Tuesday, May 20

Report from Canada: a new series of surveys shows that the gap between U.S. and Canadian cultures has been widening for decades, and, contrary to popular opinion, has not closed since 9/11. U.S. of Americans continue to attend church, defer to authority, and evince a patriotic fervor more than their northern neighbors. Those three trends, developing together during a vague but constant "war on terrorism," seem doomed to erode the liberties the U.S. is so admired for. But this nice, informative article is ruined when it concludes with the usual grotesque, cliched implication: "Canadians responded to 9/11 with heartfelt sympathy and outrage, but also with many questions. They asked why young Muslims would do what they did in New York and Washington." It's an intellectually stimulating query to ask, but morally and ethically it misses the point by two enormous skyscrapers.