I Love Newfoundland.

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Addressing the haters

I received some negative comments from my last post, I HateNewfoundland. I'd like to address some of those people.

I'd like to address some of those people.

Do you people think I truly hate Newfoundland? Do you think I'd still be living here if I actually hated the place that much?

Our entire cultural history and the innate resilience we possess as a people is based on the love-hate relationship we have for this place. From our hardships, we have become a culture of balsy, brazen, but sweet and kind-hearted lads and lassies.

Bernice Morgan's novel, Random Passage, depicts the early fishing colony settlements establishing themselves in an unforgiving, harsh, desolate, sometimes deathly landscape – where one slip on an ice-flow can send a sealer to his frigid death. While the fishery is their main way of life, the settlers are cheated by the low fish prices from the greedy merchants of St. John's. It is their strength of character and their love for each other that allows them to survive.

Annie Proulx's The Shipping News depicts a time in our history when cod stocks were at an all-time low. Oil companies were moving in and changing the economy of the place, and generations of men who had made their living in the fishery are wandering around their homeland like lost children with no sense of purpose. This is a key time in our culture that generations before us had to endure – and they endured largely thanks to their sense of humour.

Lisa Moore's February, Joel Thomas Hynes' Down to the Dirt, Wayne Johnston's Colony of Unrequited Dreams...the list of acclaimed Newfoundland literature that is inspired by the harsh weather and socio-economic tragedies in this place is massive. It is perhaps the biggest inspiration for Newfoundland writers.

The entire history of Newfoundland and Labrador is an undulating series of hardships. Our history is an ebb and flow of challenges. The fishery, the mining industry, soon enough, the oil and gas industry – it's all about highs and lows, ebbs and flows, riding and crashing waves. There are times of prosper, there are times of desolation. Danny to Dunderdale, there's another example right there.

But a big reason people still live here is...the people. The elements of our collective personality include a wicked sense of humour, an unyielding sense of togetherness and community, and a love and respect for those of us who were born here and who choose to stay here – despite dismal times. Together, and by being able to laugh, we can get through the rough times. If we can't laugh about just how arse-up this place is, we'd have been gone ages ago. We'd all be off sniffing each other out on the beaches of Florida - our ears perking up at the sound of that weird old endearing accent, likely making chit-chat with complete strangers (most likely about the weather, leaving the complete stranger confused as to why said person is so obsessed with the weather).

But I've always found the dynamic of those of us who live in Newfoundland interesting...we're the first to pick each other up when we're down, but in the same breath, it doesn't take too much for us to spit insults at each other. Despite our warmth, we can be a bit catty. I sometimes wonder if that prevents us from reaching our full potential. Maybe we need to be more critical of ourselves in a more constructive and accepting way.

On that note, let me share a couple of the not-so-constructive or accepting emails I've received from Telegramreaders on said post:

 

 

"Disgusting article. What a pile of crap.” – from a-holemcgarnagall

Great comment, thanks, my friend! You were a real value-add in this discussion.

"Wow this woman looks old enough to have some common sense and know that you should not whine about a province that is providing a living for you and your daughter. Maybe she was not capable of looking up the weather in the province before she decided to live there. By the way you are no Rick Mercer, he has comic talent you just come across as a whiner.”

- from Ignorantmeanjerk

Wow. Thanks, lady. First off, very shortly before I wrote this post, I was at home with a baby, unemployed. On maternity leave with no job to go back to. So there's that. Secondly, I'm quite capable of looking up the weather, thanks very much. I'm just as smitten with Snoddon as the next bloke. Although, most of the time there is no point in looking up the weather, because it changes so frequently. I don't know if you'll recall, but a few foreboding “weather bombs” have been predicted, we've all battened down the hatches, and ended up with a bit of rain. Now that's not Snoddon's fault! The weather patterns change. You wouldn't go telling Snoddon he should learn how to look up the weather, would you? Additionally, in reference to your comment, “...before she decided to move here” - I did not “decide” to live here. I was born and bred here. My family and friends-since-birth live here, and I just can't seem to tear myself away from them, and from most of the other people who live here (not you though, I wouldn't miss you). I've tried to move away a few times, but my heart just ended up breaking and I had to come on back. Lastly, thank you for insulting my comic talent, or rather, my lack thereof. That was real sweet of you! I by no means put myself on any sort of parallel with Rick Mercer – a famous and talented man who makes his living by being funny. I certainly don't proclaim myself to be a comedienne. I'm just a lowly commoner, cowering behind my laptop, banging out my unabashed opinions from the safety of my own home, without worrying about anyone challenging me back. Sound familiar? I like to think that I can sometimes insert something that might spark some thought into my writing, or something that might challenge people to respond with educated and articulate remarks. I guess I did a crappy job of doing that in my last post! Anyway, enough about me. Thanks for your snarky old comment.

 

 

To the above commentators who don't enjoy my sense of humour – or lack thereof, according to you – I am choosing to turn the other cheek. I chose to put myself out there and share this blog on this website, and I accept that not everyone will like it. Blogging is a very personal, raw form of writing and this is my outlet, and it takes courage to write it. It would be nice if you respected that.

My writing style for this blog is sarcastic, much of the time, as is stated in the blog description. It's not for everyone, so if my blog post blocked the side of the bed you usually get up on, I do humbly apologize (remember how I said my blog was often sarcastic? This is one of those times).

With all-do respect, I talk to a lot of people in the run of a day, and I know for a fact that A LOT of people whine about the weather in Newfoundland. I'm not the only one. And a lot of people use humour as a way to lift themselves from the depression. Many people (myself included) in this province suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD can turn into serious depression if not treated. For me and for many others, funny things really help. That's what I trying to express.

If you don't think I'm funny or if my posts offend or bother you, my advice to you, dear reader, is – just don't read them! There's lots of other stuff out there you can read. Go on a lark with Dave and Morty if that's the sort of thing that makes you giggle over your tea and jam-jams. Whatever floats your boat, man! I don't care what you do. And if you don't like my writing and you want to comment, go mad! I invite and encourage constructive criticism, but if you're just going to be mean and hurtful, then you're no more evolved than a snot-nosed kindergartener tossing out insults to their classmate presenting a craft that they worked hard on, and put their heart and raw emotions into.

To sum it all up, I'd like to repeat with every ounce of sincerity (no sarcasm here) that I love Newfoundland. Here are a few reasons why:

 

 

  1. I love the way everybody says hi, how ya doin my ducky, what've ya been up to, I saw your mudder at the Dominion the other day, she's lookin' wonderful. You don't get that in other places. It's unique to “this terrible wonderful place,” as described in Kenneth J. Harvey's Blackstrap Hawco. The sense of familiarity, comfort, safety – those are the words that describe “home”.

  2. I love the smell of the sea air, and I even love the smell and the sound of seagulls (in very small doses, and from a very far distance away).

  3. I love the rugged, natural beauty of our land. To me, it reflects the nature of our people and our culture and our history and our very existence – surly, sometimes nasty, but strong, resilient, brave and beautiful. It is the very nature of our collective personality that I try to emulate in my own being.

 

So don't tell me I don't love Newfoundland. Or I'll smack the lips right off ya ;)

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Tisenor
    March 12, 2015 - 12:22

    Your blog post "I hate Newfoundland" was insightful and funny. Don't apologise.

  • Todd English
    May 23, 2014 - 19:10

    "i loves you!"

  • Gus
    May 21, 2014 - 13:09

    The sense of familiarity, comfort, safety – those are the words that describe “home”. - Amen.. Having the unfortunate luck to have officially spent more than half my life in Ontario now I have to say I agree whole heartedly with ducky's article here. It just aint the same elsewhere in the country 21 years now and I still don't feel like I fit in. Go ahead though, try to get a job back home with an Ontario address.

  • Jason
    May 16, 2014 - 22:00

    MARRY ME?! Writing style is very fresh and ballsy. Readers that didn't pick up what you laying down, will never. I'll be a regular reader now.

  • Ninee
    May 14, 2014 - 15:13

    Hi, I loved yourI Hate NL post, it just said everything I was feeling! It was so funny I sent it to my sister in Ohio to read so she could relate to how I and everyone I know was feeling. Ignore those nasty people, your blogs are excellent.

  • dawn
    May 08, 2014 - 21:01

    I definitely enjoyed both of those posts you wrote. I too love and hate Newfoundland but I only have love for you ducky. You're some funny!! Keep 'em coming!

  • Dean
    May 07, 2014 - 14:28

    Just a little piece of advice....The most important part of being a writer is "having a thick skin" and not let personal views from others affect your day to day. it is obvious that comments made here to you have been taken to heart causing you to lash back in a rant. Its only a few of a minority, let it go and get on with what makes you happy, "writing" and don't let these people sway you in a rant of ugliness, if you do then they win. You are doing a great job, keep your chin up buttercup!

  • david
    May 06, 2014 - 18:01

    If that's your experience and impression of this place, I truly envy you. It can be bad here. Inhumanly bad.

  • Joe A
    May 06, 2014 - 11:38

    You know, I read that blog post, and upon reading the title I was a little indignant too. But anyone with an iota of intelligence who actually read the whole post could not have missed the satirical tone of the article. I mean, seriously. And after all, aren't the things talked about in the article the same old things Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have always groused about? But just try to get one of 'em to leave... Write on, Heidi, and never mind the haters, who gonna hate anyway...

  • Stebbany
    May 06, 2014 - 11:02

    Nice.... violence in the work place !!

  • Brad
    May 06, 2014 - 10:08

    Some people have no sense of humor and everything written is an insult directed at them. You could write a story about children hugging puppies and someone in this province would be offended and express their ignorant opinions while hiding behind an anonymous pseudonym. By reading comments on this site and others it is plain to see that there is very little compassion and the friendly Newfoundlander is a dying breed. Keep expressing your opinion as there are people out there who appreciate your honesty.

  • Terry
    May 06, 2014 - 08:00

    Let it out girl, let it out! Sometimes you simply have to say it as it is. And you did a wonderful job defending yourself!!!

  • george
    May 05, 2014 - 09:19

    As soon as I read the first post I knew there'd be some idiots who took it the wrong way. You can't say anything negative about this place without someone getting their panties in a knot. Are we really so insecure we can't look at our own province critically?