I hope you are all fine. North America has not changed much and therefore I am in the same situation that I was last time I wrote. Drastically changes are rare nowadays. Sometimes I wonder whether it is because courageous men are all dead or it’s just that we are too busy to even think about changes. However, people claims that things are changing because every dawn there is a new tech tool arrival into the market. I may agree on those changes, but what about social changes?
Politics have remained number one in terms of what excites people out here. Information leakages, coming out of the closet in a forceful pull, war of words are quite the norm. It is hard to imagine North American without rough politics. Well, they call it democracy out here. They spend millions of dollars trying to teach our African leaders same democracy they practice. Don’t you think such money could be used in humanity operations instead?
Well, the news that most of you do not know whether I live in Canada or United States of America came as sad news even though they did not shock me. I have personally been struggling with the same issue all the time I have been here. Sometimes I have asked myself whether I live in the 51st state of USA or 52nd after Israel?
My realization came the first time I tried to visit friends who live in USA cities. The conditions were put to me that I require a visa to visit USA. That came as a shock to me. Funny enough, my friends who decided to dwell in US instead of Canada do not require visa to visit me out here. Why should they require visa to visit one of the their states? Am I wrong to assume so? It’s hard for Canadians to even know about this unfair treatment of its permanent residents like me compared to their American counter-parts. It is never in the agenda when immigration issues are brought unto the table. May be they will be in 2010 when all Canadians will be required to carry their passport and who knows, may be have visas too.
It is very difficult to differentiate between Canada and USA nowadays, at least to foreigners like me. As I am writing this letter, I am looking outside my window, facing the biggest shopping mall in the province of Ontario. Do I see anything Canadian from here? Without being critical, I see none. From the names of stores hanging outside the mall to the corporations surrounding my neighborhood, everything is American.
With full understanding of what the economists calls globalization, I think it is ridiculous to imagine the seemingly biased platform of globalization that Canada and USA practices. My disappointment comes when I imagine, just imagine how many Canadian stores are there in American shopping malls? None?
Yesterday I was watching TV in search of Canadian programs. I am ashamed to tell you that I found none. From movies to just simple talk shows, they are all from America. However, I came across some few programs claiming to be Canadian. These are the likes of Canadian Idol, Canadian Best Top Models; I cannot bring to mind the third one. I am asking myself, aren’t these the same American shows with just a silly twist of the names from USA to Canadian? Can’t Canada come up with television themes/shows that are not copycat from USA? I believe Canadians are not lazy people in terms of thinking and creating hit tv shows, movies, drama, short plays etc. What is wrong then?
Another disappointment comes when I imagine, how many Canadian TV programs, soap operas; talk shows are aired in American stations? What kind of dominance are we witnessing here? Then is it fair to blame our PM for naturally becoming pro-American to the extent of being seen as a just an ambassador of US in Canada?
In Canada you have mostly two choices to make if you want to purchase a car. It’s either American or Japanese. There is nothing like Canadian car! Have you heard of any? Of course there are so many plants in Canada. These are all foreign investments. Is Canada among the G8 countries just by chance?
I love Canada; I love its history, its culture, its people and all that can be called Canadian.
Therefore, friends, I live in Canada and not the USA. I am very sorry about the confusion. As you can see, I have nothing to do with all these. What I have is just wishes, wishes that Canada could stand out on its own. Wishes that Canada could have its own Hollywood. I would love to send you Canadian made movies, everything Canadian, not just a set. I wish to be able to watch Canadian news channels when I am in the US. I wish to see more Americans tuning to Canadian reality shows programs.
I will write again soon. Please support Canadian growth whenever possible.