Thursday 28 November 2013

Pandora's Bachelorette Party at Doboz

Market choices vs. anti-discrimination laws in Budapest nightlife

Some days ago Hungary's Anti-Discrimination Authority issued a ruling in a case filed by Szilárd Teczár, a student of media studies, against Doboz” (Box), a Budapest night club. In its decision, the authority announced that Doboz' policy of charging men for the entrance while letting women in for free violated the anti-discrimination law.

In a sense, I admire Mr Teczár he has done something I have long speculated about. Ever since I learned of Hungary's anti-discrimination law effective from 2004, I have been thinking about whether price discount granted for women at night clubs could bear legal scrutiny. As the practice has been quite general in the Hungarian party scene, I had plenty of occasions to ponder on this while standing in those long rows waiting for the entrance. 

Monday 8 July 2013

Prison as a Cultural Symbol

The prison in Balassagyarmat. Built in 1845,
it is the oldest functioning prison in Hungary.
Today, prison is the ultimate guarantee of the moral order. Considering its importance and its institutional embeddedness, it is astonishing to realize how recent a phenomenon the prison is: In its present form, it is less than 200 years old. This suggests that, despite its apparent indispensability, prison is not an evident option to ensure compliance with moral rules. So the question arises: why the prison and why not something else?

In an age as enlightened as ours, your first guess will be that the institution of prison must have a rational justification. In this regard, one can think of two possible arguments for it: a practical and a moral one. Unfortunately, neither of them works.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Virtual World Tour 2013

My previous post presented an itinerary to go round the world in 37 days. After a careful consideration of my financial means, I decided to do the proposed world tour – virtually. In the evening of 8 April 2013, I got on Tisza express in Budapest Keleti railway station to leave for Moscow. While sitting on the train at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, I started to think about writing a diary of this virtual world tour. The diary, which would then be published on Facebook day by day until 15 May 2013, can now be read below.