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national obsession



/əbˈsɛʃən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uhb-sesh-uhn] Show IPA


1. the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
3. the state of being obsessed.
4. the act of obsessing.

Couples newly in love are often said to be obsessed with one another.

Sports fanatics are obsessed with their team and follow every win and loss with The Unwavering Faith that their side will eventually prevail.

Some are obsessed with their jobs, their cars, clothes, or political ideology, or cats.

In human history, obsessing has played a large role in charting the course of events. Napoleon and Alexander, with their obsessions over territory; Hitler, with his warped obsession with the Jews; Dubya, with his obsession about the terrorists… (1)

Big time decisions and big time players. The paths of human histroy were spurred on by these obsessions.

But obsessions need not be world-changing.

Little kids are great at the obsession game. My son has lately been obsessed with YouTube videos – particularly one called Firetruck. He loves this simple vid that was clearly produced by some Dad for his son.

And now I have that song going over and over inside my head. And you do too if you clicked on that link.

You’re welcome.

I was reminded of the immense power of obsession the other day when my eldest sub-unit realised that her beloved Blackberry was dead and not likely to be revived without an “up to 6 week” trip to the shop.


She was next to hysterical! Over a phone! A phone! I mean that there were tears, anger, frustration… all rolled into one crazy, almost 17 year old, 5’8”, blonde kid who has 50% of my DNA!

Needless to say, I was extremely worried about this. It couldn’t just be a phone that was causing this distress. There had to be something else! What else was wrong? Was it serious? Could I help in some way? These were the thoughts going through my head at 3 am on the night following the tearful call.

Then, on the bus to work the next morning, I mentioned this to a fellow bus rider who is also a blogger that lives in my ‘hood. After telling her the sad tale and flapping my arms around a bit, she was like:

Meh. Chill. This is normal for a teenage girl.

And I confirmed this with a couple of work colleagues. It’s not really that unusual for a teen to freak out over something that to me is quite mundane.

This seemingly obsessive behaviour over a piece of communications equipment is not something that someone of my generation can really relate to. A phone to a teen – especially and teen girl – is more than a phone; it is a lifeline to her friends. And a teen’s friends are EVERYTHING! Bar none.

So going without a phone is going without that vital lifeline that secures a teen to the things that matter most to her. It’s not the phone per se; it is the isolation that goes with it.

Ah. I think I get it.

My daughter’s obsession with her Blackberry is every much as deep as:

  • My obsession with Leafs and their (endless and futile) quest for the Cup,
  • Harper’s obsession with a majority government
  • Christians’ obsessions with myths, and
  • Canadians’ obsession with the weather, and
  • Tiger Woods’ obsession with, uh, you-know-what

What are you obsessed with?

1. Or whatever it was that powered that tiny, tiny mind.


Only in Canada! And hooray for that!

Gawd – I LOVE this crazy country so freakin’ MUCH sometimes!

Nowhere else in the world would the announcement of the members of a national sports team garner so much rapt attention. Say what you want about the dissection and analyses of the choices for the World Cup teams (you know, the tournament that Canada almost never makes it to…) but Canada’s national obsession can go toe-to-toe with any other nation – bar none!

Yes, today at noon is the announcement of the members of the Men’s Hockey Team that will take to the ice in a few short weeks and try to recapture the gold medal in the one sport where we – Canada – see sour supremacy as our birthright!

It will be euphoria for those whose names are called and crushing disappointment for those left off a team that will have the rare opportunity to battle for gold in its home country.

No country cares more about hockey than Canada, or has the sheer number of world-class players to choose from. Star players will be left out. Debates will rage over who should or shouldn’t have been picked.

As Martin Brodeur recently put it: ”It is the ultimate for hockey.”

Steve Yzerman – a legend in his own right – and his team have agonised over the decision for months. There are really only a couple of sure things: Sid the Kid will be on the list as will Martin Brodeur. As for the rest, who knows? Though I think all three goalkeepers are pretty much no-brainers.

Yzerman will have to balance skill with toughness and offense with defense…. all the while ensuring that he has the right mix of players to have a good chemistry on the bench.

For what it’s worth – here is my prediction.

Rick Nash
Sidney Crosby
Jarome Iginla
Dany Heatley
Joe Thornton
Patrick Marleau
Vincent Lecavalier
Mike Fisher
Ryan Getzlaf
Ryan Smyth
Mike Richards
Shane Doan

Chris Pronger
Scott Niedermeyer
Shea Weber
Mike Green
Drew Doughty
Duncan Keith
Jay Bouwmeester

Martin Brodeur
Marc-Andre Fleury
Roberto Luongo