When commenting on the new visa requirement for Czech citizens, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said: “It’s not a pleasant thing to do, but it’s absolutely necessary to protect the integrity of our immigration system and our laws.”
Kenney’s comment was related to some 3,000 asylum claims filed by Roma minority members from the Czech Republic which lead Canada to introduce the visa restriction effective of July 14, 2009. I will go on to argue that the Canadian immigration system is broken, and therefore should not be “protected,” as Mr Kenney claims, but changed.
Time is peculiar. Given how many things depend on, or are linked to time, there is very little we know about it for certain (on scientific and philosophical level; we usually know plenty enough about time when we are running late for a meeting). Despite the pseudo-technical title, this article offers observations on the nature of time as it appears to us, humans. Having enough time is not trivial and it plays an important part in the quality of life. As Seneca said: “There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living.”
What do the conflict in Gaza, an ‘anti-EU’ campaigner Declan Ganley and Russia’s cutoff of gas have in common? The answer is surprisingly the Czech Republic. This is not a conspiracy theory; the explanation lies in the beginning of the Czech Republic’s six-month presidency over the European Union. These are all grave issues (pun on my home country intended; and you’ll soon see why) so I decided to address them with a somewhat light-hearted tone.
This article is not concerned with the movie about Vincent van Gogh nor with Iggy Pop’s album/song. Only indirectly; rather, it is about the importance of discovering and pursuing a meaning in life: about “the will to meaning” as it was called by the Austrian psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl. People who have this kind of “lust for life” stay focused and happy regardless of the circumstances.
I used to think there was some kind of evolution in sci-fi movies. For example, that robots started with awkward boxes and blobs as seen in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) or Forbidden Planet. One only needs to see Fritz Lang‘s silent-era Metropolis (1927) to learn there is nothing new under the sun not only in terms of robots but of the overall structure and themes of sci-fi films.
Josef Švejk, Jan Welzl, Jára Cimrman. These are three distinct heroes of the Czech past. Two of them are fictional, one has often been incorrectly regarded as such, and one of them was prominent in the poll for the greatest Czech person ever.
Not that Czechs would have a shortage of “regular” national heroes—there are Charles IV, Hus, Comenius, Dvořák, Kafka, Wichterle, Forman or Jágr (not to mention Pilsner Urquell, because beer almost does qualify here)—but the Czech mentality often prefers heroes of a not-so-international stardom and more-of-an-average abilities with non-standard achievements (a “Joe the Hero” who is best in something I don’t care about). And if on top of that the hero manages to be fictional or to become famous against his will, he’s on the fast track to the hall of fame.