From: Galen Elfert
Date: Sun Jan 5, 2003 12:48:09 AM
Subject: slightly disgruntled Canadian

Hey Mike,

I just saw your movie. Good work! I laughed, I cried (for real), and overall I thought you had a strong thesis and defended it masterfully.

I've seen a couple of complaints about the movie, though. First, some say it was more than a little self-agrandizing. It was. So what.

Second, however, was the way you depicted Canada. When you first crossed the border I thought it was all pretty amusing. Sure, I don't know anyone who leaves their door unlocked, and lots of people who have alarms, but maybe it's just a little different in Ontario. When you flashed a nice looking apartment building and told us it was the closest thing we have to a slum, however, the whole segment kind of fell apart.

I live in Vancouver. Every day on my way to school, crappy bus scheduling has me wait for 20 minutes at the intersection of Main and Hastings. This is ground zero of just about the worst drug problem in North America. Sure, I've never seen a gun there, and the biggest danger I usually feel is from the dangerously weaving junkies on bicycles, but I regularly witness a shooting up of an equally insidious and deadly kind. Fortunately we have a new mayor now, an ex-coroner bright enough to see that the war-on-drugs approach just ain't fixin' it, but I digress.

My point is: As much as I love Canada and love living here, it's not a utopia! So please stop saying it is. It really gets me when I hear that Canada has been voted the number one place to live, yet again. We have plenty of problems, okay, and one of the biggest is a totally uninspired government, bent on maintaining the status quo.

By the way, a six year old boy was just shot dead by his seven year old sister with a .45-calibre handgun belonging to their 22 year old brother, in Mississauga, Ontario.


Galen Elfert
Vancouver, Canada.