Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A unique relationship

Through the birthright of my parents, I earned a right to be a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. When I was 10 my father was transferred to White Plains, New York, and our family lived in Connecticut where my oldest sister Anne, (who was instrumental in establishing the spa at Ste. Anne's) continues to live with her husband Paul. The two years we spent living in Connecticut were good years, full of great experiences and memories. As such the relationship between these two great, but very different nations has always been a source of fascination for me. This past weekend, I went to see Mike Moore's latest rant - "Sicko". The week before, I rented a copy of "The Shooter", starring my body double, Mark Wahlberg (You may know that I was slated to pose for the Calvin Klein underwear ad that made him famous - I just couldn't make it to the studio on that particular day). Both of these movies paint a somewhat disturbing picture of our friends to the south. One of course is a documentary, while the other is pure fiction. However, there is rarely a story told that doesn't have some basis in fact, or someone's perception of factual events. I guess the real question we have to ask our selves as Canadians is how we insulate ourselves from the tremendous influence of a nation that is so close to us, and so similar to us in many ways. Don't get me wrong, there are many things I love about America, and I know lots of wonderful Americans, but there are some things about the world's only "super power" that give me cause for concern. It's hard not to draw some parallels to the course taken by some other great world powers. One interesting thing about "Sicko" is that it spends a fair bit of time talking about Canada and our universal health care system- something that is rare in a U.S. made blockbuster. In one scene Moore is interviewing a British fellow who talks about the roots of democracy as it relates to the origins of universal health care; I found his thoughts to be particularly insightful. I thought Moore would make more of his statement "As a democratic nation, if we can find the money to kill people (war), we should be able to find the money to take care of people when they're not well". Just imagine what kind of world we would live in if we could find a way to direct all the money spent on war and hatred towards cures and acts of kindness. I would encourage you to see both of these films, and would be interested in your thoughts. Blog me back!

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