My wife and I went to Budapest's Museum Night last week. Budapexan has the report.
A few observations:
1. If you are going to organize a city-wide event, you need to make sure all of the materials you print for it have correct information. Sure, typos happen, but big mistakes in information shouldn't happen. That's why you use proof-readers.
2. Modern art is crap. Sorry if you disagree. I must not be cerebral nor cultured enough to appreciate it. But, on the other hand, I teach both chemistry and physics and know the difference between Pavarati, Paganini, and Pucini.
So, modern art is crap. That said, there were two pieces that I liked. One was a joke, very funny, and entertaining. The other one actually could have been very nice in a home. The rest of it should have never been in a museum.
3. We also visited the Terror House. If you don't know what that is, it was the headquaters of the secret police during communist rule in Hungary. Esentially, it was one of those places you never wanted to see the inside of because you would probably never see the outside again. It has now been renovated to serve as a museum depicting the horrors of living under communism. It was very well done and I would like to go back again some day. The secret, underground torture rooms and execution chambers are still in their original state and are very grim. So, what did I take away?
Well, how did Hungary fall into communism? After WWII, the people actually voted for a democratic government, but because too much power had been given to too few, the people were powerless to determine what type of government they would get. Observation: power should be distributed as much as possible and we should we very careful of letting government take power from the people.
Also, we must protect free speech. That includes the speach we don't like. Because, someday, someone may not like our free speech. Government should not be allowed to regulate political speech, ever.
Last, we must protect political dissent. When we don't like someone's ideas, we should discuss the situation, not call for their silencing. This, superficially, may seem very similar to what I already mentioned, but its not. The above talks about the expression of political ideas. Here, I am talking about the holding of ideas.
For those of you who have never visited a former communist country, let me explain. In George Orwell's 1984, merely having ideas against the state was a crime. It was called thoughtcrime. Now, in free countries, we read that and say, "how absurd that would be." But, what we don't understand is that it actually happened. Orwell didn't write entertaining fiction. He wrote informed fiction. Communist countries didn't merely aim to control the economy, but rather the very thoughts of its people.
And we, as free people, need to take this lessons to heart.
After completing my Google Reader, I've added the Blog Roll to this blog. It's pretty cool in two ways: 1. You can see what I'm reading about because it imports the links from Google Reader. 2. It actually gives you a bit of a preview before actually clicking through.
Oh, and if you want to add it to your blog, here's the link.
It happens from time to time living in Budapest. Something happens to you that you have absolutely no control over and you just have to suck it up and take it.
Someone stole the front license plate off of our car. Why I don't know, but it's going to cost me about $90 to get them both replaced. Oh, and I'll have to update all the paperwork for the car to match the new license plates. That will cost me about $60.
Well, in order to get the new plates, I had to report the theft. So, I was driving on my way to do that when I got pulled over and ticketed for not having the front plate. That cost me about $130. Nice. The cop either didn't believe that I was on my way or didn't care.
So, all-in-all, someone's lovely like jester will end up costing me about $280. Thank you, whoever you are.
Oh, and I spent about two and a half hours at the police station filling out a report. They were pretty nice about it all. Oh, and I will also spend untold hours visiting different government offices and getting all of the paperwork done. Ba!
Take a look at the recruiting results for May. Does it look like we're having trouble recruiting to you? HT: A Soldier's Perspective
"Marine Corps - 122% of requirement Army - 101% of requirement Navy - 100% of requirement Air Force - 100% of requirement Air National Guard - 131% of requirement Army Reserve - 107% of requirement Marine Corps Reserve - 100% of requirement Navy Reserve - 100% of requirement Air Force Reserve - 100% of requirement Army National Guard - 94% of requirement"