Saturday, September 13, 2008


Just had a funny thought. All these Marxist poets everywhere: I'm legally not allowed to be a Marxist. I've signed an oath. I'm also not allowed to be gay or have AIDS or be a terrorist.


Blogger Max said...

Hmm ... are you talking about a citizenship thing? I don't get it.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Amish Trivedi said...


I believe similar requirements are still made in some jobs, which may be what Johannes is talking about.

Though until the man himself responds, I guess we have no real way of knowing, which pretty much negates my entire reason for posting.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

If that's a ND thing, I'm extra glad I didn't apply!

9:33 PM  
Blogger sandrasimonds said...

What did you sign? I don't understand?

5:36 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

No that's what I signed for getting my greencard. They probably don't care about Marxists anymore, but this was before it all went down (the wall etc). So there were tons of stuff about being a commie or having ever been associated with a commie organization etc. It's probably different now.

No, ND doesn't require anything like that.

Though when I taught at IUSB intown they did require an oath of allegience to the US.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...


you made a mistake not to apply.

9:15 AM  
Blogger konrad said...

you might enjoy this ... a musical setting of the little form that every visitor to the US had to sign before arriving in the early 1990s -- particularly how it makes many of the questions "punch lines" for the german audience.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

That's pretty funny. Yes, that's the kind of thing you always have to sign left and right having to do with immigration.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I panicked for a moment before rereading that this was a form from, what, the mid-80s? Still, that's pretty ungood.

I got into (and am attending) my first choice school (and it's a medieval studies program, not a comp lit/poetics program, if that matters) so it is somewhat moot. But I've since heard a few stories that suggest the level of homophobia at ND is, well, far higher than anything I would want to voluntarily put myself through. Some of those stories are from the 90s, but some are more recent. If you, who after all are there, want to suggest otherwise, I'd be happy to hear that it's not as bad as I've heard.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

I bet that form is still that way.

Notre Dame is pretty conservative but nothing like UGA and U of AL, where I taught before.

For one the students are just not as filled with hate (of foreigners for example, or "liberal professors").

They are just more civil and respectful. Though I've been told my classes are "self-selecting" - classes on poetry or the avant-garde etc are not going to draw too many homophobes anywhere!

10:28 AM  
Blogger François said...

You and me both, Johannes.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Wait, so being married to an American doesn't kind of negate all that hooey about Marxism and homosexuality and HIV? I'm fairly certain immigration would have a hard time deporting you, Johannes.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Max said...

On the other hand, if I got fired from my job here in Korea, I'd have to be out of the country in 2 weeks.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...


You clearly don't know much about the American Immigration system... This kind of thing happens all the time.

Though of course I am none of those things so I'm not worried.


6:36 AM  
Blogger François said...

Having a job and a baby born in American have never stopped ICE from deporting anyone.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Well, a job, a baby, and a wife. Also, Johannes is Swedish. Also, I don't believe the US gov't is regularly engaged anymore in a standard policy of deporting people for their political beliefs. Will they deport you if you're a terrorist? Uh, yes, probably. Well, actually they'd lock you up in Gitmo, which is a lot worse than deportation.

But anyway. Johannes, are you planning on going through the naturalization process for US citizenship?

9:08 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...


I'm thinking about it. My brother just became a citizen, but my parents aren't.

Funny story: Joyelle's grandfather who worked in the shipyards of Boston was deported to Ireland for being active in the unions in the 1950s, but JF Kennedy helped him out. So in every McSweeney household there is at least one copy of this one photograph of Grampa McSweeney shaking hands with Kennedy.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Wow, that's hilarious. I think you mentioned there being pics of JFK all over before, but I didn't know the reason why.

The beautiful part of earning US citizenship, as a foreigner, is that you can often retain citizenship of your native country as well. If I wanted to get citizenship in, say, Korea, I would have to renounce US citizenship entirely. Sometimes I think about renouncing my citizenship, but honestly, in the event of international cataclysm, I'd probably be kicking myself in the ass.

5:41 AM  
Blogger François said...

Technically, once you've gotten a US citizenship, you are supposed to renounce your other national allegiances (their language, not mine). As for being deported, Max, I will have to differ with you. I've met too many people who have been deported from France or the US just for minor offenses. The only beautiful thing about becoming a US citizen is that they can't deport you anymore.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Oh yeah, the US will say that you're supposed to renounce your other citizenship, but really it's on the other country to enforce that. The US can't say that you're not French or English or Swedish if those governments still recognize you as being so.

I have a friend with dual American and Irish citizenship. He can travel/live in either as he likes.

And as far as deportation is concerned, all I'm saying is that it doesn't seem to me like the US currently has a systematic policy of, say, rooting out and deporting Marxists. I'm not saying nobody is getting deported, just that it doesn't seem like there's an Immigration witch hunt going on or anything like that.

5:25 PM  

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