Monday, September 29, 2008

Democracy

Last night marked the first episode of the third season of the Showcase series "Dexter" on the movie channel. Tuesday night the second season of "The Tudors" airs on CBC. Sad as it may seem, I have been looking forward to settling into these shows once again this fall. In "Dexter", we follow a member of the Miami-Dade forensic team who has a nasty addiction to murder. However, he only murders bad people who have escaped the justice system. "The Tudors" follows the exploits of a good looking version of King Henry the 8th. A few years ago we were just as hooked on "Six Feet Under", "The Sopranos", and Rome. Of course these are all forms of modern day soap operas, and I'm sure there are many things I could do to better exercise my brain, but I choose not to. I do find though that good TV can in some instances promote creative thought. For instance, I can't help but draw some comparisons between the excesses of the Roman Empire, The Tudors and Bush democracy. Today George W. asks lawmakers to pass a bill that would give him the power to tax the American people to bail out the failing financial community, after bungling and continuing with a multi-billion dollar war on terrorism. Meanwhile, average citizens walk, run, and ride in efforts to raise money to bring down real enemies directly impacting their lives like cardiovascular disease, cancer and AIDS (diseases responsible for many more deaths than 911, according to this web site), and struggle to pay for their own health care costs. The U.S. banks who are being bailed out, have created their own mess, but don't worry, King George to the rescue. Despite record profits, record CEO salaries and bonuses, and a licence to print money through fees and credit card interest rates that rival Tony Soprano's preferred gangster rates, can we expect the same scenario to unfold in Canada? Perhaps not, we're already so highly taxed, I'm sure legislators know that this well has been pretty well tapped. So what's my point, you might ask, other than a Monday morning rant? I guess I just got to thinking, which would be worse; to be a lowly serf back in King Henry's day, or a taxpaying member of the great democratic electorate today? What do you think? It seems to me like there were some pretty good times to be had back in Henry's time and I do think the Romans had a really good thing going, not to mention the fact that there were no online income tax deadlines to worry about.

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