Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Emigration By Jimmy Petrol

The fact is, people change countries when they get it in their heads that this place is no fun anymore or that place will be better. Often, of course, it is an economic better that the migrant is after. But this isnt about that kind of migrant. This is about us.

My two Greek grandfathers fled the thousands-year old war with Turkey over Cypress and came to America. It was a time when steel mills ran round the clock, the railroads lay rail night and day and the country was booming. It was 1920 America and the immigrant was welcomed to do the work of building Americas infrastructure, to butcher her meat and to man her factories. My grandfathers both begin by laying rail with sixteen-pound sledge in the cool, clear air of the Rocky Mountains. They finished up knowing they had brought us all into the world in a better place than if they had stayed home.

My Mexican grandmother came fleeing the Mexican Revolution; she and her seven brothers swam the Rio Grande to save themselves from war. She lived knowing we were better off as well. For a long time, Greece and Mexico had held our family. Now, for three generations, America has received the benefit of our work; we are workers all....some would say work-aholics...but we produce, day in, day out, year after year. We contribute to America with sweat, skill and toil. America, in return, has kept us safe from the civil war that my grandmother fled, from the senseless, endless wars of the Middle East and the Balkans.

And now, having been built with the blood and sweat of the immigrant, America has embarked upon this last war, the War of Resources. Without a doubt, our country pursues a military plan that is predicated on the presence of natural resources; we only go where there is stuff to get control of. We will pretend that we are fighting for something else, but we are not and we all know it. The problem with this final scarcity, as we poise to consume the last of the earths bounty, is that lots of people are going to do without. That is a euphemism for die.

This is not an indictment. Someone will have to eat the last fish, the last rabbit, and drink the last water. There will not be enough for all. The question as to who will get to eat and drink and dance till the last is settled; it will be the Americans. The proof is in the American attitude; Americans consume not by need, but by right. Americans perceive the divine right of money; if they can buy it, then it is all right to eat it right up....even if there is nothing for someone else. That is what it is to be an American and drive a huge truck that is not needed for work....few Americans would stoop to haul anything like wood or dirt in the big American truck; most see themselves as too good to do manual labor.

So what will people of conscience do now, here? Shall we flee to the North, and man the lines against America when she goes after the Canadian water to fill her pools and grow her lawns? Or to the south, to suffer with my relatives when the Great Mexican Famine begins? Farther south, the cannibals masquerade as presidents and generals....the jungle hides the dead. There is no road there.

Europe goes Muslim next week; the holy wars began anew in Paris this last decade. Muslims are interesting, like any religion...but a bit of a stretch for Jimmy Petrol to start wearing a veil. But I digress. The religion is not at question; all will be fighting for the same thing: that divine right to life, to the bread and water of the chosen people. Choosing for myself, I am at a loss.

To stay is to begin to fight in earnest against the ideal of consumptive right; to become militant. To go is to cast the only vote that counts; the one we cast with our feet. To do nothing but keep driving that truck, voting for fools...that is madness. Bad Monkey....how will you spend your days?

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