Most Canadians see benefit from Olympics

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To say "I like Canadians because they show sportsmanship, and that makes me feel patriotic" (to paraphrase), in the context of a discussion about the Olympics, could be seen to imply that citizens of other countries do not show it as much. It might not be intended it that way, could be interpreted that way.

i.e. you didn't say "I like cats because they are affectionate". You effectively said, while discussing a recent gathering of neighborhood cats, "I like *my cat* because she's affectionate", implying others were not.

I also believe, though, that can be a perfectly fine opinion to have. It's true about cats (not all are affectionate), and countries definitely vary in how they show sportsmanship. And it's wise to be wary of the extremes of patriotism (or what was more often called nationalism in the past). The US Patriot Act definitely gave patriotism a bad name.

Most importantly, those two beliefs don't have to be contradictory. It's possible to be patriotic and not susceptible to its extremes, imho.

Merlin: "To say "I like Canadians because they show sportsmanship, and that makes me feel
patriotic" (to paraphrase), in the context of a discussion about the Olympics, could be seen to
imply that citizens of other countries do not show it as much. It might not be intended it that
way, could be interpreted that way."

Part of the reason I love Canada is that we are friendly. I do not love Canada solely because
we are friendly or sportsmanlike, nor is my love founded on the basis that we are *more*
friendly or sportsmanlike.

If you want to suggest that my love for a trait of Canada's automatically means I think
Canada is better than everybody else in that aspect, I feel sorry for you.

It's sad that you think that way.

I keep mentioning it, love is not a zero sum game. Maybe I'm using too high a concept, I'll
explain. Loving one thing does not lessen another. It seems there's a lack of understanding of
that basic aspect of love.

Loving your country does not mean you think your country is better than others, nor does it
mean you think all countries are equal.

You can love without comparing.

Sad that that needs to be pointed out.

You're such a poet temple.

The problem arises during conflict. It's great when it's all love, but when push comes to shove, nationalism just divides us.

Couldn't agree more.

Now what do the 'better than you' aspects of nationalism have to do with the love of one's
country that is patriotism?

Love and jealousy (and hate, and domestic abuse, and violence, etc) often go hand in hand,
that doesn't mean we decry love. That doesn't mean that love is bad. It means that those bad
aspects which sometimes are associated with love (and sometimes are caused by love) are bad.
Nothing more.

If you're aiming your attacks at jingoism, I'll join you. But if you square-rectangle your
argument to equate loving your country with hating others, I'll call you a fool.

Sure Temple, you can talk a big game on a (very crappy) internet forum, but when that love for your country is tested....Love for one does not equal hate for others, but loving your country inherently means you love it more than others (unless of course your love for Canada is the same as your love for every other country) but then again, it would be pointless to point it out.

My question is why love a flag or the people that live within an invisible, geographically/culturally meaningless line on a map? Why separate them from the rest of us? What is the advantage of dividing people, especially in such an arbitrary way.

This is so weird. This thread has changed topics so liberally as each new red herring was eagerly embraced by everyone bored with previous argument. And the only reason it persists is because everyone involved is still arguing over concepts without mutually agreed-upon definitions, coupled with a mutually agreed-upon refusal to define them.

How much longer can we sustain this dizzying philosophical gap between "My Love Is Not Evil" Temple and "Your Love Begets Evil" Kermit? I, for one, look forward to another 100 posts of disagreement.

"As for CK's argument. He's provided links to definitions of patriotism, and then DIRECTLY contradicted those links and stated "Well you're not going by the generally accepted definition of patriotism". That's the strange thing that I think Temple is fixated on. While he, and his circle of friends, might agree on their brand of patriotism, according to the definitions provided, Temple and my interpretations (which are probably slightly different) appear more accurate."

I don't see how I've contradicted the the definitions or opinions stated in the links I provided. The only evidence that patriotism is not manifested in the ways I have described was in Peter's post, which while accurate in describing how patriotism wasn't always equated with nationalism and jingoism, is not the common practice in my experience, esp. at the far end of the spectrum where patriotism seems to express itself in subway bombings and other assorted acts of violence.

"You can love without comparing."

What nonsense. If love exists, then so must not-love. To ascertain how you feel about something, you will compare it to other, similar things.

Temple: "You can love without comparing."

Keam: "What nonsense. If love exists, then so must not-love. To ascertain how you feel about
something, you will compare it to other, similar things."

That is incredibly sad.

Oh, spare us your infinite compassion Siddhartha.

Patriotism is about expressing a preference for one country over others. Love is the same thing except with people. Or are you going to tell us you love everyone?

Save your sadness for all the victims of patriotism.

"Love and jealousy (and hate, and domestic abuse, and violence, etc) often go hand in hand, that doesn't mean we decry love."

Jealousy has nothing to do with love. It's about power, as is domestic abuse and violence, et al. You confuse these obvious realities and presume to lecture anyone about love? Give me a break. That is incredibly sad.

You just seem to live in fantasy land temple where patriotism only shows itself as happy people waving flags and being nice to each other. It all sounds great, but it isn't reality.

"Patriotism is about expressing a preference for one country over others. Love is the same thing except with people. Or are you going to tell us you love everyone? "

So really, everything you're saying about patriotism also applies to love for one another (or anything).

And the conclusion is thus that we shouldn't love one another. Terrific.

That's not at all the conclusion. It's that love (patriotism) is all happy rainbows and lollipops when the times are good. But they can both get pretty damn ugly when times go sour.

Not even acknowledging that is what I question. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do (or have a choice) to do either. But pretending patriotism (love) is consequenceless or only good is foolish.

Kermit: "Not even acknowledging that is what I question. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do (or
have a choice) to do either. But pretending patriotism (love) is consequenceless or only good
is foolish."

Hilarious.

It has been acknowledged several times in this thread that patriotism can be related to or
even the cause of much evil (exactly like love)! Are you not paying attention?

Since not one person has suggested that patriotism is always without consequence. What are
you arguing? Oh that's right, you're not arguing any point, you're just Trolling along.

You have repeatedly been suggesting that patriotism *must* be paired with negativity. That
because negative acts are sometimes done in the name of, or as a result of love/patriotism,
then love/patriotism is always bad, even when not paired with those negative acts.

Suggesting that love always results in negative consequences is as foolish as suggesting it
never results in negative consequences.

--

Let's recap shall we:

Me: "I love Canada, while wearing a mitten made by a Chinese person."
Cynic/Troll: "Nu-uh! When you are doing that, you don't love Canada!"

Me: "I love that Canada helps other nations play sports. I am proud of that."
Cynic/Troll: "Nuh-uh! You don't love that Canada helps others, and you can't be proud of
that!"

Me: "I can love without comparing."
Cynic/Troll: "Nuh-uh! You can only love one thing after you compare and find that it is better
than others!"

It's terrifically sad that you two don't understand what love is.

Is that actually the case? Have you been so beaten down by the world that there is no room
in your cynical hearts for the understanding of love? Or is it that you two are just trolls
looking to whargarble and will play-act the fool in order to get somebody to reply to you?

Whichever is the case, it's a bit pitiable.

I don't understand what purpose you're trying to serve by belittling people and calling them trolls other than deflecting from the conversation. Why do you do that?

"You have repeatedly been suggesting that patriotism *must* be paired with negativity. That because negative acts are sometimes done in the name of, or as a result of love/patriotism, then love/patriotism is always bad, even when not paired with those negative acts. "

"It's terrifically sad that you two don't understand what love is."

It's terrifically arrogant and presumptious to think you could understand what love is as a concept much less for other individuals.

I don't know how love got into this discussion. The initial point was that patriotism is just another means to divide people into little camps. And people in camps tend to fight. Love is such a broad, undefinable thing it's ridiculous that you try to rationalize or argue that I don't understand it when it's inherently not understandable.

You take what I say, and extrapolate some skewed statement as though I said it.

"Me: "I love Canada, while wearing a mitten made by a Chinese person." Cynic/Troll: "Nu-uh! When you are doing that, you don't love Canada!" "

I never said you don't love Canada, please quote where I said that. Otherwise, stop being so childishly reactionary, get off your high horse and try to engage in a conversation.

kermit: "I don't know how love got into this discussion. The initial point was that patriotism is
just another means to divide people into little camps. And people in camps tend to fight."

The point was made that "I love Canada, sometimes I wear red mittens to celebrate my
love for Canada, and I'm proud that we help others at the Olympics".

Then the Trolls took over explaining how we weren't actually proud of Canada, and we
couldn't love Canada and wear Chinese mittens.

Kermit, I'm really not sure how your xenophobic/racist attack against Chinese mittens fit in
with your 'patriotism is bad because it divides people" argument. It doesn't fit in at all. It
seems to be exactly counter to your 'initial point'. That leads me to beleive that you're just
trolling for a fight by bringing it up. You introduced that bit of divisiveness, and I can think of
only one reason why.

All talk of the pros/cons of jingoistic nationalism, and indeed some of those negative aspects,
have been one-sided and were brought to the table by the Trolls as argument agaisnt why
others can't love Canada the way they do.

You can't see that love of one's country can exist without that divisiveness. You can't see how
love can exist without comparison to another.

That is what's sad.

You are all wrong.

What is truly sad is that I'm still reading this thread, despite there not being one single decent point made in several days.

Racism? I'm not sure why you immediately jump to that as my rationale--perhaps it's an issue you need to look into yourself?

I don't care what country or race of people create the mittens, but if you're truly a 'patriot' you would buy Canadian to support Canadian manufacturing and the Canadian workforce, keeping your money in Canada. Supporting your neighbours, your locally made products, your friends, neighbours, countrymen. That would be truly 'loving' your country by putting your money where your mouth is. It sure is easy to fly a flag and paint your face and consider yourself a patriot, but you're probably first in line at the border when the dollar nears parity to save a few bucks shopping.

As for love, spare me. You don't have the first bloody clue what 'love' means to me or anyone else.

IN: What about post 100? (which went largely ignored, I suppose directly answering isn't in vogue)

Kermit, what you're suggesting is like this:

T: I love my girlfriend
K: Why?
T: She's a good conversationalist
K: But so are other women, you must think they're terrible conversationalists
T: Huh?
CK: And you probably want to beat up other women too!
T: I think it's sad you guys need me to explain why I love someone
K: If you truly loved your girlfriend, you wouldn't talk to other women.

emd By emd

I am a patriot of this discussion and I LOVE you all!

Comparing patriotism to loving your girlfriend is just silly. Is that really how you'd choose to argue this?

kermit: "Comparing [love of a country] to [love of a person] is just silly. Is that really how
you'd choose to argue this?"

Yeah, because nothing bad has ever happened due to love. No domestic abuse, no assaults,
murders, murder-suicides, kidnappings, stalkings, etc have ever had love as a motivator.

Please point to an 'argument' that has been made against love of your country that cannot apply
exactly equally to love of a person.

Can you reply to my earlier post regarding your accusation of racism?

As for 'love' your simplification is mind boggling.

I can sit here and 'love' my country, wave my flag, feel warm and fuzzy when we win but then go shop in the USA, buy Chinese made flags, etc etc... No consequence to that, hey I'm just saving money right?

I can't sit here and 'love' my girlfriend, tell her I love her, sing songs for her, and then go 'shop' in another country. Big consequence to that.

In the context of all the other rhetoric blossoming here, I fail to see how the girlfriend comparison is distinctively silly. After all, the crux of the disagreement at hand is the unavoidable truth that patriotism comes in many flavours. Their only commonality is a devotion to one's sense of country/nation. Almost never as simple as the worship of lines on a map, it is underpinned by any number of reasons (nationalist, ethnic, cultural, etc.) and manifested in any number of ways (wars to hunger strikes to the display of symbolic baubles). As evidence, history is replete with starkly contrasting figures who have described their motives as patriotic.

Thus, we can quote any number of notables on the subject of patriotism, but it is unfair that any one of them should enjoy the defining word. I respect the thoughts of Albert Einstein in the context he shared them, but would we guiltlessly apply his same derision to the pacifist nationalism of Mahatma Gandhi?

"My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount the distress or exploitation of other nationalities. By patriotism I mean the welfare of the whole people, if I secure it at the hands of my opponent, I should bow down my head to him."

Was Gandhi's patriotism divisive? In one sense, it unquestionably was, but in another, it was startlingly and idealistically inclusive. Either way, it would be incorrect to lump Gandhi in with the Nazis and jingoists whom Einstein reviled.

So, if a self-described patriot tells me he loves his country as he loves his girlfriend, cat, or favourite video game franchise, I may very well roll my eyes. He may display his so-called patriotism in any number of trivial ways, and I may remain quietly nonplussed by their impact. For that, in fact, I am grateful. It would be absurd of me to criticize his sense of patriotism as insufficiently overt or jingoistic for me to properly villify it. Truthfully, we live in a world where Gandhi, Stalin, flag-wavers and Temple may all consider themselves patriotic. Without a universal definition of the word, far be it from me to disagree with any of them. Some among them will care where they buy their mittens, and others will not. And those who would not describe themselves as patriots should probably let the other camp sort out their own distinctions.

Ah, eloquent prose on the VUL forum. Who'd a thunk it was still possible? Well said, fast runner.

Patriotism, for me, immediately draws to memory the idea that, in order for one to be considered patriotic, one must be willing to die for their country. I'm surprised this commonly used defn (at least common during WWI/II and south of the border still today) hasn't yet been brought up.

Are you patriotic if you are not willing to die for your country?

I would hope that dying for my country would be cause-dependent. For example, I wouldn't die for it so that Alberta beef could be sold in the US. I would, however, be much more likely to sacrifice my life were we attacked by some ill-meaning nation/species/whatever.

Re-reading tales of Vimy makes me feel love for my country.

Vimy Ridge, in fact the entire First World War was a meat grinder that took healthy young boys (most of them far younger than Forum pundits) and spat out emotionally or physically crippled men. It changed nothing, redressed no wrongs, served no purpose. The only thing that came out of the First World War was the Second.

Wars are the end result of patriotism, whether we like it or not. Like a psychopathic killer, patriotism can never be sufficiently rehabilitated to serve any purpose beyond making rich men richer as they sell the tools of destruction, or fast food and automobiles to Olympic flag wavers.

"So they collected the cripples, the wounded
Maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
, the blind insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
turned all their faces away"

If you don't like the linked version, you can find the same song by the Pogues too. Either way, it deserves 7 minutes out of your life to contemplate how patriotism always manifests itself eventually.

Keam: "contemplate how patriotism always manifests itself eventually."

Troll bored, NEEEED FOOD!

Just repeating yourself doesn't make it any more right. War isn't the outcome of patriotism any more than spousal abuse is the outcome of love.

No response to my question re: accusation of racism? That's a shame, baseless accusations on message boards are pretty fun though.

Also, loving an abstract thing like a nation is nothing like loving a tangible thing like a person. Does that not register with anyone?

kermit: "No response to my question re: accusation of racism? That's a shame"

For a reason why I described your anti-Chinese rhetoric as xenophobic and/or racist, please see
reply #70.

Yes and I replied in 118.

Yeah, I thought we were done discussing it, yet you keep bringing it up...

Were you trolling for a fight by repeatedly asking about it (after post 118)? Ok, I'll bite,
because I think you should read the following:

Maybe you were offended that I suggested it's either xenophobic or racist (or both) to say
somebody's love for Canada is somehow lessened when they wear mittens that had a $0.25
(or so) per-unit manufacturing expense go to China, instead of the whole $20+ staying in
Canada.

I note that you took no umbrage at the fact that the money was going to HBC, which is
owned by an American company. Surely the profit on the mittens that went to the US was
higher than the cost to produce them overseas, even if the profit wasn't higher, certainly
some money went South. Why did you not care that some money was going to America, but
you did care that some was going to China?

I see that as xenophobic (and either hypocritical or ignorant of the American connection) at
best, racist at worst.

We were having a discussion, I asked you a question, you never replied. If you consider that done, I suppose there's nothing I can say about that.

I never said I had no problem with the money going to HBC. You're assuming that. Please stay on topic. We could break down every little detail that goes into making mittens from the fabric to the animals to the advertising to the corporations to the banks that finance to the pollution caused by distribution blah blah blah.

If you want to go down that road, let's go. If not, please address my specific point regarding racism I made in post 118.

kermit: "I never said I had no problem with the money going to HBC."

I never said you did, I noticed you were silent about it. But I now see that your economic
argument was the impetus behind your distaste for the mittens. That to me is xenophobia
(and economic isolationism), but isn't racism.

The fact that you brought up China, when as much, likely way more, money was going
overseas to the US (and thus out of the Canadian economy) was purely random. Since the US
angle has an even higher economic impact to Canada, surely it would have been a better
example for your argument, and carried greater impact.

Yet you chose to highlight the "Chinese made mittens" to disparage the pride of the wearers.

I'm sure you have lots of good reasons.

You're too funny, you aren't 'saying' I have no problem with the money going to HBC, you're just noticing my silence.

I would love to see you apply that line of thinking to day to day life.

But whatever you again assume my argument is economic based on nothing but pulling out select text from my posts while seemingly you refuse to ask questions of me to clarify... so call me xenophobic or racist all you want if it makes you feel good--perhaps you can learn a little lesson from this retarded conversation and ask some questions before you leap to calling people racist based on one post on a message board hmm?

Why is loving a country so much different or stranger than loving a person?

emd By emd

"Which just goes to show how nonsensical and arbitrary the very idea of nationality and
patriotism is. "

So, if we are not supposed to feel pride for our country, what about our province? Our city? Our
neighbourhood?

At some point it is very useful to collect like-minded individuals or people with common goals in
an organization of some kind.

I take it CK that you don't believe in buy local then? Because why support your local community
when it is more efficient to buy from afar? Where do you draw the line for supporting/being
proud?

How is it more efficient to buy from afar?

As for how loving your country is different than a person... where do I start?

I don't know where you start, but why don't you start somewhere? You're the one that asserts it's incomparable.

"I don't know where you start, but why don't you start somewhere? You're the one that asserts it's incomparable."

Here's a start:

I would die for the person/people I love. I wouldn't die for my country. Would you?

A person is a tangible thing. You talk, love, fight, cuddle, reason, etc with it. You show it love by physically doing things, verbally saying things, doing special things for it you don't do for anyone else. If you say you love it, there are consequences and benefits to that love--you can show it. But it is work, you need to continually work to maintain that love--to show that other person you care. You can't 'shop around' for better parts of people, only love a person when the dollar is at a good rate. Good or bad, you stay with that person, even if it costs you.

A country is an intangible collection of things. It is an imaginary line on the ground, a collection of people sometimes thousands of km apart who may or may not share cultural values with you. You love it by occasionally waving a flag that represents it, cheering it's teams, feeling proud of other people for doing things you approve of. If you say you love it, there's no work involved. No consequence to 'faking it'. You can just grab a flag and say you love it and that's that. No one can prove you're faking it. You can wear mittens and glow with pride when someone from 4000 km away goes fast down a mountain, but then happily work for, buy from, engage with people from other countries with no consequence. If the price for x goes up in your country, just buy from somewhere else--no problems.

This is a poorly blurted out brain fart. I'm sure you could easily pick out one or two sentences and call me a hypocrite or contradictory or whatever. But please try to see my big picture thought here--or at least ask questions rather than assume.

So, now I'm being told that I don't love Ultimate.

Because Ultimate sure fails the 'die for it' and the 'talk, fight, cuddle, reason, with it' tests.

Love is a feeling in your heart, arguing otherwise and trying to rationalize it by putting it in a
well-defined box is absolute folly.

I don't understand your attitude and apparent total unwillingness to engage in this discussion. You mock regarding our 'absolute folly' yet your mind is so closed to discussion.

edit--re-reading your 'loving ultimate' point makes me laugh. I've never said you don't love your country, just that it's different than loving a person. Your leaps of logic are outstanding!

kermit: "Your leaps of logic are outstanding! "

That's why I left this thread. It's hard to argue with someone who significantly twists what you say. In post 101/102, Temple took my use of "could be interpreted" and translated it to "automatically means".

You're beating your head against a wall. While Temple has some really good points, and there is merit to many of his underlying messages, the seer of trolls can be a marvelous one himself. :)

merlin: "In post 101/102, Temple took my use of "could be interpreted" and translated it to
"automatically means"."

In the post you are referring to, you said that following:

merlin: "you didn't say "I like cats because they are affectionate". You effectively said, while
discussing a recent gathering of neighborhood cats, "I like *my cat* because she's
affectionate", implying others were not."

Your words: "you effectively said". How is that not the same as 'what you said automatically
means'? It is certainly not 'what you said could be interpreted as'.

That's the tone I took out of your post. If you think you were misinterpreted, then you had a
chance to clarify.

Kermit, your argument is one against the idea that loving a country and loving a person are
*comparable*.

If you're saying loving a person, sport, country are not all love, then you are being silly.

If your'e saying loving a person, sport, country are all different types of love, then you've got
no argument from anybody here. So, what's your point?

Nobody's suggesting they are *identical*, but they do make a useful analogy. To say that
love for a country always leads to the bad things that are sometimes associated with
patriotism is no less foolish than saying love for a person inevitably leads to the bad things
that are sometimes associated with loving a person.

There's a deep logical fallacy in the 'patriotism is never a good thing' arguments presented so
far.

Whatever, you're not even trying. First you tell me what my argument is followed by a lot of if's in your post and still no questions to even try to understand/clarify.

Your close mindedness is all too apparent to bother continuing...

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