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By W. H. New

This article strains many of the ways that border metaphors pervade Canadian cognizance. It addresses quite a few social concerns resembling separatism, marginalization, multiculturalism, colonial attitudes, nationwide guidelines, language and the impact of the us.

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This is politics with a vengeance. ) But in the long run, categories design a paint-by-number illusion, like the national mosaic; they do not factor in inconsistency. Terms such as treeline, poverty line, and time zone seem to me to be similarly tendentious. Boundary markers all, they sound simply descriptive: of a climate/vegetation ratio, an economic fact, a social acknowledgment of the earth's rotation. What could be more natural? The Canadian Encyclopedia advises, for example, that in the North the treeline 'is correlated generally with the modal (most common) position of the southern edge of the arctic front in summer, and with such temperature indices as the July 10° isotherm' Q.

Phrased another way, it suggests the difference between American revolutionary idealism and Canadian evolutionary political pragmatism - though, inevitably, the configuration of reality is far more complex than the theoretical picture that this binary division conveys. Indeed, the rhetoric of the binary provides, for Canadians, a glimpse of an American model of thought; it is a way of expressing a particular philosophical position, and, broadly speaking, the widespread reliance on the binary distinguishes a conventional 'American' perspective from a conventionally more pluralistic 'Canadian' one.

When the south-going citizenship conversation is then reiterated heading north, the boy and his mother find themselves taking up temporary residence in the indeterminate in-between space of the duty-free shop parking lot, and there, for awhile, they stay. But the story has also alluded to the power of storytelling itself, and to the problems that Coyote, the trickster, causes when he gets out into the world, fishing for stars. In due course the American guard stands aside, pats the butt of his revolver (which has the name Stella carved into it), and wishes them a pleasant trip.

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