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The Italian Man Shares His Views on the UK

25 Nov

Earlier this evening I popped into a new local eaterie managed by an Iranian.
There was only one other person there, an elderly gentleman who told me who was from Italy.
We engaged in conversation. Or rather, the Italian man spoke, and i listened.

He told me he had a passion for food, had worked in the catering trade for many years and had travelled the world. He shared his views about the food on offer in the UK:

“People in this country don’t know what they are eating. They don’t want to pay for quality food. The high streets are full of kebabs, fish and chips for less than £5. Everything is catered for the students, with lots of offers and discounts. They eat any shit and either are sick or have dysentery. Now, these students always want cheap food. But they go to university. For what? To become doctors, professors, or whatever and earn a high salary. Now, when they qualify, do they consider discounts for the people they serve? NO! They want to save money and earn money!
So they want cheap food but don’t accept the food offered is also coming from a business!”

This led to a diatribe and he expressed his feelings about how people in the UK don’t take care of the food they eat and the quality of service. He said the craze for buffets was shit! and embarrassing. He asked why people are avarice for copious amounts of food for as cheap as possible. It’s not like how soldiers are fed to build up strength, stamina, energy and physicality and one or two chefs could cook for 6 – 700 soldiers and churn out anything! He said soldiers are given boosters to help develop immunity ( he claimed he was a soldier when younger) and ordinary people should look at what they are consuming and order quality food.
He discussed competitve rates offered in the UK e.g. £2 -5 for a pizza and how this type of competition would not be tolerated in the rest of Europe. If a restaurant in Europe or Italy offered a meal at £80 and a place down the road offered one pizza at £2, the business which offered the cheaper pizza would be razed to the ground. That’s not a way to run businesses!
He said he couldn’t understand how one of the richest countries in the world (UK) would have people wanting the cheapest food from eateries.
This led him to talk about “dirty people” and how Italians would not tolerate unclean or smelly individuals or apartments. He said one phonecall and the police would have them out!

He continued about the beggars and homeless people in the city of Birmingham and said within 10 mins of being in the city, he was accosted 5 times by beggars. He said if they are begging or homeless, they’d be better off robbing a bank or something bigger and going to prison. Why? he asked, because that way, they’d be fed, sheltered, warm, go to the gym, gain access to courses and gain skills. He said they have more support from professionals than if they were to continue begging or sleeping rough on the cold streets.

He continued that hard core criminals should be beheaded. He said when someone kills many, why should there be campaigns to provide clemency to the perpetrators and allow them to live ? The one perp can live for many years, but many have lost their lives through his actions…

He then talked about immigration and said the Italian government try to help a million asylum seekers from all over the world. He said when passengers pay over £5k to travel in a small dinghy over choppy seas with babies and children in cramped conditions, how do they eat and go to the toilet ? He said human trafficking is really bad and cruel.
He added that in Sicily, there’s hardly any Italian speakers left and more languages spoken from other countries. He said he almost forgets he’s in Italy when he goes home.

At which point, after listening to the Italian for 30 mins, i collected my belongings, bade my farewell, and left the premises.


The State of Humanity

24 Sep

I despair at the state of humanity
Those without faith questionning religiosity
Those with religion frowning on sexuality
Those faux superiority spitting on ethnicity
The able bodied mocking those with disability
The patriotic bowing down to patriarchy
Social class creating a world of exclusivity
Selfie absorbed people can’t create harmony
Narcisstic souls break down savagely
When questioned on their “individuality”
Highlighting the differences deliberately
When humans should focus on similarity
When we build a global community
Only then we might achieve equality

The Equality Act 2010PhotoGrid_1494866945954.jpg

You’ll never find my face

5 Jan

You’ll never find my face on the cover of a magazine,
Rupert Murdoch and magnates are not keen
On portraying people of colour
With high self esteem
Rather show faces
Looking scarred and mean
“Look at the face of the second class race”
Never the achievements of black/brown face.

You’ll never find my face on the mainstream channel
Presenting the news or the Oscars panel
Winning an award
Like it’s a soiled white flannel
Marking the territory like a scared dog in its kennel
My scent might contaminate the all-white Chanel

You’ll never find my face representing LGBT
The gay community doesn’t redefine me
People of Colour or B.A.M.E
Dodging the bullets
Headlines fuel it
Prejudiced wars ready to buy it
Spreading lies and lies like bullshit

You’ll never find my face on a large billboard
Filling the screen like a media whore
Communities treated like an oozing sore
Stamped all over, spit at your door
A few black faces in mainly white spaces
Small minded opinions horrified
“Lessen the monoculture!” we cried
Let’s celebrate media diversified.

We Are All Human


20 Mar

Fill your boots

Feed the fever

Follow the fortress

of Fortune,

Filthy rich and Fashionistas

Fate fornicates

with feathered fairies

Fellow Fame

frisks the faces of the Fair

Fast and fickle friendships

fancy free and frivolous

fake tans and false smiles

like a freight train,

feel the fear,

a few foolish fibs and fabricated lives

fleecing the system

fraught floppy files

fastidious fathers

fought for their lives


(c) The Learned Kat

The Status of a Zombie

16 Mar

Once, I knew where

my life was leading

But now I have nothing at all

I don’t have any tears to shed

as the worries have bled me dry

Debt mounting up and

ambition ebbing

heartache burning and breathing slowing

The numbness I feel is immense

And that’s the irony

Or is it a paradox?

I feel and yet I don’t feel

I am nothing but a Zombie

Awake yet not awake

Dead but not dead.

But I might as well be

For I have nothing

Nothing to my name to make me feel


The man without status.


Is it important to me?

Yes, it is.


Without standing for recognition and acceptance

in this world

We have nothing

We are nobodies

I am a Nobody

I am _________

I am

I am a face without a name

I am lost

I am a man without a clause

in a contract

A contract to give me status

Status in life  brings

food on the table

Better wellbeing and health

Attracts new people and experiences

Attracts – like flies around shit

Without status, treated like shit

That’s ironic isn’t it?

Irony or paradox


A man without status

might as well be a Zombie.


(c) The Learned Kat CF7

Still: Life in the UK

19 Nov



Ban the Burka!

Burn the Bra!

Stop the Mileys from

Shaking their arse!

Raise the Flag!

Draw the Line!

East meets West

Still isn’t fine

Hike energy prices

Lower the wages

MP’s still

claiming expenses

Foodbanks and pawn shops

are on the increase

How can this nation

be so obese?

Immigration borders

out of control

Areas deprived like

Living in a Blackhole

Shares are rising

Debts are spiralling

Speak to the Many

seems like

Streets are calling

Celebrity Culture

seems the Future

Quick fix faces and

Career Endorsements

Selfies and Twerkin’

in the Oxford Dictionary

Whilst children are dyin’

in the Philippines

Yes, Raise the Flag!

Hide woes in a bag

Real life is becoming

a drag

Create a bubble

Don’t speak of your troubles

looks like

Fake Life is preferable.

The Learned Kat

Choice For Women: Page 3, The Burka & Miley Cyrus

19 Nov

First of all, let me make this clear. I am not a misogynistic gay man. But I do feel that I need to write about several issues which have been hitting the headlines lately, both concerning the attire of women and the portrayal of women in the media.

Let’s start with the Page 3 Girls. Now, most people, mainly men from of various ages and backgrounds, buy The Sun newspaper to “ogle the boobs on Page 3” apparently. In the early 80’s there was a campaign to try and stop The Sun newspaper from publishing such images as women, and some men, felt it was demeaning, degrading and objectifying women. The campaign trail failed. The women who were anti “Page 3 Girls” were vilified, ridiculed and mocked mercilessly.

IN the 1990’s, women who had such “glamorous” career  paths were repackaged and redefined. CHOICE became the buzz word and most women who paraded on TV, Videos or magazines in bikinis, in porn, on Page 3 and other such media went around proclaiming it was “their choice” and choice became a word we had to learn to RESPECT. The whole “Choice” issue was embodied  by the likes of The Spice Girls as “Girl Power”. But lets not forget that the management behind these “girls” were all men. So, the issue of “Girl Power!” and Female Empowerment is a bit lost on me here because it certainly did not redefine women as being liberating, independent or strong. The strings were still being controlled by men.

Some women loved the whole glamorous package. Other women loathed and despised it. Most men appeared to love it. Even gay men adored the likes of The Spice Girls and Page 3 Model/businesswoman Jordan/Katie Price for being so feisty, in-your-face and ballsy.  I mean, which gay men doesn’t love a Diva?

But then, “Girl Power” appeared to fall on hard times. 9/11 occurred, the recession came and escapism came in the form of music videos and the internet, mainly YouTube and Social Media. Sex was beginning to sell and be downloaded on the small screen a billion times over.

Hand in hand with this was the rise of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments. Women of a certain background appeared more and more in the public eye. In the streets of London, Birmingham and other major cities, women in Burkas, Niqabs and Hijabs appeared. People felt intimidated, others wearing said attire were harassed or bullied, some threatened with violence. Debates were and are struck up time and time again. Is it culture, tradition, faith or a form of oppression?  Whatever we say, the more educated women who covers her face would say it is her “choice” to wear the Burka or Niqab, whether we like it or not.

Personally, I don’t agree with it as I believe most communication is from facial expression and body language. I see enough women in Burka/Niqab who have deliberately made up their eyes with mascara, eye shadow and liner in an attempt to flirt with men. I’ve seen  women in  Burka shoplifting in charity/thrift shops and other local stores, women in Burka smoking, swearing, wearing what is deemed to be “items of a more masculine attire” like adidas trainers, hoodies, and such like. Which, to me, defies what wearing a burka is all about. But nowhere in the Koran does it say that a woman should wear a burka. It states that a woman should be covered to retain her modesty. Don’t forget, even here in the Western World it was once shocking for a woman to show her ankle, then not to have her skirt above the knee…but with the invention of the mini-skirt in the sexual revolution of the 60s, it all changed…

In France, they banned the Burka for not being in line with French culture or the law of their land. In the UK, similar calls have been introduced and debated but has so far, failed  miserably. The Metropolitan College in Birmingham called for a ban but it proved very unsuccessful as students complained and there was a protest outside the grounds with lots of media coverage. Again, young women said it was freedom of choice, liberating, an expression of sisterhood and identity.

The female dress or costume worn is about identity and the image you either wish to portray or the moral values you wish to maintain. Keep in mind, women talk about those special words “Choice & Respect”. Most educated women or those of a more fortunate status  choose to do what they want, wear what they want, demand and have to be respected. Equal Opportunities and all that…

But now, we also have yet another campaign led by Gender equality groups UK Feminista and Object who joined forces with lawyers to launch the Lose the Lads’ Mags campaign earlier this year. They have successfully, encouraged the Co-op convenience store, to remove “Nuts” and “Loaded” off their shelves. The group in question cites “exploitation, objectifying women, pornographic, sexualisation, embarrassing for children to ask what that magazine is all about and why is she showing her boobs, mommy?” and so on.


Where is the Choice, Respect and “Girl Power” when it comes to magazines?

Then, we have another hot topic which is Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” antics and behaviour on stage. If she wants to dance and parade around semi-naked, is that not her choice? I don’t think she is naïve to the music industry as some people claim. Let’s get this straight. She started off very young with Disney Studios portraying a very squeaky clean character, yet another product of Disney Studios. She had a few minor hits with a young audience. But as Miley Cyrus, how do we know what sort of person Miley is or was behind the scenes? She could be very mature beyond her years. She could be a very spoilt brat. She could be highly sexed…She could be a number of things or labelled in a certain way. We’re not to know for now. All we have is an impression of a 20 year old young woman cavorting on stage  in practically next to nothing. She probably grew up watching Madonna singing “Like A Virgin”, Britney singing at the age of 16 “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, saw Rihanna and Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga. Like most young women, as a singer/actor she is probably emulating and  searching to find her own identity. Maybe she has found it. Either way, she has gone from relative obscure starlet to overnight global superstar. And who is either downloading her songs or watching her videos? I should imagine the demographics covers a lot of ground, and has risen into billions.

As an aside, when Nicki Minaj, a black woman cavorts in her bikini on stage and in her videos no-one seems to complain. It almost sends out a bizarre racial message that “White Women don’t” or “Nice white girls like Miley don’t twerk or shouldn’t”.

I’d more than likely offend by saying this but to me, it all seems to amount to either office gossip, insecure jealousies and rivalries…

But I digress. Remember the Choice and Respect words? That leaves me in a quandary right now. Why? Because there a calls to ban page 3 girls, magazines which “objectify women/make them look pornographic” numerous discussions on Miley Cyrus and her behaviour, burkas and hijabs…banning campaigns from one extreme to another. I have to think who is making all these calls to ban? Mainly Women, who are inclined to say we are fighting for the Sisterhood, Women uniting, Choice & Respect. Would these women who want to ban all these items rather have quaint images of women serving food in the kitchen for publications such as Homes & Gardens, Ideal Homes or OK! magazines? Those magazines are in huge demand of late and sales are increasing…If the Campaigners do, then it says a lot about how far the Women’s Liberation Movement has come…


The Learned Kat