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Hogarth judge

February 2018



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Hogarth judge

Contemplating leaving the United States

A link to this story was recently posted as a submission to K5, where I sometimes hang out. This is what I wrote as a response:

To be honest, I have given some thought to leaving the United States, and moving elsewhere, either back to Canada where I grew up, France, or maybe even New
Zealand. (The South Island sounds pretty.)

But it has less to do with economic opportunity, at least with me. More to do
with politics, really; a lot to do with the USA not being a very nice place to
live or be from, anymore. Our corrupt politicians use their million dollar
campaigns to buy thirty second spots to scare the voters about imaginary
monsters, while governing in the interests of their contributors. Just as soon
as we finally established that overt racism isn't acceptable behaviour, we go
crazy with persecuting cigarette smokers, of all people. We used the aftermath of a terrorist attack to launch a pointless war that's really a private
vendetta. The idiot voters are unlikely to do anything about it.

Some day, we will wake up and look at the results of the "war on drugs" and hang
our heads and wonder, "What were we thinking?" But for now the propaganda still
has to roll, and the heinous sentences are still handed out, because the
government cannot be made to realize that the whole thing was a horrible
mistake. Last week another young man was shot by the police in a drug bust. We
had to kill them to keep them from getting high. No elected officials dare
question this; drugs are too useful a boogeyman. They play real well in those
thirty-second spots.

I thank god I am no longer young in this nation of paranoid psychotics. All the
shit we thought we got rid of, or were getting rid of, is now coming back.
School uniforms. A federally mandated drinking age. Zero tolerance this and
that. The TV networks fill our heads with "reality show" police chases and
breaking down doors. Or with cops out of uniform, as sleazy as any criminal,
browbeating suspects with network-standards tough talk. Or with lawyer shows
full of endless moral hyperventilating. People apparently actually watch this
shit for fun. And everywhere, florid psychotic fantasy is our chief
entertainment, from The Matrix to The X-Files.

It has little to do with the economy; more to do with the realization that
there's something rotten at the core of U.S. society. The more I think about
it, the more attractive Ellesmere Island looks.


This says it all. A perfect summary. We've had so many friends tell us they're heading to Canada. When we ask them why, the number one answer is "health care", but "America is getting too scary" is a close second. Were our partner(s) not there, we might be trying to get there anyway.

Last summer, we spoke to a fellow at Transportation Canada about how to import a car, and he said he was getting a lot of calls from Americans wanting to move to Canada, but also from expat Canadians who found that "America was not what we thought it was" and were trying to get back home before it was too late.

And we're flashing on too many stories from the 30s and 40s...