List of Previous Titles

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Tsunami of Immigrants

I became a resident of Spain officially in the year 2000, but I am not considered an immigrant because I hold a British passport. Spain has many invisible immigrants who blend in, including the English, even though the United Kindom is not a party to the Schengan Treaty. I arrived by air and I have been allowed to live in peace. I am privileged.

It was not too long after I arrived that I became aware of people who were arriving illegally from North Africa, and even from countries below the Sahara. A program was presented on television that showed where some of those people came from. In one African village a collection was made to buy one of the local lads passage with people smugglers to get to Europe. The sums of money that is paid is astounding, and in more cases than anyone is aware, the hopeful person dies along the way.

I remember seeing that program and thinking I wish they wouldn't do that because there was nothing here for them. Even the Spanish were struggling.

Then came the Arab Spring and everything changed. Rolling unhappiness with the usual way of life brought on terrible strife in a number of countries that has led to untold deaths and torture and injuries and incarcerations, that people are running for their lives. Countries closest have become overrun with refugees, and now desperate people are looking to Europe. People have a lot to run from, including extremist groups or brutal dictators. I find it really impossible to imagine a person leaving his or her home south of the Sahara to make the trip across that vast desert heading north. I think you must be well equipped to survive such a challenge, but if you do survive that is only the first stage.

Now you are in countries full of turmoil, such as Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisa. None of these countries are welcoming of South Sahara immigrants, in fact their own citizens are fleeing  across the Medditerranean sea. The Paradigm has now completely shifted. It's no longer a matter of simple choice to better one's life in an economic sense, but rather a choice to live or die trying.

They set off to cross the Meditterranean sea in flimsy craft suitable only for drifting along the beach. There are no records so no one has any idea of how many set sail and reached European soil. We can be sure that more than we can bear to know about have drowned along the way. For those who do reach dry land they can only say that they are still alive, and everday brings hope that things will improve. Coming from such humble beginnings the very smallest progress is to be celebrated.

The challenge is overwhelming, but the greatest journey starts with the first step. I need to win a lottery of at least 100 million euros. I know exactly how I would put it to use.

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael
This is a Tsunami of immigrants from north and south of the Sahara who are asking for life. They need help from all of Europe, but also from the Western countries such as the United States and Canada. There was a time when Africans were plucked from their home countries and forcibly brought out to be slaves. Many first families made their wealth on the backs of those early reluctant immigrants.

Now their lives depend on the help that is offered them. Consider it, if you will, a repayment of the debt.

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Prime example of Convoluted Thinking!

The following happened in Afghanistan and is an absolutely true story.

The Villian of the Peace:

I will call the villan Abdul. He is a married man with children.

The most unfortunate victim who belongs in The Guinness Book of Records:

I am calling her Fatima.

Fatima is the unmarried cousin to Abdul's wife. Abdul is besotted with Fatima and decides he has to have her, so he forces himself on her and rapes her. She complains to the police and Abdul is tried and sent to prison for one year. So far I think we can all understand this chain of events.

The Twist:

Fatima is arrested for having had (non-consensual) sex with Abdul, therefore under Afghanistan law she has been an (unwilling) participant to an adulterous act. She is sent to prison where she finds out that she is pregnant from having been raped. She delivers her baby in prison and serves her time.

Fatima's family scorn her for having had (forced) sex with a married man. She is an embarrassment to them. They want her to go far, far away, never to have any further contact with them. However, she is dirt poor and has no means to do this, so she stays put.

Fatima's society see her as a fallen woman and she is an outcast. There is only one way she can be brought back into society and that is to marry the man whose action put them both in prison. In order to do this she becomes Abdul's number two wife. She now has a second child by him. Her society now considers her to be a respectable married woman who nobody ever sees, but her family think of her as being dead.

Presumably, Fatima's cousin, Abdul's number one wife, has no comment on any of this.

This is not your average romantic story which ends with the words: "They lived happily ever after!"

A whole society who think along these lines is not only nuts, they are also dangerous.

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Luxury Orgies

I turned on the television to see if there was something interesting to watch. I turned to the Odessy channel where a slide announced, "Up Next: Luxury Orgies."  WTF?

I sat up straight as the program began to roll. Sure enough, the program took us through a number of events hosted by various people in the U.K. and America, where it seems that as part of the lifestyles of some of the rich and famous, people are getting together, mostly on weekends to screw each other to their hearts content.

There are all sorts of parties, some very expensive indeed where the very top rated champagne is drunk along with fine food. All sorts of rules as well, including giving up your mobile phones so that there is no photography; to one party where no man may hit on a woman. At that party women are in charge. They are the aggressors with the men playing the passive, cute roll. Attendance is by strict invitation after a process of vetting takes place, and acceptance of an application means you have to fit into a rigid criteria.

It seems that this quiet movement has been taking place for some time. However, I would not call it a revolution, but rather it is simply part of the sexual cycle where we go through times of high and very loose sexual action, usually followed by some kind of limiting period of war or horrid disease as a result of rampant sexual activity. That is followed by a reigning in of behaviour and very conservative behaviour.

For some examples of that we could focus on the time of ancient Rome, the time of Caligula, to reflect on sexual libertinism. However, the 60's was a time of real sexual revolution. That was driven by the introduction of "The Pill."  This meant that women became freed up to have sex without pregnancy, and also, they were now free to be open and honest to the fact that women have always enjoyed sex as much as men, and perhaps even more so. The problem was that they have always been concerned about the protection of their own bodies and safeguarding themselves against untimely pregancies. The Pill changed all that.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that I had never made a conquest in my life. It was also a pleasent surprise to realise that women can be as horny as men, and apparently show up in large groups at these sex parties to get well and truly screwed.

AIDS brought the sex of the sixties to a screeching halt. We all retreated into our shells and were horrified to hear that the incubation period for AIDS might be as long as ten years.

We are talking about consenting behaviour between adults, so at face value there is nothing wrong, if safe sex is practised. (How do you do that in an orgy?)  For a group of women friends in attendance I can see no obvious problems. However, men generally must bring a woman. This is where I see things getting complicated. Now let me say that I am being naive because I have never attended such a party. I suppose I wish I had. I can only use my imagination, and what I imagine is that if you are a young guy who really likes sex, you could have the time of your life. However, who would you bring to such a party? It just isn't done to invite a prostitute, so what kind of friend do you bring? Clearly it would'nt be someone you cared deeply for because once there, each of you would go your own way.

I have heard from two couples who swear they are very much in love with one another, but they are swingers and they attend parties at least once a month where they get seriously active. All four people agree that what they are doing is open and honest and should avoid one of the pitfalls that wreck marriages. I can understand that thought process, but this is the most intimate of intimate acts there is. Done between a married couple you are bringing each other inside a zone where all others are locked out. It is the one thing that sets you apart from the world outside and gives your relationship special value because you touch each other in that certain way. It is why it hurts so much when a betrayal takes place by letting another person into the special place.

I just don't understand how a couple, who care for one another, and say that they love one another could participate in such activity without long-term serious damage to their relationship.

Also, from a man's point of view, I think once you have gone once over the top you start thinking about sleep. To go twice over the top you must start thinking about heading for home. Your wife however, may just be warming up. I hope they have a room set aside for men who just want to sleep. That would be nice.

As two young women said, they would hate to meet the man who became the love of their lives and their husband and father of their children at an orgy.

Enough said!

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring in Valencia

In the past I have always answered that Summer is my favourite season, when asked. I love Summer in Spain, even if it does get a little too hot in the height of the day, but that's what Siesta Time is for. Everybody does it, not just we old folks, and it's called siesta, not naptime. Siesta time is to die for, and the principal reason I came to Spain.

However, I have been doing some thinking about this subject because I realise I have been selling Springtime in Spain short. To get to the joys of Summer we have to experience the wonders of Spring. How could I have missed it? In my country we have Summer, and the next thing we know we have Winter. If there are Autumn and Spring periods in Bermuda we don't notice because everything is always green there, but here autumn sees plants turn brown, and this year the country, except Valencia, has been well and truly snowed in. So, it is with great joy that the country has welcomed back the sun in all its glory, and people are able to sit out in the sunshine and feel warmth about themselves.

In Valencia, Spring means that the province awakens from its Winter hibernation with a great big bang. I mean that literally. March madness means the Festival of Fallas when for three full weeks we make so much noise with fireworks, both daytime and at night. Children go around with petardos and lighters to see how high grandparents can jump. At the City Hall in Valencia City there is a daily 2pm firework display that grows in intensity every day. We fool ourselves into thinking that those big bangs are fireworks, but in Iraq and Syria they are called ordanance. The shows usually lasts between five and seven minutes, but it is the most violent five/seven minutes one could ever ask for.

Why do we make so much noise, twenty-four hours a day? We say that we are chasing old man Winter away. The thing is, it always works, so no need to change that then!

There is singing, concerts, dancing, parades, a band might follow you into the Metro and then play loudly and you would dance if there was room. We eat too much, drink far too much booze, and there are bullfights, both the kind where the bull is killed for the supermarket, and where only the skill of the humans is the main thing. They try to keep the incidence of the bullfighter getting killed to a minimum as there is not a lot to do with a human dead body.

The culmination of the celebrations is the destruction of monuments that have taken a year to create at costs that average a fullscale house, by blowing them up and burning them down where they stand in the street. So far, after so many years of doing the same thing the town is still standing. Also, it's no coincidence that on that day, March 19th, we celebrate Father's Day. Apparently, Valencia fathers don't do sedate lunch celebrations with the kids.

I have changed my answer to Springtime in Valencia as my most favourite time because it's when orange trees hang heavy with golden orbs and are harvested; it's when my garden burst forth in flowers, and my spirit actually takes a leap towards the sun. Its the time of year when hope comes alive with the warmth of the sun.

Springtime in Valencia; all's well with the world. Happiness has returned, and that is good!

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael