And isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?

In Dolls of Canada: A Reference Guide, Evelyn Robson Strahlendorf writes:

Canadians are not a people who are given to self-praise. If an outstanding citizen is commemorated by a doll, however, we are very happy to make it an instant collector’s item. … Imagine a collection of authentic and life-like Prime Ministers, suffragettes of the past such as Anges McPhail, Nellie McClung, or famous women such as Pauline McGibbon, Jeanne Sauvé, and Margaret Atwood. (1990: 2)

In “The Prime Minister as Fetish? Ironic Nationalism, the News Media, and the Canadian Legends Figurines,” Sunnie Rothenburger:

… explores the public reception of the Canadian Legends, a series of toys based on Canadian historical figures. For some purchasers, the toys appear to act as nationalist fetishes, resolving a desire for a stable national identity in the face of numerous challenges to such an identity. Many media commentators, on the other hand, take an ironic stance toward the toys. This stance, while seeming to undercut the toymakers’ stated purpose of promoting nationalism, is actually part of a greater pattern in Canadian culture that uses irony to promote a more nuanced nationalism while upholding racial and gendered hierarchies within the nation.

… examine l’accueil que le public a réservé aux figurines de personnages historiques canadiens lancées sur le marché par l’entreprise Canadian Legends. Certains acheteurs semblent considérer ces figurines comme des objets fétiches nationaux qui répondent à un désir d’identité nationale stable face aux nombreuses difficultés à surmonter pour faciliter l’émergence d’une telle identité. D’autre part, dans les médias, bon nombre de commentateurs adoptent une attitude ironique à l’égard de ces figurines. Bien qu’elle semble saper la prétention des fabricants de ces figurines qui leur attribuent une fonction de promotion du nationalisme, cette attitude s’inscrit en réalité dans une plus grande tendance observée dans la culture canadienne, tendance qui consiste à utiliser l’ironie pour promouvoir un nationalisme plus nuancé tout en soutenant une hiérarchie des races et des sexes au sein de la nation.

That might not be exactly what Evelyn Robson Strahlendorf had in mind.

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