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Land of No Hope or Glory

February 2, 2013

Britain: it's rubbish

Here’s something I haven’t seen before. While most countries work on trying to promote their own good image and encourage visitors, the UK is apparently trying to consider ways to do just the opposite – discourage people from coming. Read more…

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The 2012 of Torapuro

January 19, 2013

Hello there.

It’s been a while. I haven’t updated this thing in about 6 months, sorry about that! How have you been? Had a good year? I hope so. As for me, I can’t quite believe another 12 months have shot by so fast, and yet I find myself reflecting on yet another year. After the multi-country jaunt that was 2011, 2012 was relatively stable. Occupy London Euro CrisisUnfortunately, that is meant purely in the ambulatory sense, as the job situation was the most unstable one I’ve had. I’ve managed to stay in the same position (except for one brief 2-week stint playing traitor in the middle), but that was something that continued to surprise me at regular intervals, rather than something planned. The job market in England, as in the rest of the world, is grim, and has coloured the past year quite gravely. The start of the year saw the continuation and fade out of the Occupy movement, and all year we’ve been hearing about the death throes of the Eurozone, as unemployment continues to rise. Aside from the depressing employment situation, the lack of being able to pin down a job that was either long-term or well-paid has put quite a stranglehold on my travelling, which is a shame since it started out with such promise.

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Bankers Under Your Bed

July 3, 2012

Years ago, parents would tell their children that unless they behaved, the boogeyman would get them. Then it was Michael Jackson. That one proved a little short-lived, though, as his death resulted in a huge retroactive change in opinion, the most widespread and insincere change of allegiance since Germany lost the war. Now it seems, at some point in the not-to-distant future, that when parents want to terrify their children into obedience, they will warn them that if they don’t obey, a banker will get them.

Bankers are quickly becoming perceived as the most hideous, inhuman collection of beings to prowl the earth. And for a very simple reason: they just may be. They have usurped lawyers as the Most Hated and Distrusted profession, the only difference being that where lawyers gained that crown by strict adherence to the rules, bankers are winning it through the more appropriate route of breaking them, consistently and thoroughly.

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Ten Years Til Platinum

June 24, 2012

It must be a hard time to be a critic of the Queen. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee a few weeks ago, and although most of the events put on in celebration for her were for the more financially fortunate, people turned out in their thousands to watch her boat join 1000 others in a float down the Thames, through the centre of London, for free. This was despite the weather which at the time I thought was ridiculous for summer, but am slowly realising is rather par for the course around these parts. At least we weren’t the floating choir, who had to stand in the rain with electronics wrapped around their faces, cheerfully belting out patriotic songs for several hours.

From the BBC

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The Gods Must Be Crazy

April 25, 2012

“El Grimlock” has some cool Deviant Art

My friends and I used to joke that God must have it in for me, as my best-laid plans would always go awry, travel would never go as it should, and bursts of rain would always seem to coincide with my being outdoors. But if any anthropomorphic entity has a right to feel persecuted by the big man these days, it has got to be Japan. While struggling under massive national debt about 200% their GDP, Mother Nature went and slammed them with the fifth-biggest earthquake ever recorded. Followed by a devastating tsunami. Which wiped out a nuclear power station. As well as a nuclear explosion which will taint the ground for centuries to come, staple foods such as rice inland and fish in the ocean were irradiated, simultaneously vanquishing both food supplies and several exports. Exports were also destroyed due to factories being demolished, and those that remained having reduced power thanks to the lack of nuclear reactors. Speaking of power, the whole country had to deal with reduced power, or in the case of those further north, no power, in the middle of a biting winter. Tourists and expats fled, and tourism in general took a massive dive. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands dead or freshly homeless. Read more…

The Breivik Bluff

April 21, 2012

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik is taking a rest after five days of testimony from the man who set off a bomb near the government before heading to the island of Utoya and going on a shooting spree which left 69 people dead.

The last few days have focused on hearing his side of what he did, why he did it, and what kind of person he is. Camera has not been allowed in the courtroom so as to not allow Breivik to have a direct platform to air his views, but there have been plenty of reporters in attendance who have been sending out information on what is happening within.

Ostensibly, Breivik’s reasoning for the attacks were that they were in protest against the spread of ‘multiculturalism’ in Europe. The term itself is a little vague, and what exactly that means in Breivik’s head is even less clear, but it seems to be primarily concerned with the increase in Muslim presence in the area. He has stated numerous times that Islam is taking over the area, and that legitimate concerns of the local people are being suppressed in the name of advancing the politically correct agenda of multiculturalism. Read more…

Spanish Warzone

March 24, 2012
As Spring spreads its wings across Europe, festivals start to spring up all around. Spain takes this opportunity to host another amazing festival, the Las Fallas festival in Valencia.
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As the days got longer and warmer, craftsmen would pile up all the things which they would no longer need throughout the summer, and set them alight in celebration. Time went by, the fires became more celebratory, and started taking more defined shapes, often with the age-old theme of poking subtle fun at the governmental forces pressing down on them. Then the Church came along, and the festival it had become was aligned with St Joseph’s day, March 19.
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These days, Valencia, is, I hear, quite a pleasant little city. Wide streets, beautiful weather, a gorgeous beach and relaxed attitudes all make for a nice, humble place to live. But I wouldn’t know about that because over the last week the city was totally transformed into a bustling madhouse of fire and noise.
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