ramble through the bronx

yes, this here is ramble through the bronx, the continuing musings of a graduate student* who should be writing her dissertation, but honestly, living in new york city there's really so much else to do...

* and her commenting friends. And guest blogger.
[welcome to ramble through the bronx | bloghome
[I wish I was a mole in the ground]
Meredith [>] (NYC/Toronto)
Emily [>] (Brooklyn)
Emily's music site[>]
Jeremy [>] (Bronx)
Ryan [>] (Bronx)
non-NYC people I miss
Jennifer [>] (Toronto)
Tokyo Tintin[>] (Tokyo/Toronto)
Dawn [>] (Ottawa)
Caitlyn [>] (Ottawa)
CBC [>] (my true love)
del.icio.us/janeyjane [>] (my social link collection, alas, not updated lately. I am apparently not delicious)
The Keeper [>] (try it, you'll love it)
comics sites that I check every day
Newsarama [>] (check out the 'blog' section especially)
When Fangirls Attack [>] (women in comics links)
politics, media, and gossip
AlterNet [>]
'Fuddle duddle' incident [>]
The Nation [>]
Catholic stuff
America Magazine [>] magazine of US Jesuits
Commonweal Magazine [>] biweekly magazine of lay Catholics
Karl Rahner Society [>] site dedicated to awesome 20th c. theologian
Liberal Catholic News [>] blog for progressive catholics
Pacem in Terris [>] Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical
music - mostly folk music and banjo links
The How and Tao of Folk Music [>] Patrick Costello's podcasts & banjo & folk guitar instruction
Back Porch News [>]News, Commentary & Links for the folkie community
E-Z Folk [>]Folk music instruction and tabulature
amuse yourself
Piled Higher and Deeper [>] (comic about grad student life)
Cat and Girl [>] just what it sounds like
The Onion [>]
Sluggy Freelance [>]
The Boondocks [>]
Eric Conveys an Emotion [>]
Society for Women in Philosophy [>]
the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy [>]
The Hegel Society of America[>]
North American Fichte Society[>]
Journal of Neoplatonic Studies [>]
Women Philosophers [>]
Brian Leiter's blog [>]
Harper's [>]
Neil Gaiman [>]
Charles de Lint [>]
Making Light [>]
McSweeney's [>]
WFUV [>]
Anti-pedantry page: Singular 'their' in Jane Austen [>]
places I miss
Cafe Diplomatico [>] (Toronto)
The Red Room [>] (Toronto)
The Free Times Cafe [>] (Toronto)
Sneaky Dee's [>] (Toronto... aka Sneaky Disease, best nachos in town)
Kensington Market [>] (Toronto)
College Street [>] (Toronto)
Perfection Satisfaction Promise [>] (Ottawa - formerly the Painted Potato)
Piccolo Grande [>] (Ottawa)
The Market [>] (Ottawa)
Stray cats of Parliament Hill [>] (Ottawa)
other nonsense
Mozilla [>]
Abebooks [>]
Alibris [>]
Metafilter [>]
and thank you
Thanks to Haloscan for blog-comment-ability

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Canada - not a panacea

Prowling about others' weblogs (for instance, the comments in one thread on Making Light - there's 2 references), and listening to my friends here in New York -- I don't know if it's joking, or being frustrated, or what -- everyone keeps talking about how "given things are this bad in the U.S., I should just move to Canada." Or "I guess we could always move to Canada!" Or "Hey, that Canada place - they've got it figured out" (and then they mention things like healthcare. And good public schools. Usually healthcare. Nothing to attract a graduate student's attention like state-covered healthcare. Very few people I go to school with right now have health coverage - Fordham's plan is pretty expensive). (I wonder how much of the "move to Canada" rhetoric is passed down from the Vietnam war era and draft dodgers)

These are usually offhanded comments, for the most part. I've had friends who talked about wanting to move to Canada who don't know the name of the current Prime Minister, for instance (or that in February or thereabouts he'll be replaced by the centre-right Paul Martin). (Then again, I was completely out of the loop for a while about the Progressive Conservative party being about to become to Conservative Party... damnit, they were my prime example for a long time of the reasonableness of the Canadian right).

Canada is fantastic from a number of angles (my favourite, of course, being that it's my home, and I'm perpetually homesick). Healthcare, yes. Affordable universities (even with the relatively astronomical increases of the last eight years, the best schools in Canada are still less than the SUNY public/state schools here in NY). A system of politics that includes an "Official Opposition," which means that no matter what the governing party does, someone is Obliged to argue against it without fear of being called unpatriotic (my friend Josh particularly loves the concept of "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition" - especially when I told him of the days that the Bloc Quebecois filled that role!). I could go on.

But all the fuss about impending legislation that Chretien is pushing through before he leaves -- all of that is at the mercy of whatever Paul Martin decides to do once he comes in.

Many Americans are rightly frustrated with their government, but ultimately conclude that they should stay in America and fight the good fight for what they believe in. Canada is experiencing the same rightward shifts, the same shifts away from conserving the things they value (a small-c conservative, I suppose?) and toward money-driven instant-political-gratification kind of nonsense. I'd ask the Americans who talk (or joke) about moving to Canada not only to read the stuff on the CBC archives about the October Crisis & the War Measures Act (1970, civil liberties suspended in Canada in response to terrorism), but also about Paul Martin and his CSL company (see Fly our Flag, an NDP site).

My overall point? Canada - not perfect. Same need to fight. If an American, frustrated with America, were to move to Canada in hopes of a socialist utopia, they would find many of the same battles. I guess a battle fought for better priorities in politics is a battle worth winning anywhere...

Two caveats -

(1) The religious right is Much Less Scary in Canada than in the US.

(2) At least we're signed onto Kyoto, the Ottawa agreement on landmines (yay Ottawa), the International Criminal Court, etc., etc.

An anti-caveat -

We're just as corrupt. While Canada didn't participate in a bunch of the US's conflicts, we still made weapons for them. woo hoo.


I guess my argument doesn't really come through clearly. I've been working like mad this week trying to get a presentation together as well as a conference to be held this weekend. Maybe my comments will be working again and someone can put all this together better than I. I just feel like I've been having endless conversations about Canada since I moved here, and I wanted to try to put some of it down to see where I had ended up.

jane 10:38 AM [+]

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