Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Canadian patriotism, such as it is

What do you think of when you see this image? Yes, people who are not Canadians can play too. Leave a comment, what do you think? If you're on a mobile device, respond on Twitter or Facebook, and I'll put your comment here. Blogger hates mobile comments. Grrr.

Many Canadians are going to be puzzled. What is there to think? It's our flag. Well, yes, true. But it's only been our flag since early 1965. Lots of people a little older than me would remember seeing the Red Ensign, or the Union Jack, and some were quite passionate about it in the debates to adopt the current flag.

Ask an American about their flag and you'll get an answer. Or rather, an ANSWER!! And if you don't like it, well, it could get profane. Canadians don't typically wear their patriotism on their sleeve like that. It's a quieter thing, but no less fervent, when given a chance to think about it. In a lot of ways, Canada is a pretty remarkable place.

We're a young country, still growing and changing. Some don't like the change part, but that's too bad.    It's happening and it's going to keep on happening. Somehow, millions of people have immigrated to Canada over the centuries since Europeans found it, and we keep getting to be a better and better place to live. Of course, the Native peoples have been here since time out of mind, and there's no denying they've been shortchanged in just about every way possible. Making that situation better is one of our major challenges.

But we talk about our problems to sort them out, and getting angry enough to go to a shooting solution is very rare. Our governments change peacefully, even if the current system produces false majorities. We have a free and open press, even if only a few companies own most of the outlets. I'd certainly like to see more independent news outlets. It's a safe place to live, with a low and falling serious crime rate. Almost everyone has lots to eat. We don't have people dropping bombs on us. We have a few territorial disputes that are being talked to death, one of them apparently with exchanges of booze. (Google Hans Island.)

I've sometimes thought that the sometimes dreadful weather has helped bind us together, in the sense of if we don't hang together, we shall hang separately. (Don't you just love the English language!) If anything is un-Canadian, it's not helping to push someone when they're stuck, or refusing to help boost their car.

The flag shot is an accident. I was shooting downtown and hoping for good light. I got texted about the sunrise and turned around to see a fairly spectacular sunrise. A quickie lens change and got this.

When I turned around again I could see the mountains gradually going pink, with the flag fluttering just nicely, and I was feeling a bit anxious. That had the promise to be really good, and I didn't know about the skyline. The city shots were ok. Here's one of them, there's another that will need more work, and you'll see it another time. I got lucky with the purply glow.

Just as I was packing up, I saw the crane. In all the flag shots I hadn't seen it, even though I composed the shots to avoid the radio towers. Buried in there is that neat little cabin. One could be forgiven for thinking this shot was taken out in the country somewhere. I think the crane is at the Glenmore Water Treatment plant, but I'm not sure. Anyone know what the little cabin is?

Lastly, getting home, working on the shots and the blog, and getting the eye. Again.


  1. Well, you're going to get the eye, no matter who and no matter what. Anything that takes your attention away from them means the eye. I should know, I regularly get the eye x 3.

    I know you will be disappointed but I never noticed the flag until you pointed it out. I did however notice the pink and gold tints on the mountains, and was thinking, how the heck did he compose that shot *just* at the right time. And can I replicate that in stunning watercolours??

  2. Keith! Those are great shots-well done.

  3. 81 photos to choose from is how I got the flag shot at *just* the right time.
    The smartass answer to your question is, I don't know, can you? I'd like to see your results. That's my next step, once I produce acceptable images, is to try drawing or painting them.


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