Beneath the comfy blanket of open-mindedness

Scene from 'La mala educacion'

Scene from the movie 'La mala educacion' by Pedro Almodóvar

Apart from the news of endless riots in Africa and/or Asia, another topic caught my attention during this week. It was the controversial incident of a gay couple thrown out of a pub in Soho for displaying their affection in public.

I first saw the news in the Guardian , but I was intrigued by the comments of several followers of the BBC programme World Have Your Say on Facebook.

I won’t pick any names or concrete examples, as anyone interested can read them by him/herself, but many of them were against homosexuality or at least against public displays of affection when it comes to love between two persons of the same sex.

Of course, the opinions are very different as they come from people all over the world with different mentalities, cultures and education, but it was strange to find so many comments blaming the two guys who were asked to leave John Snow because they were being “obscene”.

I don’t know what they were really doing and how intimate they were, but as far as I know Soho is far from being a conservative , immaculate place in London. And to kick someone out from a pub because they are gay — well, that’s really racist and discriminative, isn’t it?

So this brings me to what I really want to emphasize, the fact that so many ‘westerns’ pose in the perfect, sincere image of open-minded people that understand the concept of politically-correctness and overcome any barriers of race, religion or sexuality. Which is not entirely true as a gram of racial segregation lays in many of them under that fluffy, elegant blanket of ‘anti-discrimination’ attitude.

I’m sure there are people who really feel that way without any absconded thought, but the rest just likes to pretend that they are better when it’s not really the case.

I am sure there is research on people’s real feelings towards racism – with everything that this involves – but I wonder what the results would be of an anonymous survey on at least 3,000 people coming from ‘civilised countries’ on a similar topic, including matters of homosexuality, immigration, interracial marriages etc.

Unfortunately I don’t think we really want to know the truth, cause it’s much more comfortable to point finger in public and then spit from behind.

I’d rather debate on topics such as ‘priests sexually abusing children/boys.’ That is what it should really bother us and make us nausea rather than two men/women kissing eachother in a pub in a city which is famous for extravaganza and libertine.


London Trip: Lords, Commons and Journalists. Part 2

This is my Part 2 of the London trip I took with my classmates from the University of Sheffield. After Part 1 which was a bit more focused on the newsroom and the journalists we’ve met in those places, the second leg of the journey consisted in the big, bad houses of the British Parliament.

“Hats Off, Strangers!”

Huge, impressive and traditional – are the key terms to describe what I’ve seen. For me, coming from a country with 21 years of freedom from the communist era, the traditions and history of the British Parliament are pretty unusual, yet interesting and dazzling. I’m sure many British people could contradict me on that, but I’m looking at it through the eye of an eastern-European 🙂


Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall was completed in 1099

Anyway, the House of Lords seems to have some incredible rules and traditions – which I respect, but I also find them a bit odd and too snobbish, while the House of Commons is a perfect scene for the staged “controversial” debates involving the Prime-Minister, his party and the opposition. Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to get a ticket for the PMQs questions, but we watched it live on TV in a room in the Parliament and it looked like a really bad comedy 😦 I was glad to hear the fire alarm and then have a walk to the Trafalgar Square. But, overall, it was a good chance for me and my colleagues to discover and understand better how the Parliament works (or sometimes doesn’t) in this country.

However, our guests were some popular and influential journalists/politicians in the British media (this applies also for the term “politician”).  Kevin Maguire , a political journalist, seems to me as the typical political journalist who’s best friends with some politicians and takes all his stories from these internal, personal sources. Actually he admitted that he has not done a proper interview in an office since the 1990s. All his stories are written after meetings in pubs, restaurants, official dinners and probably some other friendly circumstances. I liked the way he talked and his style, but you could easily notice that he was like a character playing the political journalist role in a movie at Hollywood…

“Blogging is a way to get yourself noticed”

Our second guest was Iain Dale . Quite famous in UK for his blog. I loved him, really…he seemed more honest than the others and he talked as if he really cared about…his job, journalism and politics. Maybe he was just a better actor than Maguire..then he fooled me 🙂 He gave us some good tips about blogs, abusive bloggers, blog stalkers and the use of social media. But what I really enjoyed was his talk about the LBC Radio show he’s doing and how easy it becomes to empathise with your listeners.  He was right when he said that anyone would comment on a topic which involved Iraq, homosexuality, abortion, war and some other key terms. There’s always a show where these topics are mentioned…See more on Iain Dale on (my classmate) Christina’s blog.

Veni, vidi, vici style

Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of our third guest and I really feel bad about it because I liked him. He didn’t spend enough time in the politics to lie without blinking, so he was frank, concerned and excited about talking to us. He was asked to meet us instead of Luciana Berger, who had to attend some other urgent event. Anyway, I hope someone will remind me his name..a young boy, former student at the Uni. of Sheffield who got a good job at the Parliament.

Last but not least was Paul Blomfield , MP for Sheffield Central. Not too much to say about him..he’s a politician. He came, he voted, he answered his questions as a politician and then he left.

All the four encounters were an interesting experience for us, as future journalists, even though some of us might never practice journalism in the UK, I still consider it has been a great trip with loads of things to learn. Plus, not too many people have the chance to meet in flesh and talk to these journalists, politicians and media people.

Sure, maybe not everything was perfect during our trip, but most of it was. So it was an honour in a way, for me, to be there, to represent the University of Sheffield together with all my classmates and to take part in such a great experience. Plus, we really had a good time between and after the official schedule 😀 whoop whoop!

Why ‘GoodFood’ came to Romania

I found out today that Romanian food is disgusting. Or at least I was told so. I’m not that much into Romanian dishes either, but I definitely disagree with such a statement. It came from a wise, impressive man, who tried to make a joke, I suppose, about how “GoodFood” magazine came to Romania. He said he tasted some jelly thing – I didn’t exactly understand – possibly pork jelly meaning “Piftie” or else I have no idea what he was talking about. There are several issues to be discussed here from mentalities and culture to personal taste, but that’s another story. I’m just talking on the surface of a day.

Of course, de gustibus non est disputandum, but you can’t judge a book by its cover either, right? So, I think it would be better to keep the joke on a local level next time and not generalise it on the whole national cuisine. I bet he’d never thought there could be a Romanian student in that big class room listening once again to ironic jokes about Romania.
With all due respect, Mr. Brett, unless you’ve tried all the national Romanian dishes and found most of them disgusting, don’t say that might have been the reason why “GoodFood” magazine came to Romania. I’m sure it’s more than that, isn’t it?

On the other hand, the lecture was great. I found it very useful to learn about the 4 P: Preparation, Passion, Professionalism and Persistence. Too bad I don’t fancy cooking, not even triple tested recipes.

Fresh juicy start

The way to my English home

I decided to create a new blog for practicing for my seminars at the University of Sheffield. I used to blog on 360 yahoo and blogspot, but then I stopped because my past jobs just dried me of my words, so when would I arrive home all I wanted were peace and silence. I missed writing for the soul, but this is a fresh start and a good chance to practice my English. Obviously, the other blogs were in Romanian.

This is not a thematic blog, the purpose of it is just to make me feel better and why not, to make other people feel better too, if I can bring any piece of happiness through my posts.

I’m a film lover, therefore I might use this blank virtual pages to promote or to write reviews on movies once in a while.
I’m a news gatherer or I try to be one, so I’ll be focusing on that through this blog.
I’m a bit of a dark, pessimistic, curious human being who likes to wander …..

so that’s what this blog is about!

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