One Minute to Midnight, My Recent Travels and the Importance of Heroes
Within the past week, I was hacking in the square of St Steven’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary.
Just a week before that, there had been a Gay Pride March on the streets very near which had been cordoned off, blocks away, preventing attendance from marchers and non-marchers alike, with the planned route diverted at the last moment to decrease participation that much more. Professionals… especially those in the employ of the state, risked their jobs and social position to stand up for their right to express their affections for those they love.
The day before that, I ran in to Kate Mckinnon, of SNL, on the street… she is apparently shooting a movie there. Budapest is a popular place for movie shoots as well as tourism, possibly for the same reasons, it is less expensive than other places and it is simply a beautiful city.
Another issue of note was a huge anti-Soros campaign with hints of anti-semitism, translated as, “Don’t let him get the last laugh,” with a large picture of him laughing. The campaign with the sense and semiotics of an anti-immigrant position is ostensibly against the Central European University founded by Soros–w/ an endowment of $880 million, accredited in the US and students from a hundred different countries. Such slogans as, “dirty Jew” have appeared in graffiti on the posters and other outlets aside from the blue street posters featured faces of people with, obviously, other than Hungarian ethnicity.
But the point of my thread-post is about a set of cousins I met while I was hacking in the square of St Steven’s Basilica. They were travelling on vacation from Istanbul. One came up to me and asked to join my game, which, as any hacker knows, is always open to participants. The two were friendly and intelligent, and well informed, especially for their age. The one was wearing a t-shirt which said simply, “Hero,” on it. When I asked them about the current political atmosphere in Turkey… I was told that wearing a t-shirt such as the one this young man was wearing was enough to get one detained by the police in the current crack-down happening there.
In the Czech Republic, I met a young military officer who told me that one of the figures of influence and concern in his own country was an oligarch with ties to the old Soviet secret police named Babish… It seems that ultra wealthy oligarchs and autocrats are springing up everywhere these days.
Life on Mars, by cfjurgus… ~2005