Letter to the Editor: April 2013

To the Editor

[Re: “They Eat Horses, Don’t They”, by Martin Ehl, TVR March, 2013] I don’t think British concern [about horsemeat] is just about cultural differences. A big issue is where the horsemeat actually came from. It is suspected that it was illegally smuggled into the food supply by the Romanian mafia, which means that origins and food safety standards can’t be verified – making this a public health issue.

 

Mazin Power, London

 

Martin Ehl responded:

In defence of Romania (and other Eastern EU members): It might be also that an EU certified Romanian factory has supplied horse meat to its Western partners, who through very complex system, created beef from horsemeat. Actually, one of the suspects was a Dutch trader who already had troubles with horse-to-beef magic.

 

 To the Editor,

[Re: “Fear-Based Identity Crisis”, by Margaret Childs, TVR March, 2013] It is hard to see who has the more adamant agenda here, the group (which seems to have some intelligently flexible approaches) or the journalist who seems to have made up her mind before the interview. eg. we read the perfectly reasonable – and accurate statement – “In this incredibly short period of 30 years, 100,000 people from there have come to us, and we see that some of these people reject our society, because they come from other cultural regions and bring completely different perceptions and lifestyles with them.”

The journalist replies: Any listener would have trouble understanding this standpoint as “ethno-pluralistic”. Point missed entirely? Was Ms. Childs listening to what was being said?

Of course the wonderful thing about Vienna is its internationalism, which is so deeply embedded in its history of the centre of the Vielvölkerstaat. This was indeed “ethno-pluralistic”. But what Ms. Childs does not seem to understand is that the preservation of liberal pluralism must entail some limits to acceptance of those who do not support it and who would seek to destroy it. There are many studies of liberalism and its challenges. I do not think Ms. Childs has got the right target.

 

Steve Patriarca

Vienna

 

To the Editor

Rennie Sweeney in her article “Naked at the Naked Men” exhibition writes about a naked “follower” who “tried to engage us in conversations… I’ve never been chatted up in a museum while dressed, much less naked…”

Today I read about a book by Kazia Noble, The Noble Art of Seducing Women, who suggests to visit museums for flirting:

“We find that when we suggest this to our students, their initial reaction is one of cynicism. However, once they are in the gallery or museum, executing their lines on the beautiful budding artist or the tourist who is just ticking the box of things to see, they realise how easy it is to build a conversation.

“Think about it. Museums and galleries are brimming with potential hooks, and there is always a cafe that you can take her to. You don’t need to be an expert on art, you just need to convey an interest.”

So maybe it’s not that strange that this naturist tried to speak to Ms. Sweeney and her friend hoping to get in touch with – in his opinion – like-minded people. Even if I understand that she wanted to be left alone.

 

Klaus Pokorny

Head of Press, Leopold Museum

 

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