Friday, January 23, 2015
Cracovia and Chicken Wine
Friday, at last! My God, this has been a long week.
When I found this wall (above) during my walk near Neasden last weekend, I had no idea what it meant. I thought it was someone's joke about the neighborhood -- an allusion to crack cocaine, maybe? But it turns out that Cracovia is the oldest existing Polish football club. So just the work of a sports fan, not a social commenter.
Here's the wine we bought yesterday for dinner tonight. I thought Ms. Moon would appreciate it! The name translates to "The Old Farmhouse," which sounds like it should be earthy, charming and cheap. It was definitely the latter -- we'll see about the former.
I'm sure you all heard about the ridiculous assertions from Fox News in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre that parts of Europe, including the entire city of Birmingham, are essentially off-limits to non-Muslims. I was impressed that Fox was shamed into apologizing for this absurd untruth, but when I began looking around on the Internet for the source of that information, I was alarmed at how many right-wingers perpetuate similar notions. Let me state on the record: I went to Birmingham not long ago! Me, a non-Muslim, and a gay one at that! Not only was I not subjected to Sharia law, I wasn't even noticed.
The Fox alarmists and their ilk seize on the actions of a few fringe outliers to be representative of the entire Muslim community. Yes, there are sometimes culture clashes. If Dave and I walked through predominantly Muslim neighborhoods in Walthamstow or Whitechapel holding hands, we probably would be challenged. But we'd also be challenged in a lot of white, middle-class neighborhoods in the United States. (Again, for the record, I've walked through a lot of Muslim neighborhoods in London and I've never had a problem.)
By the way, that beautiful library that we toured in Birmingham (see the link) has been suffering at the hands of municipal budget cutters. I read recently that it was drastically reducing its hours and cutting more than half its staff. Sad. (I am now even more confident that I'm doing the right thing by not investing in a library science degree, something I had considered. I'm not sure there would ultimately be a return on that investment.)