Wednesday, June 4, 2008

School's out for the Summer! At least that's what we were singing last Thursday afternoon when I collected BB from school. It's just brilliant! In his mind at least...

Talk about a con; last Monday BB had his school tour. There was great excitement and he'd been looking forward to it for most of May. Well; imagine my surprise when I discovered that his 'tour' had in fact been a trip to a religious retreat centre in Co Laois! Apparently they had spent the day praying, meditating, playing and had a jolly good feed to boot; and all for the outrageous cost of €20.00! Talk about being had; I suppose that it's a nice way to start the wind up to the hols though...

For a nearly; but not quite fourteen year old BB's not so bad! He's a lovely child who is turning slowly into a man. As his body is changing; so is his countenence. Despite unnecessary arguments about very little, the frequency of these is lessening, as are the squabbles with his younger brother; thank goodness. Despite all this and probably because of all this he is finding life a little difficult at present; due to the fact that he is sharing his room with his little brother who is very annoying at the best of times!

The time has come whereby BB needs his own room. As he flits between advanced childhood to premature adulthood his need for privacy is becoming greater. There are times when he forgets himself; as all children do, and parades around the house scantily clad oblivious to the fact that others are distinctly present and would prefer not to be looking at his lanky body in all its glory! There are other times when we are not so discretely asked to leave the room when he changes his T-shirt...

So; he and I made a deal. In an effort to provide him with his own room BB has agreed to spend the first month of his holidays working in and around the house. It sounds good; in fact it sounds Brilliant! In reality it may be something quite different; we shall just have to see...




Regarding politics I have decided to step down gracefully from this particular forum; at least for the time being. My interest in the plight of the Roma people hasn't waned, but it does seem to be taking up a lot of my time and energy regarding my blog. I do intend to follow their story and will probably post the odd bite on the various blogs, but maybe not quite so avidly...

One thing I have noticed recently is that my Google Page Ranking has dropped. My friend Jean and I have had a long running conversation about this as our blogs have grown and evolved over the past months. To my great surprise, Jean informed me one day that I'd secured a PR! As I prefer to use Mozilla Firefox as my internet browser I hadn't noticed this; I haven't installed their PR bar yet, so hadn't been keeping up with things over on my old Explorer.

As if this wasn't good enough; boys oh boys, I was dead chuffed to discover recently; while browsing on the old browser, ie Explorer, that one of my other blogs had been awarded a PR of 3! Well you can imagine my victorious howling can't you? Being modest, I hardly mentioned this to anyone; honest!

A few days later I was crestfallen; as I discovered this had been stripped away from me. I was reduced to a PR of 2. Perhaps they'd made a mistake? Or maybe I had? I somehow doubt it. I am coming to the conclusion that Google are censoring posts and penalising those who aren't necessarily politically correct, after all they have already done this with the pay per post blogger's; or so I am told...

Ultimately, I don't really mind if a couple of PR marks have been removed from my blog. It's a shame, but I do believe that it is necessary to make people aware of what's going on in the world. My interest in the Roma was peaked when I received an e-mail from a friend of mine outlining the situation; it prompted me to remember my history.

True; the Roma people or gypsies have always been viewed with distrust and suspicion by settled people, but do they deserve to be persecuted because of a culture and a way of life which is beyond our understanding?
During the nineteen thirties, in the run up to World War 2 these people were persecuted and interned in the concentration camps along with the Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexual's and anyone who dared to be different from the Aryan ideal.

Some thirty years after the war I read comic books as a child in which the villains were always portrayed as travelling circus people or gypsies. Stories of being cursed or hexed by those refused when they came knocking on the door rebounded; your house would be marked in some invisible way and bad luck would befall you and your family. The message was clear and it was in mainstream publications.

During the intervening years stuggles for equality have been raged against the establishment. Women were given equal rights, the blacks fought and won this battle too. Prejudice and discrimination is a thing of the past, with laws enforced to maintain the status quo and to protect the innocent and the disadvantaged. Racial equality, gender equality and physical equality are all ensured as a result.

These days it is illegal to treat a blind, wheelchair bound black hispanic woman any differently from any other. Political correctness ensures that a BLACKBOARD is now referred to as a chalkboard; just in case anyone might take offence at the use of the word black! The world has gone mad.

However it seems that this is only applicable to the settled community.
What is happening today; with regard to the Roma in Europe is a reflection of the past; and it is a past which I for one don't wish to revisit. So, forgive me for being politically incorrect; but someone needs to speak out.

Google will probably strip me of all my PR's now and frankly I don't care! However; I do care if I loose my readers. Therefore I shall only pass the odd comment on this situation from now on, I promise...

Meanwhile I have just been presented with a mug of tea on a miserable summers afternoon by BB, who is doing okay so far in his quest for his own room and a trip to Austria. I'm going to have to knock it back as I'm due to collect LB from school in a few minutes; so I'll revisit this post to format it and add the links and maybe a picture or two later on this evening.

Thanks for tolerating my ravings...

Polly Peirce

2 comments:

Jean said...

In all communities there are good and bad. Unfortunately the bad reputation is harder to shake off than the good. It is fact that around here the "incidents" increase during the apple picking season - which is when the migrant workers arrive and many of these are travellers (I don't know if this makes them Roma or not in the strictest sense). They have rights here in France, one of which is to put their children into the local school for the duration of their stay. This is a good thing but it is usually a disaster. It's never easy being different but if you are dirty and you smell, don't know how to use a knife and fork at the cantine and can't keep up with the schoolwork it's harder still. The cry goes up "Why should our children suffer when these people haven't paid local taxes?" Amongst other cries.
It's a vicious circle. I don't know what the answer is. I don't think the Revolutionary Party is necessarily the answer though - some of their other articles were radical to say the least and, let's say, a little one sided!

Polly Peirce said...

I think most of us have experienced similar within our own communities Jean. I know I certainly have!

The thing that really worried me about this whole situation is how little coverage is available; even when looking for it. I've yet to find anything in the mainstream media over here.

I know that different countries will report with a different bias depending upon many factors; but I can honestly say that I had trouble finding anything at all about the Roma issue.

When I did find information some of it was hair raising and more of it a paler copy of what I'd already found.

Some of the sites and blogs that I tapped into left a lot to be desired and certainly are not the type of sources I'd be eager to make reference to! It has certainly been an eye opener...

It has been an interesting exercise all told; and no doubt one I'll repeat time and time again over different issues. The effect on my Google PR has been interesting; although it may just be coincidence!

I will be keeping my eye on things obviously, but for the time being it's time to put it to bed; even if it's only overnight!