Thursday, March 24, 2011

On multinational marriages

My significant other and I are of different nationalities, and a while ago we made the decision to tie the knot. It has been quite complicated to make many aspects of our relationship work given that our situation has usually consisted of us being foreigners in a third country. With me being Brazilian and my fiancée being Mexican, we thought marrying in one of our countries would be nice. Our plan for the Spring/Fall (in the southern hemisphere, where I'm from, seasons are in reverse) was for us to go to Brazil, where I expected to take a vacation, and get married there. It turns out, marrying in Latin countries is an exercise in patience with inane bureaucracy. In Brazil, you need to bring birth certificates and official statements that you are not married (like these documents are not easily forged). The stupidity of this is illustrated in the flowchart below:

If you are a foreigner, you need to "legalize" these documents in the main Brazilian consulate of your country of origin, so if you are not there when you decide to marry out of your own country, as must be the case for at least one participant in the process, good luck getting back to the old bureaucracy. Now it gets even more interesting, because in Mexico, prior to bringing these documents to the consulate, they require you to validate them in no less than three Mexican public offices, in two different cities. This is the pinnacle of stupidity. Just so you can appreciate the scale of the problem (locally), I illustrate a map of Mexico connecting the two states in question. You can see that they are fairly close, as far as Mexico is laid out, and yet, obtaining the documents and the rubber stamps to just get started, one is expected to travel more than one thousand kilometers, twice!

On the other hand, in the United States, the couple needs to come to the county building wielding passports, and swear that they are not drunk, closely related, and not currently married elsewhere. God bless America!
As I get more irritated with this situation, I might update this post with more diagrams.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dirty Country

I know it has been a while been a while since I last posted, given my current search for permanent faculty positions and drive to publish as much as humanly possible, I have not had a lot of time to write decently here. Nevertheless, today I felt inspired by a incredibly funny documentary about an American country singer that writes dirty songs. This guy is very good to take somebody out of the blues. Meet, Larry Pierce:

His exploits are chronicled in the documentary Dirty Country, the trailer is embedded below:

Netflix (correctly may I add) guessed that after watching the Winnebago Man documentary. That is another documentary I highly recommend.

This series of movies, believe me or not, is what makes me still believe in the future potential of America and Americans. If more people like the ones in these movies took an interest in steering this country, without the religious zealotry and the microcephalic politicking, they might have a shot at seeing the end of the 21st century as they were in the 40s.