Monday, January 19, 2009

Canada's neighbours

Surprisingly, the inaugural concert held by our neighbours to the south moved me. It had its ups and downs; not the greatest but not the worst, either. Of course, it was packaged with a liberal dose of jingoism but that was to be expected for a politically driven event.

I tuned in to watch because some of my favs were performing but theirs were not among the highlights of the event.

I was surprised at the performances that appealed to me most. I'm not a country music fan but I grooved to Garth Brooks' energy, even when he was singing 'American Pie'. Am I alone in marveling at this odd choice? Samuel L. Jackson proved himself to be one of the best speakers I have heard in a very long time. Surprising again, considering I've never cared for his acting.

The pinnacle, in my opinion, was reached by Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette's performance of 'A Change is Gonna Come' by Sam Cooke. It could well become an informal anthem during these troubling times.

Truly overwhelming was the perceived overall mood of the ordinary citizens. Their faces seemed to tell a story of hope and expectation. Their obvious happiness and optimism, in the face of sobering times, was so refreshing. Experience dictates things won't be good overnight but somehow their new leader has instilled in them an overriding view of the world as a positive place.

I also saw it in the faces of the people who lined the train tracks during the whistle-stop tour, while Obama traced the route of Lincoln.

The United States of America is intrinsically entangled in Canada's fabric due to geography and trade. As a Canadian, I welcome this new tone of expectant change. It will benefit us all.

Fear and suspicion has been considerably subdued. Let's all cultivate and embrace this attitude as we go about implementing the difficult changes ahead.

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