I am moving to England today and will likely not have much time to blog over the next three weeks. I hope to return sometime in mid-August.
I have not blogged much in the past three or four months because I have been preoccupied with other matters, primarily planning and organizing a move to England. This move to England was inspired by the rather lackluster job market for teachers in Canada (though I enjoyed the job I did have immensely and will miss it terribly) and other factors with which I will not bore anyone now. Long story short - we're leaving Canada to begin a new life in England.
This move has me contemplating the very nature of beginnings and endings; I find myself pondering whether or not they can be considered separately or if they should be thought of as one thing with two distinct sides very much like a coin.
T.S. Eliot ruminated over this issue and made the following observation:
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a new beginning. The end is where we start from.
I have started from many ends in my life. In fact, I have been averaging a new beginning every three or four years for the past fifteen years. Now, I am leaving Canada, likely for good.
Another new beginning. Another end I start from.
Back in April I wrote a post about the most recent election Hungary in which I postulated some of the reasons behind the left's massive loss to Fidesz. I argued the main reason the left - who have proclaimed themselves the sole guardians of Enlightenment principles, democracy, freedom, true European values, etc., - lost the election was because they did not truly respect nor particularly care about the views and values of the average Hungarian citizen.
I recently came across an article in The Hungarian Review which expands on this idea and goes into considerable detail about the left in Hungary and why they might not see themselves in power for a long, long time.
For those interested, I have linked the article below. It's a long piece, but well worth the read:
Hungarian Elections and After
In my novel The City of Earthly Desire I touch upon the horrendous crime known as human trafficking. A significant portion of the narrative deals with the sex industry that burgeoned in Budapest shortly after the collapse of the communism. The sudden explosion of strip joints, peep shows, curbside prostitutes, and porn shoots created a seemingly insatiable demand for flesh. Luckily - for the owners, pimps, entrepreneurs, and assorted riffraff of racketeers who were looking to turn a buck from the sale of flesh - the economic malaise of Hungary after the fall of the Iron Curtain ensured the girls worked cheaply. But the sex industry is business and business always seeks to maximize profit. Why pay a young girl a hundred dollars a day to turn tricks when you can get a girl to turn tricks for nothing? Enter human trafficking and sex slavery.
In my novel, the protagonist Béla helps establish what he believes to be a legitimate adult entertainment company that deals fairly with its performers, and for the most part, this proves to be the case. However, as the novel progresses, Béla is horrified to discover that some of the women he had used in his films and magazines had been kidnapped and trafficked from the impoverished Hungarian countryside or from countries whose economies were in even deeper shambles than Hungary's was at the time.
Sadly, the crime of human trafficking exists outside the pages of fiction. Not only does it exist, it is thriving, and, ironically enough, Hungarian women and women from other central and eastern European countries continue to be among its most visible victims. Below is a link that details the activities of a human trafficking ring based in the United Kingdom that lured women from Hungary with the promise of nanny and maid jobs then horrifically exploited the women by forcing them into sex slavery. Thankfully, the perpetrators all received sentences for their unspeakable crimes, but in my opinion, they deserved at least double the time.
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Bruce Charlton's Notions
Meeting the Masters
From The Narrow Desert
Twisting the Tail of the Cosmos