In praise of multi-culturalism

May 5th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

My mother was Italian and came to Britain in 1946 when she married my father who was stationed in Italy with the Royal Air Force. My wife’s father was Czech and married her mother in 1942 when he had fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to fly with the wartime RAF. Our son did a degree in International Relations and currently lives and works in Kenya.

We live in London, the most ethnically diverse city on earth. In our road, our immediate neighbours include Irish, Cypriot, Spanish, Polish, Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese and Filipino. A near neighbour was a Kenyan Asian who was expelled from his country of birth.

Our postman is Nepalese, our doctor is Indian, our newsagent is Sri Lankan, our dry cleaner is Pakistani, my dentist is Iranian, my hairdresser is Greek Cypriot, and our local cab company is staffed by Tamils. Our friends include Jews, Muslims and Hindus and even a few Christians. Our closest friends come from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the United States, South Africa and China.

I never tire off visiting new countries and experiencing new cultures, So far, I’ve been to 68 other nations and I’d like to visit a few more if I can. It’s a wonderfully diverse world. Let’s celebrate that.

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Word of the day: bloviate

May 4th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

To bloviate is to speak pompously.

I came across this word for the first time in a recent Facebook posting by the political commentator Robert Reich who described Donald Trump as “a bloviating bigot”.

I couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope that American voters understand this in the forthcoming Presidential election.

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The vast majority of films still failing the Bechdel Test

May 3rd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I’ve blogged before about the Bechdel test.

The Bechdel Test was inspired by animator Alison Bechdel’s 1985 tongue-in-cheek comic strip ‘The Rule’. In order for a film to pass The Bechdel Test, it must have at least two named female characters, who have a conversation with each other about something other than a man.

You’d be surprised how few movies meet this test. One that will is the remake of “Ghostbsters” which is due to be released this summer. Astonishingly the film has attracted a massive backlash even before it’s been released. Could this be a case of misogyny?

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Three reasons why Leicester is a great city

May 3rd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

  1. King Richard III is buried there.
  2. They are Premier League Champions.
  3. My wonderful sister lives there.

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Word of the day: Holodomor

May 2nd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I came across this word very early in the film “Child 44” which I have recently viewed [my review here]. Holodomor is a composte of two Ukrainian words and means ‘extermination by hunger’.

It is a reference to the man-made famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed somewhere between 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians. It was part of the wider disaster, the Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country and a major feature of Stalin’s terror war on his own citizens.

Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by the independent Ukraine and 14 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet Union.

You can learn more here.

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A review of “Captain America: Civil War”

May 1st, 2016 by Roger Darlington

First, there was “Captain America: The First Avenger” [my review here]. This was was followed by “Captain America: The Winter Solider” [my review here]. This weekend saw the release in the UK of “Captain America: Civil War” – the best of the three – which I’ve reviewed here.

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A review of the new release “Demolition”

May 1st, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Canadian Jean-Marc Vallée has made three successive response-to-grief films.  Following “Dallas Buyers Club” [my review here] and “Wild” [my review here], this weekend has seen the release in the UK of “Demolition” which I’ve reviewed here.

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Today is May Day – a celebration of the workers of the world

May 1st, 2016 by Roger Darlington

“On May Day, we celebrate the worker of the world: blue collar, white collar, pink collar, in hoodies, hijab, or prison green, this day belongs to the entire working class.”

Peter Linebaugh, American author of “The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day”

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Bluebells herald the arrival of Spring (at last)

April 30th, 2016 by Roger Darlington


Vee with her twin sister Mari among bluebells
down on the south coast
 

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10 reasons why the UK should remain a member of the European Union

April 30th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

One of my Members of the European Parliament Seb Dance has put together an informative but succinct case on why we should vote ‘Yes” in the referendum on 23 June. You can check out his 10 reasons here.

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