Well, it has been probably been one of the most absurd and yet fulfilling months I have ever had. And yet, the ultimate conclusion is that my “home” is no longer here. By “here” I mean not just Milwaukee, not just Wisconsin, nor even the Upper Midwest, but the United States.
Regular readers will probably sigh and think that this is another one of my sly anti-American screeds, but this time, it has more to do with just where my life is at as opposed to politics. It really has more to do with (cue music) “when I think of home.” I think of seeing Karl Stefanovic make a tit of himself every morning; I think of ordering a Schooner while looking at Central Station; to be honest with you, I think of all the clichés of a Qantas advert.
Yet, going to my new home won’t be as simple as jumping on the Flying Roo. Actually, it’s going to involve a bit of work and travel across the US, Europe, and Asia. Therefore, this new chapter of this corner of the internet will begin with a travel diary. I’m not going to tell you where I’m going until I actually get there, but you can guarantee that the final stop will be Sydney.
Some parting thoughts on Milwaukee:
- I used to dream about living in Downtown Milwaukee, now that I’m staying Downtown, it’s shockingly dead. Considering that Tom Barrett (as well as Norquist) have done a lot to bring life to Downtown, there remains even more to be done. There’s only little bit of “there” here, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein’s famous comment about Oakland.
- Wisconsin is in the midst of both a Senatorial and Gubernatorial race. The Senate race is between Russ Feingold (D) and some cornball in-over-his-head company owner Ron Johnson (R). Johnson is one of those types who swears up and down that all Washington needs is “common business sense.” The funniest thing is that this lot seems to think that they are going to succeed where many others have failed. Frankly, after a failed MBA presidency (GWB) the last thing the US needs is another business owner.
- The Gubernatorial race is much more interesting. The incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle is running, so Milwaukee’s mayor Tom Barrett is running to replace him with Jim McGreevey-lookalike (and possible act-alike) Scott Walker running for the GOP. This race is going to be nasty as hell. Scott Walker seems to be playing the no-jobs and high-taxes card and Barrett is working sympathy (he got beat up defending a woman at the State Fair a few years ago). I will be very honest here and admit that I loathe Walker. He instituted a very comprehensive public smoking ban for one main reason: making money from the fines. He also just looks…dodgy. Seriously, Wisconsin politicians are either saints (Feingold, Kohl) or massive sinners (Thompson, Joseph McCarthy). I totally see a big scandal coming down the Walker path.
- After driving down to O’Hare for the last time, I truly believe like all of my fellow Statesmen and Stateswomen that Illinois drivers are insane.
- Apparently inter-political affiliation marriages are quite the shocker in Milwaukee. I made mention of this is in my eulogy and people were just SHOCKED that my parents married despite being political polar opposites.
- Milwaukee is still the best city to drink beer in.
- This last one is not so Milwaukee-centric, but more America-specific, but we really need to start taxing the churches. The clergy are getting away with living the high life while their flocks are stuck trying make ends meet. That’s not cricket.
Easy hint as to my first post-Milwaukee destination: It’s what Canberra wishes it could be, what Auckland thinks it is, and what “Pretoria” still is.