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Monday, November 01, 2004

Working Late

It's a little demoralizing, really,to work and work and type and re-type,and then find that you've written all of about 13 pages, which is less than 10% of what you need to accomplish in about,oh, five more days. I guess everyone feels that way when expected to produce some content,and it's the same feeling of dread whether you're a third grader with a three-paragraph book report due or a writer who contracts to do 150-page ebooks on topics that are sometimes a little on the arid side.

The Guy is on the phone with a friend in the movie business; a fellow who flies planes and wears Abercrombie and dates a new girl every two months or so. We watch him like robins watch a peacock; a little nervous, not envious, but definitely interested in all that glossy, iridized plumage.

Continuing with my political musings, I listened to some call-in show today where the announcer was asking callers what impact they think the US election outcome will have on Canada.The consensus seemed to be that the incumbent, with his rapacious interest in all things mining, drilling, pumping and clearcutting, promotes jobs for Canadians, and jobs are a good thing. John Kerry, who talks about bringing jobs home to the U.S. might cost Canada some jobs, but people also seemed to agree that having a president who upholds the Kyoto Protocol and things like Civil Rights might be a good thing for the whole world.

After hearing a few people say the same thing about the present nationalistic objectives of the US being "good for business", I became worried about the lack of long-range discussion. Sure, running pipelines is good for making some more jobs in the Arctic, but I like to think that others realize that short-range jobs often make for long-range and wide-ranging impoverishment. We could drill the hell out of the Newfoundland coast, and the next oil-rig disaster will certainly impact the still-fragile fisheries in that region. Not to mention the coastal ecology, and the impact on the budding eco-tourism industry.

Canada and the US have a symbiotic economic relationship, but the difference between the two countries is obvious when you hear Canadians discussing the US. Canadians analyse and fret and worry and think deeply about their relationship with the US: to the US, Canada is the place where cold winter air comes from. It occurs to me that realizing and comprehending the extent of the insular nature of the American psyche (both individual and cultural) will someday benefit Canadian thinkers and policy-makers in dealing with that young, unruly and dangerous neighbor to the South.

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