The Odd Pot

The great escape

Steve McQueen made a “Great Escape” over a border. Me too!

WHEN I LEFT America in January 2000, I thought I was merely moving to another country to start a new adventure.

While that was true, what I did not realize at the time was that I, just like Steve McQueen in the photo above, was making my own Great Escape. But I wasn’t escaping from the Nazis. I was escaping from the United States.

When I hightailed it, things were fairly normal above the Rio Bravo. Bill Clinton was president. The economy was running well, and people were getting along pretty good.

There was no Black Lives Matter. There were no Antifa thugs running riot in the streets. There were no geriatric socialist presidential candidates. Conservative speakers were not tarred and feathered on university campuses.

There were no Safe Spaces, and public restrooms were either “Gentlemen” or “Ladies” or sometimes “Setters” and “Pointers.” Humor had not been banned.

Still standing were the World Trade Center in New York, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. And nobody outside Illinois had heard of Barack Hussein Obama.

Farther afield, there were no Mohammedan mobs being invited into European nations, nor to the United States either. Gays were not suing Mom & Pop bakeries over wedding cakes.

You got your porno on DVDs through the mail. It took some cash and effort. Nowadays it requires neither.

There was no Twitter, Facebook or iPhones.

Television dramas and sit-coms were not expected to kowtow to thought police. I read recently that the wildly popular sit-com Friends could not be made today, and it’s true.

The cast was all white. They poked fun at ethnic groups. The show’s crimes against PC were relentless, but nobody cared back then. We just laughed and laughed.

Seinfeld too would be verboten.

But the laughter has faded away. You must avoid saying certain true things, or you run a real risk of losing your job and/or friends and your social standing.

Everything went to the devil after I moved south. I’ve witnessed it exclusively via the internet, not in person.

Man, oh, man, I got out of there in the nick of time.

24 thoughts on “The great escape

  1. Seems like just yesterday we were sitting at a cafe in the zocalo watching the world saunter by and reveling in our good fortune.

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  2. I liked the post you made some time back about your leaving the USA caused it all. You haven’t made any trips NOB lately. Your theory needs retesting.

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    1. Carlos: Yes, this is a variation on that earlier theme.

      I have not been in the United States in more than eight years, and I honestly do not think I’ll ever set foot there again. It would probably depress me.

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  3. And the problem is that it has gone seemingly unnoticed. It reminds me of the old story of putting a frog in a pot of cold water and putting it on the stove. It will stay in there as the water comes to a boil. You, sir, would now be the frog that has been dropped into boiling water and immediately leaps back out.

    Stay where you are. It’s better down there

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    1. Karlos: That, sir, is a superlative analogy. It often seems to me that a huge chunk of the American public appears oblivious to what’s happening, possibly the majority if you consider that Hillary may have won the popular vote in November. I say “may have won” because I’m not convinced that votes by illegals and dead people (especially the former) did not push her popular vote total beyond Trump’s.

      Yes, the water is about to boil over, and the frogs, red-faced and sweating profusely, are swimming about singing, fa-la-la-la-la!

      They’ll be done soon, and we can pull them out and yank their legs off.

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  4. If you had told me a decade ago that you could get fired at your job for simply voting for the other candidate, I would have laughed in your face. But it has come to pass that it has become that kind of a intolerable society mainly by the “new” tolerant society. Seems to me more hate is making way than ever before that I can remember.

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    1. Tancho: An old friend of mine, a retired college professor, and her husband recently spent three months in San Miguel. While there, they met a “nice couple” and became friends of sorts during that brief time. One night the other couple invited them to eat at their house. My friend mentioned during the meal that she and her husband had voted for Trump. The other couple told them to get out of their house. And they did.

      End of friendship. Not such a “nice couple” after all.

      Sort of like going to Himmler’s house for supper and mentioning that you’re a Jew. Or being invited to a Mohammedan’s black-sheep-hair tent to dine on chalau and baba ghanoush and letting drop that you’re gay.

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  5. I have been across the border several times since I moved down eight years ago. For most Americans, life goes on pretty much as it has since I was a kid. That is the genius of America. Limited government means that the never-ending nonsense of politics simply does not intrude into most people’s lives. I concede that is changing. Government is starting to intrude more and more. Obamacare being a prime example. I love living in Mexico. But the picture up north is not as bad as you portray. However, it is getting there. You may be more prophet than reporter on this one.

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    1. Don’t kid yourself. Even if there are plenty of folks who are untouched, what Felipe writes about Seinfeld and Friends is completely true. And in places like San Francisco, I’m VERY quiet about having voted for Trump. And if I come out about it, it has to be accompanied by a very long, nuanced explanation.

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    1. Ray: Yes, of course, it’s here. Or there, from my perspective, although what happens in America (and Western Europe) affects the entire world. I think Karlos’ (above comment) analogy of the frog in the gradually boiling water is perfect. Putting Trump in the Oval Office was part of “what to do about it,” but I’m pessimistic that it will do much good in the long haul.

      Basically, people are dumb and/or ignorant.

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      1. The Trump election was the result. But, the failure of the Republican majority to pass repeal of Obamacare (when most made this the central issue of their campaign ) has shown that politics is not the answer.

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  6. I am also at the point of no return having made my great escape eight years ago. American culture has crashed like a fried hard drive and CPU. On the surface, it looks the same, it simply doesn’t work anymore.

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  7. Felipe,

    The Great Escape is one of my all-time favorite movies. Thankfully, you still don’t need to jump over a razor wire fence to leave the US. How long that remains true is yet to be determined. I’m in the process of planning my great escape. Mi espousa was favorably impressed with Ajijic and is looking forward to living there. We just have to get things in motion up here NOB.

    I can’t imagine what the US will be like in another 17 years. Each day it gets worse and worse. I felt like a common criminal when returning to the US from our recent visit to Mexico. The US Customs automated kiosk passport system went down right as we were being processed. We had to go stand in another line to be processed manually. Agent asked us a bunch of stupid questions then let us go only to get in another line so another agent could ask us more questions. Total lunacy. You’d think they would have a system that worked and recognized you as a US citizen with no outstanding warrants and no prior arrests and let you pass without playing 20 questions with the US version of the Gestapo.

    Regards,
    Troy

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    1. Troy: I have not, as previously mentioned, crossed the U.S. border since 2009. It was easy for me at that time and relatively easy for my wife too. In spite of that, even back then, I heard all manner of grim tales, not just for legal Mexicans with visas, but U.S. citizens too. I imagine that it’s gotten far worse. It’s just one of numerous reasons why visiting the U.S. holds little appeal for me these days.

      (Funny story: Crossing the border via car requires — or did — that Mexicans park and go inside the station to get an additional permit. You stand in line. This was at the Columbia crossing near Laredo. I stood with my wife. When we got to the window, the pendejo asked for a copy of a light bill from home to prove residence. That, in spite of her having a valid visa in her hand. Obviously, we were not carrying an electricity bill from home. I hit the ceiling, verbally, and he asked me to go off somewhere and sit down, which I did. I don’t know what she told him, but in a few moments more, we had the extra permit and were on our way.

      (Light bills, water bills, etc., are common methods of proving residence in Mexico for this, that and the other. Nobody here accepts your driver’s license, a government document sealed in plastic with your address plainly shown. Gotta be a light bill, etc.)

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        1. Troy: Low light bills, low medical costs, the list goes on and on. Gotta wonder why anyone still chooses to live above the border. Oh, I remember! Making a living.

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      1. Remember my hassles with US immigration leaving the USA on my Mexican Roadtrip in 2014? The Gestapo now works in both directions.

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