Friday, May 8, 2009

Gross National Happiness. Or just gross.

My face is all puffy and my eyes are swollen. No broken heart. I literally cried myself awake last night watching Michael J. Fox's documentary, "Adventures of an Incurable Optimist".

In the one-hour special which began way past my bedtime, Fox travels around the globe, from Bhutan, to Wrigley Field, to Lance Armstrong's house exploring the enduring strength of hope. I haven't had a steady stream of tears like that, well, since Obama's inauguration. Holy shit, is there a message here, aside from I am possibly pre-menstrual?  

Hope soon turned to my old friend angst when I opened this morning's Horrid. The headline mentions "hoping", only it's partnered with photo opps of Rodney bouncing on a backyard trampoline. Oddly enough, I've never seen Rodney look happier, or more normal. But, if he is hoping for the polls to swing in his favour, maybe he should stop bouncing and change his message. 

The election ads were popping up during the show last night. In a word: painful. Stephen has no lips, and nothing coming out of them that I am buying. Dexter's ads are always the same NDP blah blah and rubbing elbows with a stereotypical Ben's white bread-eating family. Vomit. And, I'm not bitter because no one is paying me to come up with clever ads. Okay, I'm a bit bitter. I was just struck by the juxtaposition of the bad, negative ads with Fox's message of hope. Rodney, who has the most to lose here, well, his ads are the worst. They flash words at a dizzying pace and talk about all the great things he has done since donning the Premier hat. Who the hell cares? I want to hear about what he has planned for the future, not the past.         

Michael J. Fox alone is inspiring. I can barely watch him smiling through the Parkinson tremors without blubbering. But he's not crying. He is happy! Maybe he wouldn't be if he saw lobster boats tied at the wharf, sick people waiting for days in the ER, and money flying out the door every time someone gets constipation relief by forcing out yet another smelly election.

Maybe Michael J. Fox would do something about it. One of the lines that had me jumping out of bed looking for a pen was, "Hope doesn't exist in a a vacuum". Exactly. This election is a giant, centuries-old Hoover sucking the life out of everyone in the province.        

I say, give Rodney, Stephen and Darrell a one-way ticket to Bhutan, where a development philosophy of 'Gross National Happiness', places holistic individual and social well-being above mere economic and material gain. Would they even get it?! The Bhutanese philosophy can include organized days for school kids to pick up garbage. Imagine the lawsuits and school board firings if someone made our little i-Pod wearing darlings pick up garbage! How about organized days for all Nova Scotian politicians to work side-by-side fishing, or filling pot holes, or babysitting while a single mom goes to her minimum-wage job? Instead of throwing bullshit off the back of the campaign wagon for 35 days. 

For this wonderful hour of television, Michael tries to get a feel for why some people have hope. And some don't. I loved it, and will try and get a copy so Jack can watch it. 

I hope. Or, I try to have hope.

I really hope to hell that the Three Stooges were watching something other then hockey, or their own bad ads last night.

Watch a clip at: