Music and the City: Reprise

In the year 2000, Janice Stein argued that, “The most serious threat to Canada’s survival as a nation with a distinct identity is no longer military attack but the push and pull of the U.S. economy and its entertainment industries” (Great Questions of Canada, edited by Rudyard Griffiths for the Dominion Institute, pages 136-7).

“More and more Canadians are watching programs produced in the United States, listening to music by American recording artists and reading books and magazines written and edited in the United States, ” she said. It’s a scandal.

(Allan Gotlieb commented tartly: “If this is Canada’s greatest threat, we are indeed a blessed nation (Great Questions, page 141).

I’m thinking about Stein on identity because computer technology now enables me to enjoy music and words originating in concert halls and recording studios on the seven continents and the two hemispheres. Day by day, I’m sitting in my small corner of Canada. And the world’s mine.

And do you know Janice, I’m grateful! I love it. Do I feel less Canadian? Well, not that I’ve noticed.


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