My company – the one I own roughly one-third of – recently put out a message in support of the Pride Month and LGBTQ+ communities. They even changed their profile picture in social media to this:
In this post, I want to confirm that I’m fully and wholeheartedly behind this – but what’s the big deal? This should go without saying. Except that I think of myself as a practising Catholic of sorts (even with my diminishing trust in the bodies and officials of the Church). And these days anyone who professes to be Christian seems to be expected to explain any liberal leanings. Especially as we have received a few – not many – angry reactions and hate messages that speak of a “violent minority”.
In a daring move, facing mortal peril and all sorts of tremendous adversity, my company will… send out a newsletter this week. (When you read this, it may already have happened.)
Judging from all the desperate e-mails I have received last week (and the swarm I am still receiving these days), sending newsletters seems the worst offense anyone can commit in the world of business. The hype was picked up by large corporations who also started asking for our consent to send e-mail, reinforcing the panic over love’s labour’s potential loss. Continue reading
The world is becoming a worse place every day, laments a colleague of mine while sipping a casual coffee in the morning. She said this just a few days after Trump was elected, and our PM started boasting how the PEOTUS loved Hungary.
For the few of us who’d prefer to live in a world without hatred, to cherish life and freedom, and maybe to help others, the list of safe places grows thinner by the day. Because when the “people” elect a crook who, with his (her?) every move and action, fuels racism, xenophobia, ignorance, and poverty – our first thought is to go someplace else where our values are not being mocked and derided. Continue reading
You, who are frightened of refugees, immigrants, gypsies, liberals, gays, Muslims, Jews, the poor, and the homeless – you, who are scared that they will blow you up, take your job, rob you, patronize you, seduce you, convert or else kill you, cheat you, soil you – please stop and think a little.
Connecting to the previous post, here is my attempt at the translation of a short story by Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy (1887-1938).
Encounter with a Young Man
I was in high spirits: forgetting about many things, I fumbled to light my cigar, and then we began walking down Andrássy út, the grand avenue of Budapest. My beatiful and darling wife was smiling at me from beneath the veil, my beatiful darling, who, behold, loved me, and had allowed me to love her.
Take this piece from the New York Times: Who’s responsible for the refugees?
To me, it said two things.
One: “Stop blaming Hungary”. Two: “The ideal number of refugees is zero.”
This summer I took my family to Italy, to a seaside resort on the outskirts of Ravenna. It was within an easy driving distance from San Marino where the Torre di Montale, the Third Tower is.
Hungarian writer Antal Szerb wrote a book called The Third Tower, about his Italian travels in 1936. It was this Third Tower, the peak of Szerb’s journey.
Grief is moving closer. It doesn’t leave my thoughts now, not for a single day. Grief, and shame, and disgust.
For the great temple of Palmyra, once magnificent in its ruins. Now even the ruins are just a little more than memory, showing the difference between desert and destruction.
Traveling is an experience of freedom. My favorite one, for that matter. It’s a cliché, really: when I get away from the scenes of everyday life, that opens me up, rejuvenates me. I don’t even have to be alone: in fact, sharing this with family or friends even adds to the excitement.
Cliché or not, I can’t help bearing witness to its truth. And I can’t help sharing this deepest of my experiences: I’m starting a series of travel pieces on this blog called the Third Tower Travels. The travel pieces will be short and made up of photos, highlights and anecdotes rather than facts and figures or accurate and complete travel information. At the same time, I hope they will make some of the readers want to visit the places I’m writing about.