Monday, February 22, 2010

I won't be cheering for Germany...

I would like to let everyone know that despite my 1/4 German lineage, I will not be cheering for Germany against my motherland of Canada in the ice arena on Tuesday. I will not brag about how my great grandparents had the good sense to get the hell out of Deutschland about 20 years before World War I for the dream of building a new life in the new world. I don't take any solace in Germany's 21 medals at our Olympics, and I don't feel any nostalgia that I share a common ancestry with many of the athletes dominating in Vancouver. The best compliment I can pay to the Deutschland today is that I watched an interview with Katarina Witt, and I still adore her. I also adore Angela Merkel, but not in the same way.

Should Canada defeat the Krauts and advance to the next round against Russia, I will be left wondering where Mike Ignatieff’s loyalties lie. Iggy has an obsessive compulsion with his Czarist ancestry that he "lost" to the Bolsheviks. As he once wrote himself "Between my two pasts, the Canadian and the Russian, I felt I had to choose. I chose the vanished past, the past lost behind the revolution. I could count on my mother’s inheritance: it was always there. It was my father’s past that mattered to me, because it was the one I had to recover, to make my own."  It is a curious obsession considering the massive failure of their governance, and the millions of deaths that Stalinism brought to the northern hemisphere.

So if Canada advances to the next round against Russia, will Iggy count on his mother's inheritance; or will it be his father's past that matters, that he has to make his own? True, he is half Russian and I am only a quarter German, but I am willing to turn a cold shoulder to my proud heritage. Well, am I proud to be 1/4 Kraut? I will at times take credit for their propensity to build top quality manufactured goods, but generally I like to blame all my mistakes in life on my Krautish ancestry. My ancestors chose to leave in pursuit of a better life; they weren't forced to leave because their own incompetence ushered in the Iron Curtain.

I am 3/4 Scottish with some Irish scattered throughout the family tree. There is surprisingly little British in my blood, despite several of my forefathers actively participating in the overthrow of a Catholic King from the British throne once upon a time. Orangemen I believe they’re called. Adam Smith was Scottish, and Karl Marx was German. I am an interesting breed.


  1. No bloody wonder that you shouldn't drink either. Me with Norwegian/Irish and you with German/Scottish/Irish. Yes a very good thing that you don't drink. lol