jueves, 31 de octubre de 2013

Waiting for the Barbarians? They are already here!

I read in the newspaper yesterday a story I find hard to conceive. I can’t remember in which country the sad tale took place, but given the cruelty displayed I assume it must have been an undeveloped land with poor education and a non-existent justice system, still steeped in the barbaric practices of the uncivilized past.
A disabled man, living alone, had suffered continual vandalism, so he decided to take some photos of the misdemeanors in order to report them to the authorities. Some neighbours spotted him and leapt to their conclusions – camera, man, photos of kids…paedophile!
The poor man was taken in for questioning, found innocent, and released. Back home his neighbours were waiting for him with chants of ‘paedo, paedo’. Two days later he was attacked, doused in spirits and burnt to death.
Ah, now I remember, it was the UK!

jueves, 24 de octubre de 2013

Educar en tiempos revueltos

Acabo de dejar los niños en el colegio por exigencias del guión, y también porque a los dos les encanta los días de huelga - más recreo y una peli. Pero quería dejar claro que apoyo totalmente las reivindicaciones de los docentes.
Una vez más la política se impone a la educación. ¿Por qué no dejar la educación de los niños en manos de los profesionales? Ellos sí saben lo que hace falta y lo que sobra.
La asignatura de religión (católica, claro) vuelve a las aulas. Esta insistencia en primar una religión sobre otra es pedante e irritante. Si no es intolerancia, es por lo menos desigualdad. Deja la educación religiosa para las iglesias y el entorno familiar, el colegio está para enseñar, no adoctrinar.
¿Es la huelga una manera eficaz de protestar? Quizás no, pero es la única alternativa, ya que las mayorías absolutas, absolutistas, anulan cualquier atisbo de negociación.
Es una ley impuesta, sin contar  con los profesionales, sin contar con los padres, y sin contar por supuesto con los niños. Nace muerta, pero su daño causará.
Espero que la próxima ley se haga desde el consenso. Porque de chico me eneñaron que nadie, ni siquiera el altivo Sr. Wert, es dueño único de la razón.

lunes, 21 de octubre de 2013

The Scramble for Africa Part 2

I recently returned from a journey to Northen Kenya, to Samburu country. It is a beautiful land, the birthplace of Humanity, peopled by friendly tribes. Nothing much had changed here for thousands of years, until the missionaries arrived. We travelled for hours along remote tracks until we came to small, dusty villages where there never failed to be a church of some sort. Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Muslims and Jehovas Witnesses, all vying for the souls of these 'lost' people. They bring bibles and charity, second hand clothes in exchange for obedience. No more topless tribeswomen, no more tribal names (they are all now Samuels and Josephs). Every year that passes you are less likely to meet a true Samburu warrior like this:
More and more they are being dragged into the twenty first century, like it or not, and now what we find is this:
They are offered water and education, but the price demanded, loss of identity and heritage, is too high to pay.
Progress will continue, and no people should be turned into a kind of human museum, but this destruction of a way of life that has been successful for millenia is not the way forward. The missions will talk of poverty and paganism, but what they offer is not altruistic. They do not bring health and education without expecting something in return. There is an enormous disrespect in all this soul saving and do gooding.
I have had the privelege to see the Samburu tribe as it still is, but I fear that I will be among the last of those fortunate enough to have witnessed it.
Help, by all means, but above all let us respect their way of life.