’s mostly shitty. But in terms of socialism we’re okay on this because Canada definitely doesn’t control the production of the weather. Thumbs up.

5. The Beaver. The beaver is Important for many reasons (I’m talking about the mammal, sickos). Besides being a noble animal, the Canadian economy is founded on the little rodent. The HBC (now American owned BTW) used to control the economics of the fur trade and employed some dirty tricks to keep it that way for a long time. Taken as a historical weighted average this one’s a thumbs down.

Tally so far: Thumbs up = 1, thumbs even = 1, thumbs down = 3

I better stop before it gets even more lopsided.

So Canada is socialist, so what? Collectivism? Who cares! We all know Canada kicks ass! If I’ve learned anything from my time south of the border it's that when in doubt blind patriotism is the best way to win an argument. The CWC is a rational group of folks. We’re not a “league” or a “movement”. We’re not a bunch of pot smoking, tie dye wearing compound dwellers (well, we don’t hold it against Antonios anyway). We’re the first part of the definition: assembled or accumulated into a whole. Greater than the parts. We’re a synergistic collection of budding talent and an all around sensitive group of socialists. And if anyone has a problem with that I’ll beat them unconscious.

Now. As for, “Are you the Borg?” No, The CWC is not the Borg (isn’t it sad that MSWord recognizes that Borg needs to be capitalized? I won’t comment on the nature of software programmers…). And the reasoning behind this is easy, even the Borg have a leader. We don’t. So there, Yanks. Put that in your 300hp station wagon and waste it.

The CWC. We’re aptly named after all.


Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Steve, the only tie-dyes I wear happened by accident, or so I was told.

Wed Jun 28, 09:55:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Steve, did you fill out your T-37B for permission to comment on the collective's collectivity? I don't think so! You'll be blogging from the gulag pretty soon. I'm sending Evangeline Lilly (our agent in Hawaii) to check up on you. Do you need anything? Maple syrup? A Leaf's sweater? I've taped the first few episodes of Canadian Idol for you. We're mad at you, but we're still nice. This is, after all, a CANADIAN collective.

Wed Jun 28, 10:52:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

You tell'em Steve. Who are the real control freaks? We are what we are, assigning value to diversity, sharing responsibility, supporting the broader objectives...all that good Canadian stuff.

Wed Jun 28, 11:31:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Okay, I'll bite: what's the Borg? I suspect I'm living in blissful ignorance of something important.

Wed Jun 28, 04:35:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Hmm. You'd pay 14.99 for Coors? Jeez, you'd have to pay me to drink that stuff ;) A real Canadian... But wait, didn't Coors buyout Canadian?

Ah, I'll stick to Granville Island. That's a little brewery in that pinko commie province of BC.

Wed Jun 28, 06:03:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

This was tres bien.

Wed Jun 28, 10:33:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous RedPen said...


In defence of software programmers everywhere, I'd like to point that MSWord does not capitalize "klingon" or "romulan". Maybe Borg is considered a proper noun for the same reason as Connors and McEnroe (although not Ashe - apparently there's some racist conspiracy afoot.)

The nature of the software programmer seems, against all expectation, to be more wrapped in old tennis than in the musings of one Mr Roddenberry. Perhaps the comment you so delicately held back was nothing more than an insight into your own passions?

The rest of it was pretty good...

..for a communist trekkie :-)

Fri Jun 30, 09:14:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Bernita said...

Dear me, you're NOT Borg? And I was so hoping I might be absorbed...

Fri Jun 30, 12:24:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

Steve, fantastic stuff, one of the things I enjoy about being canadian are the assumptions non canadians make about us, we live in igloos, someone actually asked me this recently, for some reason that think we're all know, and talk very loudly to if we're sooooo far removed from the rest of the world, how could we possibly hear what's going, on,and well, everyone knows we don't have cable....this is great writing, very funny, very it...I think the thumps up on hockey though....I refuse to thing hockey has anything to do with...those other people....lololol....xoxoxo

Mon Jul 03, 01:49:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

and Canada does kick ass!!! xoxo

Mon Jul 03, 01:51:00 pm GMT-4  

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