I’m still caught up in the euphoria of Barack Obama’s inaugration as President of the United States.
I listened to a few more speeches on TV last night, and goddammit, I swear he was talking to me. And I don’t mean that in a weird, I’m-going-crazy sort of way, but I think that’s the allure of Obama, the everyday person feels like they could sit and have a pint with him and not feel out of place.
I’m not someone that constantly worries about the state of the world, or dwells on the fact that generally, humans have pretty much fucked everything up for future generations over the past decade or five. But Obama’s pledge of change, and guiding the world into the next decade has really got me thinking about how I’d like the world to be for The Hurricane after (we can only hope) eight years of Obama in Washington.
So here are some things I hope my daughter and your children will be able to thank not only Barack Obama for, but also every forward thinking individual with the guts to change the world, in 2017. Although Obama is obviously American, I hope his successes become Canadian successes as well.
In 2017, I hope The Hurricane sees …
1. A stable economy built on producing green technologies like electric cars, and mass public transit systems. That will result in less dependency on oil, which will result in less global warming and fewer international conflicts.
2. Corporations that again treat their employees like more than a number, being satisfied with solid profits, not cutting staff and closing plants because the company made fewer millions than they made the year before, and not sending jobs to developing countries like China and India simply because they’ll work for practically nothing, leaving North American families – the same ones that made the shareholders filthy rich – without jobs, stability and homes.
3. Equal rights for all humans in all countries.
4. A Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup parade.
5. Global stability, both financial and military.
6. A Canadian education system that returns to the days of creativity for teachers – imagine heading outside on a warm June day to have class under a big maple tree as my Grade 2 teacher Mrs. Armstrong did with us – these days you’d be fired for taking a field trip without the proper consent forms and for deviating from the lesson plan. Also, our education system must end standardized testing, because now they only teach you what you need to know for the big provincial test so their shitty numbers look less shitty so they can get more provincial dollars. Less focus must also be given to the crap kids will never need and more energy should go towards empathy towards others, world issues, and promoting activism amongst young people.
7. A firm separation of church and government. Oh, and a complete ban on athletes thanking God for all their success. Guys, if he exists he has better things to do than help you catch a football or drop a three pointer at the buzzer.
8. Less hate, and more acceptance. Except for Montreal Canadiens fans – fuck ’em.
9. An end to needless poverty in rich countries like ours, while we spend billions upon billions invading other countries.
10. A dynamic leader in Canada, unseen since Pierre Trudeau, that will create a new generation of Canadians that actually care about how their government is run, instead of being grossly apathetic like we are now, because my generation knows if one dick doesn’t screw us, the next one in line will.
11. A shift from my parents’ generation’s mindset of go to college/university, get a good job with a company, work your balls off for that company for 35 years, buying a nice house and a nice car or two along the way, and retire at 55 or 60 with a nice pension. Why? In the past year alone, North American corporations have proven time and again they won’t sacrifice profits for people, so why do we sacrifice our lives, our happiness, and our best years to make those bastards richer? It should be mandatory for all people to have a passport with at least five international stamps in it by the time you’re 25.
12. A better world to be nine years old in.
If Obama can get the wheels of change spinning, perhaps there’s enough of us out there to make life better for my kid, and your kid, and the starving kid in Africa, and the kid in the Pakistani sweat shop, and the kid in L.A. that has to decide between a book and a gun …