Another glimpse of perspective

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In May of 2015, I lived in a small village in Iceland. While there I had the pleasure of living and working with another traveler, Dan Barabas, who hails from Romania.

Dan, who is currently working on his Ph.D. in Tourism, keeps abreast of global happenings and we had a great time discussing philosophy, religion, and politics while we were together.

I interviewed him in March about our election process, and recently decided to interview him again as things are drawing to a heated climax.

When asked how the media coverage has been, he said there has been coverage of Clinton’s corruption charges, “but comparing to everything you hear about Trump, this is like the ripples from a stone dropped into the ocean.”

Sadly, Dan has not seen any media coverage for Jill Stein (Green Party) or Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), and I asked him if he thought the media was more propaganda than reporting. He considered the news to be reporting “with a thick later of propaganda … you have the impression that the idea of reporting doesn’t exist anymore… but it is still there, for the ones who are able to distinguish between these two ideas of reporting.”

Dan assuredly had thoughts about Donald Trump. “Definitely, this election is getting a lot of attention/media covering but, to be honest, I guess this is most because of Trump running for president. ‘Cancan’ stuff is always appealing for the large masses of people and Trump through everything he does, is written ‘sensational’ all over the place.”

As for how the States’ political process compares to that in Romania, “I would say that your process is at least 10 levels above … even if the propaganda is still there, … Romania is kind of democracy wannabe (actually sometimes I’m wondering why it is still called that Romania is a democratic country — because is just an empty shell). Your elections process is still, from my point of view, even if is not flawless, closed to perfection as it can be.”

In the end, between the drama of both Clinton and Trump, and the rise of the third party candidates, Dan asserted that “this is what democracy is all about: Anybody can have a chance to get there.”

Be a newsie, change the world

IMG_7278 copyI recently went to the Pacific Northwest for my four-year reunion with friends from college.  While in Seattle, we saw the Broadway tour of Newsies. Now, for those who don’t know what the show is about, it is about the New York City newsies strike of 1899. I had not seen the production nor movie so when one of the characters exclaimed that not only had their story been published on the front page, it was above the fold, I laughed my head off to the embarrassment of my friends.

Working at the Register has given me an insider’s perspective on how a newspaper business works, as well as some inside jokes. Like how awesome it to have a story above the fold on the front page. One thing I didn’t know was the history of the newsboys who sold newspapers on street corners. The newsies were often the first people to be affected by rises in newspaper costs, and because of this there were several strikes. The NYC newsies strike was in 1899, there was a strike in Butte, Montana in 1914, and even one in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1920’s.

Although the strikes were because of the rising costs of papers, the newsies strikes also brought attention to the maltreatment of orphans and the conditions of child labor in the cities. Because of these brave children and their outspoken determination, society was changed for the better.

The newspaper business has come a long way since the days of typesetting and darkrooms, but I hope it continues to serve as an outlet to voice concerns and important news. I hope we can all be newsies in some way or another. Either by sharing news or being a voice in the community, we can all take a hint from the newsies and make a change in our world.

An Embarrassing Global Election

As many of you who follow my blog know, in May of 2015, I lived in a small village in Iceland. While there I had the pleasure of living and working with another traveler, Dan Barabas, who hailed from Romania.

Dan, who is currently working on his Ph.D. in Tourism, has been traveling all over Europe. He keeps abreast of global happenings — as do most Europeans I have met — and we had a great time discussing philosophy, religion, and politics while we were together.

Because of the controversial presidential election, I thought it would be interesting to ask Dan what he thought of it. We keep in touch thanks to the internet, and he was happy to share his thoughts when I asked him about the election.

As for the general mood of Europeans toward the US presidential election was, Dan stated that the role of U.S. President is a privilege and most of society is expecting the candidates to be role models.

He went on to say, “Sure, seeing Trump running for [the] presidential election is kind of wow… Suddenly, once with Trump in the “title picture,” what should have been a “classy” contest, became, in a way, a kind of charade, a travesty, a less meaningful thing, a kind of [reality] show… then again, apparition of such characters in such highly positions proves, once again, the downfall of the nowadays society in matter of choosing their leaders…”

As for how the election will affect global politics and how it affects his perception of America, Dan stated, “Probably, in a way, the status of American President will start to be questionable, the idea of “the world’s most powerful man” will start [to] be a bit shady giving [sic] who will be that person. USA statements will start to be put under [a] microscope and the trust in American people in choosing their leader properly will be highly debatable.”

Regardless of intentions, it seems the presidential candidates’ mudslinging and lack of tact is not having a positive affect on how my friend, Dan, sees our country. It makes me wonder if the rest of Europe (and the world) think the same thing.