Last week at Osheaga, (a massive music festival in Montreal, Canada) I was tasked to ask millennial attendees, “How is a Canadian Bro different from an American Bro?”
Being Canadian myself (as a pale, white redhead, I pretty much personify our nation’s flag), it seemed fitting that I take on the task. So, I started my day with some Molson Canadian and some Wiser’s whiskey; breakfast being an unnecessary afterthought. Before long, I achieved a buzz that granted me the courage to approach complete strangers about the bro lifetyle. A buzz I managed to maintain all weekend.
My survey—targeting a colorful collection of neon tank-topped drunkards and drug-addled 20- to 30-somthings with pupils the size of toonies, (the Canadian coin for $2)—proved utterly inconclusive and, expectedly, incoherent.
Common responses I received were: “Because we’re fuckin’ rad!”, “Better beer!”, “Hockey!” and, “Mumford and Sons is up, Whooooo!”.
(Yes, I’m aware Mumford & Sons is American. But they were beyond drunk. I deemed it unnecessary to burst their bubbles.)
After my ineffective survey, I realized I needed something more… legitimate to determine this difference. A friend of mine then sent me a video that managed to piss me off more than (SONS OF ANARCHY SPOILER ALERT) Opie dying in season five.
Watch the following YouTube video by MaxNoSleeves, aka Jenna Marbles’ ex-boyfriend, before continuing on with the story. The video perfectly sums up my qualms with the American/Canadian comparison:
First, the obvious: MaxNoSleeves is unquestionably American. Let me explain why. As he portrays the American, he dons a Captain America tank. Which is cool—Captain America is the leader of The Avengers and is arguably the most patriotic hero in existence. As a Canadian, however, Max slips on a Justin Bieber tank to mock us, then proceeds to chug Aunt Jemima maple syrup. Either he's blinded enough to not realize that Aunt Jemima is an American-established brand, or he’s just an idiot.
You couldn’t have tossed on a Wolverine shirt, MaxNoSleeves? He's Canadian, and he’s a much more complementary figure to the shield-hurling American hero. But maybe that was his point. Yet again, we’re comparing Canadians and Americans in a way that’s not only offensive, but is as funny and original as claiming Canadians say “eh” after every sentence. (A recurring joke in his video, naturally.)
Truth is, the majority of Canadian men are embarrassed that Bieber is from our nation and prefer to focus our patriotic energies on hockey, where every possible Canadian generalization is true. (The notoriously Canadian coffee establishment, Tim Horton’s, perfectly captures our passion for the sport in this commercial with Sidney Crosby.)
I quickly discovered that as I did more and more research on the “Canadian vs. American” debate, it became abundantly clear that we aren’t different at all. Sure, our laws and governments vary, but when it comes to Bro Culture, we’re exactly the same; we like getting trashed from time to time, we enjoy sex, and we listen to the same music, watch the same movies and use the same terrible pick-up lines.
(Trust us, we hate Nickelback as much as you do. We apologize again for their existence.)
Where things do change, however, is the environment in which we live—urban, suburban, or rural. All three of which exist in both Canada and America.
To draw this comparison, I looked into a huge part of every bro’s culture, the pregame:
- Urban: As an urban lifestyle is generally more expensive, pregames are often smaller than those in other locales. Whether it’s too far of a subway ride, or it’s the lack of space, urban pregamers will commonly have few drinks at their homes before heading to a neutral bar/pub with a larger group, then headout for a night of debauchery. Or, they head to said bar directly after work.
- Suburban: If you reside in the suburbs, your pregame will absolutely occur in one’s backyard or basement. Music will be blaring, beer will be copious, but cabs will be super expensive if you don’t plan on hanging at home all night. Video games may take up a good chunk of your drinking time, but most likely you will find some drinking game to play and show up at the bar an hour later than you planned to.
- Rural: BONFIRES! Yes, there is no place to party in the summer than in the rural fields. Space is never an issue out there, and the party’s time and location spreads throughout the town faster than acne in high school. Before you know it, hundreds of people are partying, hurling bottles, screwing, and vomiting in bushes.
This makes sense, right?
However, since we’re all so hard-pressed to spot our differences, I did find a recent article online that lists 99 differences between our nations. (Okay, it’s actually “99 reasons why it’s better to be Canadian,” which only highlights my article’s purpose. We’re both guilty of the “we’re better than you” mindset.) Here are a few of the article’s more interesting points:
- We’re fitter: The percentage of American adults who are obese is 35.9. In Canada, it’s 24.2.
- We drink less: Our alcohol consumption is 8.2 litres a year, compared to 8.7 in the U.S.
- We have more sex: According to a survey by condom-maker Durex, 59 per cent of Canadians say they have sex weekly, versus 53 per cent of Americans.
- We accept gays more: 80 per cent of Canadians say society should accept gays and lesbians, versus 60 per cent in the U.S.
- We’re more relaxed about pot: In both countries, support for legalizing marijuana is at all-time highs. In 2012, 66 per cent of Canadians supported legalization or decriminalization, compared to half of Americans.
Are these points true? Who knows, who cares? After asking pretty much every guy I knew, it was evidently clear that bros in Canada are no different from the American Bro. We all have our douchebags, rednecks, tough guys and buzz-kills. But more importantly, we all have penises, so let’s stop this dick-measuring competition and accept the fleeting fact that we all have more in common than we don’t.
So, as a Canadian, I confidently toast to you, the Americans, with what is quite possibly the best toast ever made. And yes, I can fully admit without a shred of envy or ill will, that this quote is spoken by a hilarious and talented… American.
[Image via BROsheaga Tumblr]