Friday, 25 March 2016

Odd goings on all over the place.

It's a funny old world. Sometimes the past comes back to bite you. I read a news report about a man in Minnesota who was stopped by the police because one of the tail lights on his car wasn't working. They took his details, fed them into their computer and found there was an outstanding arrest warrant from 2002. What was it for? Failure to return a video to a rental shop. Wow! Who knew you could be arrested for that? All the way back to 2002! Time to return all those overdue library books. Not to mention the books you "forgot" to return to school when you left. I have a copy of the poetry of Keats on my shelf that belongs to the girls' grammar school I attended. 

Then there's the fool who twittered or tweeted or whatever about having asked a random Muslim woman on the street if she could explain what had gone on in Brussels. When she told him, quite rightly, it was nothing to do with her, he commented that it was a pretty lame excuse, or words to that effect. Because he tweeted or twittered it, he came in for a lot of public shaming: remarks about asking Irishmen to explain the Easter rising or Londonderry and asking Scotsmen about Dunblane, always with the reply, "Nothing to do with me" and the criticism that this was a lame excuse. Just when I thought that he must be feeling pretty stupid and that that was what he deserved, I read that he has "been charged under section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986; publishing or distributing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, likely or intended to stir up racial hatred". 

What happened to free speech? 

 Back on the other side of the world meanwhile, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are busily swopping insults and allegations about each other's wives. Is either of them really a suitable candidate for presidency? I found myself wondering, if Trump were to end up as the Republican candidate, would staunch republicans find themselves voting Democrat to prevent him from becoming president. But then, on reflection, if they select him as candidate, I suppose they will vote for him to be president as well. As I said, it's a funny old world! 

Here in Delph, we have had fine, sunny weather for Good Friday. Friends have been posting photos of Easter processions in various parts of the world. One is in Salamanca where about ten years ago we stayed in a pensión on the Plaza Mayor and were woken at 5.30 in the morning on Good Friday by the mournful funeral music accompanying the procession. Despite the early hour, it was impressive. Easter Sunday's meeting of the risen Christ and his mother Mary was even more so. The men carrying the statues managed to make them bow to each other. Such control! No processions here but, as usual, three wooden crosses have been erected on a hilltop appropriately just outside the village. 

And nobody has yet taken offence at their being there!

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