сряда, 26 март 2014 г.

Destination Number One

by Georgi Kamov

Once again, I am uploading this. I am uploading it because it is the best piece of Socio-Political work I have read in my short and uneducated life, because it applies to Bulgaria TODAY more than an news article ever has, because I am proud to call the man who wrote this a friend, a brother. Because this is the social innovation we all want, we all dream of, and we all need desperately. Because it is not the wishful thinking of a man, barely turned thirty, who naively believes the world can be a better place. Because it is the single piece of work, which I use anytime I need to defend realistic-optimism and the fact that we, who smile in the face of recession and snicker at austerity are not some retarder hippies, but a bunch of people, who refuse to back down when a few graphs start pointing in the wrong direction and more than a few people realistically need work and need benefits, and need help, and in other words need something new to happen to take their social reality in a new direction. Because the spirit of this work is applicable anywhere in the world. 
And, mostly, just because I like reading it.

петък, 31 януари 2014 г.

Benefit Country

BBC 4's "reality show" 'Benefit Street' got me thinking a bit. To be precise, people who have seen it and their reactions got me thinking. Most of the young and even not so young people, who have seen the show admit they felt disgusted with what they have seen and when I spoke to them began a long speech on how people should not have access to such benefits. I remained mostly silent. People are not guilty of not knowing that the Coalition is currently implementing new laws on benefit cuts. Laws, which have been opposed by a great few, for they are an abolishing of all that the United Kingdom has fought a long and hard battle to build and preserve after the horrid late 20th century and the Iron Lady's genocidical actions. The UK has threaded a difficult and uncertain paths since the beginning of the so-called "Welfare state". Victoria's Poor Law was a revolutionary political move, which made Great Britain begin its path towards becoming one of the most equal societies of the 19th and 20th century. then the wars and later still the end of the golden gas period made it one of the least equal. Nowadays, the country is struggling to fight poverty, mental and health issues in grand scales, deviance and lack of education.

Most of all, Britain is fighting the current crisis and lack of opportunities. This fight is happening on a community level - once we go above and beyond this level - looking at the Government we see nothing but constant attempts to deepen the Equality Crisis - lesser taxation on corporations, more private hospitals, care centers etc emerging rapidly. Decline in healthcare availability, educational opportunities and quality, lack of work opportunities, a stagnation in the process of integration of those with disabilities, a beurcratisation of all disability and need assessment and most of all a tightening of benefit claim rules and a cut in benefits, accompanied by smaller but present cuts in pensions and salaries.

These changes have not occurred over a short period of time, of course and this perhaps is why mostly, they have gone unnoticed. However, slowly but certainly Britain is moving away from the welfare state and into a very individualistic and pragmatic state. A consumerist, free market, capitalist type of economy, where the poor, disabled and, according to state educational tests - stupid members of society have no place whatsoever.

Would the British society approve of such policies, if they were aware of them?

I am not going to answer that. Let's assume for a second that "Benefit Street" was a regular reality show with middle-class families. Would showing the thieving and murderous housewives of the middle class, or maybe Charles Manson's family or Hannibal Lecter, in any way be realistic of what kind of people the middle class is made of? Does "Benefit Street" really show any realistic cadres? If the thievery and debauchery was real, wouldn't these people be in jail, since they were caught on camera?

Drawing conclusions and making assumptions is a human reflex. Not a humane one. Not a civilized one. British population is once again being lead on a witch hunt for the poor, the disabled and the immigrants. You are being flooded by a river of twisted studies and false conclusions. Your attention is being locked to the TV screen while a river of shit is flooding your living room. The middle class is going to dissolve quickly, as it is dissolving in the USA, unless Brits stand up for all their ancestors have fought fiercely to protect - a united, equal, supporting country with humanE communities and a feeling of trust and compassion.

четвъртък, 21 ноември 2013 г.

And May Freedom Be Ever In Your Favor

On 20/11/2013, Bulgarian students made an amazing "military" offensive re-inaction of the Bulgarian Parliament once again requesting the Government's Resignation. This was the 160th day of Protests in Bulgaria, fired by the monopoly of Bulgarian corporations and Governmental Parties, the so-called Mafia rule over any policies in the country and the simple desire of a really democratic rule and realistic opportunities of the country's youth. As part of this re-inactment, they wore improvised military uniforms, 'shot' paper guns, blew up colorful "grenades", brought "tanks", and healed their wounded. In the end, they demonstratively "set fire" to the government (more precisely to a wall, which currently surrounds the House of Parliament, a part of the police force's defense against the half a year-long protests) , as shown on the photographs (link below).

Student Protests Bulgaria;
 Photo Source: Çağdaş Çelik (Чагдаш Челик) (FB album)

понеделник, 28 октомври 2013 г.

Declaration OCCUPY

of the Students who occupied 
The Rectorate of Sofia University "St. Climent Ochridsky"
on 25th October 2013

Dear Rector of The University,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Professors and Members of staff of the Alma Matter,
Dear colleagues - Doctors and Students,
Dear citizens!

Realizing our historical responsibility before the Bulgarian society,
fearing nothing but Fear itself,
wishing for the restoration of Democracy and the Rule of Law in The Republic,
foreseeing the undeniable negative effects which any further rule of the XLIIth National Assembly will have on Bulgaria,
raging against the systematic impairment of the Constitutional order of the country,
convinced, that principle and transparency in governing is a condition, necessary for the existence of real order,
standing firmly for equality before the law and against the cartell-partocratic chaos,
with the supreme image and goal of Bulgaria as a country governed by moral values, rather than personal interest,
utterly convinced of our right, as students and citizens to protest legally, guided by the traditions of Democracy, and that University is a place of values, and not just lectures,
gladly accepting the support of leading university lecturers and of outraged citizens, who have been protesting for over four months against a morally collapsed government;

Believing in the rightful resolve for a change in the Bulgarian civic society,

We, The Students of Sofia University, are enforcing a regime of indefinite and immediately effective


of the Rectorate of this truly Higher Educational Institution with the following AIMS:
1. Immediate dismissal of the XLII National Assembly
2. Appointing the following Parliamentary Elections as quickly as possible
3. Social intolerance towards the spreading lack of law and prosecution at the Highest Level of Governmental Rule.
4. The transformation of Bulgaria into a civilized country, under the rule of law
5.  The acceptance of Justice and Knowledge as high social morals.

THE OCCUPATION of the Rectorate will be conducted under the following rules and conditions:

1. Establishing occupational student control over the Rectorate building
2. Obstructing the everyday scholar activities and most administrative activities of the Rectorate
3. Maintaining order independently at the Rectorate with complete preservation of the University's autonomy and absolutely no external involvement.
4. Adhering the formerly established rules of the Declaration of Partial Occupation of Auditorium 272 (23/10/2013 - 25/10/2013)
5. Conserving the University's property, respectful conduction towards the Rector and the University's administrative staff.
6. Establishing a strict admission control on all exits of the building
7. Admission of as limited a number as possible of administrative staff, who are necessary for the small amount of activities, recommended by the University's governing body, to ensure no financial or scientific losses for the University.

This is our final confidence vote for the now illegitimate governmental practices in the Bulgarian Parliament.

We, the students,
Auditorium 272,
Sofia University Rectorate
25th October 2013

P.S. - This is a loose translation, I have taken the liberty of translating some phrases loosely, due to the cultural and linguistic limits. I am open for suggestions.

Protesting before SU's Rectorate
(source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ранобудните-студенти
Photographer: Tihich Tihichat (alias); taken from the webpage on 28/10/2013)
I have placed the original text bellow, as follows:

на студентите, окупирали Ректората на Софийския университет
„Св. Климент Охридски“
на 25 октомври 2013

Уважаеми г-н Ректор,
уважаеми госпожи и господа преподаватели и администратори в Алма матер,
скъпи колеги – докторанти и студенти,
уважаеми съграждани!

Осъзнавайки историческата си отговорност пред българското общество,
страхувайки се единствено от страха,
желаейки възстановяването на демокрацията и върховенството на закона в Републиката,
предвиждайки неминуемите отрицателни ефекти от продължаването на мандата на XLII-то Народно събрание,
разгневени срещу системното накърняване на конституционния ред в страната,
убедени, че принципността и прозрачността на управленческия процес е условие, без което не може да съществува истински ред,
заставайки непоколебимо на страната на равенството пред законите срещу картелно-партократския хаос,
имайки висшата цел България да бъде държава с управление, стъпващо на нравствени ценности, а не на лични изгоди,
напълно сигурни, че като студенти и граждани имаме пълното право на законни и осветени от демократична традиция протестни действия и че Университетът е място на стойности, а не само на лекции,
приемайки с радост заявената подкрепа на водещи университетски преподаватели и на възмутените граждани, протестиращи вече над четири месеца срещу управление, изпаднало в морален колапс;
и вярвайки в справедливата воля за промяна на българското гражданско общество,

ние, студентите на Софийския университет, въвеждаме режим на безсрочна и ефективна


на Ректората на това наистина Висше училище със следните ЦЕЛИ:
- 1. незабавно разпускане на XLII-то Народно събрание;
- 2. възможно най-бързо насрочване на нови парламентарни избори;
- 3. нетърпимост на общественото тяло към ширещото се престъпно беззаконие в най-високите етажи на държавното управление;
- 4. превръщането на България в цивилизована, правова държава;
- 5. и утвърждаването на справедливостта и знанието като високи обществени ценности.

ОКУПАЦИЯТА на Ректората на нашия Университет ще протече при следните УСЛОВИЯ:
- 1. установяване на окупационен студентски контрол върху сградата на Ректората;
- 2. възпрепятстване на редовни учебни и повечето административни дейности в Ректората;
- 3. самостоятелно осигуряване на реда в Ректората при стриктно спазване на университетската автономия и без външни намеси;
- 4. спазване на досега приетите Правила от Декларацията за частичната Окупация на 272 аудитория от 23-25 октомври 2013;
- 5. опазване на имуществото на Университета и уважение към Ректора и университетското ръководство;
- 6. установяване на наш строг пропускателен режим на входовете и изходите на Ректората;
- 7. и допускане при възможност на силно ограничен брой администратори по препоръка на университетското ръководство за онзи минимален брой дейности, без който Университетът би претърпял значителни загуби от финансов и/или научен характер.

Това е нашият окончателен вот на недоверие към загубилите всякаква легитимност практики в управлението на България.

Ние, студентите
272 аудитория, Ректорат на СУ,
25 октомври 2013

понеделник, 19 август 2013 г.

Of anchors and men

ще си върнеш почвата. не искам да се отказваш и да мислиш, че не можеш. МОЖЕШ. стягаш се, даваш всичко от себе си и не мислиш за нищо друго. няма значение какво ти казват, няма значение колко трудно изглежда. спомни си защо го искаш толкова. още съвсем малко остана. винаги имаш избор и винаги можеш да започнеш отначало. можеш да избереш да се откажеш или да дадеш всичко от себе си. не е краят на света, ако не влезеш, а началото на съвсем нов свят. както с мен и Англия. опитваме се, даваме всичко от себе си. каквото стане, стане. това е животът, ама наистина. няма съдби, няма предопределеност, няма подарени случайности. сядаш си на задника, съдираш се от работа и МОЖЕ би ще успееш. а ако не успееш, теглиш му една майна, пиеш едно голямо уиски, потупваш котвичката и потегляш по нов курс, някъде на ново място. с най-широката усмивка, защото няма съсипани животи, няма затворени врати, няма подобни депресарски лайнарщини, има само НОВО, има само напред и нагоре. не се обръщаме назад, не плачем за изгубените "ако", "дали", "щеше ли" и тем подобни. ако ти не вярваш в себе си, няма кой да повярва в теб. вярвай, че го правиш не само за себе си, а и за тези около теб. вярвай, че има смисъл и то ще има смисъл. не ти трябва чуждо рамо. поплачи, покрещи, счупи някоя друга ваза, лампа, маса, каквото искаш, излей го и давай напред. 


потупваш котвичката, вдигаш брадичката, изправяш рамене, показваш им мъничкото си и сладичко средно пръстче и правиш тoва, което искаш, така както ти искаш. правиш го за СЕБЕ СИ. за никой друг. направи го перфектно за себе си и повярвай ми, ако наистина имат мозък, ще го оценят много повече, отколкото нещо, в чиито успех и ти самата не вярваш. това е моят съвет към теб в живота. обичам те, котвичке моя, никога не го забравяй и се обичай и ти.

понеделник, 8 юли 2013 г.

Find a girl who reads

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Rosemarie Urquico