Monday, October 03, 2005

An Accidental Guest Blogger

Today I would like to share with you an e-mail (well, most of it anyway) that I received a couple of days ago from my friend Veronica (not her real name) in The America. I think Veronica’s words speak for themselves.

Subject: O Canada

Dear Max

Well, this mightn't come as too big a surprise but Kaz and I have made the decision to emigrate to Canada next year! We are super-excited, for myriad reasons.

1) This country is FUCKED because our administration is FUCKIN' CORRUPT.

2) This area where we live is so goddamn expensive that I've just had it. I've had it! (To wit: we realized that to stay in this house I'd need to go back to work and I don't want to.) So, we decided to seriously downsize [plus Kaz wants to buy a house for cash because, as you probably already know, those crazy Nuts don't take loans -- they pay cash for everything. Bless them.]. We live in a pretty posh (and fuckin' conservative & WHITE) area, so we were looking at not just smaller houses on smaller plots of land, but not-as-tony neighborhoods. We thought we saw the perfect house, Max: a real fixer-upper (which is our thing) on a nicer street, but it was listed for $799K, which is high (in our opinion). Let's just say we were wrong because when I spoke with the listing agent he told me it'd sold for $952K and he didn't think it was a fixer-upper but rather a teardown. Holy fuck. To spend nearly $1M for a teardown in an okay neighborhood?

3) The Bay Area prides itself on being über liberal and ethnically diverse, but those are simply west coast prevarications. It's only "liberal" if you subscribe exactly to the common (albeit parochial) doctrines -- divagate at all and you can no longer be "liberal" but rather "wrong." So I, who am a Socialist and ostensibly more "liberal" than these dotcom limousine liberals, am "wrong" because my views don't jibe with theirs -- doesn't matter that mine are more progressive. Um, okay. And diverse? Sure, there are lots and lots of different colors here, but nobody's intermingling, that's for goddamn sure. And even those of us who do (like me, for example) are then kept out of one community or the other. The whiteys like to make "Asian driver" jokes and the local Jap gakku-en (like a nondenominational temple) told me, in not such subtle terms, that while I'd be welcome to attend the festivals it wouldn't be a good idea for me to volunteer or accompany Leo to Jap playgroup. Like I'd let my fifteen month old son attend by himself, for christ's sake. Never mind that I'm more Jap than some of them -- having lived there and speaking the language. My Chin-Am friends have said that within the Chin-Am community it is equally predatory. Shame on them all.

4) This is a car culture. Now don't get me wrong, I do love my car, but living in a more urban setting would just be so awesome! How wonderful to put Leo in his stroller and walk a few blocks and be at the shops / cafes / park / library / his school / public transport. Unless we move to San Francisco (and talk about très cher & uptight!) we can't do it here.

But we can in Toronto. We can fulfill all our above objectives (and more) thereby giving ourselves and our future family a much more fulfilling quality of life. And that rocks.

You know, after I had that delicious chat with you when you were in SmelL-A I began to hear many, many grumblings about the state of our nation and the administration. It's been quite interesting, actually. You were like beginnings of this wave and then more and more there it was being reported in the media. The media is still shameful in its blatant disregard of representing public opinion or aggressively pursuing the "truth" (whatever that is anymore), but at least now we're getting a peek at what's going on in the hearts and minds of Americans with a live red blood cell count.

I love you, Mireille!
Veronica
xo

Note: Mireille is Max's secret Frog name, taken from the video series that Veronica and I were subjected to in our French course. The actress that played Mireille in the series, Valérie Allain, went on to star in many fine films of the pornography genre.

38 comments:

Riggs is Crazy said...

Veronica,

Please take about 200,000 more of these liberal wack jobs with you.

Sincerely,

Riggs in Frisco

Riggs is Crazy said...

Veronica,

You forgot to mention my good friends Kennedy, Clinton and Gore.

Sincerely,

Corruption

Max said...

Riggs, I thought you wouldn't like Veronica very much. Thanks for not disappointing.

Sinister Steve said...

I think it is great. Area is too expensive I dont want to work. Lets move to Canada.

That should be Canada's F'ing tourism slogan.

Rick Moranis: "Come to Canada. So you dont have to F'ing work"

Anonymous A-Hole said...

With advance apologies to Veronica, I find a few things interesting.

1) There are other real estate markets, and indeed whole other cities, in this vast country of ours. Frisco or bust, dude. I'll take bust please.

2) Veronica is fleeing the "predatory" cultural atmosphere of The City (I want it, but it's just so darn difficult to deal with; they all keep to their own) for the notorious cultural harmony of our northern neighbor. In Canada, cultural diveristy is best represented by the ability to run a mullet and be taken seriously.

3) Veronica doesn't want to work. It shouldn't be surprising that one salary won't carry a mortgage in what is perhaps the most over-priced real estate market in the country.

Now, should I be worried that Socialists (Veronica's word) are fleeing the country because they don't like capitalist systems? I'll let you know if it starts troubling me.

The thing that's truly sad is not that our current administration (Veronica would have you believe) is driving her out of her home country (sometime "next year"). What's sad is that this woman is obviously angry and depressed and believes that uprooting her family for reasons that include a temporary political atmosphere and an inability and/or unwillingness to buy a $1 million home. The limousine liberals, it appears, are defined not as those that can afford the &799,000 teardown/rebuild, but those that actually pay for it and go forward without moving to Canada. If the price were only $399,000, would she still be moving to Canada? No, likely not, she'd tear down the old and build trendy new happily. In effect, the price you could put on uprooting her family is the difference between &799,000 and whatever she'd be willing to normally pay (she'd have to be able to afford it without working though). Sounds like an opportunity cost decision. Hmph. Some Socialist.

Really, Veronica is blaming the Bush administration, and her peers and neighbors to a certain degree, for the fact that she can't afford to live in a $1 million home while not working.

Now, if we can only convince the other extreme of the political spectrum to start emigrating to cold, bleak outposts of political freedom and cultural diversity, we could really get somewhere.

Max said...

SS, Veronica has a 15-month old kid; she has a right to not want to work. She is not collecting welfare. Lifestyle choice. Your mom was at home for you, wasn't she?

Max said...

You lads are all very critical and judgmental today. Asshole, you are filling in a lot of the blanks by making your own assumptions again. I don't think Veronica is depressed at all. I think she is a woman of strong convictions who wants to live elsewhere where she thinks her family can have a better life.

It's fine that you all don't agree with her, but a little bit of respect for her views would be nice. I don't know if Veronica will be here to defend herself today and I won't pretend to know what she thinks beyond what she has written. I don't think you should either.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

For the record, I'm very critical and judgemental every day. I have to get it all out today, you know (though I'm not sure that's really the idea).

Monkey said...

"Respect"? From this crowd? Ha! They've already scared off 2 posters that we both know with their rude and callous remarks, not to mention the tendency to hijack your threads and comment on random topics.

Max said...

AG came back.

Sinister Steve said...

MM,

No, my mom gave birth durning her lunch break. 15 minutes later I was typing an invoice order for 4 tons of steel coil for her. I remeber it like it was yesterday.

I'm with AA on this one. If the socialist want to leave this country Im glad.

Tits Malone said...

MM,

Could you please let your friend have my email address...anything I can do to assist her and her family move to my home city I would be pleased to do.

Toronto is not a utopia for me for reasons you know already but I can understand that it might be the right fit for someone else.

Toronto has a lot to offer and it would be fun to be a guide!

Monkeys Max said...

TM,

No problem.

bigdairypillows@hotmale.com

Tits Malone said...

SS,

You know nothing of Canada and neither does AA...but if you wish to think of my country in simplistic terms so be it...every village needs an idiot.

Max said...

Very funny, SS.

TM, I have just e-mailed Veronica and given her your e-mail address - the real one. Thanks for being such a sweetheart.

By the way, interesting fox news segment about the William Bennett thing over on www.crooksandliars.com. Infuriating, actually, because those motherfuckers mostly think that he doesn't even need to apologise. I think he should definitely apologise, at the very least for being so goddamned stupid.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Boy, where do I start. First, if Veronica wants to scale back her lifestyle and move to a different city, that's her decision. I've got no problem with that. But, she must be aware that her own socialist ideology is to blame.

She bemoans the current corrupt administration. Well, surprise! This one is corrupt and so was the previous one and the one before that...ad nauseum. The next one will be corrupt, too. That's what you get with democracy(i.e. socialism, egalitarianism, etc.)The present Neo-cons are nothing but ex-Trotskyites.(incremental socialists as opposed to Lenin's revolutionary socialists.])

The area she lives in - and many more - are overly expensive, because of a Federal Reserve system (which is NOT a free-market institution)inflating the money supply and causing inflation, stock market bubbles and real estate bubbles.

The income tax(which is NOT a free-market institution)takes 40% of her family's income, which forces her to decide between going back to work and staying with her child. Once again, the State shows itself to be an anti-social institution.

Finally, what is this fascination with having everyone "intermingle?" You can still be civil to other cultures and not intermingle. If blacks want to live amongst blacks, then so be it. If the Chinese want to live amongst other Chinese, then so be it. Is that surprising that people gravitate towards their own kind? When I go to SF, I want to see Chinamen in Chinatown, not Whitey.

So, with all that being said, I applaud her for wanting a better life for her family, but sad that her own ideology has forced her hand.

Tits Malone said...

MM,

Mireille est un beau nom - je vous l'appellerai désormais!!

Riggs is Crazy said...

Monkey said...

"Respect"? From this crowd? Ha! They've already scared off 2 posters that we both know with their rude and callous remarks, not to mention the tendency to hijack your threads and comment on random topics.

Riggs said...
Spoken like a true whiny bitch.

Max said...

TM, you are welcome to use whichever name for me you want. Celinka calls me Mireille too.

DD, perhaps you couldn't tell from the initial post, but Veronica's own family is "intermingled". That may explain why that whole situation is a sore point for her.

Tits Malone said...

DD,

I am not an expert of American history but wasn't the fact the pilgrims left England based on an ideology? Perhaps, by leaving her home country because she feels oppressed she is following an American tradition.

Toronto is not perfect but I am willing to bet it is the type of city Veronica is looking for...besides autumn is the best time of year here- still warm and all the leaves are starting to change so also very colourful.

Audie said...

I have to say, I found Anonymous A-hole's reaction to the guest blog pretty astute.

Veronica's reason #1 I can sympathize with.

But the rest of it has a rather a-tonal ring to it. She doesn't hesitate to reveal that she lives in a "pretty posh" area, that Kaz can realistically entertain the idea of paying cash for a house (even one in a tony [just not AS tony of a] neighborhood), that she loves her car, and that she doesn't want to work -- and yet she has disparaging things to say about "limousine liberals"? Hmmm.... And in what way is the life described above "socialist"? Or is it just a theory, perhaps?

Furthermore, she tells us, she's "more liberal" than these other Bay Area residents, "more progressive" than them, and she intermingles more than they do, too. In fact, she says, she's even more "Jap" than the Japanese-Americans.

My my. Is Toronto ready for this person?

Anonymous said...

First, I'm 'Veronica' and I think everyone's comments have been interesting and valuable.

Only Max knows me and knows my back-story, so only her comments are not in a vacuum. Thank you, Max, for writing that I am a stay-at-home mom, which is *absolutely* a luxury in this day and age, and esp. in this country. I am so fortunate that I am able to make this choice; as such, my choice is my child, not my house. I stand by that decision as for me, it is the "right" set of values. To continue to live in our $2M+ home I would have to go back to work and pay a lot of money to a stranger to raise my child -- that's what our country has decided to do about childcare and the importance of having a parent raise their baby: nothing.

As one half of a DINK, I didn't mind living in an expensive house as we had the income to support it. My house was my luxury -- I don't do frivolous things (like facials or wear $300 jeans and Manolo Blahniks). I like to garden and do home-repair and I was able to scratch that itch here. It was still an obscene amount of money but we were able to do it and we made the choice to do it.

But for me, there is no choice between house and child -- my child will come first every single day of my life. Lucky me. And this is something my child's father agrees with -- this situation works for our family. It wouldn't work for every situation, but it does for ours. Someone we know (not a friend), a woman, hasn't worked since marrying and has a full-time live-in nanny for her fifteen month-old daughter and will have another nanny for her unborn child. I think that is crazy, but it's not my choice -- it's hers and her husband. So be it.

My husband works very hard and it is a combination of that plus right-place right-time that he is able to make the money he does. For us to 'downsize' to a $1M house is still ridiculous, but having chosen to live near San Francisco that is the price one pays here. It pisses me off that people are being priced out of this area: teachers cannot afford to live in the communities where they teach. But all my anger and $2 will still only get you a cup of coffee ....

My child (as was mentioned in Max's blog) is mixed-race and unfortunately, not every place in the States is accepting of mixed race marriages and biracial children. When I think about my son's sparkling personality (bemoan my sentiment if you will -- I love him) it saddens me that many in this country would rather hurl epithets at him than take the time to know him. But that's their choice and I cannot change their mind.

What I can do is ensure that my child is allowed to grow up in a place that is as accepting / open as possible. When he's an adult he'll have to face plenty of hurdles, so why would I want to force him to do so now? Why would any parent who loves their child do that?

Neither my husband nor I have careers which can be done everywhere (like an attorney or MD, for example) -- my husband, who is currently our sole supporter, works in a specialized field. Our potential move-to locations are thereby limited. When we looked at / visited some of these places (Stateside), they were remarkably white. For us, that is simply unacceptable. I appreciate that some of you have no problem with the separation of races / cultures remaining, but I do. And anyway, it doesn't matter as it's a moot point: my family is mixed. Most of us probably know adults who are either mixed-race or a different race from their parents (adopted from Viet Nam, for example) -- every single one I know talks about how hard it was being the only one in their community. I know a black woman who said there was only one other black student in her elementary school in Idaho, and it was her brother. I had the luxury of having lots of people look like me in my neighborhood, at my school, on tv. While my children won't have the numbers I did, I'd like for them not to be the only Asian.

Also, we all tend to take a little bit of information and decide we know everything about it. Just because I am appalled by the US's current administration and belong to the Socialist party doesn't necessarily brand me a Clinton-lover. I never voted for him, in fact, and think he left a lot to be desired. The best I can say about him is actually Hillary's dead-on-arrival health care plan.

So that's fine if you're offended by my labeling of the Bush Admin, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some "conservatives" are good and some "liberals" are bad, but truthfully, all of us contain a mixture of the two. I was raised in a liberal household but have always liked Arlen Specter. That just makes me human, not a bigot.

I have a good friend from grad school who is a Mormon and has four children, one of whom is very sick with kidney disease. Her family is, to quote her, "dirt poor." She has said that some months she has had to choose between groceries or going to the doctor. This is a real problem in this country. This is not a problem in Canada.

I can only speak to Vancouver and Toronto, but these large cities are remarkably diverse: ethnically, politically, sexually, spiritually and economically. What *I* want my children to grow up seeing is that kind of mixed environment. No place is utopia, but if we can live someplace where not every family is one color, where the government takes better care of its citizens, where the obnoxious nouveaux riches don't outnumber the rest of us 35 to 1, and where the average home doesn't cost $1M, then I'm all for it. The right place for us, at this time, is Toronto.

Max said...

Bravo, Veronica, bravo!!

Tits Malone said...

Veronica,

Well said and thank you. I don't often hear about my home town mentioned in flattering terms.

Again, anything I can do to assist you let me know.

Sinister Steve said...

I don't think I've ever read anything more disconnected from reality than Veronica's statement and MM and TM agreeing with her.

Audie said...

You obviously don't live in a two-million-dollar-plus house, Sinister. So you'll never know the nobility of the sacrifice of moving out of that to, say, a $750,000 (cash) house, for the good of the child.

But, apparently, if you *did*, you could still label others "obnoxious nouveau riche," with no trace of irony.

Sinister Steve said...

Audie,

Being a cracker myself, Im also a little offended she doesnt want to live with whitey. Imagine saying that about any other group? That neighborhood is too black. That neighborhood is too yellow. The only color she knows is green. I know some great neighborhoods in DC she could live in for about 150k with all the exposure to multiculturism she wants. Better yet how about Baltimore?

Tits Malone said...

MM,

Just to let you know, I am in contact with Veronica so many thanks! I hope I will be around to show her and her family some of the sights.

I still can't get over seeing a Toronto skyline on your blogg...hahahahaha

Now if you can just admit to loving poutine - revenge will be mine (demonic laughter)!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Audie & SS -- thank you for bringing up three salient points.

1) In the e-mail from which Max quoted, my intended audience was Max, someone who's known me and my writing style for about twelve years. I tend to abbreviate, writing "Jap" for Japanese, "Chi-Am" for Chinese-American, etc. You are absolutely right that it comes off as offensive, only I didn't see it that way as I was writing Max because she knows my penchant for abbreviating. If I'd've written that for her blog, I certainly wouldn't've taken any shortcuts.

2) Also in that e-mail to Max I wrote about a new-ish friend of mine who is one of these so-called "obnoxious nouveaux riches." We all just view the world and its situations through our own narrow perspectives. So I, who have 1X in my basket, was bitching to Max about this woman who has 500Z in her basket because she made snarky comments about her neighbors (and other sundry comments). My reaction was utter bemusement: "What do you expect? You chose to buy a house in the MOST exclusive section of the MOST exclusive town in the SFBay Area -- a town which has long been established to be filled with uber wealthy, snooty, snarky types."

And I think that's somewhat how I must appear to you -- your lens is different from mine, so it's akin to my looking at that woman. I have 1X in my basket, and you have 25Y -- our situations and choices are different.

Either way, it's an excellent and valid point you raise (about my lack of irony). Thank you.

3) About my white bashing -- last week, I think, the BET had an award show which was filled with white-bashing and copious "nigger" references. A (black) acquaintance and I were talking about that, how we as a society have decided it's okay to do that but not the other way (unless you're in the KKK, that is). Thank you for bringing up how offensively that came across, "cracker," because I know I found it offensive to hear the white-bashing, even though I know the US has a looooong way to go before we achieve true meritocracy. So hooray for affirmative action! (I used to live and work in the District and I'm not returning. Dif't story.)

Devastatin' Dave said...

Max said : "DD, perhaps you couldn't tell from the initial post, but Veronica's own family is "intermingled". That may explain why that whole situation is a sore point for her."

Yeah, I cracked the code. But still, what is the fascination of expecting everyone to get along with everyone else? What, exactly, is meant by intermingling? Should I move into a black neighborhood? Or a Mexican neighborhood? I currently live in a complex with whites, blacks, hispanics and asians. Am I intermingling even though I don't assoiciate with 99.99% of them? Although, I wouldn't mind "intermingling" with the new gal that just moved in downstairs.

Tits Malone said: "I am not an expert of American history but wasn't the fact the pilgrims left England based on an ideology? Perhaps, by leaving her home country because she feels oppressed she is following an American tradition."

The pilgrims did leave England because of ideology, but they were being oppressed by those opposed to that ideology. I was pointing out the irony of her being foiled by a ruling structure that shares her ideology.

Anonymous(Veronica)said: "...even though I know the US has a looooong way to go before we achieve true meritocracy."

I'm quite certain the "meritocracy" is not in the Socialist Party handbook.

Riggs is Crazy said...

"that's what our country has decided to do about childcare and the importance of having a parent raise their baby: nothing."

Why is it the government's job to do something? I don't get to live in a $2m house and I expect nothing from the govt, despite the boat load of taxes I pay. Socialism is the root of laziness. I've worked my ass off for what I have and I don't understand why I should give someone who doesn't work free shit. That's my view from my narrow perspective.

Sinister Steve said...

This whole post kind of touches on my opinion that there should neither be tax write offs for children or mortage interest. I know someone who works full time and has two part time jobs that had write a check come tax time because they have neither kids nor a mortgage. There is too much stain on the single person in this economy.

Audie said...

I appreciate your response, Veronica.

I wasn't offended by the ethnic nicknames, etc.; my point (there and elsewhere) was only that you seemed to be throwing around a lot of "better than thous", while at the same time displaying, yourself, some of the others' exact traits that you found so reprehensible. So, it wasn't your use of "Jap" that I was responding to, but your claim that you were even more Jap(anese) than the Japanese-Americans. I got your point (that a lot of them were born here and perhaps have never lived there, aren't fluent in the language, etc.), but still, that comment just seemed to take the "better-than-everybody" attitude to a silly extreme.

And the "intermingling" thing can be seen as another example of this "pot calling the kettle black" sort of stuff. You criticize others for not intermingling with other ethnicities, and yet you indicate that you would not live in certain places precisely because of their ethnic/racial makeup. Again, I get what you're aiming at, but the way it comes across, you know... it puts a little wobble in your soapbox.

Indeed it could lead one to wonder how much of the anger expressed in your post might actually be projection: Living in an extravagant $2M+ house in a tony part of the Bay Area, in the face of so much deprivation and inequality in this country, may be bothering that endearingly bleeding, socialist heart of yours, and so you project that (self-) anger outwards to people living in $5M houses, the "obnoxious nouveau riche," the "limousine liberals," or whomever. Similarly, the exclusiveness inherent in your conclusions that there are certain groups that you will avoid, is likewise an affront to your moral principles, and so, again, there is a projection of that (self-) anger, towards people whom you suspect of excluding you and yours.

I relay this observation (however accurate or inaccurate it may be), not to criticise (or to suggest that I am innocent of similar), so much as to suggest that perhaps a good chunk of your anger is not really about the *people around* you.... And if that's so, then moving to another place will not free you of it. You will take it with you, and it may surface again later.

But who knows. Time to move from the pop psychologist's chair to bed....

Audie said...

Sinister Steve said: "there should neither be tax write offs for children or mortage interest..."

or churches.

aud

Sinister Steve said...

Audie,

No tax write offs period. Flat tax, EVERYONE pays.

Devastatin' Dave said...

I'll take a flat tax of 0%.

Audie said...

I'm with you on that one, SS.

chatsy Malone said...

Toronto is fun especially when you get to hang out with Tits Malone and the gang.
Real estate is very expensive, especially in the downtown area. OTherwise I found it reasonable. I thought it was going to be way more expensive then Montreal but it really wasn't. Some things were cheaper such as pedicures and manicures.

Luckily Veronica has a partner so she won't have to waste her time with boring hockey fanatic baseball cap wearing men who like to pull out their blackberries and talk really loud about their figures and stocks and the hot chick they had a date with the week before.

If Veronica wants to stay at home with her kid then more power to her, especially if she can afford it. It's really rare for mothers to stay home with the kids after the one year maternity leave granted to Canadian moms. It really depends on the families priorities and materialistic values. It's tough to live in Canada on one income, expecially Toronto.

Well good luck Veronica!