Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Best Place on Earth?

Sometime in the last ten years, the license plates here in BC began crowing "Best Place on Earth." Not very Canadian, eh? After all, while we can certainly be patriotic, we tend to be discreet and polite about it. This motto, linked with a certain political party I did not vote for, is neither discreet nor polite.

Instead, when I see or think of it, I find it cringe-making -- it strikes me as either horridly provincial (really? the best? have you seen them all? and there's no contender out there?) -- or distatesfully smug and, worse, thoughtlessly gloating (we're here; you're not -- nyaa, nyaaa, nyaa). Goofily grandiose, really.
Luckily, the system here is one that transfers licences from one's old car to one's new one, and we've had the same licence for at least 20 years. It's not likely we'll ever get a second car, so we should be safe from having to wear the BC braggart's boast.
But I'll have to admit that I love the variety of our province, its sweeping landscapes, its reassuring reminder that urban life is only a tiny fraction of the planet's action (albeit one whose greedy hungers and exorbitant wastes leave traces everywhere).
I would never claim that British Columbia is the best place on earth. But it's disarmingly beautiful, and I love driving through its spectacular vistas (although it will take many massage hours to un-kink my body after the road time!).
Finally (yes, regular programming will return next post -- whatever "regular" might mean around here), my favourite shot of all. You'll probably have to click and "embiggen" this photo (taken, I'll remind you, from the window of a car moving at 110kmh, with my little Canon automatic digital 7 pixel, so excuse the quality) -- taken somewhere in the north Cariboo, forest fire smoke encroaching, a long hot afternoon in a series of long hot afternoons, 4+weeks of drought and high temps, and all these ranch horses have sought shelter under the irrigation sprinklers.

What relief from what weather are you finding in your neck of the woods? And what do you think of places that claim to be "the best place on earth"? Would you make that claim about your own home?

11 comments:

  1. Isn't it Disneyland that claims to be the best place on earth? Right then and there the whole claim is suspect for anyone:). That said, I had no idea BC was so beautiful and so open. In that way, the license plates do the region good service. As do your photos. Nice to have you back.

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  2. I think Disney's tagline is "happiest place on Earth." Doesn't Best depend on what the individual's preferences are? And at a given time? Mater, I feel that I've just dug up more questions vs. answering yours.

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  3. They don't call it Beautiful BC for no reason!
    BC Braggart here in the BC Bungalow!

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  4. I was mortified this July when
    I saw Kelly and Regis broadcasting from my home on PEI. Truly, I was ashamed that the government had encouraged/lobbied for the show and the ensuing publicity. PEI *is* a beautiful place, precisely because it isn't completely overrun by visitors.

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  5. LPC: Yes! I'd say that's reason enough to avoid such a claim! Of course, I know that I live in a very beautiful place and I'm happy to have others learn of it as well -- and if the licence plates get you up here for a visit, well, that would be a job well done!
    Nancy: Exactly! Why claim "Best" when we're a century into relativity . . .
    Hostess: I guess I prefer that older claim: "Beautiful BC" there's no arguing with, unlike "Best"
    Miss C: I know! And the idea that we should all be glad to be overrun by tourists . . . that's always seemed a very suspect economic driver to me -- and I can easily see why Parisians become grumpy every July!

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  6. That scenery is pretty beautiful, perhaps the motto should be "ONE of the best places on earth".

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  7. Cybill: It is gorgeous, isn't it?!Miss your blog, btw, but glad to have you visiting here, at least.

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  8. I'm always reading even if I don't always comment!
    I'm thinking about thinking about starting up another blog, but it chews into my blog reading time too much.

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  9. C: I like knowing you're reading -- I don't always comment on the blogs I read either; otherwise, there'd be less reading time!

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  10. For some reason, all of these photographs grabbed from the car window make me think of an Annie E. Proulx novel. I like them!

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  11. Thanks, Lesley, I consider that quite a compliment!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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