OBU, I know well about the Romany situation in Boravia (my personal name for the Czech Republic). I've had three letters published in the Prague Post (www.praguepost.cz) about these very crimes you mention, including the absurd sentences given to skinheads who murdered an African student and the ones who murdered the mother of four. It is a shameful situation and I'm with you all the way. When my letters were published, there were a lot of responses about how OJ Simpson bought his freedom here. Unfortunately and not forgivably, the courts in Boravia are very often corrupt, and verdicts can be bought for a lot less than OJ paid over here. Hopefully as the ten-year-old republic develops, it will improve. I still love the place though, just as I love my own country with all its faults, including racism and corrrption. There wil always be things to speak out and fight against. I have gotten into some pretty nasty arguments about the treatment of ethnic groups here and there.
And McG, you're right that my personal feelings about Gilbert and Sullivan may not have been relevant, but they were not meant to offend. I don't like real operas either, or heavy metal or rap. I just described the way they make me feel, not that they are bad. I agree on everything else.
And yes, every time I listen to Frank Sinatra or Louis Prima, I can't help but wonder who was in the audience.