Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Am I a Whining Pussy?

posted at 3:53 pm
on Nov. 4, 2004

Comments: 1 so far



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How to Emigrate to Canada

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What Hop Studios Is Up To

Seems my emigration post got a bit of a reaction.  I wanted to explain myself, because if you just read the previous posting, you might find it a little flip.

I didn’t move up here because of Bush became president because, well, because I’m not precognitive or even a good guesser.  I had no idea how things would work out.

That said, I object to the idea that people who leave are “a pack of whining brats who’d rather abandon ship than swab the fucking deck,” even if I’m excluded from that description.

What’s wrong with moving to place yourself, and your family, someplace better?

I guess none of you have ever moved from one neighbourhood to another, to a new city, from one state to another.  God forbid you’d consider moving to another country.  That’s be quitting!

You’ve never left an abusive relationship.  You’ve never quit a job that exploited you.  You’ve never moved out of an apartment because of smells or noise or because you felt unsafe.

How far is too far to move when things get tough?  And how long do you have to put up with something before you’re allowed to leave?

America is the land of the free—freer, frankly, than any country overall that I know of, despite the Patriot Act and the imprisonment of terror suspects.  The U.S. has still got choice and opportunity and equality in practice (not just in words) that other countries are still trying to achieve. Do other countries have better records is some ways? Sure they do.  Freedom is a march, not a goal line.

And free, means free to leave. Free to choose.  And free to return.  (Ironically, I will continue to pay U.S. taxes while in Canada, because the United States is one of the only countries in the world that bases taxes on citizenship, not residence.  So I’m going to be paying for Bush’s policies.)

For those who were debating on Byrneout’s site about whether Jews ought to have moved from Germany in the 1920s, before things got “bad” I say, did they have a better life, with better opportunities, with more happiness?  Did they regret it?  Of course not—or at least, not for most of them.  In the short term, it’s always easier to stay than to leave, I assure you, regardless of what awaits.

But life’s too precious for that.

I mean, for goodness sake, if the movie stinks, walk out!

I was born in Canada, and raised in both countries.  I’m proud of both places, in some ways, and embarrassed by them in others.

You might have thought that I was dissing the U.S. in my previous note.  I was, but only in the way a friend teases you when you come to the door in your boxers with hair rumpled.  The U.S. isn’t at its best right now, and I know it.  Why don’t I come back later when you’ve woken up a bit, had a cup of cofee and a chance to comb out the tangles.

In comparison, I have to say, Canada looks pretty hot to me right now.  I’m glad I’m here.  Canada seems glad to have me, too.  Every government official I’ve dealt with has been polite, interested, and seemingly pleased to have a returning Canadian with an American wife come up to live.

I think Canada also looks a lot better than the U.S. right now to the loving homosexual couples I know, and to Christians who think pre-emptive warfare is repugnant, and to those who reject the death penalty, and to those who live with constant worry about long term expensive health care, and to those who want to do more about global warming than hold in their farts.

So, do you stay with the U.S. because you know he’s a good guy underneath, even if your friends think he’s a bit of a jerk.  That’s not fair, you say, you UNDERSTAND him.  He’s just a bit distant.  And sometimes he kind of bombs countries.  But look at all the money he promised to give to cure AIDS in Africa!

Or do you break up with him, and hope you’ll run into him a few years down the road when someone else has taken him downa notch and he’s gotten himself straightened out and he’s seen a shrink and you really like the sweaters he’s started wearing.  OK, enough of that metaphor, it’s a little too much even for me.

Come to Canada.  Give the red states (and look at the map (PDF)—it’s actually counties, not states, that are red) three and a half years, then you can come back and campaign to clean up the mess.  It’ll still be there, and you’ll be much more relaxed, well rested and fit.  This apoplectic anger isn’t helping anyone except the makers of anti-depressants.

Which, um, are cheaper here anyway.



Previous entry:
How to Emigrate to Canada

Next entry:
What Hop Studios Is Up To


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

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“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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