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In case you missed it…


Down in the sleigh ride thread, I pointed to this charming story: Sweden, asked to take in the highest per-capita number of refugees, has had to stuff six hundred of the buggers into an empty ski resort in the far North of Lapland. This time of year, the temp is 14°F and the sun never shines. Like, ever.

All the stories about it obviously derive from the same source story (this particular one is from the National Post of Canada). I strongly suspect the whining has been dialed down several notches. Also LOL at the one refugee who worries this will queer his hopes of studying physics at university. That right there encapsulates the hopes and dreams of migrants everywhere, I’m sure.

The weather here, meanwhile. Well. Horrifying pictures coming from the North, and now the West. Our little sunny corner of the motherland is the only part of the country to escape, though we’ve had wind and rain and unseasonable warmth aplenty.

And wind from odd quarters, which means leaks in odd places.

That looks like something that should be cross-stitched on a sampler.


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 30, 2015, 11:51 pm

Some years ago, I had a co-worker who was ethnic Chinese from Kuala Lumpur (4 degrees N of the equator). He’d come to the U.S. to go to Michigan Tech University, in Houghton, Michigan. Houghton is in the Keweenaw Peninsula, which sticks out of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula into Lake Superior. Up there, a mild winter is when they have only 200″ of snow.

Yeah, it was a shock – but he finished his degree at MTU, and one summer while I knew him, he brought his parents over for a vacation up there. (It really is beautiful country in the summer.)

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: December 31, 2015, 2:37 am

I’m very glad to hear you and Uncle B have escaped the worst of the weather problems surrounding you. The stories and photos from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland had me worried.

Here on the west coast of Florida, it has been in the low 80s F during the day, and getting down to a frigid 70° F at night. It is so cold I have had to sleep covered by a sheet. Brrrr!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 31, 2015, 3:10 am

I always imagine that immigrants’ view of the ‘West’ is distorted by the (unintentional?) evil of Hollywood movies and TV shows. I first came across this concept around the time the Berlin Wall fell. It seems that the best technology of Communism could not block the Sitcoms, and the East Germans developed an idealized view of life under Capitalist Democracy.

As you know, or will notice once you start to look for it, even the poorest single mother on TV lives in a nice 2500 square foot apartment and has a nice car. No one is hungry- ever…. And the commercials just enhance the illusion.

I suspect that almost every Syrian/Afghan/Iraqi has this Disneyesque image of life in the West, and how could they not?

So life has turned to shit, you’re unemployed, and maybe even burned out of your home – or might be. Now suddenly it seems that Europe is welcoming -for now, but for how long? And how long will Syria/Afghanistan/Iraq be fucked up? Three more years? Five? Forever?

So, I understand the desire to come West, and I don’t know to stop them.

But I worry about the disillusionment to come, and the resulting bitterness. I don’t know how to stop that either. Paris is the epicenter of both the hope that lured them and the hate for the reality they found. I am ever a pessimist but I do not see how this will not end in tears.

Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: December 31, 2015, 4:03 am

“…wind from odd quarters, which means leaks in odd places.

That looks like something that should be cross-stitched on a sampler”

Or maybe an ad for Depends.

Comment from catnip
Time: December 31, 2015, 4:28 am

We live in perilous times, thanks to the multi-culturalists. As long as the fulminations of men like Anjem Choudary are tolerated by civil societies, disaffected muslim youth will be drawn into performing acts of violent jihad against them.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 31, 2015, 6:04 am

I suspect that almost every Syrian/Afghan/Iraqi has this Disneyesque image of life in the West, and how could they not?

But they also see the West as being far more sexualized and violent than it is.

OTOH, there was a story told by IIRC Tunku Varadarajan. He asked an Indian acquaintance why he was so eager to immigrate to the U.S. The guy said “I want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.”

Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: December 31, 2015, 1:29 pm

From the linked story:

Kuldkepp maintains he has enjoyed catering for his unusual guests. “It is and was a fascinating project, a once in a lifetime experience for all of us,” he added.

“They have the fighting spirit. That’s why they came so far.”

If they have the fighting spirit, one wonders why they didn’t stay at home and, well, fight.

Comment from mostly cajun
Time: December 31, 2015, 4:27 pm

As they say in France – “le waaaaah!”


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2015, 5:25 pm

Interesting article about Sweden having second thoughts on this whole refugee business. Despite the WaPo leaning on the scale as hard as they can, they can’t quite make the incomers sympathetic. OH, and check out *this* specimen:

The worst part, he said, will be living without easy access to books, especially his favorites: “Shakespeare, the Victorians, the Transcendentalists and George Orwell.”

Pff! Oh, come on! Really, WaPo?

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: December 31, 2015, 6:55 pm

It just seems that since Bezos bought the WaPo, they’ve gone all in for the narrative along w/ the NYT.
Now the jerk’s sending me spam via Amazon – “WaPo’s most read…”

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