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Friends With Benefits – I Don’t Think So

The flags of Canada and the United States of A...
The flags of Canada and the United States of America, flying side-by-side outside PGE Park in Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canada and the United States have flirted, used, abused, supported and stabbed one another in the back throughout the years.

We have a love/hate relationship. Americans like having neighbours who spell properly, and smile a lot.

Canadians like the sunny south and football. Perhaps we could also throw in the Rose Bowl parade, you know, just to make our American neighbours feel good.

It’s nice being neighbourly with the big guy on the block. Well, it used to be. The other global-guys are hitting their growth spurt, and the big guy isn’t so big any more. In fact, his fat-cat ways are catching  up, and, I hate to mention it, but he’s grown quite an economic disaster of a muffin-top.  A grand example of a sugar-daddy whose looks have slipped, and whose wallet isn’t fat enough.

This week, Diane Francis’s Merger of the Century was reviewed in the Toronto Star.  She argues, apparently pretty convincingly too, that should Canada and the United States jump the broom, both nations would stand to benefit.

To summarize, should this little marriage of two socially opposite neighbours happen, it would create an economy larger than the combined economic sway of China, Japan, France and Germany.

Francis describes our Canadian resources as, ‘mindboggling’. Trillions and trillions of dollars worth actually. I don’t think the average Canadian needs to read her book to understand just how rich we are. We may have to point out that our resources are in great, imminent danger of being destroyed by greedy BIG BUSINESS.  The very same big business that almost bankrupted North America in 2008. Yes, the very same big business that gobbled up the bail-out and learned absolutely nothing about innovation, or the fall-out of greed.

Beyond our  plethora of resources, Francis also sings the praises of our banking system, sophisticated social values, educations system (If ours is good, I shudder to think about the American system), and ‘law-abiding people’.

I would like to point out, that these are also precisely the reasons that intelligent Canadians would never wish to be more economically tangled with the United States than we are already obliged to be by virtue of our proximity.  Should a merger happen, it would leave the social, political and economic landscape of Canada a no-man’s land.

Much like the cover of the book that has our Canadian Maple Leaf gobbled up in the design of the famous stars and stripes, our social identity would be lost to the machine of capitalist greed, minus our so hard-won social system. In short, the big guy needs us now that the folly of his ways has seen the light of day.  The tough guy is looking to someone to clean up his mess.

Go ahead, take Francis’s argument for a ride, but be sure to read the other sides of the argument; Fire and Ice, and Death of the Liberal Class.  After all, you want a clear picture of just how very different our cultures are.

The reading may also inspire you to articulate our distinctly Canadian values in the face of the political shit-show that will surely be our next federal election.

Fracking? Pipelines? Bureaucratic Elitism? GMO farming and antibiotic infused livestock? Yes, we do have some rather overwhelming issues to tend to in our very own maple-syrup rich backyard, but we’d have a heck of a lot more problems if we get distracted by a  big, shiny, diamond engagement ring from the USA.

 

 

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Seditious Wishes

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...
Image via Wikipedia

Did you know that the “luxury market” is set to boom this year? Bain and Company makes this prediction in the face of the looming global economic crisis. Did you know that Noam Chomsky has predicted this economic crisis by way of middle/working class brainwashing (by “them” – the combined political/capitalist elite)and apathy for decades?

Why, all of this thinking could make a girl dizzy! So, while my Vietnamese aesthetician exfoliated and massaged my feet today, I came up with my “If I were a Rich Girl Birthday Gift Wish List”. 

1)I will open the door to you holding a bottle of Clive Christian‘s Imperial Majesty Perfume: Price $215,000, and a bouquet of  orchids crafted of peridot, diamonds and rubies. Of course they will be token gifts for me so that you may cross my very glamorous domestic threshold.

2) Le Creuset‘s Metal Cork Catcher. That way we can start the occasion off with some bubbly minus the worry of injuring anyone, or more importantly anything.

3)Of course I would like a nice bottle of bubbly to practice using the Cork Catcher. Let’s see. Hmm? How about a nice bottle of the Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck.  Better get on that. It’s rare, and you only have a month left before my big day. If for some reason you’re not man enough to get your hands on a bottle of that, I’ll take some Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Jouet. Actually, better get two.

4)A nice little Michael Kors leather-bodice dress to wear for the special occasion. I’ll need to get it altered for a little extra va-va-va-boob, so don’t leave it too late.


5)Pearls are a no-no for a man to give for a woman as they represent tears. Since I’ve had some experience with this, I will resist putting a beautiful strand of pearls on this list. Instead, how about a little something from Cartier. I think the Two-For-Trinity necklace would go nicely with the dress. Oh yah, and the earrings too.

6)For our little ride to the airport there’s a 1951 Rolls out there you could arrange. If you can’t manage the ’51, the ’49 will do.

7)After your people book a private luxury flight to Charles De-Gaulle, be sure you have made reservations at L’Ambroisie. You get the best tables if you call 01-42-78-51-45. Mmmm…can’t wait to blow out the candle on  the tarte fine sablée au cacao! Oh you’re so good to me. This is where I will open your real birthday gift to me..ooooh! I can’t wait for the surprise! I hope it’s shiny!

8)After dinner let’s slum it a bit and hit Au Lapin Agile after dinner eh? I know, it’s not Michelin starred darling, but let’s have a laugh and buy the house a round. Please, pretty please. I promise we can make for the jet straight away after the last act.

9) I suppose I need a “you” to direct this birthday list too. How about  one of the world’s eligible billionaires? I have a lot of respect for Oprah, but being heterosexual and all,  I’ll take Eike Batista. The latin ones are always pretty frisky and we’re born only 5 days apart – we can celebrate together! After a couple glasses of bubbly they all look the same anyway…blah, blah, blah.

10)A simple Langford cedar canoe. You see, indulgence can only ever come to a catastrophic end, whether it’s gluttony or greed. Kinda like the global economy. I figure with the canoe – I’ll have a place to reflect upon my 37th year as our civilization crumbles around me.

All of this  Noam-Chomsky-subversive-truth-telling-while-waiting-for-civilized-North-American-life-as-we-know-it-to- blow-out-our-liberal-class-sputtering-candle is enough to make a girl think twice about filling up her gas tank, or heaven forbid hope for a little over-the-top-materialistic-romance. Sheesh! Somebody pass me that bottle opener and whatever cheap hooch we’ve got on hand.

Since I likely won’t be getting any of the things on my greedy-guts-glam list, I’ll settle for a little public education. Go out and get yourself  some Chomsky in honour of this gal’s big day. Perhaps start light with Chris Hedges and his Death of the Liberal Class.  

After you’ve finished reading come on over, have a beer with me on the patio and chat. After all, enlightened conversation is a priceless gift. It’s all about the Om baby.