The Land of Cockayne*

Life is great, we are doing well, individually and as a species but yes, every so often it’s time for time out, a relaxing break by the beach, in the mountains, the wilderness or wherever our fancy takes us.

Out come the glossy brochures, up come the internet pages, we lend our ear to the tales of adventure, freedom and happiness from family members, colleagues and friends. Even complete strangers are drawn into our musings as we are eager to disseminate our excitement, anticipation and pride – hey, we can afford it and we have deserved it, right? Continue reading “The Land of Cockayne*”

My Experience with Refugees

In most German villages and suburbs, we have houses where refugees live. In 2015, one million refugees came to Germany and in 2016, seven hundred and fifty thousand arrived here (1). I had not been in contact with any refugees before and didn’t know many other people who were, except one colleague at work, who shared with me that she supports a family to go to process their residency applications with the authorities and to go to the doctors. Continue reading “My Experience with Refugees”

Charities exposed for Cold-calling: What is True Charity?

How charitable is cold calling?

Eunice Minford
Eunice Minford

You may say, “what a ridiculous question, it’s obvious there is no charity in cold-calling,” yet we have recently seen how a number of large charities in the UK think it is appropriate to ‘cold-call’ people to raise money for their charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children and Cancer Research amongst others.

They employ companies to do the dirty work – and dirty work it is indeed. The undercover videos (1) (2) accompanying the recent media article – “VICTORY! After Mail exposé reveals shame of charity cold call sharks, PM pledges tough new laws to tackle ‘boiler room’ tactics targetting the elderly and vulnerable” – published by the Daily Mail UK (3), show the tactics that are used to get people to part with their cash. No one is spared from being given this opportunity to donate including elderly pensioners and those with dementia. Continue reading “Charities exposed for Cold-calling: What is True Charity?”

Pornography: Time to Say ENOUGH!

by Rachel Mascord, Dentist, Sydney, Australia

Today I became re-acquainted with music videos. I also got newly acquainted with the ‘pornification’ of our society.

As a teenager I loved my Saturday morning television fix of greatest hits, or ‘Rage’, ABC TV’s Sunday morning music staple. Many years have passed since I have watched a music video. This morning’s viewing at the gym proved to be educational… and deeply disturbing.

All the clips portrayed women being sexual to a degree that was blatantly pornographic. One video stood out in particular, and not for the loveliness of its music or the artistic quality of its content. No… it grabbed my attention with the fact that it was focussed on the bare behinds of its three featured dancers.

And I mean focussed. Continue reading “Pornography: Time to Say ENOUGH!”

PORN – An Addiction Worth Talking About

I have been inspired by the recent blog ‘Pornography, Internet & Sex – An Insight into a Distorted World’ and my thanks go to the author for having the courage to start up the conversation on this topic. Nearly all men that I know have been affected by pornography at some point in their life, but it is a topic that bears too much shame to talk about properly – shame that we have been part of it and shame that we have contributed to the abuse of women in this way. Yet the fact is that the author of the above blog is right when he says that porn is something that controls us. It is a drug, a form of addiction, and one that is more common than we care to admit. Like any person in denial, I never thought I had an issue with porn. I was not a serial or frequent user, more an occasional if not rare recreational user, as many people like to explain themselves when defending their use of addictive substances. Yet, when I started to really question my attraction to it, I realised that my occasional foray into porn was having a huge effect on my life… Continue reading “PORN – An Addiction Worth Talking About”