Four : The radio still has multiple conservative and christian talk stations
I like watching terrible movies, even though I know they are going to be terrible. And not always for the entertainment factor. Case in point, Fireproof, the Kirk Cameron fiasco about men getting respect and bitches knowing their place. This movie was not fun, and I knew it would not be fun. But I could not keep away. I am like the kid with the tongue and the outlet.
So no matter how many awesome CD's I have, no matter how short of a car ride I am going on, I cannot help myself from listening to whatever bullshit is on, be it Glen Beck or Hank Hannigraff or, even the golden snitch of moronic radio personalities, Sean Hannity.
Of course, this is a problem I would have anywhere in the country, and it is definitely a much more accepting environment over here. However, that leads to other issues...
Three : Being surrounded by people you agree with politically
Ya wanna know what's fun? For me at least? Arguing. Having a thoughtful disagreement. Making mental chess moves. Coming to a reasonable conclusion and parting as friends. I remember talking to Raj about a number of issues, none of which we agreed with in the slightest, but at least it all stayed civil. But being surrounded by self-important morons who have the same ideological stances as you is at the very least disquieting, and at the very most fucking infuriating.
For instance, the first week we came here Meghan and I both went to an interview for a job which described itself as something promoting green energy. That's all well and good (as a great sidenote, driving across the country we saw semi's transporting the parts of those ginormous windmills. They are bigger than my mind can stand, bringing Shadow of the Colossus to mind), but when we arrived in the room I got my first inkling that something was amiss. The room smelled like patchouli, everyone was wearing very hipster-chic clothing, and I counted more dreadlocks than I had ever seen in my life.
Ok, I can stand this. Hippies love all that renewable bullshit. Plus, the lady running the meeting is dressed casually, but not too over-the-top. Then she started talking.
Well, fuck. She talked about how her fund-raising organization was started to stop bush from being elected in 2004, to uproariously applause from the room of twelve potential applicants.
It was at this point I checked out of the conversation. I mean, first of all, she said fund-raising. Fund-raising is the dumbest goddamn job ever. You spend your time out panhandling for multi-national corporations, then turn the moolah over to said multi-nation corporation, your only recompense being minimum wage, a sunburn, and an undeserved mark of pride. Secondly, the lady was bragging about failing at something. We get it, it is topical and edgy to hate the former president, he was Hitler and the anti-christ. I guess at least he and Obama (or, as the radio calls him, Obamanable, which is decidedly clever) have something in common. And finally, she bragged about getting Obama elected. Really, it was a small grass roots campaign in Portland that got me to vote for our president? Eat my nuts, you pretentious bitch.
Two : Being Portland's elephant graveyard
I am sure whenever I told you guys I was going to Vancouver you thought, "Is Mat moving to Canada, eh?"
First off, clever.
Second, Vancouver is a bit obscure. Meghan described it as Portland's asshole. Right next to all the action but getting none of it. And when we do it stinks.
The art is meh. The theatres aren't that great. Although there is a rockin' gay community , even that feels a little forced , with everything from gay massage parlours to gay hearing aid specialists. I kid you not. Their slogan : "Where queers come to hear."
It all reeks of that forced quaintness, that "yeah we will pretend like we are north Portland when it is financially viable but we don't really fall into that debauchery." But hey, it's still better than Missouri, so suck it.
One : I am still in the stupid goddamn USA
Listen: At age seven I stopped liking America. It was at that time that I learned about Thanksgiving, how every year I gave thanks to God for letting my ancestors systematically and legally rape the native peoples who had given them nothing but kindness. I learned about slavery, how humans were used as farm equipment, only released when it was financially viable, then shit on legally for the next hundred years, and illegally since then. I learned that we loved to stick our noses where it didn't belong, where it wasn't wanted, and we loved to be the only guy on the block with that privilege.
Capitalism just doesn't jive with me. I was fed this line when I was a kid, about working my way up, about people making more money because they earn it. But when the bottom 80% of our populous is all fighting for 7.5% of the pie, then something is fucking wrong. So I know that I will not live here forever, and I know that when I do leave, I will be more comfortable.
Thing is, I didn't move from Missouri to change the world. I didn't do it because I thought everything would be hunky dory. I did it because Meghan and I really didn't like our situation and wanted to try something new. Springfield might work for a lot of people, and Chemical Reaction bless them, I hope for the best. But it felt like a straight jacket to me in a million ways, and even though I am sleeping on the floor with fifteen bucks to my name, I still can breathe.
Work still sucks. But I have love and music and blackberries grow by the roads. The skies are big and I am surrounded by mountains. I have an ipod I can use to block out all the idiots, even the smug morons and the talking heads. I have a lady who makes me lunch every day, who holds me and makes me feel groovy even when the world goes up in flames.
And I got plans for an even greater escape.