Hockey is more than a game. It''s more than a way of life. In
Canada, it''s a portrait of who we are. It''s a window into our
In The Meaning of Puck, bestselling author Bruce
Dowbiggin takes a peek into that window and - frankly - it''s not
always such a pretty picture. Viewed through the prism of hockey,
Canada is, Dowbiggin argues, a land of compelling and surprising -
even ugly and embarrassing - contradictions.
In a series of essays that is a road trip across the nation''s
cultural landscape, he shows how the national passion of hockey
reflects - or deflects - the issues of globalization, regionalism,
anti-Americanism, militarism, violence, racism and greed.
Why are Canadians, for instance, such strenuous advocates of
pacifism and non-militarism around the world while simultaneously
embracing - and promoting - the world''s most vicious and violent
brand of hockey? It''s not the Americans who popularize violence in
hockey. It''s us.
Dowbiggin comes to terms with the absurd hero worship of The
Great One. Or why Canadians so smugly spoof American ignorance
while making a cultural icon of Don Cherry. Is it because in a
nation without rules or standards he still stands for something,
The Meaning of Puck is a funny, acidic, irreverent,
argumentative and often infuriating but always thought-provoking
look into the fabric of a nation straining to keep old traditions
alive and incorporate new national myths.