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I Thought I Was ready To Leave America. 2017 Changed My Mind.


I Thought I Was ready To Leave America. 2017 Changed My Mind.

Carmel McMahon

Was I really going to pull an ‘Irish goodbye’ now that things had got real?

‘America had educated me. Given me employment opportunities I would never have gotten in Ireland. Brought me love and friendship. Exposed me to some incredible highs and horrific lows.’ (Photo: Carmel McMahon)


My reasons for coming to the US and for staying are very similar to Ms McMahon’s.

Only I a few shades darker than her.

On Saturday, a bar allegorically called the pit lost its computer, so we had additional Karaoke singers at my regular haunt .
I was the only one there aside from their crowd. So they invited me to join them.

It soon turned into a game of superiority and one upmanship, and their KJ and his girlfriend modified song lyrics, looking directly at me and asked me to leave the country. The young men in the crowd sang a rap song by a white singer extolling the virtues of the white origin of everything and how absurd the art form they were singing in was.

They were initially supportive of my crooning, but left the bar to hang outside on my last song.

I am doing exactly what I came here to do.


Carmel McMahon- my hopes are that maybe your Fnnegan-finnesse will over time contribute keys to the philandering sloughing off on the seamy side in our pretentiously pumped-up foggy bottom.
Diverse eyes and rigorous hearts have frequently been some of the best hauling bits of tradition and legacy found missing in this ‘no mans land’ made us. All of us are on ancient grounds defiled and wishing it were but from this morning’s coffee grounds that the scent arises. I toast your journey and heart of adventure. May it be contagious to all here. With best wishes in untangling the New year to come.

In case any might be interested in an old psychonaught’s take on James Joyce and the vicissitudes of one of the world’s most beloved linguistic poetic dreams weaving scenarios on the daunting task of being alive.


I suspect that the fact that it is only because she lives in big, wonderful, New York City that she decided to stay in the USA. Her decision to get the hell out of here would have been a no-brainer if she was living in, say, Columbus, Ohio.


The Dead is my favorite James Joyce piece. Been thinking about other non-English writers who write in English bringing new flavors and viewpoints that enrich the English language as much as non whites and other immigrants have enriched the US. One such writer is Neil J. Smith, an African-Bahamian, www.literarytongues.com with a compelling personal story and history. Arundhati Roy is another extraordinary writer who brings jewels of her own Indian cultural proclivity to an international readership through the agency of the English language. This is similar to what black folks have created here in the US by infusing a deep subconscious memory of African sensibilities into a most original art form–Jazz–or, as Duke Ellington would say, Black Music, played on European instruments.


Excellent! A poster woman for the Americans we should all strive to become.


Depends on what you like, I guess. I’d take open countryside over over-surveilled stop-and-frisk streets any day.


I left after I saw 9-11 used to drag us into a war on trumped up charges. After I protested in our city streets against that upcoming war along with millions all over the world. Bush had gotten our trusted Colin Powell to say he would get it over in a month. Yeah, right. Iraq, over in a month.
The way I figure, the US doesn’t go to war with people who speak English. So I joined the tens of thousands of foreigners in China teaching every child and college student English. It is fairly unlikely that I’ll be able to be become Chinese. They may even throw me out just when I get old. Whatever.


I am fifth generation Montana back to 1880 from a 16 year old immigrant Norwegian farrier. Now I live in a country that has elected a denier of science in general and the real cause of climate change. A population that thinks of it’s own comfort first with no thought of future generations or the rest of this planet’s inhabitants, and has an irrational habit of rejecting any evidence that it’s economic system has become perverse, has no real potential for the greatness that it proclaims. Speaking out has become the best course and the only course of revolution for now. Other avenues will present themselves and the rich and powerful may lose their station and their wealth because the planet has finite capacity to tolerate their excesses. We need a lot more immigrants to come and obtain the right to vote intelligently. Immigrants built this country and now the world is full of people who see this country as the ultimate until they get here and see the truth of it’s inequality. As a resident of a vibrantly red state I seek intelligent people to talk with. They are very often recently here from other countries. They bring with them the ability to see clearly. Clear vision is something most US born citizens no longer have.


There is a growing number of people in the world who consider themselves international, citizens of the world. Is national sentiment necessary?


helen, I do agree in questioning the need for a “national sentiment” As for the lies that lead to US Occupations of other countries i will add my intense disgust of Obama’s bailout of corporations and especially paying for the banking bailout with the peoples’ taxes. Ordinary workers paying to bomb innocent civilians while making millionaires into billionaires ? Why?
Whenever I have the occasion to talk with recently arrived immigrants especially the youth I attempt to engage them in conversation about the need to become politically aware and to learn the history and the changes that have been insidiously removing any civil rights that had been won during the 1940’s. As a second generation immigrant of many decades, I hope that I have some clout. Many fellow citizens are so smug and unaware so I too long for fresh energy to infuse the future generations.


“Intense disgust” accurately describes not just the Obama Administration, but every POTUS from Reagan to the present.

Anybody ready to leave Murka needs to consider that the latest GOP tax cuts will enable the 1% to buy politicians in whatever nation you are thinking of going to. Now that the 1% own enough Murkin politicians to control the place, they will apply that same model to other nations so the 99% in those nations will be shafted at least as bad as Murkins are.


Good heart, nice read.


You might enjoy “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” by Marlon James.


Wonderful testaments to human capacities to recognize the failings of dominance of interactive systemic hegemony revered as/more than any ‘god’ of any religious cult/establishment. I also think of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Stephen Biko:
“It is perhaps fitting to start by examining why it is necessary for us to think collectively about a problem we never created. In doing so, I do not wish to concern myself unnecessarily with the white people of South Africa, but to get to the right answers, we must ask the right questions; we have to find out what went wrong - where and when; and we have to find out whether our position is a deliberate creation of God or an artificial fabrication of the truth by power-hungry people whose motive is authority, security, wealth and comfort…(…)” Steve Biko 1973 from “Black Consciousness and the Quest for a True Humanity”.

and R.D.Laing who, in Knots, set the graphic outline for The Divided Self. Noam Chomsky stating that the system is schizophrenic. I don’t know if he said that the system is designed to be schizophrenic, but it certainly looks that way.

  • and then there are uncounted who never find their way into publication.


That has been happening for decades. Raping and pillaging poor nations and our military backing of these corporations doing so. Of course, they could not of done it without paying the local dicators and corrupt governments.


You are operating on stereotypes.

Cities are the centers of culture and all that make humans human.

Then there are cities like Columbus - which are just homogenized suburban wastelands (and a Big-Jock U. that isn’t known for any kind of academic excellence) full of people who love Trump.


Exactly. I pretty much can only fine intelligent coffee-break conversation with the young foreign workers in my workplace.


My comment on Obama’s bailout should include his crackdown on whistle blowers and the severe increase in drone bases around the world. Of course all POTUS have provided us with reasons for “intense disgust” plus anger, frustration and horror but Obama fooled the citizens stimulating hope for change with his use nice rhetoric and passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.


Arundhati Roy is brilliant, has one beautiful mind…