Just sayin

Apr. 29th, 2010 09:52 pm
malsperanza: (Default)
[personal profile] malsperanza
I've lived in the US most of my life and never been to the Grand Canyon. I've always wanted to. I've flown over it, but never got closer than 30,000 feet.

So it's not particularly useful for me to announce that I'm joining a boycott of a state I've never been to. Instead, here's me saying that when Arizona repeals its deranged immigration law I will go to the Grand Canyon within the year. Reverse boycott: Arizona does the right thing and I'll be one of the people who helps the state recover from the devastating economic impact of its blind, dumbass racism.

Arizona

courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem

Yay. I've always wanted to see the Grand Canyon.

PS "Repeal" means repeal: not "change a few details slightly to sound less disgusting"

Date: 2010-04-30 03:00 pm (UTC)
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] larryhammer
I'd say stop by for a cup of coffee when you do, but Tucson is a bit far from the Ditch. As in NY/DC distance.

---L.

Date: 2010-04-30 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] malsperanza.livejournal.com
You people and your ridiculously huge states.

OTOH, I'd be a fool not to go to Canyon de Chelly, Meteor Crater (aliens!), Monument Valley (Krazy Kat!), Saguaro (More Krazy Kat!), Tuzigoot, Casa Grande, and Chiricahua while I'm there. I figure it'll take at least a month. AZ Chamber of Commerce are you listening?

Date: 2010-04-30 09:12 pm (UTC)
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] larryhammer
We gots yer Saguaro Park right here. And Chiricahua Monument is indeed a worth a day if you're good with hiking -- the best views are at the back ends of the looping trails. And then take in Karchner Cavern (a living cave) on the way back.

I love the name of Tuzigoot. Just sayin'.

---L.

Date: 2010-05-02 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarab-dynasty.livejournal.com
...So in other words you're having exactly the same problem we are with everyone blaming the immigrants?

Date: 2010-05-02 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] malsperanza.livejournal.com
God yes. It's not new here--as a nation of immigrants we have a nasty habit of deciding that everyone who came 10 minutes after we did has no right to come here.

Except that here, alas, with our 2-party system, it's hard to shrug it off as the ravings of some radical minority party. The extreme faction of the right wing in the US has been more or less hijacking the Repuglican (Tory) Party for the past year or so, and sounding batshit crazy: Obama is a communist, Obama is not a US citizen (alien!), Obama will force us to kill our grandmothers through national health insurance. Immigrants are, of course, an easy and convenient scapegoat.

So yeah, I'm fingers crossed that the UK election will deliver a solid governing majority to either Labour or a Labour/LD coalition and the distinctions between Labour and LD are less significant to me than to UK citizens, as long as there's a good push-back against the Tories and the odious people they are in bed with (BNP).

The difference between a parliamenary system and ours is that we form our coalitions before the election and have only 2 parties, so we are used to the idea that a few really horrible, creepy extremists on the fringes of the parties will get in. (As a committed leftist, I only mind that when it's the extremists on the right. The ones on the left I generally vote for if I can. ;-) )


Date: 2010-05-02 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarab-dynasty.livejournal.com
Obama has been blamed for everything lately, including, I hear, being the antichrist... I mean, what? Just... what? What IS the deal with the Health insurance thing anyway? I mean, we have a National Health Service and it's supposed to be a GOOD thing...

Agreed. I am not so worried as some about labour continuing in power because I'd like to think of the next five years as being a kind of fresh start. I also find it somewhat rediculous to have all this blame being hammered back and forth when effectively, whoever's in control is going to be rowing against the current for the next few decades. We're not at a good position, financially, economically, or even environmentally right now, and that's not going to go away if somebody other than labour gets into the hotseat.

If I were america, I suspect I'd swing somewhat towards the left, too ;)

Date: 2010-05-03 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] malsperanza.livejournal.com
It's hard to explain to a non-USian why some people in this country are crackbrained on the subject of public health coverage. It's not as if we don't have it: Medicare is public medical insurance for people over 65 and it works fine and everyone has it.

The short (and not exactly unbiased) answer is that the right wing in the US has kind of gone off the rails and is simply hating on anything and everything Obama's administration does, even when the proposals are virtually identical to proposals made by the Republicans themselves a few years ago.

Another way to answer is that culturally the US has a very deeply ingrained, extreme form of individualism--traceable to the Puritan tradition and Calvin. So there is a deep hatred of taxes and of government because why should my money pay for someone else's kid to get inoculations or schooling. Such is the thinking. Which kind of misses the whole concept of living in civilization instead of on islands, but that's us. The myth of the loner, the cowboy, the freedom to be oneself without any restraints, out there in our huge, open country.

A third, very depressing answer is that in the end, in the US, everything comes down to race--just as in the UK, class is underneath a lot of other issues. It was a genuine triumph to elect a black man president--and such a talented, qualified person. It caused delirious happiness here, as it did abroad.

But it was also an incredible cultural shock to a nation that was still inching toward the oh-so-radical concept of electing a woman, and talking about *that* as if it were some kind of earth-shattering landmark. (Yes, I know: India, Ireland, the UK, the Philippines, Argentina... the list of nations who have had women heads of state is long, but we in the US pay no attention whatever to the rest of the world, because it is veryveryfar away.)

There is, and probably always will be, a sector of the US that simply doesn't believe that people of color are "real" Americans. It's not rational, and it's not acceptable, but it exists. Obama makes that population completely batshit nuts *because* he's so talented, articulate, skilled, popular, sensible. It's incredibly threatening to grasp that black people are not all ignernt ghetto thugs. If Obama scares the crap out of those folks, his family is even scarier because they are an intact, loving nuclear family; his kids are nice and well-behaved; his wife is a high-powered attorney, he has his mother-in-law living in the White House. He's basically Bill Cosby. *And* he comes from an interracial background, which in some circles is pretty much a recipe for being the Antichrist.

So a lot of the panic about health care and "socialism" is really just displaced cultural anxiety. Because the reality is that 30 million people are about to get long-overdue access to health care and once that starts, we'll all be relatively happy to have it.

It sounds, from what I can gather, like the campaign in the UK is being conducted US-style, which is to say ugly and aggressive. It's no fun, but at least with your system of proportional representation the stakes in a switch in parties are not quite so high. I do hope the BNP gets trounced, and that the Tories don't make gains...

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