Expatriate Anyone?

Where to Invade Next debuted in Chicago in Fall 2015. I didn’t have enough money to go to the premiere, but watching it has been on the back of my mind since.

Last night while perusing Amazon Prime I found that Prime users can watch it for free. Success! Now I can watch!

How was it? How am I?

One word: great. Another word: paralyzed.

Gathered from the film: Italy provides two months of vacation time to workers a year. They provide an extra month of salary for said vacation. They provide new mothers five months of paid maternity leave. French children, even at poor schools, have no soda or sugary vending machines and instead have chefs prepare five course school lunches that focus on nutrition and cooking techniques to teach children how to eat well as they grow. Finland has the best education system in the world because they do not give kids homework–if they do, it is ten minutes or less a night. Norway provides prisoners rooms the size of apartments, each, and caps prison sentences to 21 years, with no death penalty, and actually focuses on rehabilitation into society and treating each other like neighbors. Therefore, re-incarceration rates are at 20%. American prisons are 80%.

Portugal doesn’t arrest people for using drugs. Tunisia has federally funded contraceptive services, including abortions, for women. Iceland elected their first female president in 1980 and continues to have at least 40% of their government be men or women. In short, both genders must actually, equally be represented. The only banks that didn’t fail during the recession were run by women and the men in charge of hedge funds in Iceland that caused the recession were tried in court and jailed for their crime. No bankers after the recession in America were ever charged for their crimes.

I need to get out of this country. This came to me during the Finland portion of the documentary. It was talking about education and the need for the arts and literature and painting and play, all of these subjects that were vital to my personal development, which are fiercely being cut in schools across America because they are not considered lucrative career opportunities for young people. Teachers in Finland were dismayed to hear about the American school system and said that the point of education is essentially to make your child a compassionate person who has a sense of the world around them and empathy and courage and a trajectory for their happiness.

When Icelandic female leaders were asked what they would say to Americans if they could, one woman said that no one could pay her enough to live in America. She said that the toxic mentality of being concerned about only yourself and your family, of trying to get ahead of everyone else and giving little to no shit about fellow Americans and the society we are all built within, was sickening. She could never be a part of it. I don’t think it is good for me to be a part of it in the long run.

In short: I’m reading. A lot. Plays, memoirs, writing some, too. I’m reading about Finland and moving abroad in a serious manner in the next few years. I’ve been dreaming about moving to Ireland but I need to do more research. I’ve been to Finland and it was my favorite country in Scandinavia. Apparently, there is a shortage in the workforce and they desperately need young talent in various sectors, especially healthcare.

In short: I’m thinking that maybe my general toxicity of the mind is coming from the world I live in that is a bubble like no other. I’m trying to think of a way to get out of it for a little while. Any thoughts on cities friendly to ex-pats or input is welcome.

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