From David Lestock: "Don't let Homeland Security spoil your fun...I feel like you'll have much more to lose by never going back to the US than what you have to gain by not going back."
From Mario Silvestra III: "go to the ppa, have your friends write letters to the officers, talk to someone higher up on the food chain, i don't know but the least you can do is research your options instead of blame a whole country and change your whole life and outlook based off a handful of dbag officers"
I've had a number of similar comments via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and so on expressing ideas on how to get in. Hire a lawyer, go to the consulate. Do this, do that. I think these people are well-intentioned, but they're missing the point.
Here's the thing: I did put forth effort. Granted, it wasn't like, a okay, let's dig deep and get every single duck in a row effort. It was a bunch of hours of collecting papers, then about 8 hours total driving to, back from, and at the border. All told maybe 15 hours of my time.
What seems to be getting forgotten by the poeple who encourage me to do this or that to keep trying is...there are lots and lots of countries where I don't have to put through this effort.
I suspect that most of the people who have encouraged me to keep trying are American. I wouldn't be surprised if all of them are. Now, it's perfectly natural to feel pride in your country and think it has all the coolest shit. I get that. And I am a big fan of America the country. I've enjoyed the coast of Oregon, the lights of Vegas, the liveliness of New York, the culture of San Francisco, the beaches of Hawaii -- all of that. But what a lot of people seem to be thinking is that I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, like I'm giving up this huge massive big thing. Or that I feel defeated and helpless and this is my way of throwing my hands in the air. But it's not like that. I'm simply choosing other countries over the United States. It's more like having a favourite nightclub that you used to go to all the time, but now they've hired a bunch of bouncers with bad attitudes who treat their customers like shit. I'm not going to talk bad about the club and certainly not its customers; I'm simply going to choose to go to the club down the street which treats me better.
And if it does so happen that one day there is something I absolutely positively must do down in the United States, well, I'll worry about how I'm going to do that then. But for now, it's a simple cost-benefit analysis. I *could* go through all the effort of hiring lawyers and doing this and that and the other thing, but ... why? Why don't I just go to Brazil, or Eastern Europe, or northern Africa, or any number of places I've never been? Ultimately, jumping through a lot of constantly-moving hoops just isn't worth it, so I'm not going to bother.