By Nicolas Vergara
There are many ways to escape from cold days: some mammals have long naps, others complain about weather, but there is a kind of special mammal that likes to invest its energies in going to the movies. I become the third kind of mammal when homes, books, bars and restaurants don't look appealing, or when my friends —first or second kinds of mammals— invite me to watch a movie. When these kinds of mammals get together having fun becomes an activity of complaining and criticizing that frequently ends in drinking. That ground is fertile for ideas and for the development of a friendship based on hate and resentment.
A few weeks ago, I went to the movies to watch Manchester by the Sea. The movie was good for what we needed: an escape from a weird feeling caused by life itself, which is especially strong in winter time. The movie is about how randomly bad things could happen in our life, how hard —and sometimes impossible— it is to get over those things, and how love could be understood as a special attitude for interpreting life. If that were not enough, the way that the story was narrated didn't support the idea that behind life experiences you can find aims, budgets or indicators.
Something very Canadian happened during the movie: one of the characters was wearing a Canada Goose winter jacket. When I saw that, I thought that was the beginning of another Canadian brand conquering the world. Many people in the world just know Canada for its famous ginger ale. Maybe, I thought, if you want to be an international Canadian brand you should just call your product CANADA + SOMETHING, and success will settle over your business as a bird in a nest.
Canada Goose just opened its first store in NYC (which makes the similarities between Toronto and The City even stronger). I read that many Hollywood stars are wearing the brand too, saying to the world, “I’m capable of being warm and comfy in the cruelest weather and also spending a thousand dollars doing that”. Or declaring: “Looking like a scientist measuring the ice melting in the arctic — it’s stylish” (other brands have built avenues for the fashionable idea that dressing for extreme weather conditions is cool, even though the most extreme weather experience of many people is deciding at what temperature to heat their houses).
In the movie, the protagonist is yelling at his stepson on one street in Manchester. One guy passes them on the sidewalk and gives his opinion about how the protagonist is raising his son. He says something like, “Nice way of being a father” or “You suck as a father”. The guy was the one that was wearing the Canada Goose Jacket, while the protagonist and his stepson were shivering in the cold. “He looks Canadian, but he is acting like an American”, one of my friends said.
Poet Nicolás Vergara (Santiago de Chile, 1981), lives and works in Toronto.