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Incheon, 2020

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Perhaps I have really bad body odor, but these days, I mostly eat and drink alone, sitting in completely empty restaurants and cafes, like right now. This casual yet elegant joint is called Ottchill. It has solidly built wooden chairs padded with homey cushions. The two baristas are young, attractive and courteous, and they’re here to serve me, and me alone, for the next hour or so.

Only the music sucks, predictably. Aggressive, urban and earnest, it corrodes your self consciousness, sociability and even heritage with a relentlessly moronic English, mostly. You’re living through a sonic hell, nearly whenever and wherever you’re among others, and even alone if you’re weak willed. It’s a global virus. What a waste.

On a subway platform, I just bought for 80 cents a Snicker-like chocolate bar called Ghana. Something is not kosher here, so we must alert the Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center and every Holocaust museum director, worldwide. There must be six million of them, I reckon. Just because it’s brown, nutty and cheap doesn’t mean it should be associated with anything African! A boycott is definitely in order. All flights from unwoke South Korea must be barred immediately!

I’ve been in Seoul eight days. I had to come, especially since the price was coronavirus affordable. My one-way ticket cost just $109, plus $18 for a checked luggage. I have extra stuff because I’m homeless. Like a turtle, I must carry everything as I move. I’m a bag gentleman.

I got out on one of the last flights from Hanoi, just hours before the Vietnamese decided to quarantine all passengers arriving from South Korea, thus ceasing all flights between the two countries. I had fully anticipated this scenario.

I have a closet-sized room in Myeong-dong for just $24 a night. It has heat, wifi and its own toilet, and there are hundreds of stores and cheap restaurants nearby. A subway station is a quick scramble away from the guest house’s door. I have a tiny window with opaque glass panes, so there’s no sky or skyscrapers to gaze at. I even have a fridge, but it doesn’t work.

When I pointed this out to the manager, the young man said, “Most of our refrigerators are second-hand.”

“So they don’t work?”

“No,” he shrugged. “Maybe ten years ago.”

Fair enough.

What I’m in is basically a capsule apartment, of the type widely available in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Even smaller than the American efficiency, none has a kitchen and most don’t even have a porcelain throne. Mine, though, is elevated, so I’m on stage, so to speak, for each humbling performance. Anyway, a goshiwon apartment costs around $300 a month here, and tenants don’t just have access to a communal kitchen, but usually even unlimited cooked rice, kimchi and sometimes even noodles, so starvation is not an issue.

The poorest Koreans can’t even squeeze into a goshiwon. Around Seoul Station, the misshapen homeless droop on steps or trudge down sidewalks, past greasy spoons, chain cafes, bareboned poolhalls and grimy window displays of prosthetic limbs. The station itself is grand and sparkling. Nearly all men, these down and outers nudge coins into the cheapest coffee machines. Battered by frigid winds, they rub their hands, sneeze and hack out viruses. With less than a thousand street dwellers, Seoul’s homeless problem pales compared to most cities, however.

To be pure, you must say no to just about everything. Think convents. The first Korean quarantined herself. She was a bear.

The son of God, Hwanung, wanted to be human for a change, so he went down to Korea, where he met a tiger and a bear who also wished to become solipsistic, narcissistic, self-pitying and eternally lonely bipeds with a laughable taste in clothing and everything else. “You can become human,” Hwanung said, “if you stay in this cave for one hundred days and eat only mugwort and garlic.” The tiger couldn’t hack it, but the bear turned into not just one gorgeous babe, but Hwanung’s wife, and together they’ve spawn a great and enduring nation that has given to this shamefully ungrateful world Goryeo celadon, kimchis as side dishes and the Korean Zombie, etc.

Even after Japan had opened up to the world, Korea stayed shut in, thus it was labeled as “the last of the hermit nations” by William Elliott Griffis in 1882. Now, North Korea is the world’s most hermetic society, which it justifies with an ideology, juche, that stresses self-reliance in all spheres, from economic, political, self-defense to diplomatic.

As for South Korea, it is remarkably homogeneous compared to other advanced nations. In Seoul, there are whites, blacks, Turks and Arabs in Itaewon, and there’s a smallish Chinatown in Daerim. Vietnamese and Thais are here, but they don’t form distinct neighborhoods. An hour away in Pyeongtaek, 30,000 American soldiers are stationed, and in nearby Incheon, there is a huge, theme park-like Chinatown, plus Filipino sailors nursing beers in their own club, but in Greater Seoul, you’ll rarely see a non-native away from touristic sites. There are no tribal groups in the mountains.

Just two weeks ago, I was in Si Ma Cai, Vietnam, where ethnic Vietnamese made up only 1% of the population, yet everyone was a native. Nothing like that exists in Korea.

Despite this demographic uniformity, South Korea is astonishingly cosmopolitan, for they’re open to just about every culture, without welcoming too many aliens. Seoul has a food culture to rival the best. Well, almost. If New York is a 10, Seoul is an 8.5. Bitches who go on about not finding edible Ethiopian here haven’t been to Club Zion for lunch, so just shut your trap, awright?

It is cold and dark, and I don’t know where I am, or what I’m doing, so I walk. Like everyone else, I wear a mask, not because I fear imminent death, but because it would not be nice to infect anyone here with whatever I already have. I turn into an alley, because why not? Suddenly, I see five white people, dead for centuries: Pope Paul III, Queen Elizabeth I and three others I can’t identify. You tell me, smart ass. It’s a Five Alls pub. In England, there are still some left. Momentarily finding a purpose, I enter.

It’s only slightly brighter inside. At the short bar, a beefy biker is parked in front of a row of lick her bottles: Fireball, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s, Captain Morgan, Jagermeister, Tiffin Tea Liqueur, as well as the more obscure Black Nikka from Japan and Sobieski Vodka from Poland. It’s just a neighborhood joint, where a pint of Guinness costs just 7,000 wons ($5.87). Although three cats feed right on the bar, they never knock your drinks over or stick their furry heads into your food. I can hang.

It’s Five Alls’ menu, though, I want to highlight. Among the rather extensive offerings, it has Canadian poutine, German curry wurst, British sausage and mash, Irish lamb stew, Swedish meatballs, Italian mushroom risotto, Spanish calamares a feira, Indian beef keema, Okinawan taco rice, Japanese meat sauce doria and American buffalo wings. In case you these are just garbage versions, I had the $6.71 taco rice, and it was fantastic, something I wouldn’t mind as my last meal before being shot or hanged.

Any foreign population that would happily scarf poutine or curry wurst must be Mother Teresa tolerant and forgiving, more open than a progressive border or maybe just insane.

ORDER IT NOW

Five Alls’ music selection is also noteworthy, for it favors blues from 60+ years ago, ragtime, stride piano, jazz vocalists, and rhythm and blues from the 60’s. I focus as Dinah Washington belts and growls, “I’m an evil gal, don’t you bother with me / I’ll empty your pockets and fill you with misery / I’ve got men to the left, and men to the right / Men every day and men every night / I’ve got so many men, mmm, I don’t know what to do.”

Although both Korea and Japan have made a sustained and comprehensive effort to modernize and Westernize, South Korea may have gone even further than its neighbor. There is very little traditional architecture left, and most tellingly, more Christians than Buddhists here. Walking around, I see almost no Buddhist temples, but churches everywhere. With their thin spires, many merely occupy the top floor of a commercial building, then you have the mega churches. Large or small, almost all are hideously ugly. South Korea leads the world in cosmetic surgery, and the most popular procedure is to make one’s eyes seem larger.

Unlike in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia or even Japan, you don’t see South Koreans wearing anything but Western clothing, and the palette tend to be dark, most often black. Even before this coronavirus crisis, the ambience on any Seoul subway car is decidedly funereal, and even grimmer, actually, for everyone is sepulchered within his own cyber world. Two weeks ago, I was at a weekly market in Can Cau, Vietnam, where tribal peoples wore their colorful best to go shopping, but that’s barbaric, dude. A highly cultured and civilized man must always appear like a coffin bearer or occupant.

Perusing photos of Seoul from the 1960’s, I see little traffic, beat up buses, men or oxen pulling heavy carts, cattle on streets and women with babies strapped to their backs, or with baskets on their heads. Now, Koreans make good cars, excellent smart phones and the second most ships in the world annually. They erect monster skyscrapers for foreign countries, such as the PNB 118 in Kuala Lumpur.

Koreans have paid for this progress with the world’s second longest workweek, one of its highest suicide rates and weeping children in cram schools, but it’s all worth it, for no one has subscribed more to the forward religion.

My first exposure to Koreans was in Saigon in the early 70’s, and I remember being impressed by how well-built and confident looking the ROK soldiers were. Now, I see feminized Koreans, preening or with flowers in their hair, staring at me from many Seoul ads. As Korea gains more muscles, it celebrates its sissy side, but a return to old school arrangements, virtues and taste is coming, I think.

Has the bullet train towards the future been derailed by the coronavirus? On February 24th, Anatoly Karlin boldly wrote an article titled, “Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy,” yet on March 2nd, Israel Shamir weighed in, “There is nothing to panic about, said Trump about the Corona, and he is right. Corona is a mental virus of fear, not much else. We have a sterling proof: the Diamond Princess liner had been marooned in the ideal, for virus, circumstances of single ventilation system. Many people had got the decease, but only two persons, aged over 80, had died. No children became sick. Apparently it could be dangerous only for people over 60. There was no reason for panic at all.”

Although they’re both super smart, only one can be right, and we’ll find out soon enough, perhaps by Opening Day. Batting ninth, here’s my lunging whiff: if the coronavirus wasn’t serious, China would not have shut down its economy for over a month, thus affecting every other economy on earth. Even if millions of people won’t die, this crisis has already been very disruptive to the daily life of billions, especially if they’re just trying to make a buck to survive another day.

In Si Ma Cai, Vietnam, I talked to a woman who sold banh mi sandwich for just 64 cents each, and she was seriously hurting, because Vietnamese schools had been closed for weeks, and students were her primary customers.

If it wasn’t serious, Vietnam wouldn’t have stopped all flights from South Korea and China. These countries aren’t just Vietnam’s top two sources of tourists, but foreign investments.

Another morning, another empty Seoul café. On a wall, there’s a Styrofoam board with over a hundred loyal customer cards, but I drink alone, thanks to the coronavirus. Nearly every shop in this underground mall is also empty. Normally, it would still be packed on weekends.

Unlike China, South Korea has not shut down entire cities, so Seoul is still at work, with its subway cars somewhat filled, and many people are still eating and drinking out, but business is clearly way down. It’s awkward to stroll past so many brightly lit yet empty stores, with their proprietors idling outside, looking anxious.

With 7,041 coronavirus cases and 47 deaths, South Koreans are trying to function more or less normally, but already they’re being banned or restricted from entering 95 countries! Borders are suddenly shut, and if this pandemic intensifies, more nationalities will be grounded or, worse, quarantined. With harsher policies adopted by governments, citizens will become more exasperated and angry. Much ugliness will ensue.

In hip Seogyo-dong, there’s a handwritten sign taped to a restaurant door, “Chinese NO entry / NO China,” and as an afterthought, in smaller script, “Sorry!” Such a display is still rare, though.

Nearby, there’s a two-story bar and café, Blackjack, which opened just over three weeks ago, mere days before the coronavirus crisis hit South Korea.

“Bad timing, Jack,” I said to the owner.

“I know,” he chuckled. “I ask God, ‘why?’ When I first opened, people were queuing outside, to get in.”

After finishing law school, Jack moved to Las Vegas, where he stayed for six years. Repatriating, Jack opened an English language academy, which did so well, he launched Blackjack. Now, both of his businesses are suffering.

Many firms have demanded their employees stay home as much as possible after work, so no evening English classes even, which companies normally pay for.

His waitress, Chris, was a stewardess for Eaststar. She’s tall, slim and strikingly beautiful. Recently, Chris applied at Korean Air. Certain of getting this job, she told Jack she was quitting.

“She told me too soon! Now, Korean Air won’t hire anyone.”

Peak travel is in our rearview mirror. “God wants her to stay with you, Jack!”

“She doesn’t listen to God.”

Blackjack is decked out with Victorian furniture and framed prints of 18th century Europeans, mostly aristocratic. He’s certainly laid on the gooey cheese. Over the counter, there’s a sign, “You Only Live Once / Enjoy This Moment with BLACKJACK.”

For a while, it was suggested the coronavirus would only kill Chinese or Orientals, but Iran’s official death toll is already 107, with the real figure likely much higher, and Italy has 197 coronavirus deaths, with 49 dying in the last 24 hours.

Italian schools are shut, soccer matches are played in empty stadiums, entire towns are quarantined and cities have gone quiet and empty. A growing list of countries are also banning travelers from Italy.

On March 3rd, I got an email from Alitalia, “Linh, non smettere di volare!” [“Linh, do not stop flying!”]

ORDER IT NOW

The desperate ad continues, “THE WORLD KEEPS TURNING, WE MUST DO THE SAME! We are born to travel, discover, love, dream and follow our passions. Doing all this means we haven’t stopped growing, or enriching ourselves with new experiences and most beautiful places, or being free.”

The economic fallout from all this is already enormous, and it has just begun. Perhaps we’ve also reached peak freedom, not that it was all that free for much of the world.

It’s evening in Seoul, but the bright lights still beckon. Strapping on my mask, I will march outside.

Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease, Korea 
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  1. Linh,

    What’s with the “Bastard” Lounge above that Ethiopian cafe? Tried it yet?

    Don’t get stranded on your travels with flights getting cancelled. Might we expect a report from a quarantine somewhere along the way? You’d probably be safest from the coronavirus up in North Korea if they’ll have you. There was a time when they used to kidnap language teachers.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  2. Republic says:

    A great article,hope that you have an exit plan

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
  3. Dumbo says:

    This coronavirus crisis may not be “the end of the modern world as we know it” [ i.e. the end of globalization], but it certainly is showing that it has a lot of cracks. So even if we survive this crisis, there is no telling if we will survive a next one. I think this can be good. A return to a more sane order is badly needed. If people are more concerned with survival, they will be less concerned with promoting immigration or drag queen story hour or whatever is the fad du jour.

    Any foreign population that would happily scarf poutine or curry wurst must be Mother Teresa tolerant and forgiving, more open than a progressive border or maybe just insane.

    I have to say I am surprised at the apparent popularity of poutine in Southeast Asia. I hadn’t even heard of this “delicacy” before visiting Canada, and I can’t say I was impressed after I tried it.

  4. mh505 says:

    Your best one yet, Mr Dinh.

    This time, you have outdone yourself ..

    • Agree: Rev. Spooner, Anon 2, Franz
    • Replies: @Fred C Dobbs
  5. Hi Linh, if this virus leaves Israel and the US unaffected after their enemies have been ravaged and a miraculous vaccine discovered to save them, then they are the perpetrators.
    SK & Japan are countries caught in friendly fire or to use the correct term “Collateral Damage”. They are chinks and spooks too as USA and Israel both believe/non-white.

    The only thing I love about this virus is that it hits the over 60’s disproportionately and most of the vile evil bastards ruling us are over 60 and so am I.
    Maybe it will clean up the world and bring in a new age. Our world is Jewed out and sold out by the old psychopaths.

    Stay safe

    • Replies: @sally
  6. Says Craig Murry, a former ambassador and fierce defender of Julian Assange.

    “The Hong Kong flu was very similar to the current outbreak in being extremely contagious but with a fairly low mortality rate. 30% of the UK population is estimated to have been infected in the Hong Kong flu pandemic. The death rate was about 0.5%, mostly elderly or with underlying health conditions.
    But there was no massive panic, no second by second media hysteria, over Hong Kong flu. Let me start being unpopular. “Man in his 80’s already not very well from previous conditions, dies of flu” is not and should not be a news headline. The coverage is prurient, intrusive, unbalanced and designed to cause hysteria.”

    Intentionally or unknowingly, the people are being primed to panic.

    Spring is here and the onset of warm weather will kill this virus. Next winter, we will be better prepared.

    So go to the southern and warmest place in S. Korea, Mr. Linh.

    • Agree: Johnny Walker Read
    • Replies: @animalogic
  7. @Dumbo

    Dumbo,

    I like a lot of the positives: people becoming more homely and family oriented, more safer home cooking, greater border controls, less international travel and more turning to one’s own locale, thinning out the crowds, and a lot more there that runs counter to globalism. Interesting that it comes from China which in the past has raised walls and isolated itself from the rest of the world. So corona curtains coming down on all borders isn’t so bad. And most of the tourists and travellers these days are glued to their mobile phones anyway – not a very sociable way to see the world. Of course with some exceptions like Linh.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  8. Dumbo says: • Website

    Although they’re both super smart, only one can be right,

    Actually, both can be WRONG. What if it is not the apocalypse neither “just a flu”, but something in between, a new virus that can kill a relatively large amount of people (mostly older) and that will disrupt the economy (because of quarantine and other efforts to contain it), but which will not necessarily be the end of the world or the black plague or the 1918 flu, and might recede by the Spring.

    Incidentally, Mr. Dihn, what is your policy regarding republishing this text, or earlier texts of yours (or pictures) in other online venues? (Obviously with attribution and linking to your blog etc).

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  9. It’s nothing. New case rates are going down as we speak.

    • Agree: Poco
  10. TJM says: • Website

    Another excellent article by Linh Dinh. His writing gets better with each article. Dinh has become the first writer I read on the UNZ website. Dinh attention to detail is what I find most refreshing.

  11. @mh505

    Hard to say “best”……I will say that, to me, his style is that of a friend who sits down at the bar with you and tells you about his latest trip, with pix…(Hence the title “Postcards…..”???)

    Supposedly he’s a poet as well. I wouldn’t know. I hate poetry. LOL. And as a prose stylist, I suppose you could find some out there with more technical expertise. But if you are asking who do you ENJOY reading, who presents some of the most unique and thoughtful observations……there’s few better.

    My day brightens, if just a smidge, when I roll on over to UNZ and see NEW! next to Linh’s name……

  12. nice article, linh. i lived in seoul for three years twenty years ago, so there were no cell phones, just beepers (‘beebees’), which everyone had. your mention of the ghana bar reminded me of the ‘black joe’ chocolate bar, with over the top sambo jet black cartoon character on front. i was so shocked at the time, coming from america, that i saved a wrapper. the taeji boys were a top boy band, before any of the west knew of kpop–there was no such genre, except there of course. my favorite boy band name was h.o.t., for ‘high five of teenagers’, surely the best name ever.
    are the love motels still there? they were everywhere. how about the huge red light district in yeongungpo?
    finally, linh, i recommend going to a ‘soju tent’, set up after hours, and the late night trucks serving jajang myung, a beautiful thing, esp with a hite beer!

    • Replies: @Mj
  13. Ghana is a brand of the Lotte company, that is used for a few different flavors of their candy bars. I swear by their Xylitol-sweetened sugarless gum, as it’s actually good for the teeth and gums – naturally in the US and not in the top 10%, my access to dental care is just about nil.

    Where I am, rubbing alcohol is gone from the shelves, which is too bad as I used it to clean circuit boards and stuff. People don’t realize warm soapy water actually works better.

    When I was last in Korea, peach ice cream was a big deal. Is it still? Also try “Home Run Balls” they’re miniature cream puffs complete with filling and delicious. I had them in Korea in 1981 or so and Lo and behold, my local H Mart here has them.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  14. Smith says:

    Vietnam now needs to close flights from/to US.

    Fucking american arrogant boomer retards are gonna re-infect the fucking world.

    I hate chinkies but goddamn the americans are a worldwide menace with heads in sand

    • Replies: @anon
    , @RadicalCenter
  15. @Jeff Stryker

    Write me a check; I’ll take your dare. I can live on $30,000 a month.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  16. The guy on the left must be Phillip II of Spain

    • Disagree: Dr. Krieger
  17. @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff,

    If they seal borders everyone just stays where they are and you’re OK where you are now. It just means new would be expats can’t move out. But from what I read it’s becoming more difficult anyway. Linh, who doesn’t seem to have a home, would have to make one wherever he’s stuck at the time any should any such policy be introduced. The world is fast changing and God only knows what they’ve got in store for us all. I was just hypothesising and trying to look at some positive anti-globalist aspects of this crisis. It wouldn’t matter to you since you don’t seem to be travelling much any more as you’re not relating any new experiences. Neither am I doing much travelling any more, and although getting cut off would inconvenience me some I’d rather think about the survival of the race a a whole. OK, maybe they’re all exaggerating and this isn’t the big one yet.

    On another note, it’s disturbing to see the anti-Chinese discrimination with “no Chinese” signs popping up, but there is a lot more of it which is now just implied, and even against those who have travelled recently to China, with Ukranians even physically attacking returnees. Imagine some old Chinaman dying in some hotel and the word getting out that he had the dreaded C virus – it wouldn’t be too good for business. Although if this crisis continues it will kill off a lot of businesses anyway: hotels, restaurants, bars, discos, airlines, tour agencies, etc. Maybe Italians are getting the same treatment now in Europe.

  18. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    DEAR ALEX

    I think this is the first time you have mentioned having been an expat in Asia yourself-

    …Why is there less street crime in South Korea than in America?

    …Why are their fewer homeless people in South Korea than in America?

    …Why is there less of a drug problem in South Korea than in America?

    …Why are South Koreans less culturally degraded (As are Jews, Arabs, Indians) by pornography than whites are?

    …Why are South Koreans less warped and manipulated by the media than whites?

    …Why are their less South Korean single mothers than in America on average? I’m not saying they don’t exist, because wherever there is a US army base there are single mothers, but on average single parent families are lower in South Korea.

    …Why don’t illegal immigrants commit crimes in South Korea or Japan like they do in America?

    …Why are streets safer at night in South Korea than the average US city?

    …Why does America have more of an urban/rural divide than South Korea?

    …Why are public schools superior in Asia?

  19. @Commentator Mike

    Yeah, what if you were born in a lousy neighborhood and if you stayed there you would have ended up in grim bleak working-poor poverty?

    Should every elderly UK pensioner or working class middle-aged working class Brit living with some semblance of dignity in Southeast Asia instead of being like Tommy Morrison stuck in some decaying estate ruled by Afro-Caribbean gangs or Pakistani heroin dealing child-groomers stay put? For what?

    If you lived in Southeast Asia you would know that most of us are not trying to see anything. We’re trying to get away from what would be a downbeat existence back home.

    Tell me, Mike, what would I enjoy in the US? A ratty apartment building where the screams of domestic violence reverberated down graffiti-scrawled hallways? Some junkie neighbor blasting his sounds at 1 am? Living with some other 45 year old who was probably a loser to make rent? Fearing black and Hispanic gang members in the street?

    If you are an older UK citizen in Southeast Asia you can shop at night without worrying about roving Chavs drunk on cider.

    I’d be screwed without international travel. Should I have stayed in Phoenix enduring the Mexican gang members fresh out of prison? Lived in lousy efficiency apartments? Remained in Michigan and cleaned chicken coups?

    What about the bar owner from Connecticut who was homeless after his wife divorced him? Should he have stayed in the homeless shelters with the black crack addicts?

    If the US or UK were so great, why would we have relocated to Southeast Asia?

    You think I want to deal with the BS of America?

    Home cooking? Mike, you have no idea what it is like for working class Americans like me with a Bachelor’s degree trying to live on $30,000 a month.

    Think I want MY DAUGHTER attending a public school?

  20. @Rev. Spooner

    “The coverage is prurient, intrusive, unbalanced and designed to cause hysteria.”
    Its having some bizarre consequences, too. In Australia, people are now (literally) fighting over — toilet paper. Stupid to the point of embarrassment. Its sale is now being rationed. Hand sanitizer is now behind the counter in some supermarkets.

    • Replies: @S
  21. Antiwar7 says:
    @Dumbo

    I, too, was unconvinced by poutine until I had a good one: the gravy hot enough to melt the cheese, with a tasty gravy.

    • Replies: @jim jones
  22. Polemos says:

    You are a witness, and thus rightfully a martyr, so you already know how this ends and you help us each come to the same conclusion:

    Follow our passions, keep the faith, bear witness, and document it slant. 👁️

    Thank you, with genuine gratitude. Isn’t it amazing how people are realizing they always could have chosen to just … stop everything, all this habitual commercial life they’ve felt was their reality? What happens to an addiction deferred?

    Does it splurge, convulse, puke, or purify, cleanse, redeem? Go dancing or talk with strangers? Write letters to friends or sudden spirits? Or will our addicts grow worse in the insanity of addiction again? Gas is going to get real cheap (thanks OPEC breakup!), right when people get the itch to get out, get around, get away. Some of them will even take pictures and write about how.

    Lots of people get to make new choices, and I appreciate the choices you make and the manner in which you give your life over to the public’s perception of them, giving us a choice what to think and feel about what you’re bearing witness to.

    • Replies: @Johann
  23. Franz says:

    Hi Linh,

    On March 3rd, I got an email from Alitalia, “Linh, non smettere di volare!” [“Linh, do not stop flying!”]

    Or as the Go-Go’s sang it in the 1980s:

    Can’t Stop the World — Why Let it Stop You?

    There is a need for some of us to know that somewhere — maybe somewhere strange — you are out on the range soaking in the brew and letting the world know the difference living freedom and just yakking about it like American politicians do.

    Many talk the talk. Meanwhile keep up the walk!

    • Agree: AceDeuce
  24. Alex says:

    @Jeff Stryker

    I have read some of your comments over the years and I see somebody who is completely out of touch with reality. I have worked in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Seattle for years, I am now working in TX, I also lived in Chicago and NYC and the immense majority of my experiences have been very positive. I was never attacked by Mexican gangs in Phoenix and yet I walked and drove pretty much everywhere, I even walked 50 km a day on weekends in NYC and I wasn’t attacked by blacks. I went all over Chicago and I never had to deal with Gangster Disciples. The list goes on. The US is a wonderful place to work in and live in. Sure, you can concentrate on the crack holes of Scranton, PA or the slums of Camden, NJ but there are also very cool places to visit in Camden and PA has a lot of amazing places. I think this is your way of dealing with disappointment with your current life as an expat by remembering the US as the place it never was.

    • Agree: Republic
    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @AaronB
  25. nebulafox says:

    Slightly OT, but you mentioned Daerim. Last time I was in Seoul, I had some serious cravings for malatang in my then depressed state, so I spent some time hanging out there. It’s full of ethnic Koreans from China, but you’d think you were in a Northeastern Chinese city, judging from the food, the signs, the Mandarin conversations. But due to the blood laws, they qualified for citizenship. (I even heard that the ROK has to deal with regular mainlanders from the Dongbei area who try to fake being ethnic Koreans in order to emigrate.)

    When I was walking through there, I was reminded of some of the plattenbau dominated neighborhoods of Eastern Berlin like Marzahn that I saw years earlier. You’ll have a lot of ethnic Germans who still speak primarily in Russian. Russian newspapers, samovars, everything. And yet due to the laws of Germany, they could claim citizenship and emigrate. There was little incentive to assimilate. Why bother when everything around you speaks the language you know?

    Anyway, I suppose the takeaway is that you really shouldn’t underestimate what decades of sharp cultural divergence will do to people. Race isn’t irrelevant, like the MSM claims, but it isn’t quite everything, either.

    • Replies: @Smith
    , @Dumbo
  26. @Dumbo

    Actually, both can be WRONG. What if it is not the apocalypse neither “just a flu”, but something in between, a new virus that can kill a relatively large amount of people (mostly older) and that will disrupt the economy (because of quarantine and other efforts to contain it),

    However smart you are, if you talk about the future, you make predictions, and if you make predictions, you enter uncharted waters, in which you can: Swim, and/ or get lost and/or drown. Anatoly Karlin was wrong quite often – remember his Tesla-disaster prediction? – He is young, and bright and therefore prone to the illusion, he could somehow conquer the world. – The ideal antidote for people like him are the old tales, like Parcival, for example, or the one about the Achilleus-heel. Thing is: The young & bright are oftentimes too impatient to study this old stuff. – So they learn ist the hard way.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  27. GeeBee says:

    ‘trying to live on $30,000 a month’

    Shurely shome mishtake (as the late, great Bill Deedes might have put it)?

  28. The big Chinese mass quarantine etc of hundreds of millions of people, doesn’t necessarily mean China took Covid-19 seriously as a virus health issue

    China especially along with much of the world, has been in bad need of a distraction and scapegoat for the economic crisis unfolding … for some time now, world trade has been imploding as the credit pyramid known as ‘money’ sinks into a black hole, particularly affecting China’s biggest-ever-in-history bubble

    China’s supposed ‘reserves’ of $3 (formerly 4) trillion, are a mere fire extinguisher, versus something like 30-40 trillion of debt by Chinese firms, including a huge amount of foreign-currency-tied liabilities enmeshed in the international credit collapse

    The ‘virus’ and global ‘economic shutdown’ for ‘health’ reasons, serves the powers that be in masking global economic scams, and providing precise timing in which big players – including Chinese elites – can position themselves

    If China can plausibly argue the virus was a Western created bio-weapon, that is further bonus

    This whole thing is beyond weird, given how many thousands die of flu each year, it’s not clear for us plebes what is really going on

    But the Chinese mass economic hit may have been part of the ‘plan’

    • Replies: @Johnny Walker Read
  29. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Yeah, that was an error. I meant $30,000 a year.

    I wasn’t even that much of a loser in the US-I graduated with a BA from a State College and I held reasonable jobs as a young man and did not father children out of wedlock.

    But I would not want to be around workaday life there. I probably could afford not to live in a complete ghetto but I’d rather take my chances with Coronavirus then be around another whigger for the rest of my life.

  30. @Alex

    Really? Would anyone in Detroit or the few remaining whites in Flint really agree? Would anyone who was forced to move from Southern California so that their children did not have to attend public schools there agree with you? Or because their neighborhood was infested with cockroaches due to illegal immigration?

    If I remembered lower-income Phoenix or post-industrial Southeast Michigan places of rainbows and pots of gold perhaps I would not have left, would I?

    My only disappointment as an expat was that I was not able to immigrate to New Zealand or Australia in my twenties. Not that these countries are perfect, but they are better than America in terms of living standard and social safety nets and crime.

    I’m not disappointed at being an expat. I love being an expat. I’ll never have to be around another whigger or Cholo again.

    It is not so much fear-I’m not afraid of the average whigger-as disgust. I hold the US and its cultural trends in utter contempt.

    When posters get on this site and try to blame the media for the fact that so many white girls end up in bad situations because of associating with black thugs I’m reminded of how pathetic and disgusting I think the US has become.

    Maybe you earn $50,000 a year. Which means you can more or less be out of harm’s way at all time. Under $40,000 you cannot. Get down to $24,000 a year and you are utterly screwed. Black and Hispanic and white trash whigger tweaker Opoid addicts will surround you.

    I should also state that my experiences with Cholos fresh out of prison were not in some barrio where I was doing a drug deal, but in a relatively middle-class condominium apartment duplex in Phoenix. Nor did I know them, they simply crossed my path.

    Also, I found George Bush to be a moron. He really was. Clinton was a slimy liar, but he kept the US economy in better shape.

    Anyhow, some people are just born with a sense of contempt. The other night I was watching an episode of First 48 where some stupid white girls, two of them, who were driving around some black thug ended up going to prison for life because the black thug pulled out a gun and shot somebody during a drug deal and I thought…some things just don’t change.

    I’m not disappointed being an expat. I’ve got a family now, and I sure as heck would not want my daughter attending the public school in Washtenaw county, Southeast Michigan where I grew up.

    And if America is so wonderful, why was it so easy for Epstein to find an entire 10th grade willing to sell their bodies like hardened call girls for $200. It demonstrates just how poor and desperate blue-collar whites have become.

    In Asia, you’re never going to read about a pack of black thugs killing some white girl. You don’t have to worry about political correctness.

  31. Realist says:

    Corvid-19 is the Y2K of 2020.

  32. unit472 says:

    Its far too late to start closing borders and for that we can thank China and its monstrous government for covering up the Wuhan flu until the virus was out of control there. Obviously it spread, via the cult like Shincheonji ‘church’ into South Korea and by Chinese tourists and business travelers everywhere else.

    Epidemiologists with PhDs tell us for each death there were 100 background cases 3 weeks or so ago and the disease doubles every 5 to7 days so, by the time you have a fatality, it is already out of control. I have an uneasy feeling this is going to be the biggest calamity in my 68 years on this planet.

    Fortunately I’m retired and should be ok financially but god help those who must go to work. Right now ‘social distancing’ seems to be the only way to avoid infection but that will cause the mother of all depressions if carried out so my guess is governments will sacrifice the geezer population to avoid an economic collapse.

  33. Smith says:
    @nebulafox

    Yeah, language and culture are also very important.

    When in Rome, be a Roman.

    The western idea of welcoming all cultures and languages mean you shall have no cultures and languages, as evidence in the USA.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  34. jim jones says:
    @Antiwar7

    If you think poutine is bad what the Philippine delicacy of balut:

  35. anon[837] • Disclaimer says:

    If there were a virus that targets American blacks, how wonderful would that be?
    No more violent crime in every fucking major city.

    • Replies: @Truth
  36. Uncle Linh,

    Greetings from New York!

    Was Sourh Korea the last item on the bucket list? Perhaps, the Koreans are closely related to the Chinese more than the Japanese because not as many of latter have died. And between Shamir and Karlin, the former is more practical while the latter is more ideological thus I would bet on Israel. So long in case the sojourn turns out not so favorably but I hear if nothing else works, kumchi is wonderful for the entrails.

    A Fan(atic)

    • Replies: @Plato's Dream
  37. Alfred says:

    His waitress, Chris, was a stewardess for Eaststar. She’s tall, slim and strikingly beautiful

    Why no photo? Fobbing us off with photos of old hags just will not do! 🙂

  38. Lststnd71 says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Seriously????
    One answer, American Blacks.

    • Agree: Dr. Krieger
  39. Lststnd71 says:

    Great article! One of my favorite writers contributing to the Unz Review. A refreshing view of our world. Good travels Sir, stay safe.

  40. anon[837] • Disclaimer says:
    @Smith

    A beautiful world is one where neither Americans nor Chinese are superpowers.

  41. S says:
    @animalogic

    ‘The coverage is prurient, intrusive, unbalanced and designed to cause hysteria.’

    See Drudge Report the last ten days for the ‘hysteria’ part.

  42. Johann says:
    @Polemos

    It is always a pleasure to get Linh’s view of the world and what is going on. At least it is honest and well thought out. In America we are supposed to listen to the dim witted globo homo journalist go on and on about everything but the issue at hand. Just waiting to hear the latest American report on how the corona virus is hitting women and or people of color and or lgbt worse than everyone else. In Pennsylvania we have the joy of our Lenin look a like governor standing next to a fat Jewish Doctor wearing a dress and a wig explaining how they are going to save us. Har Har!

    • Replies: @Johan
  43. Truth says:
    @anon

    … Liberal whites?

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @anon
  44. Only the music sucks, predictably.

    I tell them to change it, or just give me the remote. I don’t know how compliant Asians are; Russians sometimes comply.

  45. @Brabantian

    Careful Brabantian, logic and reasoning will not be tolerated here in the UR comments section. This is a “safe grazing space” for the sheeple.

  46. Don’t Take Away My Corona!

  47. Mj says:
    @the danald trump

    The love motels are still there. And what national treasures they are! God bless the RoK!

  48. @Truth

    At least when P-Stone Crips shoot somebody in a Chicago drive-by they don’t desecrate the corpse like Italians do.

    When you hear of an urban shooting in North Jersey where the victim was found with dollar bills rammed up his anus you will know without exception that his name will end in a vowel. It will never be a black man.

    Nor are African-American police corrupt. Most of them reside sincerely whereas old Whitey Bulger pays police to kill people for him. How many people did Bulger kill? It was 200, or something.

    Also, quite a few young black thugs emerge from prison changed men. They go away at 20 for a murder and get out at 45 and are reasonably productive citizens. Whereas a Henry Hill or a Sammy the Bull is a done deal. He’ll cut a Federal deal (Even though he killed 19 people) and do 4 years and get out and be back in prison 6 months later.

  49. anon[837] • Disclaimer says:
    @Truth

    They sure do enable American blacks don’t they?

  50. Dumbo says:
    @nebulafox

    You’ll have a lot of ethnic Germans who still speak primarily in Russian. Russian newspapers, samovars, everything. And yet due to the laws of Germany, they could claim citizenship and emigrate. There was little incentive to assimilate.

    This is a particular case because they are ethnic Germans but who grew up in Russia so their language and culture is Russian. Also I think they are not seen as “real Germans” by the Germans, but as Russians, so this goes on both sides. But most of these people are old now so even if they will not assimilate, their children and grandchildren will or are already assimilated, went to German school, etc.

    A worse case is an African who was born in Europe and speaks perfect German/French/Italian, and yet he will never be European. Unless Europe becomes Africa. Which may be the case eventually.

    Anyway, the main point is that culture/religion, language and ethnicity, all are important and ideally you should have all three for a successful integration.

  51. I’ll take a stab at the other three portraits.
    I Fight For All – Sir Francis Drake
    I Plead for All – Sir Francis Walsingham
    I Pay for All – An artisan or peasant, no one in particular

  52. AaronB says:
    @Alex

    One shouldn’t be too hard on Jeff. There was a period in the early 90s when the US really was as he describes. I had similar experiences to his.

    It started getting better in the mid 90s, and the US now is completely unlike what Jeff describes. It’s quite a nice place these days at any income level.

    As someone who used to travel regularly to Thailand and other parts of SEA, I can now say happily that people in the US are much nicer and friendlier than people in that part of the world. I am seeing less and less reason to travel outside the US.

    Jeff, for some reason, cannot and will not accept this, and will continue to have an outdated version of the US in his mind. That is unfortunate but perhaps understandable.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
  53. Vasilios says:

    Peak freedom was over before we were born, Uncle.

  54. @AaronB

    Erudite and insightful as I find your posts-sometimes they are side-splitting droll-I must part company with you there.

    I could believe blacks and Mexicans and unfettered white urban trash are less dangerous. I mean this happened to Jews. Bugsy Siegel’s kids are perfectly respectable. There was a time when feral 12 year old Jewish street orphans off the boat from Odessa or Belarus were running wild in the streets of Brooklyn killing people. They were worse than MS-13. Murder Inc.

    I recall they did an interview with Leonard Nimoy, whom I always loved as an actor, and showed pictures of his neighborhood as a child and it looked like Rio. A complete slum. So yeah, things have changed.

    I don’t feel that life at the lowest income level is pleasant in the US. I have observed that far more 20 year old people, or 30 year old people long past their college years, have to live at home with their parents now than when I was a young person in the Clinton era.

    Has the crack-era inner-city madness subsided since its peak in 1990? Yes, it has. Somebody walking through New York City now would have no idea how dangerous it was when I was 16 in 1990.

    You’re going to tell me that blacks and Mexicans and urban white trash are now friendly people…maybe somebody put Lithium in the water supply.

    I agree that the mid-nineties was probably a Golden Era that Gen X and Gen Y will look back upon like Boomers view the fifties. Anybody could own a McMansion. Credit was generous, anyone could get a mortgage. Clinton might have been a lecherous slime ball, but he kept us out of wars and the economy was roaring. The idea of massive homelessness in San Francisco would have been unthinkable. In any major city in the US, maybe you would have 15 or 20 homeless in 1996 and all of them would have been junkies. Also, anybody could go to college.

    I’m 46 years old, came of age in the nineties, and do not for a minute believe that things are better now than they were in 1993.

    One thing that I have noticed that is strange is the odd resurgence in anti-Jewish sentiment. Back in 1994 when I was twenty, only 90 year old WASPS from New Hampshire were anti-Jewish. It was associated with our grandparent’s generation. You never met anyone under 50 in 1995 who was anti-Jewish. That has changed.

    And how could living standards be higher in the US now than when I left 21 years ago in 1999. Wages have stagnated. There is more unchecked immigration from Latin countries (This does not, however, affect the average college graduate job market).

    • Replies: @Franz
    , @AaronB
  55. @Dieter Kief

    … remember his Tesla-disaster prediction?

    That article was written by Thorfinnsson, a regular commenter on my blog, not myself.

    ***

    OFC it’s too early to tell, but it’s noteworthy that ElectionBettingOdds now pegs the risk of a US recession this year at 55% (was 25% when I wrote my article), and Bloomberg is also getting on that train.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  56. @Anatoly Karlin

    Oh – you’re right, the dark Tesla-prophecy on your blog was written by Thorfinnsson.

    I wish you’d be wrong this time around though.

    And that could be. Bloomberg is in my eyes not a too reliable source for predictions (unless they’d turn out to be self-fulfilling prophecies, which can indeed happen) because the financial industry strives for all kinds of catastrophes.

    Catastrophes bring volatility into the markets and this kind of freaky motions are opportunities. Especially when accompanied by panic.*** Because the professionals know from experience, how to make use of this panic. Of course, that means to ride a very steep wave occasionally. – Something for the ones with very good brains & nerves at Wall St. – By the way: Isn’t David Pinsen engaged in this kind of business too – financial services?

    ***That might be the reason why they loath Japan lately. Too stable. No opportunities for the Vampire Squid (Matt Taibbi/ Rolling Stone – article is still online).

  57. Franz says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    I’m 46 years old, came of age in the nineties, and do not for a minute believe that things are better now than they were in 1993.

    Stick to your guns, Jeff. You are right.

    For the majority of Americans it’s far worse now than the 90s.

    Why some of the other posters here are confused was actually discussed in the early 90s and beyond. Before 2000, Edward Luttwak and Alan Tonelson and Ravi Batra and many others were saying what I see everyday: The USA bifurcated and there’s a divide between economic strata that’s probably worse now, here, then when the French were ripping down the Bastille.

    The BEST resource for this is Which Side Are You On? which came out in 1991 and pretty much laid out what was happening, and predicted what was coming. It’s by a labor lawyer named Thomas Geoghegan. It’s pretty much accurate but the main event is Tom’s description of the Gen-Outs who are downsized, have no options ahead except “get-by” jobs (gigs) and are amazed when they are told the shit they see on TV is real. Geoghegan could talk to desperate workers by day then meet their bosses at night in plush sushi bars and padded penthouses, neither side aware of the other and Tom being driven crazy by that fact.

    What’s worse is those of us in mines, mills and factories in the 80s who tried to prevent it. In the mid-1980s the term “Gen Out” was coined (in another book called Road to Nowhere) to describe working class people of all ages that the USA just plain shit out. Educated ones, skilled ones, it made no difference. Age made no difference. And the people who were cut off then lost it all. It’s why Paul Craig Roberts was able to note that the America has a record number of over-85 workers who will work till they drop at the same time Trump was bragging about his glorious economy.

    Madhouse! And an outsider will ask if it’s Trump or Roberts that’s crazy! They’re both right: “America is a great country” Luttwak said in 1992 “If your a billionaire.” When he put it all in his 1999 book Turbo-Capitalism he was considered a traitor to his class, not to mention to neocons who thought he was one of them.

    The wife and I are both Gen Outs and we’re trying for Portugal, they take retirees as soon as our $$$ get to the right level. She has pain issues and the American DEA treats pain patients as junkies. We got to go somewhere where she can be treated, not considered a suspect.

    The USA gets worse every year — but people with money can’t see it.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  58. @Jeff Stryker

    Q – I think this is the first time you have mentioned having been an expat in Asia yourself-

    A – Was not one, just quickie 1-2 week visits

    Q – Why is there less street crime in South Korea than in America?

    A – Because Asians by and large are not raised to be goddamned thieves.

    [MORE]

    Q – Why are their fewer homeless people in South Korea than in America?

    A – Because “family” is a thing in Asia.

    Q – Why is there less of a drug problem in South Korea than in America?

    A – Because it’s EXTREMELY SHAMEFUL.

    Q – Why are South Koreans less culturally degraded (As are Jews, Arabs, Indians) by pornography than whites are?

    A – I have no expertise in this area. Seen a well-dressed Korean couple duking it out at 10AM by the side of the road next to their nice car. Degraded by pron maybe?

    Q – Why are South Koreans less warped and manipulated by the media than whites?

    A – Again I have no idea. They may be more so, IE K-pop.

    Q – Why are their less South Korean single mothers than in America on average? I’m not saying they don’t exist, because wherever there is a US army base there are single mothers, but on average single parent families are lower in South Korea.

    A – Again, it’s a SHAME, family is huge, huge, huge in Asia. Blame Confucius.

    Q – Why don’t illegal immigrants commit crimes in South Korea or Japan like they do in America?

    A – Because the first pissed off Korean will axe-kick their fucking head off.

    Q – Why are streets safer at night in South Korea than the average US city?

    A – See above about the axe kick …

    Q – Why does America have more of an urban/rural divide than South Korea?

    A – America got the Industrial Revolution a lot longer ago. Korea, hell even Japan, we’re talking about just about everyone being fresh off the farm or from a rural hamlet etc. Even in the 60s and 70s, family friends of our used to talk about the “honey wagon” emptying the chamber pots and being gaijin they weren’t living rural, it’s just how it was.

    Q – Why are public schools superior in Asia?

    A – Again, a “C” grade is a SHAME. You must study hard or it’s a shame to your family.

  59. @Jeff Stryker

    At the rate things are going, I’ll never make as much as $20k a year here in Silicon Valley. At my peak, my net was $35k but those days are as gone as those of King Arthur and the Table Round.

    My boss was talking years ago about my pay gradually increasing up to maybe $30k but we don’t talk about that now and admit that I’m pretty goddamn lucky to be making the $15k a year I do now. I’m trying to save up in both money and skills for when this gravy train ends.

    I am indeed surrounded by crack and meth heads, just about all of them white I might add. I do things to avoid them like never take the same route when leaving/entering the place, so I might ride out of here on my bike along Old Bayshore and come back along Junction Avenue. I ride fairly fast and don’t show that I even notice the presence of bums, if I am unlucky enough to be in any proximity of them.

    The only “white” space I shop in is Whole Foods (my fave Goodwill is very largely black/hispanic/asian) and as for the rest I shop at Asian markets.

    I am considering retiring to New Orleans because it’s a lot cheaper there, and I think I can pretty much keep to spaces that are Asian (lots of Viet folks there) Hispanic (besides the Viets, someone’s got to do the work) and while there are that curse on the earth, WASPS there, there are a lot of Frenchy type whites who seem to not have their heads up their asses. My skill set is probably a good match for the place, and I know how to live without a car, hell without running water and without a hell of a lot of things.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  60. Anon[190] • Disclaimer says:

    Here’s video from what appears to be a cemetery in Qom in Iran. There may be about 80 Covid-19 victims buried here so far. Near the end of the video, you see a trench that has been dug that’s as long as a city block for new burials.

  61. AaronB says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Thanks Jeff. I enjoy your comments too.

    You’re right that some things have gotten worse. Income inequality is worse. Job security is worse. The culture has gotten more crazy in some ways.

    Mostly what has gotten better is crime — blacks and Hispanics are not so bad anymore. There are still some dangerous areas but mostly you can live among or near them without serious concern.

    And people have gotten friendlier and more chilled out. I find people in Bangkok a lot more depressed and angry and surly than New Yorkers. That wasn’t the case 20 years ago. I also think its more violent from what I hear. And in California, people are ten times friendlier.

    So part of is that the rest of the world has gotten worse as capitalism has begun to take its toll.

    America also has a lot more gentrified and pleasant neighborhoods and better food and better cafes and restaurants and shops etc than it did 20 years ago.

    So overall the quality of life has improved in many ways on the surface level, but income inequality and job security has gotten much much worse, for the poorer classes.

  62. Johan says:
    @Johann

    The journalist, save a few, is everywhere a fantasist selling fantasy stories to make a living. Globalism lead to the unfortunate situation that he now sells uniform fantasies, rather than a nice local variety. Can’t blame him though, he acts on demand of democratic society, a matter of democratic demand and supply. A demand for sensationalism, gossip, slander and daily stories of make-belief, the minds, or rather ‘mind’, of his public becoming more uniform he evolves in the same direction.

  63. sally says:
    @Rev. Spooner

    Has the bullet train towards the future been derailed by the coronavirus?

    <==No, the fall out from the virus will not matter; the train will continue <the problem is not humanity, but instead the problem is the structure imposed by the system that controls all of humanity. The nation state system is designed to allow those powerful enough or greedy enough or criminal enough to use the system to abuse humanity for profit, personal power, or personal security.

    Its not the world, or most of the people in it that are bad.. its that the few bad have gained control of the global nation state system.. 206 nation states divide 8 billion people into 206 controllable units <=a puppet of the wealthy few is placed in charge at each one of the nation states in the 206 nation state system..

    Within the nation state the bad divide the masses with binaries.. reputaturd/Demorap. abortion/no abortion, guns/no guns, security/invasion of privacy, secret government/voting etc..the nation is a organizational structure with job descriptions that pays a few slave drivers to easily control the masses trapped within the nation state or the stateless who are trapped between a few nation states. Differentiation and polarization are the strategies used to control the masses.

    The system has failed everyone but the mobsters, it has promoted the mobsters, or those who serve the interest of the mobsters, , and it has used its power to enact laws to endow monopoly powers that have made a few wealthy powerful privateers <=lords of private monopoly powers constitutes a feudal system, and it is the feudal lords[mostly corporations) whose interest find support in destroying human morality and denying to the masses, a better life.

    Those who are evil may be over 60 but even if none over 60 exist after tomorrow, the basic problem will not have been solved. <=the problem is the nation state system itself. Its a structure which allows the few to control all of humanity at any time. The nation state system promotes to its top, the greedy, the criminal, and allows the wealthy but fewer still, to use the promoted few to pit the masses of one nation against the masses of another. Each mass of people (those in nation state and those in another nation state are pitted against each other; they are taught to hate the other, and to cherish the differentiated state instead of the common interest of all humanity.

    The design of the nation system separates the governors from the governed, it polarizes the trapped humanity within its invisible chains and it uses that polarization to divide and to sort the masses into smaller manageable sizes; the nation state system places at risk the possibility that a very few may decide to destroy nearly all humanity rather than loose the wealth and the power that has been afforded them by the nation state system. It is a system that provides real time security to the powerful and wealthy few, it is the system that exposes abuse and destroys the masses. The nation state system protects the few at the expense of the masses.

  64. @sally

    *Someone* needs to read Shrinking The Technosphere by Dmitry Orlov. Great book.

  65. @AaronB

    …You didn’t have masses of homeless 25 years ago. Or 40 year old employed college graduates living at home.

    …Sure you have better coffee shops now, but that won’t help anyone whose wage has not risen since 1989.

    …Criminals now are locked up for life. The court system is much more harsh. The Three Strikes Law etc. just locked people up for good. There is a reason why the US has a massive prison system. Personally, I don’t feel someone who steals a cellphone three times should go away for 40 years-maybe five would suffice.

    …Blacks and Hispanics and the poorest whites really don’t care about jail. One judge noted this: they are relieved at having free food and medical care.

    …Californians are friendlier. Maybe if you are bilingual. Probably certain gang violence has gone down because crack cocaine went out of style.

    …New York City is safer. Yes, absolutely. Part of that is just drug trends. Crack cocaine went out of style. What happened in the eighties is that it was so addictive that people smoked it once or twice out of curiosity and became addicts for 20 years. The profits created criminal empires, which no longer exist.

    …The geography of poverty has changed. Poverty used to be associated with the East Coast or Deep South. Now it is associated with the US interior. We used to associate organized crime with Italians in New York, but now it is cartels in the Southwest.

    …I have to disagree with you about SEA. It is not as desperately poor any longer. Less people are homeless in Bangkok than in Boston.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @AaronB
    , @sb
  66. Biff says:
    @AaronB

    And people have gotten friendlier and more chilled out. I find people in Bangkok a lot more depressed and angry and surly than New Yorkers. That wasn’t the case 20 years ago. I also think its more violent from what I hear. And in California, people are ten times friendlier.

    What planet are you living on?!?! Probably the most inverted logic I’ve ever come across… You must be either a paid shill or a young idealist.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  67. Jim Smith says:

    Nicely done, Linh. We’re all with you, even as we read from afar. So you’re not alone. Don’t ever make that mistake. As an artist and friend, you have our esteem.

  68. Emslander says:

    I was in Riyadh in 1978 and the South Koreans were building EVERYTHING there. They worked like mad in all the insane temperatures of the Arabian desert and smiled as they did it. I always figured that their export of hard work in non-American countries, uncontrolled by the unions, was the beginning of their amazing economic explosion.

  69. @Smith

    One of my coworkers just flew from California to Singapore and Australia for vacation. I assume he paid for the flights before the first COVID-19 reports and can’t get a refund, but I probably wouldn’t be going right now, refund or no.

    • Replies: @Smith
  70. @AaronB

    I’m right now dealing with persistent pain and limited mobility from a back injury after being assaulted by your supposedly “no longer so dangerous” African-“Americans.”

    As for New Yorkers being cheerful or friendly: oh please. Nothing reflexively against nyc, but I have experience there. My Mom was born and raised there and I have fond memories of visiting family there, but our visits back there (mainly Manhattan and queens) in the past 15-20 years or so have been unpleasant and rather disgusting overall.

    As for Californians being ten times friendlier, again nonsense. Not in the LA area, anyway, tho it’s somewhat less bad when you get out of downtown and West LA and into the San Gabriel Valley to the NE/East or into the further reaches of Orange County well to the SE. Bakersfield better folks to some degree.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  71. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Biff

    What planet are you living on?!?!

    Khao San Road, maybe. I can testify that you do get some real assholes there. The rest of Bangkok is great though.

  72. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    …I have to disagree with you about SEA. It is not as desperately poor any longer. Less people are homeless in Bangkok than in Boston.

    In Bangkok, they call them monks!!

    But seriously, any Thai who’s knee deep in poverty but sober enough to think straight can join a monastery and be fed, clothed, housed, AND respected for the rest of his life. What’s not to like?

  73. @Anonymous

    I really like this. In the US, if you’re unfortunate, got ground up in the gears of Capitalism, you become homeless and it’s assumed then that you’re a drunk, druggie, mental retard, etc.

    I can say that losing everything really does in one’s self-confidence. It’s really tempting to just drink, the way alcohol is pushed in US culture anyway. It takes some real digging to realize that alcohol is essentially a benzodiazapine in tasty liquid form, and not only is it really hard to get off of, but by the time you do, chances are it’s damaged your body and brain to at least some degree.

    Drug/alchol rehab programs in the US are not designed to get you off, but to keep you on, the drugs and alcohol because it’s profitable.

    There is no option to simply sell your last pair of shoes and buy an orange robe, drink nothing but tea and eat leftovers and be able to tell yourself, “Well, I lost it all but it’s OK because I’m a monk now” and have the companionship and support of other monks. This is an option all over Asia and is reason #48759024379138413459843791284109345981372 why Asian culture wins again.

  74. @AaronB

    ‘One shouldn’t be too hard on Jeff. There was a period in the early 90s when the US really was as he describes. I had similar experiences to his…’

    Did you? So you’re fifty and living with your parents?

  75. AaronB says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    What you say is largely true.

    Even as we now have homeless camps that didn’t exist 25 years ago, there is less crime and violence and people are friendlier and neighborhoods nicer.

    It’s an interesting twin development, some things have been getting much worse, and some things much better. But the over the too nasty experiences that used to be a regular feature in the 90s just doesn’t happen anymore.

    As for SEA, its not so poor necessarily, but the people are depressed – and increasingly unpleasant – and unhappy in a way I don’t see in America anymore. Thailand in particular has a reputation as the least friendly country in SEA, and I didn’t see that 20 years ago.

    It’s not because Thais are bad or anything, its just that the stress of modern ruthless capitalism has finally caught up with them – and all of SEA.

    Simultaneously, a little bit of the competitive edge has eased in American life – there is more inequality, but perhaps less ambition.

  76. AaronB says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I’m very sorry to hear that. When did that attack take place? Was it recent?

    As for NYC, its not that they’re particularly friendly, its just that in comparing big cities, it’s no longer the capital of rudeness like it used to be. Bangkok today has less pleasant and happy people, for instance. And that’s a significant reversal. New Yorkers chilled out a lot and people are pretty cool here.

    Still, I would hardly recommend it as the center of world friendliness.

    LA is already a step up from NYC in that respect, although not great, as you note, but people across California seem more genuinely happy than they do in SEA, which was formerly one of the world’s great happy places.

    So things change, a lot, in 25 years.

    • Replies: @Anon
  77. Biff says:
    @Anonymous

    But seriously, any Thai who’s knee deep in poverty but sober enough to think straight can join a monastery and be fed, clothed, housed, AND respected for the rest of his life. What’s not to like?

    Becoming a member of the temple is a difficult and serious commitment, and you make it sound like applying for food stamps.. You are a dumb fuck of epic proportions!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Polemos
  78. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    These are typos, right? You actually peaked at 300k, hope for 200k and are satisfied with 150k in Silicon Valley?

  79. @Stonehands

    No, not typos. I peaked at $70k gross, about $35k net. Working as an electronics tech repairing to component level if I worked a lot of overtime I could make $30k. Since the crash, I seem to have peaked at $15k and that’s about all I can expect.

    I get to live in the building for free, and I do a lot of my own cooking so that helps. Also no car, just bus/bike/walking, no major health problems like needing insulin etc.

    I’ve pretty much lost all ambition and that’s a blessing because in a society with little to no social mobility, ambition is a curse. I’ll be the first to say I’d have been better off never setting foot on a college campus and going to work for the local supermarket chain, for life.

    I’m just counting out the few years left until I can get social security at least at the lowest level at age 62, but of course I’ll get more if I can hold out longer.

    I just wish I’d had the wisdom to get the hell out of the US when I was young.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Stonehands
  80. Anon[404] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    In NY, “Fuck you” means “Have a nice day”
    In LA, “Have a nice day” means “Fuck you”

    • LOL: AaronB
  81. Smith says:
    @RadicalCenter

    These people are the worst of all.

    Just a flu or not, traveling while the world is in a global pandemic is basically giving fuel for people to beat you up when you infect someone else.

  82. sb says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    SEA has certainly become much MUCH richer since I first visited in the 1970s .
    But then I was a young backpacker then staying in cheap cheap places – actually the sort of places which seem to no longer exist

    However I’m not sure all the changes have been all to the good . For instance Thailand -the country I think you and I know best – was then swarming with monks and virtually all boys did their time in the monastery . Nowadays of course that’s all changed and the country is now swarming with single mothers .
    Guess you can’t stop progress .

  83. Republic says:

    Thailand and Vietnam have new visa laws in place which makes it much harder for Westerners to live there permanently.

    In Vietnam from July 1st all tourists will have to leave the country every 30 days.

    Thailand is forcing out long term expats.

  84. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Biff

    Becoming a member of the temple is a difficult and serious commitment

    Do you know what you are talking about or are you just guessing? Thai men often join up for a period of a few months or a few years and then return to worldly life. Some do it for the spiritual benefit and some for the material benefits.

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Biff
  85. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    I just wish I’d had the wisdom to get the hell out of the US when I was young.

    Can’t you go teach English in Asia for a few years? The salary will go far and you’ll have a much more interesting life.

  86. utu says:
    @Republic

    Losers back home going back home.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  87. koolking says:

    I was stationed in NE Thailand for about 3 years back in the mid-70s after we left Vietnam. My understanding is that ALL young Thai males will become monks for a period of one month and then return to secular life. There is a ceremony, donning of the robes, and a shaving of hair.

    I’ve been back to Thailand about 20 times since then, most recently about 4 years ago for a month.

    Alex, if your social security benefit is less than $1000, the Philippines or Cambodia would be a better option. I reckon I could get by fairly well in Thailand on 2K per month, not an extravagant life, but a decent one. If you like your beer, I think .50 per is par for the course in the Philippines and Cambodia, but more like $3-$4 in Thailand. Jeff Stryker might be up to date on this factor, laughing here but that’s how I gauge a country’s “cost of living”.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  88. @koolking

    Thailand is 1.5 x as expensive as Philippines.

    You can live extremely well on $1500 a month in Philippines-condo, security guard gate, decent Japanese car, eat out at a nice restaurant most nights of the week, vacations.

    Some Americans get by on as low as $400 a month in the Philippines. In Thailand you need $800, minimum. You won’t eat out every night.

    Northern Thailand is less expensive. Far less than Bangkok.

    Of course there are extremely expensive areas of Manila like Makati.

    Street crime is really rare now in Thailand. Philippines has more. Much more.

    I’ve met some Americans who lived on $300 or even $200 a month. Some are ghetto blacks-ex enlisted guys mostly-who were once stationed there and speak the language and will tell you it is safer than the hood.

    Many senior citizens live on $600 a month in the Philippines. You won’t live terribly well but probably better than the US-villa on the beach, eat out, have a young girlfriend, drink at the bar, own a motorcycle.

    I’ve met many disability frauds too. Guys who claim an injury. And even a few on welfare. Technically, you’re not supposed to live outside the US on welfare but some find a way to pull this off. Welfare goes further in the Philippines.

    I live in Northeast Thailand myself. My house was only $30,000 and it is nice. It would have cost me $400,000 in the US. My wife and I have a business as well.

  89. @utu

    The losers cannot leave America. That is why you live overseas. So you never have to ride another public bus and experience a she-boon chimpout or watch some skinny white woman tweaking out of her mind down the aisle of a Wal-Mart.

    The real losers are always on probation or parole, always pregnant, always too ineducable to find other countries on a map, always so hooked on drugs they cannot be 10 miles from their crack house or pill supply and so on.

    Your average expat is like me-a white middle-class college graduate (Or lower middle class with some trade or another) male with no prison record and no debt and no drug habit who doesn’t care about anything.

    You probably want white men like me to remain in the US and fight the good fight and unfortunately many of us just go overseas and stop giving a fat rat’s ass about anything at all.

    Life is too short to worry about the scum of US society. Sure, if you make over $50,000 a year you can insulate yourself. But it is still a concern.

    Life is too short for me to be concerned about America’s problems. I’m too good to ride the bus with she-boon beasts of any race. I’m not going to work with some 23 year old female HR who fires me for political incorrectness…that doesn’t happen if you run a girly bar in the Philippines.

    Losers live at home their whole life. They never leave their city. Once in a great while an expat like me returns home and is shocked that nothing changes-just a few more divorces-and everyone is drinking the same beer and going to the same bar and their world is the size of a sewing thimble.

    I’m beholden to nobody. If I have a problem with a cop, I pay them off. I like being able to bribe cops. I like women younger than myself. I like paying $30,000 for a mansion.

    I dislike winters and anywhere warm in America has a bunch of Cholos.

    I don’t pay taxes. All the money I earned overseas went right into my pocket.

    I don’t have to complain about being culturally degraded by US media. I don’t watch television. Its much more interesting to see the world outside. Asia in all its smells and sounds.

    I won’t send my daughter to a public school in America. I don’t want her contaminated.

    So you see, I’m not a loser. I’m too good to be a townie. I’m too good to be at the mercy of the US economy. I was making excellent money in Dubai during the 2008 Recession.

    I seem to hit a raw nerve with some posters here. UTU and others are getting a real good interaction with a lifelong expat who lives overseas not for cultural enrichment but just because he can do WTF he wants, when he wants, where he wants etc.

    Which is how I feel.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @Biff
  90. @Franz

    My boss, who’s married to a wealthy elderly man (probably several tens of millions of dollars invested or saved), is an example of your last point.

    We briefly discussed automation eliminating more jobs and people already having trouble with housing and medical costs — we’re in Los Angeles — and her response was simply “people always find other jobs.” Maddening and willfully ignorant. And heartless. Fits right in with our elite in government and the corporate world.

    • Replies: @Franz
  91. @Jeff Stryker

    And your family? Who are you going to leave behind when you die?

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  92. @RadicalCenter

    Well, my kids will never leave Asia. But let me talk about a woman in my Graphic Arts classes at college. She became a motorcycle painter in Los Angeles. In Culver City. All three of her kids had trouble in public schools. She moved to Montana to a small town. I e mailed her and asked her way she opened a tattoo shop there and inks the butts of feckless small-town sluts. She said she could not raise another kid in Los Angeles.

    I don’t think lower middle class whites have much future in America. Many are going to be homeless in the future. I suspect the US will be like Brazil, with a small rich white elite (Mostly Jewish and pale-skinned Hispanic) flying in helicopters from offices to their house because streets are full of desperation and feral behavior of mixed-bloods who are the offspring of white girls and black thugs.

    Actually, I don’t want my kids to be in America. I think things will get terrible for lower middle class white Americans.

  93. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Less is more in my book. Fundamentals- I sell a great pizza at my store but people expect so much more. So, I make an okay living. I have philosophical and musical reasons for living that don’t pertain to the American grind of “ambition and making a name for yourself.” The old folks- back in the day- cursed this type of behavior, “ drawing attention to yourself.” This has become the very basis of contemporary western culture. Loud, smash- mouth, shock -jocks steeped in a lewd stew of mumble rap. Alternatively, young women are groomed from a young age to “twerk” to
    dissolute images.

    I’ve bounced around the Orient for a brief spell and was enchanted. In the meantime l lurk on LDs blog and listen to boutique classic rock like Cambodia Space Project because of the positive vibe of possible alternative existences.

  94. @Jeff Stryker

    One answer to all of your questions: No blacks.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  95. @Really No Shit

    Actually Koreans and Japanese are more closely related to each other than either of them to the Han. Japanese are a hybrid between Koreans and Ainus.

    • Replies: @Really No Shit
  96. @Republic

    That sounds like Hawaii. Gradually the “haoles” are being forced out.

  97. @Anonymous

    I looked into that. You need a 4-year degree, which I never finished and there’s no way I’d be able to, or willing to, go into what, a quarter-million in debt, to get one now? I talked with a pharmacist or more likely pharamcists’ aide, who was 1/3 million in debt. The gate-keeping is very strict, though. So you get characters like “Abroad In Japan” (his channel on YouTube) who I’d argue never really learned English well, and he’s off teaching in Japan because he grew up in a country where college was accessible and got his 4-year degree so then he’s able to go inflict his Scouse or whatever it is accent on innocent Japanese.

  98. @Jeff Stryker

    The main reason for this is, among white Americans, family means utterly nothing. I’ve got relatives who are like Radical Center’s boss. Sitting on millions of dollars, for whom putting me through college would have been like a bar tip, and if I showed up at their door, starving, they’d call the cops, not give me a sandwich. This is why if things get “spicy” I’ll very happily lead raids on their fortresses, and skin ’em myself.

    Has anyone here pondered that maybe white American “culture” deserves to die? On here it’s “da Jooz da Jooz da Jooz” until I’m sick of it, but you know what? In high school I read some young-adult level book about Albert Einstein and in one part it’s casually mentioned that it was a custom to invite a poor Jew to Friday night dinner, the best dinner of the week (and they weren’t living on one ramen a day and whatever they could catch or forage) and I just about fell off my chair. That well-to-do people would want a poor person to actually eat with them, was a hell of a concept. In white American culture the rich want their poor, even if relatives, 1000 miles away or preferably in some prison camp, breaking rocks.

    And you know what? It still is a thing. I can sign up at my local Joo temple to have Passover with them, the most important meal of the friggin’ year, and as a newb, it’d even be free. If I wanted to go through the conversion (I don’t) and become as much a Joo as any other Joo (that’s also encoded into law; try becoming a proper WASP w/o tons of money, the right prep school, and a genealogy going back centuries) I’d have the one thing every sane culture has *except* white American culture has, some level of cooperation and coherence. I’d have help going to college or trade school if I was a good bet to make good on it. Same for starting a business. Same as Viets and Cambodians and Sikhs and all sorts of non-white groups do for each other, even in cut-throat America.

    Take an outsider’s view of the US and you can just hope coronavirus wipes us out. Look at what’s being said here about Thailand: Once swarming with monks, now swarming with single mothers. White US “culture” is a corrosive acid that’s a danger to the world and in a fight against such a societal acid, all’s fair.

    • Replies: @Smith
    , @Jeff Stryker
  99. Smith says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    This guy gets it.

    American culture is foreign and unnatural to history and nature. The extreme boomer individualism being the worst of all.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  100. Polemos says:
    @Biff

    “Sober enough to think straight” is maybe a much higher bar than you assume if you had that kind of visceral reaction.

  101. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    $250,000 for a piece of paper is insane so I can understand why it seems like a dead end.

    In reality, checking and enforcement varies from place to place. High quality schools in China or Korea will check everything, whereas small town schools in Thailand or Indonesia probably won’t care if you don’t have paperwork as long as you look the part. Faking a degree is also possible and, IMO, ethical as long as you are teach to a consistently high standard.

    Besides, a teaching job might only be a stepping stone to fuller integration. You might soon find another way to get the visa and earn a living.

  102. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    No…you don’t need a four year degree. You need to enroll at a TOEFL institution. Like a 3 month course.

    They don’t even check for a GED. All they want is the TOEFL certification.

    Its subsistence wages. I own a store and earn $1500 a month. Prior to that I held better jobs everywhere so I would do it.

    Average teacher earns $1000 a month. You can live on it. People do.

  103. @Anonymous

    This is true. What you don’t realize is that they want the TOEFL certificate, not a college degree. Its a three month course.

  104. @Anonymous

    I’m old. So I’m holding out where I am in Misery, er, Silicon, Valley the few more years until I’m 62 and have at least the option of some tiny trickle of money.

    If I were to leave the US right now, given said tiny trickle of money, I’d probably consider Viet Nam. There are a lot of reasons so lemme see if I can come up with 10:

    1 – Most older folks there at least speak French, and they’re French-influenced. I like Frenchy things and may even attempt to learn the language.

    2 – I worked for years with Viet co-workers and the longer I live and look back, the more surprised at how non-asshole-y they were.

    3 – Part of my work seemed to be explaining English. So I have some half-assed experience already!

    4 – The climate isn’t that different from Hawaii, and in fact “Viet Nam” movies (always about the war and the poor American GI’s who hard to torch all those villages and kill all those kids…) make me nostalgic.

    5 – Some of the other places you guys propose like Thailand follow Theravada Buddhism while I follow the Mahayana Buddhism they do in Viet Nam. There are differences.

    6 – There are quite a lot of choices where I am, but I preferentially shop at Viet markets, get my hair cut at Viet barbershops, and eat at Viet restaurants.

    7 – Bugs! Viet Nam is tropical and there are bugs. I don’t mind this, having grown up with ’em in Hawaii.

    8 – Viet Nam is close to some other interesting places like Cambodia, etc. It’s not terribly far from the rest of Asia.

    9 – There’s quite a lot of “interchange” between the US and Viet Nam, because of that awful war of course, but as Ted Rall put it in one of his book titles, “After we kill you, we will welcome you back as honored guests”.

    10 – So many great things are there. Geckos laughing you to sleep, and humid buffalo grass humming with mosquitoes, and sugar cane to chew, and Honda 90s, and never having to wear shoes again that cost more than a $5 spot, and “spoonout” coconuts, and fishing for little piddly-ass fish you take home and fry up, and all kinds of “poor but happy” stuff.

    Right now the plan is to give New Orleans a try first, but if I were to decamp for Asia, it’d be my first choice.

    • Replies: @Smith
  105. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    I can relate:

    My parents had a wretched divorce in my teens and the house I grew up in was liquidated. Some of the proceeds went to mine and my brother’s college fees. My parents moved to different states. My brother was still a juvenile and followed my mother. My father was a scientist who got a job with US Department of Agriculture in DC.

    My last year of high school was spent living with my father’s widowed mother in Detroit. She made it clear that once I graduated and entered college, I was to leave because she was not interested in raising her son’s kids unlike parents who raise their white whigger slut daughters orphaned mulatto kids.

    So I went from a childhood in a bucolic Ann Arbor suburb to living in a condo with my grandmother in Detroit and then enrolling in a college in another part of the state.

    During college breaks, the dorm would close and I would have nowhere to go but relatives couches. My mother’s parents were angry at the divorce and would grudgingly put me up. My father was in DC by then employed by the Dept. of Agriculture, my mother was in California.

    I remember the day I graduated from college and left the dorm. I was suddenly homeless. I was 24. Too old for my grandparents to put up. Unlike Gen Y today who just move back in with their parent my parents were long-divorced and owned no house and I had nowhere to.

    So I used my credit card to move to Arizona where I got an entry-level job and lived in a horrible low-income apartment complex. I was threatened by a black pimp; on another occasion some tweakers who lived a few doors thought I was a cop and threatened me. The menace of Cholo gang members-something I was unfamiliar with in Michigan-was everywhere in the rundown parts of Pheonix.

    A co-worker friend allowed me to move into his condo in Tempe. I was safer. He even helped me move and I can remember a crazed tweaker who always hassled me in that awful apartment complex grinning through my friends car window as we left with my things-I’d made a huge mistake in bringing all of my furniture, appliances to Arizona.

    The Gen Y helicopter children of 90’s Yuppies on this site and the utter hicks from the sticks of small towns or exurbs on this site who still live with their Mom have no idea (Though Alex and Radical do) what it is like to be white, underpaid in an entry-level job and urban. Even in Tempe, a better part of Phoenix, Cholos were still a menace. They all seemed to look like Danny Trejo or Richard Ramirez…scowling Indians or Mestizos with mirthless grins of evil.

    Luckily my friend Johan got me a job in Dubai. I took it gratefully, sold all my stuff and no America was never more grateful to board a plane and leave a US city as I was to leave Phoenix. Some of the patriots on this site will say they have lived all over US cities and never had a single bad experience and walked through barrios of Phoenix and Cabrini-Greene in South Chicago and felt perfectly safe…Yeah, so did I until the first time Cholos and black thugs came after me. White trash are not as dangerous, they’re just useless. I was not afraid of the urban white underclass, just disgusted.

    So when I moved overseas, I had nothing to go back to in the US anyhow. My mother lived in a series of small apartments-she was an architect. My brother kind of followed her career trajectory and became an urban planner. I set foot on either of their residences again. I don’t even know their street addresses. I have not seen my brother in 14 years. My mother visited me once in Asia in 20 years.

    My grandmother’s condo where I spent my senior year of high school became a ghetto. When she purchased it in 1986 the neighborhood was a nice middle-class Polish-German enclave and her own condo was $400,000 in 1986 (My German grandfather was a prosperous lumberyard owner). It sold in 2006 for only $70,000 and my brother told me we were lucky to get that.

    My father’s youngest sister was a hopeless 60’s leftover crackhead. She was born in 1952, came of age during the druggy late sixties, became a hippie and then she tried crack in the eighties and became a complete hopeless drug addict who was in and out of rehab her entire life. So all of her parents money went to supporting her in old age because she had no retirement funds, no pension, not a penny to her name. Her brain was so fried from 1000 LSD trips and years of daily crack cocaine intake that she could barely pay bills and my uncle bought her a trailer to live in.

    Meanwhile, Michigan became a post-industrial sinkhole anyhow. There would be nothing for me to return to there.

    I have not lived in the US now in 21 years. I have no idea where any of my extended family live, what their e mails are, their phone numbers, what they do, who they are. I keep in touch with my brother a bit-but we have little in common. My mother I e mail once a month.

    Its hard for Gen Y, born to Yuppie Reagan era parents, to really understand Gen X or what our generation went through or what it is like to leave home at age 18. Gen Y are all helicopter children who live with their parents until age 80 and flog their dogs to porn in the basement.

    The other posters here-who are American-are hick townie rubes from the sticks. They have no idea what it is like to live from paycheck to paycheck in the cities. None. If they were homeless, they’d pitch a tent by a stream and fish. They have no idea how homeless whites in cities are raped, sodomized, killed, robbed. That if you miss one paycheck and end up on the streets of Phoenix or Southeast Michigan or California you’re probably going to be savagely victimized by roving packs of Cholo and black youth gangs or the unfettered urban white underclass. That if you end up in a homeless shelter and you are white, you have a fairly good chance of being raped.

    Like I said, Gen Y copter kids on this site who are man-boys living with mumma at age 38 and hicks from the sticks who can live in a camper in their brother’s backyard have no idea what this is like. None.

    They have no idea what it is like to be walking down a city street in broad daylight in their cheap suit on the way to work and have some large crackhead black gang member lunge around the corner following them shouting obscenities or to have some Cholos take exception to them in a bad apartment complex who just got out of prison.

    They have no idea how screwed the underclass is. How they become meth addicts at age 14 when most of us are sneaking cigarettes. How their Mom is a whore and slut. How they were molested by relatives. How totally screwed and without any rudimentary sense of normality they are.

  106. Biff says:
    @Anonymous

    and some for the material benefits.

    Sheeesh… The exemplar of entering the temple is to sacrifice or give up the material world. Part of which is sacrificing worldly pleasures and one of which is no food past 12:00 pm everyday. Do even think food-stamp Fredy could last?

  107. Biff says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    I don’t often agree with everything you write, but you did a formidable job of showing where the character utu can stick it…. Kudos for that..

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  108. Biff says:
    @Anonymous

    Do you know what you are talking about or are you just guessing?

    I’ve been around the temple for the past thirty years, my wife is buddhist(Thai) and her family, I personally have known monks, I live in Thailand, and there is a temple just around the corner from where I live, and I’ve taken dead relatives to the temple to watch the cremation. Is that enough cred to know what I am talking about?

  109. @Plato's Dream

    No wonder my one time Korean girlfriend had an Ainus problem … thanks for the info.

  110. @Biff

    The people that call us losers would not last a week in Southeast Asia.

    • Replies: @Poco
  111. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Regarding the degree requirement, I’ve heard it’s mandatory for some countries. Perhaps Japan and Korea and Singapore. I assume you’re right about the TOEFL in Thailand and it sounds a lot more reasonable.

    Average teacher earns $1000 a month. You can live on it. People do.

    That’s pretty decent money for all of SE Asia except SG, HK and Brunei. A nice house can be had for 25% of that, and then there’s plenty left over for a motorbike, food, and extras.

  112. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    That’s a hell of a story. I’m glad you ended up somewhere nice at the end of it all.

    The more i hear, the more I start to feel that America is the arsehole of the Earth. Where else would one have to go to experience that level of physical insecurity and daily aggression? Nigeria?

    • Replies: @utu
  113. Poco says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Question. You bitch about family not trying to take care of their own. Then denigrate parents who try to provide shelter for their own. Which is it that they should do? Take care of their own or chunk them out of the house?

  114. Poco says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    But Southeast Asia is easy to survive in. Every one of your comments point it out.

    I’m not picking on you just looking for some internal consistency to your statements. I don’t blame you for leaving the US and finding a better life for yourself. I’m glad you did.

  115. utu says:
    @Anonymous

    Don’t conflate America with fucked up family of Jeff Stryker. Cowardly selfish loser parents produced a cowardly selfish loser son whose only solution to any problem is to run. One should not blame cowards for running because they basically have no choice but to run as being cowards but I blame Jeff Stryker for constant and persistent misattribution of his problems. By whining and blaming America. Though perhaps I should be more understanding and explain it again by his cowardliness that he can’t face the facts and points the finger away form himself and his family. He is destined to remain a loser because he is unable to face the reality.

  116. Clyde says:
    @Commentator Mike

    You found it! Jah Rastafari!`

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  117. @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff, your bleak prediction about the USA is about the same as mine, and I am genuinely glad that you are safer and feel more at ease in Asia.

    Living in LA may give me a more pessimistic view of the country’s prospects than is warranted, but not by much.

    Conversely, friends and family who live in relatively lower-crime, higher-trust, middle-class areas — not even “rich” areas — typically underestimate the extent of our cultural and racial divisions, the physical filth and ugliness and infrastructure and housing decay of the cities, and just how much people are struggling — not just ghetto people who have spent their time hating and taking and causing mischief, but decent people of all races who are always working or genuinely trying to work and pay their way.

    Our mostly-negative demographic, economic, and cultural trends don’t confine themselves to LA or CA.

    It saddens me to contemplate our family reversing the migration to the USA that both sides of the family made with such joy and hope and labor. Study abroad, work abroad, sure, that broadens the mind and livens up their brief journey through this life. But to leave the USA forever and never return to live here? A terrible thought. Not a thought that occurred to me even 20 years ago.

    But we prepare our kids for the world as it seems likely to be, not as we wish it were. They’re learning Mandarin and will be learning Russian, so they can have more options as this place drastically declines. I hope at least some of them will stay and find a relatively safe & civilized place on this territory (whether still nominally the USA or not). But that will be their decision, and one that the younger ones may make conclusively after i’m gone.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  118. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    You’re a good guy and practically minded. You deserve better Information and better prospects. The canard about “a quarter million dollars in tuition” is readily disprovable nonsense. Don’t let it hold you back.

    Tuition for one year of full-time undergraduate study at any Cal State campus this year (2019-20):

    $5,742

    Even with 5% annual inflation in that tuition, the total for four years of a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from Fall 2020 through Spring 2024 would be about $25,000.

    If you live in or can move to CA for this purpose, there you go. If your own State charges more tuition, the four-year total at your State College still will be less than one-quarter or one fifth of that $250 k tuition figure.

    And this doesn’t account for community colleges, which typically have lower tuition than that.

    Why could you not do two years community college followed by two years of State College at the in-State rate?

    If you don’t want to earn a college degree, just say that. Don’t be misled by shocking and obviously false tuition figures you’re hearing.

    Medical care in the USA is often unaffordable despite a person’s best efforts. College simply is not.

  119. AaronB says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I am wondering how much different opinions on this thread reflect states of mind.

    A depressed person will have a different perception of reality. This is true not just about particular places but even the entire world.

    For instance, some people see the whole world and human life in its totality as horrifying. And from a certain perspective, it is horrifying – everything lives by eating everything else. We are locked in a death struggle. Schopenhauer was a good literary exemplar of this view.

    But clearly, one can see the universe as a place of great beauty, wonder, and magic. Mystics have taken this view to an extreme, and insist there is a perspective from which even the horrifying aspects of reality seem perfect.

    Many people here enjoy the tropical Third World, as do I, and find it fascinating. But to many, the run down, dirty, dusty, decrepit character of much of Manila or Bangkok are disgusting.

    There is an old saying, heaven and hell are in your mind.

    There is a lot of truth in that, but for most of us, certain things are objectively bad – like war and crime, although to some, these can be heaven.

  120. @Jeff Stryker

    Great plan, except for the little detail that you can’t get the TOEFL certificate without a Bachelor’s degree and a healthy infusion of money on top of that, on the order of $10k-$20k.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @sb
  121. @Jeff Stryker

    It sounds like you had it hard all right. What I went through was worse, to the point of actual malnutrition, etc. I think you’re just a bit older than myself and a difference of a few years, literally, meant a huge difference.

    You were smart to get out!!

  122. @utu

    Really? Jeff’s parents were fucking saints compared to mine. Mom was a housewife, dad was a computer programmer. Yep, both things with really poor earnings. I think my dad *did* lean on relatives a lot for “loans” because how else do you support 5 kids in a nice “ranch” house in Costa Mesa on whatever they pay at Coast Federal to program their computers? I’m sure it was marginally above teller’s pay.

    We moved to Hawaii when I was turning 6, into the most run-down house in a nice neighborhood which Dad went over some months ahead and got habitable, then we moved in. Right out of the “get rich in real estate” handbook, right? Along with computer programming, I’m firmly convinced your chances are better with lottery scratchers than real estate. (An exception is to buy in an utterly boring small farming town or some shit where you can get out what you put in plus inflation, as a sort of forced savings plan.)

    We were nearly foreclosed out of that place as the realities of a computer programmer and a housewife affording to live and raise 5 kids, and somehow Dad bought a cheap lot and put a “pre-fab” house on it up in the hills over Shark’s Cove on the North Shore of the island of Oahu. Needless to say our finances continued to plummet and this is where the hungry times got underway and I almost lost a beloved younger sister to starvation – she had pneumonia she’d have been able to fight off OK with sufficient food, but none of us had that.

    What saved us, and saved our lives, was getting onto welfare and food stamps which came with medical and dental care. We also got foreclosed out of the house up in the hills and Mom moved us to the windward side where housing was cheaper and we could live near the ocean. The foraging was much better, and I taught myself to fish. My younger sis got antibiotics and food stamps kept us fed OK at least half the month, and there was school lunches too.

    But there were realities to being white there. We had a collection of dogs who’d have given their lives defending us, and my mom had a tall, white, deadbeat boyfriend who she kind of had to have, again for defense. So the welfare and food stamps had to support all of that too, and we kids, being smaller and weaker, got the least.

    We were told point-blank that once we were 18 we were to be out the door, and we all managed to leave before then. No help with college, no concern if we even graduated high school.

    I never saw my mother after I left. (I actually went out to visit once, not sure if a year or just some months after leaving, and I knew Mom likes Hershey’s Kisses so I brought a bag, and watched in astonishment as Mom stood there and peeled and ate them like a Cajun eating crafish, bam, bam, bam, she must have been damned hungry. Maybe the food stamps had been cut off.)

    I did jobs like cleaning dog kennels because it’s the kind of job a white can get in Hawaii. I fell for the college scam and spent far too much time, energy, literal life-force and got into far too much debt ($10k) on that scam. Should have gone for an easy degree like poetry, which with a few extra classes would make me just about anything, or stayed the hell away from any and all college campuses. A half-finished tech degree will actually LOWER your earnings for life, as opposed to being a HS dropout.

    As I’ll keep saying: Ambition is a curse in a system with no social mobility.

    As I’ll also keep saying: I wish I’d had the perspective to wet-back it to France, pick grapes and keep my nose clean for 10 years, then become a citizen.

    No friends setting me up with jobs in Dubai, but you know what? If I’d been born 3-5 years earlier, that may well have been the case.

    No family to go back to in any way shape or form. In leaving Hawaii I thought I might end up friends with relatives here on the mainland, and in general be in a sort of “folkish” community of whites, and neither have been the case, at all.

    I don’t think all whites are shitheads, just WASP whites and in general those who are a part of what Morris Berman calls the “Anglosphere”. The key to getting away from this is to leave said Anglosphere. Berman himself has moved to Mexico and loves it, but I think has enough independent income to get by fine anywhere, is tan enough to pass for a light-skinned Hispanic, and probably has escape plans in place with a plane flight pre-paid, etc. I’m hoping my sisters back in Hawaii have something like this, too.

    If I went to Mexico City I’d have to wash dishes or something, maybe be a street beggar. It does not sound fun. If I can hold out for three more years, then if I apply for it I’ll have about $800 a month from Social Security. It goes up to about $1200 a month if I can wait until I’m 70.

    Well, I’m not Jewish so I can’t bugger off to Israel (I honestly thought I might be, Mom being from Lithuania and all, and pretty brown. It turns out we’re not Jewish and the brown-ness comes from being part Tatar.) I think a place like Viet Nam would be easier if I had, like Jeff, been smart enough to leave the US while still young. Hawaii, where although I grew up there I’d be a member of a hated minority that’s blamed for everything, doesn’t sound that much fun either.

    I have some interest, and a tiny amount of skill in these days, a musical instrument and jazz interests me so I’d have a valid reason to be in New Orleans, even be there and be poor, although the average musician is better fed and has more job security than the average computer programmer. There are even some French-speaking and thus non-asshole, white people there. So my plan is to at least give the place a try.

    I don’t think WASP whites can be saved. I don’t think a sense of family or community or network can be instilled in them at all, so if the non-wealthy ones are dying out, my reaction is *shrug*

  123. AaronB says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Fascinating story, and I agree with you about the Anglosphere and it’s values.

    But I am sorry, this doesn’t quite make sense. A job at McDonald’s at minimum wage earns around $1,600 per month.

    You can eat well, cooking your own food, on like $30 per week. Thars $120 per month for food. You can probably do it for less and still eat tasty and nutritious meals.

    I think you’re entitled to about $200 in food stamps per month if you make about $1,500.

    The issue is not one of survival or comfort – you can have both on minimum wage in modern times.

    It is psychological.

    We’ve been sold a story that anyone can rise high, and we’re told being success and wealthy is the purpose of life. So we aren’t happy with mere comfort and sufficiency.

    This is isn’t to say the American economic system isn’t horrifically unjust, it is, but a big part of our suffering is simply how we think.

    Take me, for example – I have deliberately given up the opportunity to make lots of money in exchange for more free time and a less demanding job, so I can focus on the things I deem important; spirituality, nature, books, travel, etc.

    I am completely uninterested in wealth and success. So now, I am not wealthy at all and live a simple life that I have chosen. I regularly calculate how I would live on even less, and I think I always cone up with the fact that one can live comfortably in modern America on very little.

    The issue is psychological – you can laugh and flip your finger at the whole rotten system if you have the right mindset. A mindset we unfortunately no longer cultivate.

  124. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    If I can hold out for three more years, then if I apply for it I’ll have about $800 a month from Social Security. It goes up to about $1200 a month if I can wait until I’m 70.

    This is the bottom line, and the good news is that $800 a month is plenty to live on in a lot of very safe and pleasant countries. In Asia, Thailand or Malaysia would be my first choices while, further away, Bulgaria ot Georgia could be worth considering. I’ve never heard of anyone retiring into Georgia, but the cost of living is low, people are legendarily hospitable, and the legal system bends over backwards to be welcoming to westerners. Immigration-wise, we are talking 365 day visa free, which is probably extendable as long as you want.

  125. Corvinus says:
    @RadicalCenter

    “College simply is not.”

    LOL. Digital said “a quarter million in debt”, NOT “a quarter million in tuition”. Did you include books, a meal plan, housing, and spending money? Between 100k to 120k for these universities by their estimates, which we probably could tack on another 5 to 10K, for…wait for it…in-state residents!

    https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/paying-for-college/Documents/19-20-coa.pdf

    How about if a student in-state will be entering a master’s or doctoral program? That’s more money to pay.

    https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/about-the-csu/budget/2018-19-operating-budget/supplemental-documentation/Pages/california-state-university-tuition-and-fee-rates.aspx

    Of course, what about the prestigious universities in California like UCLA, USC, and Berkeley…in-state? Well, tuition for USC is $55,320 for the 2018/2019 academic year for in-state residents. Room and board? Tack on 15k. Books? About 2 grand. How about other expenses? Add another 2 to 5K.

    Now, if we take an out of state person who wants to attend these universities, he/she is paying through the nose, and is near that 250K threshold.

  126. AaronB says:

    Suffering in America today is mostly psychological – not physical.

    People are told the point of life is to be wealthy – when you can’t, you suffer. This suffering is very real, and shouldn’t be just dismissed.

    But we lack a good language to discuss psychological or spiritual issues.

    Jeff Stryker moves to Asia because he gets a status boost there. There’s nothing wrong with that. But he doesn’t really understand why he was so unhappy in America, so he exaggerates the one or two terrible incidents that he experienced, can’t let them go, and can’t accept things may be different now. There is a status boost in now denouncing America.

    People talk about poverty and inequality – and then celebrate countries where poverty, inequality, and corruption are ten times worse, like the Philippines and Thailand.

    Its because we don’t have a good language to discuss the real issues.

    Morris Berman, who I am a great admirer of, is admirably candid about his decision to move to Mexico – a country with more economic oppression and inequality than America has ever had. He likes Mexico because people have less ambition there, so they are more gracious, kind, and friendly. If Berman’s main issue was economic inequality, he would not have moved to Mexico, of all places.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @Biff
  127. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    No, you don’t need a BA to obtain a TOEFL certification. That simply is not the case. Anybody can study and obtain a TOEFL certificate. I don’t know how much it costs, however. It used to only cost $3000 or something and was a 3 month course.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  128. Smith says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Really now?

    I don’t think Vietnam should be a retirement home for western boomers.

  129. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    i’m 46 years old, I think I’m significantly younger than you are. Not older.

    My experience is confluence of events.

    You start off with a rootless childhood in a bedroom community where everyone’s Dad is a white collar commuter anyhow.

    You add in some bad experiences as a young adult.

    You introduce a chance opportunity to go work overseas at age when you have no spouse, no dependents, no debt, no legal problems, no mortgage.

    Then you add the fact that for some reason-I don’t know why-things really got worse during the Bush administration. Everyone seems fixated on what a lying sleazebag philanderer Clinton was-which is of course true-but the US seem to go into the toilet during the Bush administration. Great Recession etc.

    Moreover, you get used to the complete freedom of living overseas. I own a business-albeit a pittance. If I had a boss I did not like, I’d tell him to blow it out his ass.

    Frankly, moving to a small town in America is more third world these days than living in an exciting buzzing Asian city. I don’t want to live in some ramshackle old farmhouse on a rutted dirt road and, as a graphic artist, have to get some job tattooing the acne-pitted skanky butts of local whigger sluts who want Tramp Stamps that read SHANIQUA FOREVER!

    My resume was not affected by moving overseas anyhow. I’ve held, more or less, the same sort of jobs I would have in the US. Maybe a few better ones, because the Michigan economy is bad.

  130. klcard says:
    @Smith

    You’d be suprised if you came to Vung Tau where I work. Loads of white boomers here, admittedly mostly Australians, but a smattering of Americans and Europeans. Beers set you back about $0.65 a pop at a tavern and food/lodging is cheap. BTW LD has written at least 2 pieces about this place. My colleagues jokingly say “Welcome to Paradise”, but we’re all day in a construction yard – I’d say on the beach side of town it wouldn’t be a bad place to retire.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  131. @AaronB

    Good we agree regarding the Anglosphere.

    Yes McD’s on min. wage earns that. I prefer the job I have, by far.

    Yes it’s not hard to eat at home on $150 a month. Tracking EPI-EPO helps to learn how to do this – Every Penny In, Every Penny Out.

    You can live fine in Silly-Scam Valley here if you have a decent vehicle to live in, a really cheap room that’s not in a crack house, or like me you get to live in the building you work in. It takes some real connections etc and plain old good luck.

    If you can make the choice to work less in exchange for comfort, free time, sanity, then so can other people. So fuck you very much if you think I should go work at McDonald’s.

    I agree on wealth and success. There’s a movement called FIRE which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early, and then there’s a variant called LeanFIRE which means to do FIRE but on a “lean” budget. There’s a discussion sub-forum about it on Reddit. Some of them plan on retiring on as little as I’ll have, and a few even less.

    To me success means living a long, healthy, life getting to do what I want to do. It means I can’t own a mega-yacht or be an F1 driver or an astronaut. It does mean I can study and make music, write (even though jobs for writers no longer exist) or do quite a number of things.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  132. @Smith

    Don’t worry – it’s merely the best of a large number of places I’ll not go.

  133. @AaronB

    Let me add, Aaron, that I knew some unfortunate poor Jewish youth (Yes, poor Jews do exist) and many immigrated to Israel for the same reason I moved overseas. In point of numbers, I knew 10 Jewish youth who immigrated from Flint and Detroit to Israel in my youth. They were doing so out of pure economic desperation (Yes, people, this affects Jews as well) and because Israel was safer.

    There were quite a few poor Jews in Phoenix who were victims of the urban renewal gentrification of the Bronx (Which, I might add, was mostly Gentile Irish-Catholic real estate developers) who sold out because they could not afford the rising property taxes and drifted out to the Southwest. They experienced the same problems as I did.

    Quite a few were moving to Israel for the same reason I moved to Dubai.

    Knew several. If I were Jewish and poor and had no prospects of getting a decent job in America, I’d do the same thing.

  134. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    To you whites are assholes because you have to deal with them all the time. But all those other races are also assholes, especially to each other in their own countries, or they wouldn’t be making it so unbearable for each other that they have to go West and North. There’s some solidarity between them in the West when they want to stick it to the white man but that’s about it. But there’s some good decent people everywhere too. And I’m not sure the French are any better than the Anglos – I’ve met some very disappointed Frenchies looking for escape among the Anglos.

  135. Biff says:
    @AaronB

    People talk about poverty and inequality – and then celebrate countries where poverty, inequality, and corruption are ten times worse, like the Philippines and Thailand.

    I can’t believe I’m going to address this stupidity, but I’m going to give it a shot…
    “ten times worse” than what? The demented criminals that run the Western world? Washington is by far much more corrupted than any of the tiny SEA countries – Vietnam showed the world how that works, and sent uncle Sam’s criminal regime packing.
    Poverty? It’s pretty much illegal on multiple levels in the U.S.A. – Vagrancy laws, camping laws, loitering laws, and worst of all, labor laws. Helping the poor can also be illegal in the U.S. In most large U.S. cities(unless you are licensed to do it) feeding the homeless is highly illegal and can result in hefty fines. Handing them cash, so they can buy booze is still just fine and dandy..
    Yes, there is a lot of poverty in Thailand, but it is much more acceptable to be poor. Labor laws or lack-there-of allows people/business/government to hire and pay the poor even though it may not be considered a living wage, and because of this they are accepted across all political spectrums. There are no tent cities in Thailand. In the East there are still, what used to be called families , and they do give poor people some structure and assistance. And most importantly, because it will affect everyone at some given point – they do not throw away their elderly like they do in the West. Even if, or especially if they are poor. It is not a dream world, but to call it out as so much worse than the enlightened West is just short sighted.

  136. @klcard

    Southeast Asian economies depend upon Boomer retirees.

    There are 600,000 Americans living in the Philippines. Some are retired. Some are business people.

    Each of these Americans invests about $100,000 in the Philippines over the course of 5 or 10 years.

    Its more in Thailand.

    So subtract that and what do you think it would do to the economy?

  137. sb says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    I’ve known plenty of English trachers in Thailand without a degree. One of my teacher friends was previously in the UK military
    These days they do need to have an accepted ESL (English as a Second Language ) qualification though ( Of which there are quite a number -US , British , Australian ). Plenty of people with them are not English native speakers -I’ve met native French, German etc speakers . Afrikaans speakers are quite common what with the white South african diaspora needing to find a life and employment somewhere

  138. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Yeah, work with teenagers at Mickey D’s. Although, as the hicks say, if you “have some college” you can probably get hired as a manager.

    Maybe.

    Personally, being an electronics specialist looks better on a Curriculum Vitae.

  139. @Biff

    I’ve been poor in America and even if you are a law-abiding, employed, sober person you are basically regarded as the worst of the worst. You don’t deserve to breathe.

    Cops will harass you. As far as they are concerned, if you cannot afford to live on the street you might as well go to jail.

    If you’re black and fathered six children out-of-wedlock you are entitled to Section 8 but if you are a white college graduate who simply lost his job or business, you are entitled to nothing. There is more sympathy for Mexican illegal immigrants than white citizens.

    Others assumed you wasted your life with crack cocaine or booze. They assume you are homeless because you smoke crack or you are a wino who is too lazy and drunk too hold a job. Cops know better, but don’t care. They are paid to serve the taxpayers who own them and taxpayers don’t like looking at poor people.

    Even if you are employed and not homeless, like I was in Phoenix, cops still target you. They’ll never be around when you need them and will always be present to ask you where you’re going, ask to see ID, pat you down. The way cops view things, if you earn under a certain amount you are not a tax payer anyhow.

    Holding a job, obeying the laws, paying rent means nothing if you are poor. On the other hand, if you are Rodney King and were awarded a 3 million dollar settlement and move into a mansion because cops beat you up and the city awarded you a lottery ticket, they say sir to you.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  140. @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff,

    You can get TEFL certification for much less time and money. There are even extremely cheap on-line courses for 100 $. Some classroom based courses run for a couple of weeks and some are intensive weekend courses for a couple of hundred quid, like this UK bases site.

    https://www.tefl.org/courses/classroom/

    You can even get jobs through some of them, but when I last checked China and Vietnam they wanted teachers below 50 years of age. Maybe older guys could find something if they went there and looked around, and I think there are a few teaching without any certification in primary schools.

    Here’s another inexpensive US based course but it’s on offer in other locations too:

    https://www.tesolcourse.com/?c=a2&g=8&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInPr82-KU6AIVS8KyCh3JfgI9EAAYAyAAEgKTSfD_BwE

    I’m just not sure how useful it would be for retirees to supplement their pensions if there are age restrictions. Also many jobs require that you are in good, if not perfect, health, and most old people have some health problem or other. Still, at the quoted prices it is probably a useful additional qualification for many to have.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  141. @Biff

    Biff,

    The Philippines has anti-mendicancy laws and you could be arrested for giving money to beggars. It does happen sometimes even to Filippinos although it’s more often used by cops to set up unknowing foreigners for a little donation to themselves. And prostitution is illegal in both Thailand and the Philippines. Surprise, surprise – who would have thought that!

  142. @Commentator Mike

    BTW there’s increasing job opportunities with TEFL certification even in UK and US so you don’t even have to go abroad to teach English. But you’ll be teaching English as a foreign language to newly arrived immigrants most of us at UR love so much, LOL.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  143. @Commentator Mike

    Wasn’t there a UK TV show about some guy who was teaching English back in the seventies or eighties?

    John Derbyshire noted something first noticed in the US. White immigrants assimilate. Another words the first generation is really rebellious like tough Irish brawlers who showed up in America and beat people up who looked at them the wrong way.

    For some reason, Irish people who first came to America went around kicking everyone’s ass. They even used them for early football teams like Notre Dame.

    But then the second generation just adheres to the norms.

    With non-European immigrants its the opposite. The first generation is real polite because they don’t want to get deported. The second generation is more rebellious.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  144. @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff,

    Wasn’t there a UK TV show about some guy who was teaching English back in the seventies or eighties?

    You mean this one:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_Your_Language

    There’s plenty of it on you tube if you want to check the humour and stereotyping that was allowed in those days. I doubt something like that would get aired these days. Like complaining about “foreigners”. I only vaguely remember Mind Your Language; Fawlty Towers was my favourite.

  145. @Clyde

    Clyde,

    Yes I! There used to be a Reggae Pub in Itaewon that was run by a grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie whose father used to be the Ethiopian ambassador to South Korea. He was fluent in Korean and Chinese, as he studied in China, and married to a very nice Korean girl. Lots of black guys from the US base used to hang out there. I’ve no idea if this restaurant is his new venture. Memories of my time out and about!

    Something for all you guys surviving under the cosh of the coronavirus

    • Replies: @Clyde
  146. Yes, I think being qualified as a hotshot electronics tech is better to identify myself with than “some college” and working at Chik-Fil-A. Even though the jobs in the former are gone, gone, gone.

    If teaching English were more of a passion with me I’m sure I could fake up some papers convincingly. Thanks to my Ivy League dad I speak English rather well, and was also raised to be a bit of a stickler about proper usage so I’d put some studying in on a regular basis (any mistakes and malapropisms on here I attribute to my own stupidity).

    But instead, I’ve found myself zeroing in on what I’d have done if I weren’t so worried about starvation and homelessness; music. I’ve been messing around with an instrument, all told, for decades but only recently gotten a bit more serious. And, busking standards, even in New Orleans, are pretty low. 99% of it seems to be having the guts to get out there which to me is silly because once you try it a few times it takes zero bravery. This is why I say I want to give New Orleans at least a try. At age 58 I’ve got to assume I may have 20 years left with maybe 10 to increase skill and then ten to try to slow down the decay in skills. If New Orleans doesn’t work out, it should give my playing a real charge-up and I can go back to Hawaii with a sort of protective veneer of having been to New Orleans.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  147. Anonymous[812] • Disclaimer says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    A lot of Europeans busk their way across Asia. Its a rarity for locals and the proceeds can be really good. Another benefit is that it would put you directly in touch with street culture which could help you find another way to make money if busking runs dry.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  148. @Anonymous

    Um, I’d be wary about busking in the Philippines after dark or becoming involved in their street culture.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  149. Franz says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I’ve known them too.

    And the US Government Printing Office put out tons of books aimed at corporations to move their sites overseas — so much more for their money. They don’t know economic treason is still treason.

  150. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Where else to avoid? PNG? Outliers excepted, it’s pretty safe.

  151. Clyde says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Hilarious comment. So Rastafarianism has been in Korea for ages, on a limited basis of course. The Koreans who noticed must have had a good laugh. Back in the 80s I knew a white boy Rastafarian. He had very long Rasta hair too. He must have been toking lots of herb to get into that stuff. Also the movie “Harder They Come” (Jimmy Cliff etc.) was popular where I lived. Cute little movie.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  152. @Clyde

    Clyde,

    It’s the music that attracted some people in the East to the Rastafarian subculture and you can find a Reggae Pub in most cities. There were a few bands in Japan. As far as real true black Rastafarians living in the West go, they promote the idea of blacks going back to Africa, so they’re on board the repatriation programme. In fact Emperor Haile Selassie had donated some land in Ethiopia for the resettling of American and West Indian blacks but there were few takers and it hasn’t been a great success, especially since the Mengitsu regime that deposed him confiscated some of the land earmarked for this resettlement programme.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashamane

    Reggae was also the favourite music of early white skinheads in the late 1960’s, with the Trojan label churning out most of the songs.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Trojan-Skinhead-Reggae-Collection/release/9054039

  153. Europeans manage to “busk across” all sorts of places. Frankly, if you’re good on an instrument that is small but can make a lot of music, like the violin or clarinet, or the trumpet/cornet, and not just “high school band good” but “could back up Wynton Marsalis” good, you can pretty much go anywhere.

  154. AceDeuce says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Any place there are American military personnel there will be blacks and they will, and have, done a lot of raping and killing of native women and girls in Europe and Asia.

  155. AceDeuce says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    The three funniest tidbits regarding Rodney King:

    1. In real life before and after his well deserved arse whipping, no one in his life called him Rodney. He went by his middle name, Glen. Rodney of course was his official first name-the one he was arrested (many times) by. But calling him Rodney is a bit like calling Woodrow Wilson “Tom”.

    2. After King got his money, his law firm set up security for him-the head of the security detail was….a retired LAPD member.

    3. King’s family, during the lawsuit, invited his lawyers to a family birthday party. The lawyers attended-and billed King for the time.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  156. @AceDeuce

    King’s family, during the lawsuit, invited his lawyers to a family birthday party. The lawyers attended-and billed King for the time.

    LOL! Were the lawyers Jews?

  157. @Commentator Mike

    Skinhead was about being working-class, not any particular race. I believe it’s down to, working-class whites, getting poorer and poorer, noticed that Jamaican etc immigrants seemed to be handling poverty a lot better and had better music.

  158. @Smith

    American culture is not everyone’s cup of Earl Grey but living in the US is still better than living in a lot of other places around the globe.

    Alex seems to be depressed and seems to have given up and that is sad for him. The American spirit that I remember meant staying positive and overcoming adversity, life is short. I know people in the US, such as a friend in MO who has zero education yet he runs a successful roofing company and does very well. He states that when people have roofing problems they will get them attended to, recession or not. He doesn’t do any of the manual work himself and he pays his workers fairly because he wants to keep them.

    I did very well while living in the US but nevertheless I am thankful every day to be in Australia. I think the dole here works out to around $A16k which people complain about but I think it’s generous. I also know a self-taught guy here who makes a decent income repairing vintage stereo equipment and he enjoys what he does. A lot of life depends on an individual’s attitude and people will always find the money to pay anyone who can make their problems disappear.

    What is wrong with being a Boomer? Whenever I hear anyone blaming Boomers I know that I am listening to a person who doesn’t take any personal responsibility. Also, what is wrong with individualism?

  159. @NoseytheDuke

    Oz is middle-class paradise compared w. US. A middle-class paradise.

    Sure, if roofing is your desire in life you may keep your business. However, your kids may have a lousy danger-filled public school.

    Business had me in Cranberra on a few occasions. I’d change places w. you in one second. Oh, Oz has problems. Like bush fires. However, such issues pale in comparison w. America.

    Sure, Oz has a few avoidable suburbs full of criminal scum on drugs who use heroin or crank all day. You have some bad biker gangs. Some mafia as well. You’ve had a few madman gun sprees.

    However, Oz is basically middle-class paradise. Wages 2 x American ones. Laborers in America who’d be living in squalor can own a house in Oz.

    Homeless clogging Oz roads who were middle class law-abiding Caucasians? No, never see em.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  160. @Jeff Stryker

    Canberra is the nation’s capital and really isn’t representative of life in Australia for most Australians, being full of government workers and tax spongers. Life here is so good that our government is rapidly filling up the place with people from the 3rd world so that it can be even better. Australian’s are frequently branded as racists yet they have accepted so many different peoples, to their detriment, without much of a squeak in protest. Like the US it has become very PC.

    Australia has always been a bit behind the US and EU and that used to be considered a bad thing but now I consider it a blessing as we are heading in the same direction for the same reasons. I thought the US was wonderful when I first went there but towards the end I couldn’t wait to leave and now wished I’d left sooner. I am so thankful to be here and not in the US. I still have family there but no longer want to even visit.

    Most Australians used to think that anything American was the bee’s knees but now more often than not I hear comments deriding it. I often find that I am defending the people and pointing out that it is the government who is to blame but here, as over there, the vast majority just aren’t plugged in to what is really happening in our world.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  161. @NoseytheDuke

    It was a *very* different world you grew up in, college was $35 a credit hour, jobs grew on the job tree like jobbies, etc.

    Also you’re speaking from the vantage point of Australia, which is a *much* different place than the US. Survival in AUS is like a cricket match, where in the US it’s more like a cage fight. Many, many, many other commentators than myself have noted this.

  162. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    I agree with you, although it was not nearly as easy as you think. The US was so much better then than now too, I lived there for a couple od decades all together. My intention was not to belittle you in any way but to encourage you not to give up and to try to think creatively and try new ideas to get by. Things are moving very fast now and we are all in for a very bumpy ride. Best of luck to you. Cheers.

  163. @NoseytheDuke

    I might sound more depressed here than I am in real life. I agree on the interesting times and bumpy ride.

  164. @NoseytheDuke

    Australia is near Papau, New Guina but unlike Mexico, the insurgency there has no effect on Australia.

    The worst immigration problem in recent memory in Australia was due to Americans-Vietnam.

    For some reason, the poorest “Bogans” are raised to some civilized level where they are not homeless on Australian streets. Your Bogans are horrible, as bad as any US white trash, but somehow they are managed better.

    Americans who know other countries like Australia are better overall are those Americans who are educated, live or work overseas, travel frequently, are generally urban or suburban, middle-class or upper middle-class, moneyed.

    Americans living in Australia-I’ve known a few-never ever ever want to return to America.

    Which is not to say Australia is completely crime free. The Italians bring their friends of Frank Sinatra gangsters to Oz-the Italian mafia is more powerful in Oz than the US, where there was always vicious competition from other ethnic groups. Australian biker gangs can be dangerous. Lebanese gangs have caused problems. Sudanese are now becoming common.

    But these pale in comparison to the US.

    You rarely see homeless in Australia. Wages are not nearly as low. The horrendous poverty of America is non-existent in Australia.

    For one thing, Australians were working-class Brits who wanted an egalitarian classless society free of elitism.

    America’s founders were aristocratic Brits who seemed to revel in a zero-sum game with fellow white emigrants from Europe and Britain.

    Australia’s lower class from Britain became middle-class in five years. In America, even after five, ten generations many are still poor.

  165. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    The cut-throat capitalism of America and the individualism of the Protestant work ethic mindset seemed to bring out the most moronic tendencies and incur the worst conditions for whites whose IQ is under 105.

    Australia has more of a egalitarian attitude of “nobody should be homeless and everybody should be paid a decent wage” mindset with a real working-class Brit dislike for elitists.

    America on the other hand, was found by petty English gentry and the 1% seems to get off on the miseries and deprivations of the working class-mostly a result of their own stupidity and folly, of course.

  166. @NoseytheDuke

    COMPARATIVE QUESTIONS

    …America seemed to go downhill after Bush was elected? Why? Economically, socially, in every sense.

    …Why has America become worse for middle-class people since the 90’s?

    …Why are there fewer homeless people in Australia? Why are so many Americans homeless?

    …Why is crime higher in America than in Australia? Someone will say “blacks” but is this the only reason?

    …Why have (They) caused more problems in the US than (They) have in Australia?

    …Why does the American 1% rape the rest of the population worse than Australia’s 1%?

    …Why does Australia have a stronger middle-class and less white poverty?

    …Why is there less of an urban/rural divide in Australian than America?

    …Why are public schools better in Australia and the average person in Australia better-educated?

    …Why is there less white trash horror in Australia? Sure, it exists. Bogans have committed some awful crimes in Australia. But they are rarer?

    …Why don’t more Americans observe that Australia is, overall, a country with a better living standard than America? Why are poor Americans more patriotic than poor Australians?

    …Why is Muslim crime worse in Australia than in America? Lebanese in America do not dare rape white women on beaches in packs. Why do they do this in Australia? Why don’t Lebanese do this in America? Or other Muslims?

  167. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    So sorry for your experience.

    Perhaps you need a job in a cheaper part of a state or county with a higher minimum wage and/or better state Med insurance. If you don’t earn much, CA income tax will be negligible, though sales tax can be rough.

    For people with low incomes, it’s more important to find a State with no sales tax rather than no income tax. Your options for zero sales tax are New Hampshire, Delaware, Nevada, Montana, and Oregon. Alaska I think has no state sales tax but did allow local sales taxes. Clearly you shouldn’t be in a State that is taking what little you have in sales tax or high housing costs.

    FWIW, the people in our church are Protestant and almost all white, primarily English, Irish, Scandinavian, German, and Dutch. Not many southern or Eastern European people, this being a Baptist church. Your generalization about WASPs doesn’t describe them at all as far as we can tell. (This being SoCal, we are starting to get Asians, like my wife 😉 These church people generally are not well off, but they help each other and care for each other, and they were generous and concerned when I had surgery and some other problems these past couple years.

    I definitely have known — and worked with and for — heartless WASPs. But also heartless meanspirited Jews, disproportionately. And I certainly know cold discompassionate atheists and agnostics, including one of my own siblings. Not sure the regular WASP American deserves special censure.

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