Expat Fuel: A New Yorker Admires Europe - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Expat Fuel: A New Yorker Admires Europe

Expat Fuel: A New Yorker Admires Europe

Published May 6, 2005

Perhaps in a more enlightened society we’d get self-select citizenship when we turned eighteen; Canada and The Netherlands would have a long waiting list of bong toting blue-staters, and the Right Wing Military Junta would have to recruit from starving third world countries to bolster its holy crusade to battle infidels for oil until the second coming.

It’s the middle of April, which means I just paid my taxes. I just sent in my money to fund the building of bombs to be dropped on the heads of poor people thousands of miles away from me. Meanwhile, lawyers send me letters everyday trying to collect money I don’t have for medical bills I incurred while I had insurance.

A few years ago, I was walking around Boston, going to meet my cousin for dinner. She had a show in a gallery that we’d seen that afternoon, and the evening was supposed to be a celebration. In the middle of a crosswalk, a car ran a red light and crushed my right leg. Two years and thirty thousand in medical bills later, I can walk to the bank to deposit my unemployment check.

The only real protection I have under the law from this crippling debt (bad pun intended) is to declare bankruptcy. Thankfully though, I have a government that’s ready to go to bat to protect credit card and insurance companies from dead beats like me; dead beats that assumed that the insurance they paid for was meant to protect them and their health.

It’s almost gratuitous to ask, but why the hell are there cars on the streets of pedestrian urban centers like Boston in the first place? Why aren’t those drivers paying astronomical fees to the city to move their selfish asses in fossil fuel consuming privacy when public transportation is readily available? Why do my taxes support the oil for the drivers that cripple me, and not the health care I need to get fixed? Why do I still live in this country?

I can almost hear the voices of Toby Keith and Dick Cheney telling me to Love it or Leave it! Then grunting out a steady chant of U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!…

Right wing pundits like to mock Europeans for being weak, effete, artistic, intellectual, atheist and socialist. If you asked me for a list of descriptors for my kind of place, that’s what I’d give you. That’s why I live in New York and not in Texas.

I heard a British Catholic Priest on the news the other night say that Western European Society was essentially intellectual and “Post-Christian” unlike the States and the “developing” world. All I could say was God Bless the E.U.

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