Back from long hiatus

Dear followers,

I am so sorry to have you abandoned ūüė¶ Unfortunately Brexit, studies & dissertation research took a toll on me and I needed a break and therapy. It was also necessary to take a break from any media, social media and anything else. Shut off from the world.

I will come back soon with several pictures from Tuscany (renewing my promise to deliver more Merlin’s Travels series articles), an article about current EU citizens situation and an attempt to build a category only relating to archaeology/history with pictures included.

I have started to go to the gym too, so that I could shrug off some of the anger, anxiety and depression I was feeling of late. I will do everything shortly (I need to hand two assignments in September) so stay tuned!!

Merlin is back!


P.S. I started cross-stitching again ūüôā


Brexit, Trump… too much going on!!

So here I am back to write for my blog, swamped in study issues (starting new trimester tomorrow, old one was over on January 18th, dissertation draft proposal to submit before the 22nd!) and totally worried about the incessant vomiting of news any time I turn an electronic device on, whether it’s my mobile phone or just the TV.

Apparently, in 6 months we have gone from Brexit doom mongering scenarios to nuclear war or world war three. Because we all know ‘they’ want the latter. Who wants it? The ones who represent the 1%. Because they are tired of us peasants asking and pretending and demanding and then protesting if we don’t get what we were promised. 

The Trumps  (or Putins or Mays) of this world only see ‘us’ in one way: we are a burden.

Once there was the Black Death. Once there were conquest wars in the name of a God or a flag. But how would you justify a war in the 21st century? They cannot, right? He he. They can instead, we will give them the pretext, worse.. we will help them.

Have you noticed how much denial there still is in common people? “Oh it cannot happen, history cannot repeat itself this time”. Really? As a history student, I am aware that history has repeatedly itself so many times that if I could count them I would need a calculator. How many conmen/powerful men have made ordinary people believe some wars were ‘necessary’? 

It is only sufficient a reason: to make people feel attacked first. This can be done through appeals to xenophobia (“foreigners are swamping us, they are taking over, etc”); through attacks on the judiciary upholding national constitutions (“judges are enemies of the people, they are stopping democracy, etc.”); through appeals to faithfulness to a national ideal (“Make blah blah great again, taking back control, etc.”). List of appeals can come endless, the main aim is to make the population at large feel scared about something  (whilst we are all worried and scared,  we also forget to check the eventual red flags blown in our faces; a bit like living with an abuser….).

When the above mentioned happens, a division ensues. On one side, the part of the population listening to those appeals and agreeing with the conmen; on the other side the one opposing them. At this point, the whole population is already fucked, because the 50% opposing it has either the option of resisting or to try to join/reach to the other 50%. I might scare you shitless here but if we follow historical precedents, there’s often no way out of this conundrum without any form of violence. 

Even if it’s not nuclear war or even world war, we could totally be part of civil wars in UK, USA, France, etc. Or… entire groups of people will be defined as dissidents and incarcerated, in the name of a flag/belief under a dictatorial regime.

Believe me if I tell you that the world as we have known it for so long won’t last much longer. Unless we get invaded by aliens and exterminated. Hopefully,  because I have totally lost hope in mankind, human species is showing itself as something totally dumb and incapable of learning.

Merlin x

P.S. I would be all for to give the world to chirping Maine Coons like my Thor… at least, I am sure the planet would survive unscathed because they would have all they need without destroying it first.

Dividi et impera

Dear followers,

I am really sad I have abandoned you in the last few weeks. I still follow the global events but given the huge amount of study I am supposed to do until the end of 2017, I am sure I won’t be able to post as often as before. I apologise if I am getting so boring, I wish I had more time to dedicate to my blog, given that I had committed to, at least, 2 posts a month.

Furthermore, I have started to research for my dissertation, which will have to be handed in during the summer of 2017. Please, be patient…. after that study committment, I am sure I will keep updating the blog. The funny part…I am not sure FROM where I will do that. Heck, considering the actual political climate, I am not sure I will be ALLOWED to do that either!

I think many of you share my feelings that the world was never filled with such uncertainty for everybody before, not at least in the last two decades. I have followed the end of the cold war…. seen the Berlin’s wall finally crumbling down more than 25 years ago… in 2013 I have even seen the pieces of it standing in a Berlin’s street, stark remnants of a past that it was never supposed to come back… I have visited a nazi concentration camp twice… I have never forgotten the butcheries and the ‘showers’ (the gas chambers)…. why are people so eager to resuscitate a past filled with hate?

I have listened to countless explanations about controlling immigration. Controlling immigration is a task for a state, it should not be on top of priorities for anyone in daily life, regardless of country. Instead, many of us have bought into the governments’ propaganda that use immigration as a scapegoat for their own failings. Even my mother is one of many people who reason like that, when super-offended she yelled at me on the phone “but, bbbuttt… you are not an immigrant like the others, you’re Italian!” which basically meant ‘you’re white, cultured and well-educated, so you don’t deserve that’.

This shows that not only some politicians have managed to manipulate society’s thoughts towards a concern that shouldn’t be theirs in the first place (and in doing so, they also divided whole countries in groups on one side or another), they have even managed to divide the ‘other’ in many, many subcategories, in some sort of list decreasing from the ‘most deserving of hate and disgust’ to the ‘least deserving one’. I don’t want to paint Trump voters, or LePen voters, or Brexiteers, with the same brush, because except the ones who are really racists, fascists, white supremacists and KKK card-carrying members, the others have something in common with the rest. We all have been CONNED. We are all deluded into thinking that a better future awaits us, somehow. The governments and the rulers fear the ‘mob’ when it is united, not when it is divided into millions of pieces. The ‘will of the people’ counts shit when the powers have been passed out of people’s hands. We are only instrumental in producing an outcome (an election or a referendum result), after that…. it’s like we’re on a boat at the mercy of captain and his officers… and if they are all a bunch of nutcases and go all random, they can sink us all (and now the world has boarded a huge Titanic…). We are allowed to live in denial that we can preserve and protect what we have and who we love for the moment, and maybe we can take action later on. That is only an illusion. This time, unless some of you are so stinking rich to have a space station to board at will, we are all in this together, none excluded… regardless of nationality, race, creed, age or gender.

Unfortunately the famous Roman rule for good government ‘divide and rule’ (dividi et impera) has been a successful propaganda for 2 millennia. Well, it was even before, it’s just the Romans who have transformed it in sort of ancient slogan. It is so sad though that mankind keeps falling for it, one way or another.

Sad Merlin xx

Archaeology A-levels won’t be available anymore.. what’s happening to England?

Hello everybody,

It doesn’t happen often that I have the chance of writing about the subjects I’m studying at university. Unfortunately, when it has happened it always was for negative reasons. It is no different this time.
This week, AQA (the organisation responsible for GCSE, AS and A levels in England) has announced that AS and A-levels in Archaeology and Art History will be suppressed in the next two years and the ;last exams will be sit in 2018. The official reason behind it was that there are not many students applying for them, hence the cancellation (see link below)

As it was for the Building Bill (that will be discussed and maybe passed in autumn), the outcome of such measures¬†seems only one. To penalise the subjects that are not ‘hard’. If you followed Rudd’s comments at the Tory conference, you might have an idea about what cutting humanities and classical subjects means for the government ruling the United Kingdom in 2016. It means offering a narrower outlook and general education to the young generations. It means that legions of teenagers will grow up with less cultured ideas and many will probably lack critical thinking too. STEM graduates also benefit from such subjects. My husband is an engineer and values a knowledge in history and heritage as important as all the rest. So why should pupils of the future have less opportunities than their counterparts living at present?

This new direction in government policy could be addressed in a few points:

1 )¬†It is undoubtedly true that¬†many humanities subjects do not always offer professional careers later on,¬†hence they are deemed ‘useless’ or ‘unprofitable’ in the long term. This could explain why so many students preferred not to study classical studies, archaeology or history of art at A level.

2 ) However, they are a useful tool to develop critical thinking; the latter seems increasingly dangerous in a country where the politicians demonise anyone having a different identity or nationality as non-patriotic and treacherous. As of yesterday, a Tory councillor had started a petition to consider support of EU membership of the UK as treason. Thank God the imbecile was suspended later on.

3 ) Many countries do suffer from lack of scientists and engineers. A quick look to any skilled immigration list in every western country will make you regret you didn’t study a STEM subject.

The main issue I have with¬†the last point¬†is that not everybody is inclined to study a technical, scientific or math subject. I suffered for ages at school in Italy because Maths and me live on two different planets. Beyond simple mathematical calculus, I’m in the fog about all the rest. Main reason why my dreams of studying Astronomy were… doomed to remain dreams! I wouldn’t have gotten far, clearly ūüėČ

In conclusion, the suppression of general culture and classical studies is never a good idea and should have been encouraged instead of taking such an opportunity away from English students. An opportunity that English government is not very fussed about after its members have decided that uneducated and uncultured masses are easier to rule, this is quite evident from the Brexit referendum onwards. Strange that this line of thought comes directly from ancient governments and politics; funny that the above mentioned members of Parliament probably enjoyed to be educated in Classical studies only to realise that the plebs should not learn what they did.

Merlin x