As I watched Adam Scott place the green jacket on this year’s Master’s winner, Bubba Watson, I was taken with the resonance of this annual event. It could be just another golf tournament but it has been infused with lore and made lustrous with legend. The CBS announcers have sombre voices as they talk reverently about Amen Corner and the Eisenhower tree. There’s endless footage of Arnie and Jack and Gary walking on stone bridges. And of course the scenery, complete with rhododendrons and azaleas plus the sound of Carolina Wrens amid the loblolly pines. The Americans do sports so well: the World Series, March Madness and the Super Bowl, to name just a few.
But that’s not all, there are parades, too: Macy’s at Thanksgiving, the Orange Bowl parade in Pasadena, and Easter on Fifth Avenue. I’ve been to a few such events and there’s nothing like them in Canada. Nor do we have anything to match Las Vegas or Branson, Missouri, or Disney World or walking the streets of New Orleans with a twenty-ounce cup of beer as you dip in and out of bars at 3 a.m. for various versions of the Muskrat Ramble.
Beyond jazz, think of the many genres of music that have been invented in America: ragtime, Broadway musicals, country and western, blues, rap, Motown and rock and roll. All we’ve got in Canada is Innu mouth music and Cape Breton fiddling. In the U.S. add actors, playwrights, and painters of international renown. We’ve contributed a few comedians who rarely come home again.
To be sure, there are elements in America we don’t want: gunplay, the Kardashians, and the Tea Party. But for the most part we are a third-world nation with too few accomplishments and no legendary annual events other than the one repeat visit – for the first time since it happened 64 years earlier – of a Calgarian riding a horse in Toronto’s Royal York Hotel lobby during the 2012 Grey Cup celebration.
Little wonder we have an inferiority complex. We are inferior. And terribly tight-assed, too.