Getting out of the U.S.?

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marky
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Getting out of the U.S.?

Post by marky » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:22 pm

Well I work with a lady who lived in Australia for about 20 years. I'm not sure I ever really seriously considered getting out of this country permanently but my conversation with her kindof woke me up: I realized that these things that had poisoned me, had shaped my life in a big way were due to the fact that I lived in the U.S. and sure I knew these things were different in other "western" countries, but I was usually just going to bitch about it. I figured I couldn't do it, I don't have the money, etc etc. and it seemed like a really scary thing to do, too. I don't know, I just never really took the idea seriously before until I had this conversation with her. I began to wonder if Australia was exactly where I should head for, too, despite my fascination with the UK.

I actually know very little about Australian post punk bands, that's like a real nice frontier of untapped discovery for me. I think there is probably better music from New Zealand in general, though. But I don't know. I know more about N.Z. music than I do Australian, which I guess just shows New Zealanders can really be proud of their music scenes over the years.

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Post by megapulse » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:36 pm

i don't know about australia -- i saw something or read something recently about some god awful racist shit, it was worse than a lot of stuff that goes on down south, put things into a different perspective for me.

a friend of mine who works for aol says he's moving there soon though, so i'll tell you how it goes . . . actually i worked with an incredibly cool australian a few years ago. oh, oh, sheila . . .

i'm supposed to be going to peru. i was excited at first, and now i'm like i don't know if this is such a great idea.

it's definitely a strange idea. a friend of mine's husband is a paleontologist, doesn't look a bit like ross from friends either really disappointing, but he's been digging up these mammoth (adj not noun) whales. they're huge, and he's gotten really close to the folks in the village and wants to help them out -- they are in desperate need of sustainability, but the idea that they've got for getting there is a little off to me, so i could go and see what i could do, or i could just give them the money and see what it could do. they are capable of growing garbanzo beans there, which amazes me because it hasn't rained in over 300 years in this place, i think they could use that to reach sustainability, but that's not the route they are going. they want to build a museum and have sort of an ecotourism thing there. i don't know really. i think i'm going to give them the money. i'd really like to go, but i think they'd be better served if i didn't, so i'm in a state of i don't know about leaving the us too. whereas i was in a state of definitely gettin out of here earlier. i think i'm the worst decision maker on earth.

i have not yet based leaving on the post punk music available in peru, which really makes me smile, the idea of it, i'll have to check that out :)

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martino
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Post by martino » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:54 am

in theory, and looking at the government, the US is not a good place, but everytime i go there i feel just fine.

so tell me, what's so bad about daily life in the US?

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Post by Sloth » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:56 am

Yeah it's weird. In the cities walking around you'd never know there was a war. You go to the suburbs and it becomes more obvious when you go to the mall and see people with half their faces blown off.

But maybe I can help Marky with this one.

1. The people act like robots and treat each other like shit.

2. You know what will happen and how people will react before they do.

3. You expect no suprises and any surprises that do come seem to be on the disappointing side such as people killing themself, other people, or being incredible short-sighted or stupid.

4. There seems to be 2 societies emerging, almost the birth of a class based on money and networking and a poor class who feels so insecure they are incapable of standing up for themselves even though they are often smarter and work harder.

5. When you are pissed off it is so easy to grab a pizza, chips, and a six pack and medicate yourself with mind-numbinbg TV.

That's why I left. You could argue that any country has these problems, and that might be true, but as a foriegner you are often immune to the most painful aspects of them.

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Post by martino » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:12 am

wow

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Post by megapulse » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:52 pm

i agree mostly with Sloth, why i would like to leave and also why i always end up staying, i'm an aries, we're pushy fighters by nature:

the level of poverty people are subjected to because of birth and race -- martino, i could tell you some terrible stories, but i won't . . . it's the holidays.

support of war and the death penality or absolute ignorance of it

NASCAR (okay this was once a pretty cool thing, bootleggers ran liquor during prohibition and this developed into racing, but now . . . we have a multinational gutting of the environment here)

i just lost half my post somewhere -- the half where i explained about our most recent gubernatorial election, it didn't make me happy because the independent got squashed, not a great sign o the times, i'd like to see the two party system change -- i think we need a third party to stir it up a bit.

anyway, there are a lot of good things that are popping up down south, cycling, recycling, organics, our kids are sincerely into anarchy a lot of them, and in my county there really is so little racism . . . people are poor, it's like the great common denominator or leveler or something, so . . . i don't know, we'll see. it depends on what i've been around whether i want to stay or leave most days.

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Post by mccutcheon » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:00 pm

Good one sloth. I'm glad you got your head out of the Xbox.

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Post by martino » Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:22 pm

some quick thoughts before the year ends with me flying to the canary islands.

"1. The people act like robots and treat each other like shit."
that sounds like germany to me. and it is something i have experienced everywhere in the world where people get their brains fried by bureaucratic corporate life.

"2. You know what will happen and how people will react before they do.
3. You expect no suprises and any surprises that do come seem to be on the disappointing side such as people killing themself, other people, or being incredible short-sighted or stupid."
that sounds very sucky; it is truly so? my experience with urban US is that people are lively and engaging and have a great and unpredictable sense of humor. however, this may just be the ghetto speaking... the black and jewish wit that we murdered here in germany and that may be fairly rare outside the cities in the US.

"4. There seems to be 2 societies emerging, almost the birth of a class based on money and networking and a poor class who feels so insecure they are incapable of standing up for themselves even though they are often smarter and work harder."
that is different over here. but the downside is you have an enormous underclass of comfortably unemployed people who drink away their lives, completely unable to deal with life without the social status a job gives you. personally i think the US system would be better for the soul if it did not have the screaming injustice of unaffordable health insurance for the working people.

"5. When you are pissed off it is so easy to grab a pizza, chips, and a six pack and medicate yourself with mind-numbinbg TV."
if the alternative is TV so bad you can never watch it -- is that better? (i have to qualify this though. there is one public-service channel here called arte, which is a franco-german joint venture, and i would say it is the world's best TV)


two more downsides to the US i might add. one is travel; distances are so large you always have to take the goddamn airlines. over here i can drive to berlin, paris, prague, brussels, munich, hamburg, strasbourg in six hours. my last point would be the jingoism of an almost-majority of americans. the rest of the world (outside the middle east) finds this strange and unappealing.

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Post by megapulse » Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:37 pm

"personally i think the US system would be better for the soul if it did not have the screaming injustice of unaffordable health insurance for the working people."

one of the huge problems we're facing in the US now thanks to bush, bill, et al. is the privatization / corporatization of things that used to be "publicly" run and owned . . . hospitals are one. here in our lil town the hospital is now owned by some private / corporate thing -- super scary, they can and do turn people away at the door, hell, they turn people away before they even get to the door -- 500 bucks for a ride to the ER in some cases. SCARY! Also public ed is on the verge of exctincting itself as we knew it -- the federal government has it's hands and red tape clogging up so many of the systems now that it's not remotely funny -- i swear, i'm like has it always been like this and i just didn't know or has the country taken a large plunge down hill rapidly in the last ten years?

my friend from aol called the tech guys at our school to alert them of a problem with emails in the system and they said they'd have a meeting about it when they got back from the holidays, he's like i'm telling you how to fix it right now, what is there to meet about? (have you ever seen the movie Brazil, good god, sometimes i feel like we're all in it)

outsourcing, don't even get me started. once good at textiles, a company here is gone caput, once it employed 16,000 people in this country, now 500 -- welcome to the shrinking working class, and the growth of our fat ass, known as the huge job markets in service industries. . . sickening.

but i took a bike ride today, so it's not so bad. i mean there are not that many places where i can ride a bike through the park in december, or maybe there are . . . where to, marky?

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Post by mccutcheon » Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:06 am

I used to watch Arte in Paris all the time. It is great.

way to go Sarah. Pax won't do anything to your computer I hope. It was never the site or anyone on it.

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Post by megapulse » Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:28 am

yes, that's a little embarrassing, now, thanks for mentioning it, mc. :)

I think the problem was someone on this site, me, an overactive super-sleuth-ness, and a lemon of new computer.

So Mark, we don't have to slit our wrists or move to a new country. The Sierra Club is saving our souls, even if GW would like to take them directly to hell. Apparently someone is finally listening to Arianna Huffington. Thank god, and notice they're southern cities. Except for DC we don't count DC down here, they are a weird non-south NoVA thang.

And as luck would have it, my new guber is going to be up the road from me this upcoming week, speaking to folks about transportation. So I'm going to go do my civic duty and let him know that to the north and to the south some things are looking a lot better.

http://sierraclub.org/globalwarming/coo ... ehicle.asp

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Post by marky » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:37 am

Aaah! Too much stimulation! I love you all from skimming these replies but I'm way too drunk to read all that. In fact, I think I'll need another drink soon. Or another spliff, as the case may be. Really scared of a hangover at this point. Maybe I should drink more water.

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Post by marky » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:47 pm

Okay I'm sobered up now. Hi Sarah! Took me awhile to start figuring out you were Sarah, str. I meant to respond to another one of your posts on this board as well but I think I was at work at the time and couldn't get away with it. Anyway I think the way you describe D.C. is really funny. That place really is the butt end of the U.S. in a lot of ways, and then you realize it's got politicians in it too, which means it really IS the Butt End of the U.S.! Hahah. I get a little sentimental about D.C. though, but I think we've talked about that before.

Anyway, I'm really wary of going out of the country just because I've had bad experiences when I've done it before. I'm also wary of the "grass is always greener" mentality because that can blow up in your face. But I'll explain how I see it here and then other folks are welcome to splash cold water on me and tell me it won't be better somewhere else.

My main issue is with the idea of a safety net. I want to live in a country where there is actually some kind of socialist safety net. Where it is taken for granted that people are taken care of and not left on the street to die. Every day as I go to work I walk past a whole courtyard of homeless people. Now I'm not going to say that Seattle does nothing for the homeless, that would be very unfair. But I don't want to get into specifics here either because I'm talking about in general. I used to work in social services. I burnt out on it because everyone does, but what made it so hard was watching that safety net slowly unravel. I decided I couldn't afford to deal with that every day, physically or emotionally, and I felt that for my own safety I needed to find some way to make more money, too. Not for greed, the big house/car/social stature, but simply because I am honestly afraid that if I stay here I will die in poverty. That is why I have busted my ass to finish school. That is why I have chosen to pursue the field I have chosen. Because I feel as if I can't really afford NOT to. I would like to know what would happen to my life if I had more freedom to do what I really want with it instead of choosing the lesser of a group of evils for the sake of survival. For example, I can see myself being happy having two jobs rather than just one. But if you have two jobs, you don't get health insurance. Just all kinds of little ramifications like that.

Lack of a safety net + gigantic deficit created by Bush that WILL eventually affect the economy + prescription drug prices going up faster than inflation, even faster than health insurance costs are = ??? What is it going to be like 20 or 30 years from now?

My second reason for wanting to leave is just the hope that folks are generally more educated and less ignorant elsewhere. Maybe that's a feeble hope. I don't know. I remember telling my friend from Australia that the school I'm going to pissed me off because even though I only need two classes to graduate, they weren't offering both of them next quarter! Well she said "oh well why don't you see if they have an agreement with other schools so that you can take the class at another school...that's the way it was in Australia". I just laughed. I mean that is just too smart, too coordinated an arrangement to exist in the U.S.

But again I don't want to get into specifics, it's all kinds of little things. I'm tired of hearing how we are the ONLY country that does things in these backward ways.

Okay that's the end of my rant.

Hey, where's Mav these days I wonder?

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Post by mccutcheon » Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:10 pm

Mav is on the golf course.

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Post by marky » Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:50 pm

oooh. Does that mean he's "hobknobbin' with the executives" (which is the title of an extremely good song by the Suburbs)? Can he tell Bush to fuck off indirectly by saying the most polite, subversive things to the nearest Republican and thereby starting a revolutionary chain of reaction?

Maybe Mav has turned into a 40's style private eye Raymond Chandler-like and doesn't want his current affairs known.

Mav, a man of mystery to be sure. I'm getting out my magnifying glass. As soon as I pour myself another glass of wine.

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