Tuesday, June 30, 2020

No Eurovision This Year

Eurovision was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.  The finals were supposed to held on 14 May.  Now we'll never know how Benny Cristo's song Kemama would have fared.

This year's event was supposed to be held in Rotterdam.  I don't know if the Netherlands will host in 2021.  Each country can choose if they will send this year's artists next year or choose a new entry.  However, this year's songs can not be reentered next year.

While there was no Eurovision this year at least there was Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.  The Netflix comedy is brilliant and the music sounded authentically Eurovision-ish.  While not the real Eurovision it is the next best thing.  The movie is even available on Netflix in Czech so I get to count watching it as language practice.

Here's the movie trailer I found on YouTube.  


Friday, June 26, 2020

2020 Travel Plans

This was supposed to be a big travel year this year.  Well thanks to COVID-19, the state of emergency, and travel restrictions it hasn't worked out that way.

I had trips planned to 20 countries this year.  20 in 2020.  Most have already been cancelled, like my March trip to Ukraine, Hungary, and Romania, and my Easter trip to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  My future trips I expect will get cancelled too.  My two new countries this year were going to be Cambodia and Vietnam.  I am supposed to go to Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave on the Baltic between Poland and Lithuania.  I don't see Russia opening their borders by September so I'm waiting for airBaltic to offer me a refund.

The biggest disappointment was not being able to see my family this year and missing my niece's high school graduation.  Unfortunately, due to lock down her graduation ceremony was cancelled anyway.

The 20 planned countries for 2020

Like everyone else I have a bit of cabin fever from being on home lock down.  I for sure miss traveling.  However, I'm healthy.  All of my family is healthy.  I haven't lost my job.  So in the big scheme of things I'm lucky and I really can't complain.  

One of my mates suggested putting together a collage of all of the countries I've been in.  I liked the idea so I pulled out a picture for every country I've been since moving to Czechland in July 2009.  These were posted to my Instagram so a few of these collages repeat the Czech flag.  I didn't have a great photo from Luxembourg and I somehow missed getting a photo of myself in Kyrgyzstan.  I guess I need to go back sometime for photos.  I really have been pretty blessed to visit so many amazing places.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Confederate Flag

The Confederate flag is something that's always been controversial but it seems to be more of a hot topic now.  First things first, the "confederate flag" was never the flag of the Confederate States of America.  It was the battle flag of several confederate armies.

©CGP Grey

The Confederate States of America, the CSA, were the breakaway states, i.e., the South, during the American Civil War.  The CSA included South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, and Kentucky.

Many Southerns associate this flag with Southern heritage.  That is if you're white.  If you're black then this Southern heritage is one of racism, slavery, segregation and white supremacy.  I don't get how any patriotic American can proudly celebrate the flag that is associated with the sedition of the U.S. government, the loss of over 620,000 lives, tremendous devastation, and the subjugation of other races.

©TestTube News

When I moved to Atlanta in 1996 I absolutely hated the state flag.  In 1956, Georgia changed its flag to incorporate the Confederate battle flag.  This was done as a protest to civil rights and specifically to the Supreme Court decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case that ruled against segregation.

In the U.S., we talk about segregation but we should call it what it was which is apartheid.  To me the Georgia flag was racist and I cringed a bit every time I saw one.

In 2001, new governor changed the flag.  It wasn't a popular flag.  I didn't care for how the new flag looked but it was significantly better than the old one.  This flag only lasted for two years until 2003 when it was changed for the new flag.

The new, new flag has been Georgia's state flag since 2003.  To me it's way better than the previous two versions.  
Timeline of Georgia Stage Flags
The Confederate flag is racist.  There's a reason why it always shows up at KKK and white supremacy gatherings.  

I remember being caught completely off guard in 2011 when I saw a hot dog truck in Brno with a confederate flag.  Needless to say but I never purchased a hot dog from here.