tencrush: (Default)
People are calling Obama a Socialist, apparently. I think that's kind of funny, I wish he were, really, that would be awesome. But he's not. I said I'd write down what I believe is the deal with America, I don't want anyone to take offence, I just mean it as a starting point for debate, I'm perfectly willing to be persuaded and argued at in other directions, I'm just presenting a global view of how I, as an outsider with inside experience and connections, see America, in general. Not you, personally, whoever's reading, just the country, as a whole being, as it were.

Here's the thing with America. In America you can be whatever you want to be. You are all created equal. Everyone came to America with a dream and the ways and means and the hopes of making that dream a reality. It's a country based on IDEALS and HOPES and LIMITLESS POSSIBILITY. And that's a beautiful, beautiful thing, but it brings with it a flipside, and that is a deeply ingrained sense in a lot of the population that anyone out there who does NOT fulfill their American Dream, who is hard done by, poor, or falls by the wayside HAS BROUGHT IT UPON THEMSELVES somehow by not putting in enough effort. It's why the American belief system is competely incompatible with Socialism, because in order to embrace Socialism, one has to acknowledge that there are always going to be people out there who will not realise their potential, who through no fault of their own will run into trouble, or illness, or poverty, or discrimination or whatever and that it is the government's duty to take from the rich and successful and give to the poor and needy. Americans don't really embrace that idea, they're all about telling us how hard they've worked, how much their family has suffered, the hardship they've had to go through to become what they are today, and the idea that their hard work and hard earned dollars should now be used to help someone else in need, it just doesn't seem to sit quite right. And that's not because they're mean, or uncaring or unchristian, it's just a CONCEPT that doesn't quite ring true with their idealistic upbringing. It doesn't gel with their IDEALS. Because in an ideal world EVERYONE would achieve their potential, and be great and rich and successful and happy. In an IDEAL world the government doesn't NEED to intervene in any affairs of the people. Acknowledging that, maybe, yeah, the government should intervene, means acknowledging that it's NOT and ideal world out there, and that is something a lot of Americans have difficulty with.

It's a way of thinking that seeps into a lot of the issues that we, as Europeans with a vastly different and more pragmatic mindset, don't understand. In an ideal world, anyone who owns a gun is responsible with it and only uses it for shooting pesky foxes or whatever it is they have it for and therefore in an IDEAL world, everyone should be allowed to have a gun. Telling people they can't have a gun means admitting it's not an ideal world. Telling people they can have abortions means admitting that it's not an ideal world and that people get raped or are just plain fucking stupid when it comes to sex. It's a hard thing for Americans to do, they, on the whole, don't like it.

Now don't get me wrong, the American Dream mindset, the idea that you can work hard and be whatever it is you desire to be, that's a beautiful concept and it's brought about amazing innovation and creativity and thinking and all those things. And it's what makes Americans compete for scholarships and pageants and medals and lifetime achievement and employee of the month awards and all those things we don't have over here because we don't reward achievement and value achievement like you do. That idealism and general optimism of the American people (yeah, it's probably why we think you're so perky all the damn time, we're fucking CYNICAL, the Europeans, it's depressing as hell) is a WONDERFUL THING. But that flipside does exist, and it's why a lot of Americans think Socialism is a dirty word. Whereas I do not.

I realise that probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but there you go. My two cents.

tencrush: (iantobutton)
I was asked for my opinion on the US election. I was also asked to shut up about it, so there you go. I'll still make a few points:

  • Alternet has some comparison guides for the candidates on various issues, if you're still one of them undecideds. Here, for example, is Alternet's guide to the candidates' stances on gay marriage and adoption, sex education and LGBT rights. Go read. (Why am I linking to the sex ed one? Frankly, and I don't like being mean about America, because I love the place, America's stance on sex education is backward to the point of medieval, it's misguided and wrong and oppressive and downright dangerous. Get over yourselves when it comes to sex, srsly. Won't SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?!? And yes, I know that's a generalisation, but like I've said before, I can only be so nuanced when talking about an entire country. Sure, you guys on my flist are progressive, right minded people and so are a vast lot of Americans. But still.)

  • Colin Powell? Yah, never liked the man, but he said some wise things there and the fact that he's endorsing Obama is a majorly good thing. Quotage: "... the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America." Right on there, dude. Respect. Transcript of his Meet the Press is here.

  • I think one of the problems we have looking at this election from a European perspective, is that in Europe most countries still work on far more of a party political level. We don't quite understand the personality politics that Americans engage in. In our eyes, therefore, a vote for McCain is far more of a vote for Bush than perhaps it is in the average American's eyes. We don't really vote for people in Europe, we vote for parties. That's not a dissmissal of the American system, it's just an observation, we have trouble seeing a vote for McCain as anything other than an endorsement of the Bush administration and a desire from said voter for more of the same, please.

  • ETA: Another one of those things we have difficulty getting our heads around is this whole Is Obama a Christian? thing. I don't know how that plays out outside of Holland, but we certainly prefer our politicians, unless they are standing for a specifically religious party, to shut the hell up about their religious beliefs as they are irrelevant and not something we would like to see influencing their political decisions in any way. The fact that religion is SO NOT IRRELEVANT in American politics is something we have difficulty understanding. Over here if a politician mentions God or Jesus in a speech, our WHOA!!NUTBAR radar kind of starts pinging, Hard.

  • My main opinion, having watched some of the debates and all the shizzle and rallies that are happening at the moment, and it's probably a slightly controversial one, is that McCain is not 100% mentally healthy. Nor is he, obviously, 100% physically healthy, but that's another issue. I really think, watching him closely, that he's not quite right in the head. He scares me. There is just a touch of the crazy, stubborn old man on a streetcorner about him and I dread to think of him in the White House. The way it's looking at the moment, though, I'm very relieved that it would appear that I have little to worry about on that front. Thank fuck for that.
tencrush: (Gene Hunt)
Okay, so everybody and his wife on my flist is linking to this already, but fuck it, I'm linking to it too.

GO READ at [livejournal.com profile] copperwise:

Joe Six-Pack isn't who you think he/she is. You don't have a fucking clue about Joe Six-Pack.

Oh, and see that icon there? That's my party seven pwning your puny six-pack any day.


Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:52 am
tencrush: (Default)
I've seen bits of the debate. I don't think I'm going to watch any more than those bits.

You know in Family Guy, when Lois is running for mayor of Quahog, and she does this debate which she eventually wins by saying "9....11!" over and over while the audience whoops and hollers and goes "Fuck yeah!", you know that bit? That's Sarah Palin, except she says "hockeymomregularsmalltownguyjoesixpack!!" I have resigned myself to the fact that McCain (despite the fact that his face looks like it's already been embalmed) and Palin will win this election, due to the fact that the current economic crisis has most Americans so worked up that they'll go for whoever looks the most reassuring and like they'd make them some cocoa and rub their back. Which is why Palin uses the word "mom" a lot, she's a very astute woman. Dumb as pigshit, but astute nonetheless. Also why she uses her newly coined phrase "Joe Sixpack" so much, because it not only reassures BillyJoeBob from Buttfuck Idaho that she understands regular guys like him, but also loosely implies in its wording that she thinks he's got lovely abs and no, that's not a beer belly at all, would you like some cocoa and a back rub? The fact that her voice makes me want to stick knitting needles in my ear and poke my brain until it stops doesn't seem to be a very big issue, I've noticed. Nor, apparently, that she hasn't got a single working brain cell and she's like that guy in that Monty Python film whose head has to be manipulated around until the ball falls in the little hole. She came off quite well! I kind of liked her! HAHAHAHLOLOLLOL you're all so fucked.

It doesn't matter, though, it doesn't really worry me so much, it just kind of makes me sad because it's only taken 8 years, and will only take another 4 on top for America to Truly Not Matter Anymore in the grand scheme of things and in the world. And that's a shame, because you could have been a contender.

The lesson to be learned from all this: We don't DO beauty pageants for a reason. We think they're really, really DUMB. Only Americans do beauty pageants. Let's keep it that way, peeps.
tencrush: (jackanto subtext)
Fucking Christ, I wish I'd never had a Green Card. Now, do I need to retroactively apply for advance parole because I broke my residency requirement as a minor and therefore am a victim of extraordinary circumstances beyond my control? Am I better off actually just pretending I never HAD a Green Card in the first place and starting over? If I go to the embassy now and wave my Green Card at them, will they take those big guns of theirs and wave them in my face and make me cut it up and sign an abandonment agreement? Goddamn you Americans, I HATE YOU SO MUCH, SRSLY your country isn't worth all this freaking effort and if anything I have to sign mentions God I shall be really miffed, I'm telling you that in advance because it's always all about God and why don't you just go stick your head in a pig. What about my Social Security number? Is that even still valid if I've never filed a tax return or had a bank account? Should I throw myself upon Darryn's firm's lawyer and just beg for help instead of trying to work it all out?

The only thing that makes me happy is the knowledge that if I go to the Fitchburg DMV RIGHT NOW, show them my 10 years expired driver's licence and give them my old address, they'll just give me a new one because that's what the Fitchburg DMV do. They'll send it to my old address, but I'll get the Millers to send it on. Plus ca change at the Fitchburg DMV, dudes. And at 24 Smith Street, for that matter.

ANYWAY, having drunkenly typed all that, Sarah Palin, dudes. She calls people "guys and gals". And you want me to put the effort in and prove to you that I want to live in your country? Do me a favour. How am I supposed to keep a straight face?
tencrush: (Gene Hunt)

Scares the SHIT out of me. Her especially. The idea that these two might actually be elected is enough to make me REALLY REALLY QUESTION our decision to move to SF. PLEASE, SOMEONE TELL ME THAT THIS ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN. PLEASE. I get this powerless feeling of dread every four years, much as I expect other Europeans do. All you can do is just sit and watch while your jaw drops onto the floor at the fact that FUCKING FRIGHTENING gun-toting, fundamentalist, freaky deaky WEIRDOES like this even have a VOICE in that big ole country over there, let alone can stand as candidates for the most powerful job in the world.

Listen, I know loads of Americans, and they're all decent, intelligent, hard-working, perfectly normal people. I lived there. People were normal. And nice. And sane. Those two up there? Their very existence? It's what makes us Europeans look at your country and assume you're all trigger-happy, pro-life, religious zealout, war mongering HICKS who haven't got a brain cell between you. And all we can do is sit here once every four years and shout at you and say PLEASE DON'T ELECT THESE PEOPLE. What the fuck else are we supposed to do? See all those caps up there, I'm trying to express frustration here, because I really, honestly don't know what else to do. The idea that these two even stand a TINY CHANCE of becoming the two most powerful people in the world, not only does it scare me to death, but it's just a fact that I cannot, intellectually, get my head around. It doesn't compute.

Please tell me this isn't happening. Help a non-citizen out here.
tencrush: (thud)
I'm worried that apart from thinking he's rather good and everything, I may start to veer towards finding him a little bit hawt as well.


tencrush: (Default)

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