Archive for » June, 2011 «

I like motivational posters, flyers, brochures, cans, cups, mugs, and what-not as much as the next guy, don’t get me wrong.

I do find them inspiring. In a way that they get me thinking.

For example, look at this:

Collaboration

This one gets me thinking and reminds me of those horrific National Geographic films about the fish. Remember those films where they show how the dolphins feed? They circle around some school of fish and then one of them just swims through them with its mouth open.

The tactic really is relying on having plenty of fish in the middle, so in this case cooperation of the kind shown above is doubtfully a good idea.

Here is another one:

Progress

Progress

This one is cool too. It represents human footsteps enlarging with each step. This one just reminds me of the fact that progress is never mono-directional, and that it is never constantly growing.

Quality of life

How do I comment on this. It reminds me of the zen question about the fallen tree and the forest.

Competativeness

This one is great: this one makes me think that competition is often defined by boundaries, and very often it should not be. Breaking the boundaries and distorting the rules a bit can be beneficial to all competitors. Sometimes.

Information

This is the absolute perfect motivational painting: I am not sure if it was created intentionally, or if it just happened, but the representation of Information as a monotonous blue blob with a tiny power outlet in the corner is just brilliant.

Category: Opinions  One Comment

Simply put: because they are uncunningly smart and because they stink.

To elaborate: the other day at the park, as I was sitting and relaxing for a bit, I saw a woman walking with her dog. The dog did not have the leash on, but was patiently walking about half a meter ahead of the owner. The woman tried a few times to attach the leash to the dog’s collar, but every time she reached for the collar, the dog would rapidly increase the pace by a few steps so she can miss grabbing it. This repeated a few times until they were off my sight and behind some bushes.

So, here is why I don’t like dogs – they are smart and they make fuss about it. Can’t trust them sometimes. (Cats, on the other hand are always smart you must never trust them!)

And also – dogs stink. They just do. Especially when it is hot or humid.

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Just came back from Paris the other day and still cannot get rid of that dusty eastern-European feeling of stickiness.

This was my second visit of Paris, and it came to prove the impressions of the first visit: I don’t like Paris. (Or maybe I should say: ‘Paris is not my cup of tea.’)

One of the reasons why I don’t like Paris much is because from the perspective of Scandinavia, Paris seems to be left behind somewhere in the late 80s. There is the spirit of the 80s stuck in the air and it seems like the dust has not moved much since then. Through my eyes Paris seems like one of those cafes from the 80s where it is still allowed to smoke inside and where the barman is still friendly with the visitors, especially on rainy days.

The other reason I do not like Paris is more practical: I hate the fact that at 4pm one cannot find any decent food in the city. I don’t usually eat at 4pm, but I would like to know that I can enjoy good food at any time. Instead, I tend to always run into the Parisian siesta every time I get hungry. Just a funny coincidence or some silly trickery? And where is the good food in Paris? Have I been going to the wrong places? During this visit I found a restaurant serving 4 different kinds of mac-and-cheese. Hahahahah, nice one.

Anyway, these seems to be small insignificant details compared to some other thoughts Paris brought up this time.

I already mentioned the sticky eastern-european feeling, but what is behind it? This time I really felt like I was in my home country (I was born and raised in Bulgaria). To be honest, I have been gracefully avoiding Bulgaria for the past 11 years, with a small interruption of 2½ days in 2008. (It’s a whole different topic why I have been avoiding Bulgaria, but for now let’s say that it is because I get sick to my stomach by the shifted center of the cultural and social gravities in that land.)

Paris brought to me similar sickness-to-my-stomach feeling. Walking in the city was like a childhood memory from the central station in Sofia – dirty, stinky, stuffy and colored by the spontaneous screams of the pedestrians finding out that they have somebody else’s hand in their purse or pocket.

These screams are nothing unusual for the Bulgaria as I remember it, but at first it was a bit strange to see it in Paris. A few minutes later I realized that after all the borders are just guidelines and maybe nowadays the borders have shifted and have to be reconsidered. The city of romance is now the city of Roma Gypsys.

They do dominate the center of Paris.

What is the problem with the gypsies, though?

It seems like in Europe right now there is a growing movement of gypsies and minorities. And this movement definitely surprises the locals (it surprises them in the same funny way a stick surprises a snail in its way). Look at this article from the Bulgarian press, for example: Finns jumped on Romanian beggars. I wish I could pat the Finnish organizers of this fest on the back and tell them ‘Great job, splendid, you have gone a long way in your way of thinking’. In one thing they are right, though: provoking a debate and drawing attention to the problem.

Too bad there does not seem to be a solution to the problem which has been avoided for a very long time.

Here is what it boils down to: the success and the well-being of any social group is proportional to its own perception and its own expectations of itself as a group.

Let me put it plain and simple: gypsies do not consider themselves who knows what and they do not expect much from their own existence. For all I know gypsies are not assertive and do not strive to great achievements. From there, they are perceived by the majority as being lazy, uneducated and inclined to begging, theft and other vices. And the enchanted circle closes here – the more they are perceived as such, the more they sink in the social ladder, and the more they sink, the more they lose their expectations from themselves as a group. (Go figure the chicken and the egg dilemma.)

So, my dear Finns, there is no easy solution. A group of people, discriminated against and left without expectations and goals, is never welcome in any society.

Unless… hm… what if they get a piece of land, autonomy, alphabet, their own history books and some national pride? Would this solve the problem? Oh, wait. This was fashionable half a century ago and it still haven’t worked itself out very well.

Hm, this is getting too specific for my position of a silly spectator. No other comments.

Anyway, I didn’t like Paris much.

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