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I'm not sure yet.
cap, captain miss america
So, yeah, I don't know what the topic of this entry is going to be. I just felt like I wanted to update my LJ.

Something that has been troubling me lately: in the past few days, I have gotten flooded with a new kind of spam. It is not any different from any other kind of spam, with a fake header and then a link to some IP address in the body of the email, but it is particularly galling because these spams all have headers related to the earthquake in China and are made to look like newsfeed updates: "Another Earthquake Shocks China"; "Thousands Dead in China"; "More Chinese Atrocity", and so on. Not even any other tragedies-- no remarks on the floods in the Midwest-- all titled with paraphrased versions of the same content, suggesting that there has been another tragedy in a country that already had such an enormous disaster so recently.

It is really sort of offensive to me.

I just went to see The Visitor, which I had been not really moved to see, but Mongol was playing at inconvenient times this evening, so I will probably see it tomorrow morning. It was quite touching and had the only scene I have ever seen in a movie that displayed a grown man and a grown woman in bed together, embracing in a completely platonic manner, in one depicting mourning. I think the characters clearly feel some kind of attraction for each other, but it is one that they both know is better left unexplored, they both have more important things to do. Illegal immigration is an issue I struggle with greatly, partly because I think I might move to a different country that is more politically aligned with my own politics if it weren't for immigration restrictions. I don't like the idea that America is only the land of the free if you're born here, and I don't like the attitudes-- not just among Americans-- of nationalism that is dependent on a factor we just can't help. Where you're born isn't a choice; it's not something to be smug or superior over. I was talking to atomicfiction about this at the REM concert, and I said to him that being an American isn't really something I think you can be proud of unless it's something you achieve through INS. I don't feel like I can be proud of where I was born when living here and being an American takes no effort on my part.

What does take effort on my part? Being a woman. Living in New York, I frequently feel like I have to put on a flak jacket to leave my apartment; the block past the Port Authority is like running a gauntlet to avoid men staring, ogling, gaping, and laking lewd remarks. A couple weeks ago-- and this was something I meant to write up, and never did, I finally said fuck it, I'm sick of being victimized by these assholes, and I actually bitched one of them out. And I felt this funny mix of both shame-- but I feel shame every time a man treats me like that-- and pride that I had actually spoken up for myself. I was still angry, but not with that seething anger and humiliation. Anyway, since that day? No one has catcalled me. Not once. Till tonight, when some dude came up...

...and asked me for my autograph. WTF? I was so WTF that I couldn't even think of anything to say, and I just kept walking. And then I kicked myself for not being clever enough to say anything to that. Grr.

Work is good. Life is treating me well. I have three social obligations in the next week that are not on the computer, which is good for me! Yesterday was a pretty crapola day, but crapola days go away.

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I completely agree with your opinions on immigration. Living in Japan has really shown me how damaging and restricting severely limited immigration can be—it's virtually impossible to become a citizen here unless you marry a national, and even then that is not a guarantee. Watching friends deal with international marriages and all the visa-related headaches that go with it makes me MAD. I see absolutely no point in restricting people's movements on a national level, all that kind of growth does is broaden understanding and promote the exchange of culture and ideas...

I think is is frustrating and worrying when we see massive waves of immigration from a single country-- but it more shows that there is something broken in that country. I don't think people are at fault for their country being fuxx0red. On the other hand, I'm not sure how we can accommodate all the people who would come if it were easy to come, which is why I'm conflicted about it. What bothers me is the sort of xenophobia attached to immigration-- it's one thing to not want thousands of poor people who are going to tax a system they haven't paid into yet, but it's another thing to refuse a home to an educated, capable person who can make a steady income. But I don't know what to do about the poor, because I feel like they do have a right to make a better life for themselves-- it's more a question of creating a way to actually accommodate them better or help them strive to reach those goals in their own homes? I don't know.

I said to him that being an American isn't really something I think you can be proud of unless it's something you achieve through INS.
INS no longer exists. The closest thing is CIS - Citizenship & Immigration Services. ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) serves as the enforcement arm.

I think my stance on illegal immigration would be obvious. There are people who legally immigrate everyday. There is no reason to give a pass to people who can walk in. It's not a "minor technicality" if a student visa is overstayed. As a matter of fact, that's a trick the 9/11 hijackers exploited. Illegal immigrants often have criminal records, which is why they don't attempt to come in legally. The fact they are coming in illegally further demonstrates a lack of regard for the law. Furthermore, illegal immigration is a public health crisis waiting to happen as people sneak across the border with multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis, hepatitis, etc.

the block past the Port Authority is like running a gauntlet to avoid men staring, ogling, gaping, and laking lewd remarks.
Our port is the same way. If a male officer and I are doing an inspection, he has to juggle boxes and I don't. The "helpful" driver likes to show off his muscles and BO whilst winking at me and inquiring about my marital status. They don't follow instructions given by a woman the first time. Nor will they accept answers from a female officer. Half the time they turn around and ask a male officer the same question. It's hard to come up with witty remarks. Don't worry too much about it. From the sound of things, you've already made an impact.

I was expecting your response on the immigration issue! I didn't realize INS didn't exist anymore, but then, I've never had to use immigration services.

I don't know, though-- I'm aware that the Mexican border issue is massive, and that's why I'm conflicted on it, because I know there are health risks involved. But I also don't really understand why immigration has to be legal or illegal, I guess, is the problem. As someone who has seriously looked into emigrating and is not eligible to emigrate to any of the countries in which I would like to live, in spite of having a college degree from one of the top schools in the country and excellent skill set, I don't really get why I'm not allowed to go live somewhere else. I've never committed a crime (with the exception of one count of tresspassing that was wiped from my record), I have excellent credit, excellent bank accounts-- there is no reason why anyone shouldn't want me.

And a lot of the people who are criminals in their own country are criminals because of the government in place in their country-- lots of people seeking asylum in this country are turned away every year. My grandfather was a German Jew, and was refused asylum because he was Jewish and they closed the US off to Jews during the Holocaust. He had to find a Christian family willing to adopt him, and then he was eligible to immigrate to this country, and that just doesn't seem right. I don't think coming in illegally is always demonstration of a lack of regard for the law, sometimes it's a demonstration of desperation.

This pretty much sums up my response regarding immigration. It's hard work to go through the legal process to be sure, but it still has to be done. It can be done. My bosses are Canadian and I'm watching them do it. My grandfather immigrated from Puerto Rico, and he did it.

We have mass numbers of illegal immigrants in our city, and the situation gets more tense by the day as plenty of people start grouping all Hispanics into the illegal immigrant prejudiced bubble in their heads. I fear for our local, legal, Mexican or otherwise ethnic immigrants. Especially since an illegal immigrant just recently was driving drunk and killed a kid that apparently was incredibly popular, talented, and headed places on his prom night. I honestly fear some sort of lynching in the near future.

The problem with what you're saying is that you're saying illegal immigration is bad because people where you live are bigots. Isn't the problem that people where you live are bigots?

I do think that illegal immigration is a problem, but I also don't fault the people who choose to immigrate illegally. Our country is supposed to take people seeking asylum under the Geneva convention, and we get to decide to judge who is worthy of asylum and who isn't. There are tiny countries in Europe that take more asylum seekers per capita than the US does. And the only illegal immigrants in this country aren't Mexicans: in New York, many of them are African, Afghan, Chinese-- people who need to escape from danger, starvation, genocide, and political oppression.

No no no. I'm saying illegal immigration is bad because it's illegal (though I think our immigration system needs some serious reform. I know it can be done legally, and I think people should do it that way, but I also know it's not peaches and cream). And I'm certainly not claiming all illegal immigrants are Hispanic (note the Mexican or otherwise ethnic immigrants bit).

I'm saying the situation here is currently really bad because people are bigots, and when one illegal immigrant does something bad, locals project it onto all of the local Hispanics. It could have been any drunk driver that killed that kid, but since it was an illegal immigrant people are hopping all over that instead of drunk driving. My point about where I live wasn't about legality or illegality, just what I've seen locally in regards to people's reactions to it.

I think you may have misunderstood me. :( Perhaps I didn't phrase myself so well.

I am sorry yesterday was a bad day. But yay for better days and movies.

Uuuugh. The catcalling is insane over there. >.< I'm weird about it because I don't care about ogling. You're going to ogle, that's fine, you're regarding I look fine and you're going to keep on going cause you know you can't handle this :D. Catcalling has always been funny to me. I was having a crappy morning until I got accosted by some construction workers doing the usual "What's a beautiful girl like you looking so sad?" It cracked me up, made my day, and they left me be. If there's rude shit like requests for blowjobs or following me and harassing me about why I won't stop, that's fucking rude and that pisses me off. But the one thing that will drive me up a wall, across the ceiling and back down again? Honking. I can't stand it. *HONK HONK* *LEEEEEEER* *VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM* I don't know why that bothers me more than the Tex Avery stuff, but I will flip a shit if I get honked at. Maybe because they can't even stop to say something because they're in such a damn hurry to get drink/pot/not laid.

Good on you for yelling at them and that's bloody fantastic they've left you alone! And if you do feel ashamed they're saying it, don't. They're acknowledging you're a gorgeous woman and the words are the closest they'll ever get to you. And even if they say bullshit like "omg shes a cold bitch shes a prude bla bla bla", they're just pissed they can't get anyone smart and beautiful for themselves. They're doomed to the clearance bin at the bargain basement. You, my dear, are Tiffany's. ;)

[/well I think you're sexy]

Where you're born isn't a choice; it's not something to be smug or superior over.

Thank you. Nationalism makes no sense in my head. How can you be fiercely proud and protective over lines on a map and an accident of birth?

I'm aware that is a minority opinion, and not usually a welcome one, but I truly don't understand it.

Which isn't to say I'm not grateful to live in the US - I'm aware of the privilege I was born into. But I'm not PROUD of it! Frankly, I can think of any number of other places I'd be grateful to live in as well. Maybe even more so. But, as you say, leaving isn't as easy as all that.

I just noticed that you friended me! Apologies! When did that happen? I'm going to friend you back. :)

No apologies necessary! I don't remember exactly when, but a while back Tea strongly recommended I friend you if I hadn't already. So I did. Oh! Maybe when you made that mix tape thing? Thanks for the friending back - I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

Ohh ok! Aww, Tea is so sweet. Erm, no pun intended. XD I look forward to getting to know you too! You always post good comments.

I'm going to completely sidestep the content of your entry because I really want to know: how and when did you see the New Orleans Bingo Show? You might not know this, but there are only like a maximum of five people on LJ who listed themselves as fans. At first, when I saw your picture, I thought I had found Clint Maedgen's live journal ;)

In New Orleans, at Voodoo Fest this year! I want to go back to see them properly at One Eyed Jack's sometime!

Cool. I'm from Baton Rouge, I see 'em as often as possible. I think they actually put on a better show here at the Spanish Moon than in New Orleans at One-Eyed's. Either way, it's worth it.

I'm a Twin Peaks fan, so One Eyed Jack's has sentimental value!

Well, well. A Twin Peaks fan -and- a Bingo Show fan! Rock on! By the way, the bingo show always sells out, so those that're early at the door are all who sees 'em.

I'm really glad you stood up for yourself. I'm lucky enough that the places I've lived in have kept that sort of obnoxious shouting to a minimum, but it's something that I fear when I think about moving to a larger city.

And I'm seconding dakinishir's entire comment as well.

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