Archive for the 'Social Issues' Category

Being British and the Origins of Brexit

Monday, May 13th, 2019

Quite apart from the to and fro deliberations about Brexit and its many implications, it is interesting to ponder the concept of Britishness and how this has led directly to the process we’re now witnessing.

Ok, I’ll say it: Brexit is inextricably linked with the uniquely British sense of identity as a concept of being ‘different’. Of course, we’re all different; different individually, by nationality, etcetera, but the British have a sense of differentness that forms the very core of their national identity. It’s not for nothing that Brits are not exactly famous for learning languages or assimilating into host cultures, and the fact that anyone who is not British is forever a foreigner – even if it is the Briton who resides in someone else’s country – reflects a mentality that is, indeed, very different from most modern nations. (more…)

The human planet

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Among the many creatures that have lived on this planet, humans are unique in that they not only tamed the wild and created large urban societies, but increasingly we are having an impact on the very fabric of the earth itself – and it’s not always for the better.

Words: Michel Cruz

When it comes to the ‘human planet’ we hear all sorts of things, many of them foreboding and some even seemingly contradictory – like there is too little space, too much development, that the population is exploding and the natural environment slowly dying, but also that the population is greying, that we’re not having enough children to replace ourselves. We consume and pollute too much, we are/are not contributing to global warming, that there is no global warming, that we will all have to work to 70 and beyond yet artificial intelligence will take our jobs away. We’re depleting the earth’s resources, that there will be land and water wars to replace today’s oil wars, that there is unemployment yet the labour force is shrinking. More immigration means economic growth but also more unemployment, and occasionally even that decades of overpopulation and over-exploitation have taken us to the cusp of a demographic collapse brought on by environmental decay and epidemics. (more…)

Elon Musk – Visionary of the Future

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

In an age when we desperately need visionaries to lead the way, Elon Musk is a multidisciplinary engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and futurist with the drive to do what today’s politicians can’t – change the world for the better.

Words: Michel Cruz

There have always been visionaries and inventors, from Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo to Jules Verne, but more than anyone else today South African-born Elon Musk is the renaissance man of the hour. This is an era where we look in vain to our leaders for answers to the pressing environmental, social and economic issues that beset humanity. Decade upon decade, there is no change, no action and no transparency. We seem to be locked in an ever-increasing spiral of uncontrolled technology development that has the potential to disrupt our economic system and the fabric of society. Global warming, population growth, pollution, growing disparity in wealth and the rise of artifiial intelligence are the spectres that stare us in the face, yet they are barely addressed by those in power. (more…)

Modern Families – what does the future hold?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Modern FamiliesFrom the extended family to the nuclear family and now quite often the single family, the core structure of our society has been undergoing a metamorphosis for some time now. What will the future concept of modern families look like?

American TV series appear to have a fascination for families. For decades they espoused ‘family values’ and how family is one of the cornerstones of life, but more recent hits such as Modern Family indicate just how much the goalposts have moved even in the US.

The popular sitcom follows a familiar feel-good approach in tracking the lives of an all-American family – but this is a family with its feet firmly rooted in the 21st century. The patriarch of the family is not only remarried, but his younger wife is a gorgeous Latina with a teenage son from an earlier relationship, while his son is married to a man and only his daughter’s family still fits the mould of what once, not so long ago, would have been as a typical, desirable heterosexual nuclear family. At heart not that much has changed, for the underlying message is that – different, diverse and with warts and all – family remains an important anchor in one’s life, and in a way it’s hard to argue with that. (more…)

No more monkey business

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Gibraltar monkeysText & photos: Ash Bolton

They are one of Gibraltar’s most iconic and enduring symbols. Yet a number of the Rock’s famous apes will be captured and relocated abroad in the next few months. Government chiefs have been prompted to act as groups of the Barbary Macaques have been up to no good in built up areas such as schools and Main Street. According to scientists based on the British Overseas Territory, many of the monkeys have lost their fear of humans and now regard them as a source of rich food. It’s believed up to 120 of the Rock’s 230 strong monkey colony could now be deported to North Africa. (more…)