I've been on a beer-and-midol holiday the past couple days, so I spent most of this evening immersing myself in the news. I can't believe all the stuff that is happening. It's enough to make me want to crawl underneath the bed and not come out. Ever.
First up we have the fat man walking, an overweight gent from California who walked across America. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4756717.stm and www.fatmanwalking.com Ostensibly this was to lose weight, but along the way he discovered that the thing that was keeping him big was being depressed. I'm glad that he could take a year off to figure that out. The rest of us have papers to write. I thought it was interesting that he lost weight even though he would eat at McDonald's and other fastfood places--hey, where else are you going to eat along our nation's highways? This just proves what I've been saying: you want to lose weight, get rid of your car. Next!
Then we have Palestine. Apparently Israel has cut off their oil supply because Palestine hasn't paid the bill recently...because various international bodies have cut off their aid since Hamas came to power. I can't read articles about this fast enough. As soon as I finish one, another one pops up, even grimmer. Think about it: the bill doesn't get paid. No gas. Now people can't get to work to earn money, so the economy grinds to a halt which means...the bills can't get paid.
And don't even get me started on Iran.
The last article off the wires is a blurb by an English writer about the immigration issue in the US. It is very interesting to read about the US from a British standpoint, because distance lends perspective, and because from the English viewpoint, it's pretty cut and dried. Obviously we want these immigrants here, or we wouldn't be giving them jobs, right? right? I'm pro-immigration rights, as the descendent of immigrants it would be ungrateful not to be, but I can understand how some people might feel overwhelmed. What's important to remember, however, is that the US was not all unified to begin with.
Exhibit A: the Quakers of Pennsylvania refusing to get involved in bloodshed during the American Revolution. Exhibit B: Virginian Thomas Jefferson writing the Declaration of Independence 'cause if a Yank had done it, no one south of Maryland would have signed it. Exhibit C: the Puritan New Englanders educating themselves about the new ideas of "englightenment". We very nearly had 13 different countries at one point--And all these people were white, male and English speaking! Yet out of this great melting pot (let me just...get out my soapbox here...) they managed to make one country.
But let's not forget signifigant parts of this country were not originally white, male and English speaking. Florida, for example, was Spanish. New Mexico, Arizona, Texas...well, Texas is a whole other story, but leaving that aside...originally part of Mexico. The Louisiana Purchase was actually Napoleon unloading some unwanted land so he could concentrate on invading Europe.* Alaska? Russian. Hawaii? Sovereign island...okay, bad example. But you see my point. Am I the only one who's read a history book lately? America is a nation of immigrants. But more than that, in this global economy, EVERY country is now faced with supporting people who call other places home. Whether it's a slacker playwrighting student with too much time on her hands in the UK or refugees from Sudan (oh, have you heard about THAT recently?!) the world is full of shifting, changing populations. Even Green Bay has seen a recent influx in immigrant populations recently, an influx that I think is a good thing. The thing is not to panic and become victims of xenophobia, or accuse people of coming to steal our jobs and heritage, but to remember what made our country so desirable in the first place: our ability to accomodate everyone and recognise and respect one another. Despite everything, I still think America is a great country, and I'm proud to call it home. I'm glad that my ancestors got in, and I'm willing to budge over and make room for other people. I hope I'm not talking in catchphrases or circles here. I'm just trying to come to terms with what some of my fellow Americans want to do to my potential fellow Americans.
Before you all pull out your hankies and wave your small American flags** however, let me just say that if Jeb Bush ends up running for president, they're going to have to build a wall between the US and Canada because I am LEAVING. Didn't we kick some British butt so that we didn't have to have a family oligarchy or whatever -archy? (an- perhaps?!?!) in the seat of power? aaaaarghhh!!! If George W. Bush is an evil gnome hand puppet, then Jeb Bush is one of those joke-snake things that you can't quite keep a grip on. You know who I would like to see run for president for the Republicans? Condoleeza Rice. Because she SCARES THE BEJEZUS out of me. Anyone who can lie like she can with that steely look in her eyes surely deserves to run the country. brrr. "TEN-SHUN!" "ooh, yes ma'am!"
** Feel free to also sing the Star Spangled Banner. In Spanish, if you wish.