Friday, November 13, 2009

L'ironie francaise

It's been a while since I watched a good French film. I was just looking through this year's French Film Festival programme I'd forgotten how true the french film stereotype can be sometimes. Out of 12 blurbs that I read, 6 mentioned some kind of complicated sordid liason. Some of them are quite comical... my favourite has to be "Envoyés Speciaux" where apparently amongst the normal crazy lives of war correspondants in Baghdad, "Things also get complicated when Franck inadvertently sleeps with Poussin's wife before their mission." Inadvertently...?! Only in French films!

The last time I was in France I did however see one that didn't fit all the stereotypes - for one it had French actors speaking English!! Welcome is definitely worth seeing, being beautiful, thought-provoking though unfortunately also heart-breaking. You can watch the trailer here. Some of it is in English so hopefully you'll get the gist! Though good luck with the accents... Anyway I highly recommend it, go and see it while it's out in the UK during the festival!

Friday, November 06, 2009

the "twentysomething" crisis

So I've kinda hit that point. In amongst the random bits and bobs that was supposed to be feeling out the right path that I should take , I've hit that that kinda of "eekamIdoingwhatIshouldbedoingwhatamIsupposedtobedoingwithmylifenowthatI'mgraduatedI'msupposedtobe"grownup"thing!... Jamie Cullum puts it pretty well...!

And through it all He keeps whispering in my ear "Follow me" along the path that is narrow, that might be highly unconventional, or annoyingly conventional, that could lead through some pretty dark and barren places, but a way that is faith, truth, hope, love, that is freeing, that satisfies far more than a fulfilling job, a good marriage, exciting experiences, wonderful friends, a way that is knowing Him. And I'm realising that small things and individuals are just as important as "careers" and "postgrads" and that it's ok not to know my immediate destination right now if my eyes are fixed on Him. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A couple of weeks ago poor ol Jack Straw was put on the spot at that contraversial infamous Question Time when Nick Griffin was "given a voice" when he was questioned on whether he thought Labour's immigration policies which had allegedly encouraged mass immigration had paved the way for far right parties such as the BNP. After a subsequent chat with my flatmates on the subject, and feeling partly inspired by the unusual amount of genuine passion from some of the politicians and especially inspired by the fact that one of my friends is facing possible and likely deportation as of this weekend despite having lived in this country for almost a year, I find myself remembering that I do love talking about politics almost as much as I love talking about God and religion, especially when the politics in question involves UK immigration policy.

Unsurprisingly I don't have stereotypical British views on the matter. Being a Scot (where we don't seem to have population problems apart from the occasional lack of), of immigrant stock myself and with a passion and love for anyone vaguely international. And while I do realise that we can't let everyone into the country I do think we go a bit overboard on the matter. Pet frustrations include:

- Government or Press making ridiculous claims supposedly based on accurate stats which have usually been blown out of proportion or taken from a very biased sample since when did population graphs follow a constant gradient

- The home office allowing people to stay in the country for months or even years, settle down, make friends, sometimes find family, a life... and then suddenly deport them without even the slightest warning!

It's such a vicious cycle - we have a press that perpetuates a fear of people "coming in to steal our jobs", the people demand things of the government who then tighten the already rigid system but people are desperate so do crazy things to slip through the system which makes the press go crazy and the cycle continues...

Where is the compassion!? We don't ever seem to put the shoe on the other foot. Think about the fact that so many people are coming from difficult or destitute situations. We don't even try to imagine what it'd be like if it were us having to escape some crazy dictator or war or famine in the UK and having the doors closed to us wherever we try to escape to or being treated like unwanted cattle. Why can't policy be shaped around compassion and not just around what's practical?! Then again... I guess we don't live in a world like that.

Rant over.

I'd be interested to hear what other folk think...