Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Romanian Education System (brief reprise)

I thought I had finished with this series, but every now and again something comes along to remind me of what a bunch of useless cretins run education in this country.

In two weeks time it is May 1st.  We've know this for quite a long time.  Not long after that, in fact at the weekend, it is Orthodox Easter. Again, this is not a new piece of information.  People have know about it for a long time.  Centuries in fact.  So, Wednesday May 1st is a public holiday (because May 1st is always a holiday, every year, without fail).  And Orthodox Easter Monday (May 6th this year) is a public holiday (because it always is, etc etc and so on).  Now given all of this, you might have thought that someone, possibly at the beginning of the school year, could have put those facts together and wondered whether it might be worth making this into something of a longer holiday.

But no, this has only been thought about now.  And yesterday, yes, yesterday, a directive was issued from the Ministry that there would be a 6 day holiday from May 1st-6th, and that to make up for it there would be two Saturdays of classes. The first of these Saturdays is this coming one. Two days from now.

If you had plans this weekend? Fuck you, we've changed the timetable.  If you would possibly have liked to have used this 6 day break for a holiday of some sort? Fuck you, you've no time to organise anything.

Now I could speculate that some parent who is high up in the Ministry has decided that he (it will be a he) would like to take his family away for a long weekend then, and he has nothing on this weekend, so there is no real problem with rearranging the nation's timetables for that. But that would just be baseless speculation, so I won't.

Last one on this subject

Ok, my last comment on Thatcher (probably)

It was good to see that the news has finally recognised that there are people who are not really sad that she's died. They're still presenting us as a small minority, but at least we now seem to exist. Though last night I heard some bloke talking as if the main problem we had with her was that she was uncompassionate and uncaring. 

Now the fact is I think this is looking at it the wrong way. The people we are told she "seemed not to care about" were actually the targets all along. She famously didn't believe in society, but she also hated community, she hated groups of people banding together for mutual support. It didn't fit her Raynian worldview where everything that was worth anything was achieved by individual endeavour. 

So the mining communities of South Yorkshire for example, the members of the NUM, the families of the miners, were not some kind of collateral damage in her fight with Arthur Scargill. They were the targets. In a sense Scargill was the collateral damage. It wasn't him she wanted to finish, it was them, the communities, the families, the unions. This repeated throughout Britain, wherever working people dared to organise, dared to support one another. They didn't fit the model so they had to be stopped.

She's dead, but this mad hatred of community and society, is unfortunately very much alive. It was perpetuated by Blair, and is now being attempted to be finished by Cameron and Osborne. We're being pitted against each other to fight from the few scraps that fall from the table.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Video about this region

This is worth a watch if you want to see where I live. Though obviously, as with all YouTube clips, avoid the comments like the plague.  They will depress the crap out of you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fire and Traffic interface excitement

A small coda to my recent post on Vietnamese traffic.  While in Danang, on a couple of occasions I sat at a riverside bar and watched as they tested this flame-throwing dragon out. Now it has officially opened for business. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? A dragon breathing out tongues of fire over the traffic.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Good riddance

Predictably there's a lot of bleating about how one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, or a plea for some decorum in the response to what effectively is the death of an old, senile woman. But Thatcher was not just an old lady, she was a symbol, a symbol of hate and extremism, and an all out war on the poor and the working class that goes on to this day. Her death changes nothing, but to not celebrate it would be to somehow legitimise this view of her regime as a statesmanlike one, when in fact she (and her government) caused more harm, caused more damage, caused more hate and divisiveness than anyone before. Thatcherism, sadly, is very much alive and well. But to celebrate the death of Thatcher herself is just and right and true. Good riddance you vile inhuman beast.

My friend David Stubbs provides a better obituary:
What needs addressing as a matter of absolute urgency right now, however, is that Thatcher 's legacy is one of gross, almost comically staggering inequality. We are not all in this together. We are heading down shit creek while a tiny few of "them" are up on the clifftop holding all the paddles. Inequality, inequality, inequality, stupid. If there's good to come from her death, beyond a few street parties, it's that we realise that Thatcherism never died, was never truly even un-elected. It's time to shake ourselves, and others, out of the daze into which we were collectively not so much handbagged as headbutted back in the early 80s. Thatcherism was the worst thing to happen to this country since the Second World War and it'll carry on happening to us unless we do something about it.