A Stranger in a Strange Land

Just what are the Globalists and their minions taking from us, really?

They are stealing our wealth, that much is very clear. In that move they are accumulating enormous power, those two go hand in hand. They are creating a monoculture—their ideal “One World”—which on the surface to a great many around the world sounds like a nice thing.

These folks, mostly the young and those of ‘aspiring’ economies, expect to see more opportunities, a more equal distribution of resources, better access to education, a higher standard of living.

I want those things for them too.

This doesn’t sell as well in the U.S. and other Western countries. Our standard of living is already quite high, relatively speaking. So the promotion angle of their scheme is different with us. We get verbally spanked for being too successful.

We get optimal inflation and free training in resilience and a taste of tyranny and are expected to be grateful for it.

Whether you buy into the Globalist socio-economic vision or expect to benefit from it is the crux of most folks’ concern—either for or against—if they are concerned at all.

But what’s really being stolen, the root of the issue, as I see it, is much more serious than material gains or losses, or more convenient global commerce. Or mass immigration. Or even a totalitarian takeover.

Both Hubby and I were avid travelers when we met, and continued in that vein for many years afterwards. Most of this was before widespread use of the internet, when traveling alone was really traveling alone. If you got homesick you waited two weeks for a letter, or stood in line at the pay phone, or just suffered through it.

Mark Twain has supposedly said, “Traveling makes you humble.” I believe he meant the real kind of travel, not the group tours through Europe hitting ten capitals in ten days brand of modern tourism. No military base or corporate job or trust fund to cling to either. Those types are real traveling about as much as glamping resembles real camping.

To be a stranger in a strange land is a consciousness altering and life changing experience. When I saw McDonalds and signs in English and waves of expats, I got my fill of nostalgia quickly, and moved on. I experienced lots of loneliness. LOTS. I was scared sometimes. I put myself in some compromising positions, which I then had to navigate without the safety nets of language, cultural familiarity, kinship, or commraderie. “Travails” —that is the deepest purpose of travel and what separates a traveler from a tourist, or an occupier.

When I see signs in this country in Spanish or Chinese I feel sorry for those travelers, or immigrants. They are missing something essential through our obsession with making everyone feel safe and welcomed.

They are missing the life-changing opportunity to become ingratiated to another, in testing their own metal, in developing their own personal resilience and emotional fortitude. And ultimately, their ability to adapt to an environment, and to transform themselves.

We are not doing them any favors by denying them these opportunities and calling it welcoming and inclusive.

What we are actually doing is fostering weakness and projecting our own sheltered materialism onto all those who come here in order to experience cultural strength and conscious, courageous individuality—in us—and in themselves.

The Old World

Easter as a time of rebirth is far older than our Christian framework and in honor of this truth I’d like to share a relevant personal story.

I have never been a religious person and do not come from a particularly religious family. I’d label my religious influence in the ‘minimal’ category—I did go to Sunday school for a short time as a child, it was a Christian Science church that my grandparents attended for some of my young life. I remember my first experience of understanding that “JewIsh” was something different than “Christian” not until I was in high school. It made hardly an impact beyond a basic curiosity for me. What I learned then was that “the Jews” in our suburban Midwest milieu went to the high school in the rich suburbs, not ours in the middle-rent area of the burbs.

Then I went abroad and met a Jewish girl from this very high school, because all the high schools in our area shared the same overseas programs. We became friends for that short period and I consoled her when she burst into sobs upon visiting a Holocaust museum. I was moved by her pain and sorrow expressed for the suffering of a people she never knew, but still called her own. I had never experienced such a feeling before myself and the others in our group seemed annoyed or off-put by her overt signs of grief that were perhaps exaggerated, I don’t know, it’s possible, after all we were teenage girls, that does happen.

I had deep interests in language and culture from a young age that was not shared by others in my family. But my mom was open to my sense of adventure and supported my vagabond spirit as much as she could.

Traveling was the greatest rush of my life up until that time and I became quite obsessed with it. I expected my raison d’etre was to become a travel writer, which from the vantage point of today is almost humorous, considering I gave up traveling many years ago, as protest against Homeland Security measures of bodily harassment.

But for two decades I was ALL over the place. I still miss it. I still hope someday travel becomes what it once was to me, before the tyranny began in earnest and I chose to make a such a sacrifice in response.

By the time I’d visited Prague I’d seen many of the great cities of Europe. I loved Paris and Munich in particular; did not care for Berlin or Bern; would’ve moved to Amsterdam in a heartbeat.

I felt already as a seasoned traveler when the overnight train deposited me in Prague in the summer of 1990 at age 22. I knew enough to hang out on the railroad platform with my backpack until some suitable locals passed by offering a room for rent. Hotels were for aristocrats, not backpackers, and cheap lodging was not easy to come by, even in that still relatively cheap city.

I installed myself in the offered closet called a room. I got by on butchered German from my high school days and met only two other travelers who spoke English. It was the most foreign of cities I’d visited thus far, because the Soviet influence was still palpable everywhere, the Velvet Revolution had taken place the year before.

It really did feel like stepping back in time, everything felt old, and to me, drab. Gray and drab, bordering on depressing. The people seemed spent. The buildings looked dilapidated. The cars were rusty jalopies. The cafes were hardly the vibrant displays of conviviality as in Paris. But there was something else far more provocative to me than all which seemed missing having come from ‘the west’.

The first night I ventured out in tourist mode across the Charles Bridge I was stopped speechless in my steps. It was spring, but it was cold and drizzling and I was lured to an outdoor puppet show on the banks of the Vltava. I laughed because the children watching were laughing. I stayed for a while to watch them watching.

I didn’t think of my brief friendship with the Jewish girl, even in this most Jewish of cities. I’d read my guidebooks, I knew the city was seeped in old world culture and was beyond impressed with its architecture, a subject that had fascinated me already for a decade.

I integrate her now in this story for what happened next. I offered the backstory here in order to highlight that what happened next was completely outside of my influences and upbringing and any frame of reference beyond that one incident of that Jewish girl at the Holocaust museum.

When I gazed out over the Vltava from the Charles Bridge that night, quite alone in the cold and drizzle, an unknown and unforgettable emotion rolled over me. Like her, who that day could only express her emotion in tears, I could only express mine in awe. I felt as if my jaw had dropped and I stood cemented in place like one of the many towering statues.

I knew this place before, that’s all I felt. It was as if time and space had vanished and the people and the language and the events of that place, completely unknown to me, were instantly my own. It was the briefest of moments, come and gone as quickly as a dream, but more evocative than any lived experience. The past had invaded and embodied me, some sort of deep nostalgia had resurfaced, and the only word I could ever come up to try to describe it was Love, as lame as that is. Love, as in somehow, Magic.

That’s always made me curious. How could a foreign city evoke such an intense and inexplicable and ephemeral yet still fully embodied emotion?

I had no idea the answer then and still don’t have one. But something of what I experienced in that brief moment is as close as I am to a lived understanding of God.

Since the door of travel for me was closed by the tyrants, the window that opened is arm-chair traveling from the comfort of my hammock and it feels like a blessing.

That is thanks to technology (irony to the Luddite, right?) and to kindred spirits who show me that indeed, there is an old world magic that might have been built seeking rebirth through our eyes, and maybe that’s what I felt then, and maybe that’s what the Jewish girl felt, and maybe that’s happening right now to someone else at this very moment.

Thanks to Jon Levi for his fascinating work in re-imagining our history and re-igniting my nostalgia.

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