Tag Archives: propaganda

Polish Lie #44: Tibet Matters (Where Is It Anyway?)

DISCLAIMER. The reason behind POLISH LIES is to give food for thought. Not fuel for flamewars. (When you’ll throw down the gauntlet, I may, reluctantly, pick it up.) Other members of this blog may not share my understanding of what POLISH LIES are.

Poles, the hopeless romantics (*).
For our freedom and yours, the banners say.

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I thought — after the Chechen freedom craze or freedom to Belarus craze — the madness could hake a break, take a day off, or better, a century off. But no. It seems it is time for some free Tibet malarkey.

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I know many of the old are vassals to powerful forces of evil, so they have to act dumb. Still, I would hope the young are smarter – they looked practical enough to leave the country to earn money abroad, then spend it on things that are not sad, grim, romantic — but mundane, practical and sexy. But now they seem to return to romanticism, calling themselves democratic fighters for human rights.

Well, let me tell what human rights Tibetans have.

They have the right to start thinking: prayer wheels against nukes. They have the right to start calculating: Against every Tibetan there are, what, several hundreds men of China, a thousand?

They have the human right to SURVIVE. In order to survive, however, they cannot be Indians that die with war slogans on their romantic mouth — they have to surrender and ask their victor’s forgiveness.

They have the the right to remember: we were beaten in 1717, the empire got our land. In the year 1717 there were free Indians yet in the lands known as the USA today. But the Indians were beaten, locked in reservation camps. They stand grin-ready to any buck-ready tourist, between a hot devilburger and the deep blue red of a coke, the buck made on Disney trafficking Pocahontas.

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Can we learn from history? Were there people interested in goading American Indians to fight? Of course they were! Dead Indians occupy their graves only, alive Indians occupy too many precious land lots. Imagine all the problems the USA would have had if masses of the combatant Indians had laid down their weapons and declared their want to start becoming and behaving American.

The lesson is thus:

Tibetans can start becoming and behaving Chinese — or they can start losing. Any romantic Pole supporting the “free Tibet” lunacy wants Tibetans lost — or at least, much unhappier. I would prefer Tibetans alive, or at least, happier. That is why I will think China deals with their own internal affair, and that Chinese stuff is OK. (Which no romantic pro-Tibetan can say, as has ever bought any made-in-China thing. Just like no romantic pro-human-rights fighter ever bought anything US American not to disgrace the memory of the noble savages.)

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PS Where (thanks, Scatts!) is Tibet, anyway?
Where, in any large-scale media cover, was it a month ago? A decade ago?

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(*) How?

Romantic about cherishing their history of odd inventions, even not Polish ones (hear ye wings of hussars?). Romantic about their defeats — with swords — or scythes — or charity boxes in hand — united they stand, united they fall. Romantic to strip women off their coats, but not of more — about kissing woman’s hand, but no further. Not choosing better artists, but regurgitating some romantic writers the world does not know or care about. Making kids memorize some sly poets smart enough to limit their being romantic to writing highfalutin verses for the dim public. Dim enough to let anti-Polish slanders from peoples that are not so romantic — slip unnoticed. Poles ready to lie whenever lies would sound romantic. Praising their sportsmen romantic enough to lose. Glorifying their soldiers die-hard romantic to fight for others and to care for others and to lose for others.

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Now I’m here, now I’m there.

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Polish Lie #01: Our Money is Moral

DISCLAIMER. The reason behind POLISH LIES is to give food for thought. Not fuel for flamewars. (When you’ll throw down the gauntlet, I may, reluctantly, pick it up.) Other members of this blog may not share my understanding of what POLISH LIES are. This episode says about Poles for we’re in Poland. But it could be written about many other nations of liars.

I am probably one of the few in Poland who never donated anymuch to Owsiak’ Orchestra.

Why?

Well, I could argue it’s not Owsiak with his levee en masse to cover some gaps in the health system. I pay taxes for the system, why should I pay more? Paying through another channel is through the nose. The similar logic (which, a steadfast dog hater, I only heard of) – would be in use by dog owners. They say one of the reasons they don’t collect their pets’ droppings is that they (humans) pay the relevant tax. The money should include remuneration for cleaning persons to go and remove doggie deeds done dirt cheap.

I could argue that since I see canine feces many a time within the Polish landscape, spoiling my joy about receding snows for instance, there’s something faulty in the system. The dog tax needs be higher, probably. Likewise, I could argue: if there is not enough money for ambulances or medical equipment, it’s not Owsiak to gather up volunteers but it’s time our healthcare taxes went higher.

I could argue I refuse the widow’s mite idea. It’s my strong belief that it’s not every penny that counts. It’s pound that counts. Better make it a tenner. Or a thousand, while at it. To donate peanuts is beneath my common sense of effectiveness. To donate lots is beyond my common sense of fairness.

Furthermore I could argue that (throughout 15 years) not helping Owsiak had become a Polish stigma, overt or covert, a local variety of the scarlet letter, only that A would not stand for adulterer but for anti-social. Intentionally or not, people with no red stickers of charity upon them get odiumised. (Yes, there is a problem with the red colour, definitely. I read my Crane, so am not ashamed I don’t have wounds, of a too open heart.)

I could argue that whenever any system tells me to do any thing – I’m likely to oppose. And so on.

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Instead I say:

I would be either in the sticks, or in another place where going out was not required on Owsiak Sundays since 1993. (No, I’m not a churchgoer, sorry.) I wasn’t going out – and no Owsiak delegate ever knocked on my door. Simple.

No. Not simple at all.

For I am also one of the few in Poland who will refrain from donating that 1% off my tax to any charity. And I will be one — even when handling the thing should get user-friendlier, friendlier, friendliest. The arguments are similar:

= It’s a mite, too little to matter.
= If charity organisations do some of state’s work for the state, I take it as a sign to pay more taxes, not to be charitable.

Yeah, I know what some say. Due to the state’s red tape, inertia, stupidity, inadequacies – those charity orgs are more efficient. Well, I could buy that, but react from the other side: remove as much of the state as possible. I’m going to pay Owsiak if he replaces some ministers, not when he accompanies them. If there is 1% of efficiently spent taxes and 99% of taxes spent less efficiently – my primary concern is about 99. (Know your place, number 1.)

Generally, I don’t care. And can tell you why. I don’t care because I found out I can’t follow these:

STEP 1. Show some heart (or equivalent) to your card. Throw away a heartless (or equivalentless) card.

With or Without You

STEP 2 Minimum. Never spend money on anything that anyhow did any harm to anyone.
Example: Never take aspirin from Bayer.
Example: Never listen to Marilyn Monroe (singing about her best friends).

STEP 3 Optimum. Never make evil grow richer.
Example: Don’t go to Rwanda, for a biz trip or pleasure. Wait, that’s easy. Yugoslavia may be harder? Never buy anything “made in China”. Never visit Russia. Or Japan. Or USA. Or UK. Or Australia. Anywhere, practically. Poland? — If you’re already there, repent (see below).

STEP 4. Liquidate all your investments and put all in an ethical fund.

STEP 5. But why should you have any free investment money available? If you have more than the poorest man on Earth, there is no ethical balance. Sell all your belongings, give them to the poorer — and turn Buddhist. Better yet, kill yourself.

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People usually stop at Step 1. (Been there, done that.) They donate money not to make the world better but to make themselves look better, outwardly or in conscience. They throw small coins to jingle in charity boxes and they feel better. They throw dimes to Gypsy beggars and they feel better. They let some boy earn a bit when he attacks their fancy cars’ windshields with a sponge or a mop and they feel better. Cheap tricks to bypass their conscience.

Pathetic.

[If I am to be a hypocrite, I am going to be a forthright one, visor up, John Blunt, point blank, straight up, up yours, Sunday moralisers. How about you?]

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I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon!

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Polish Lie #68: Expelling Jews from Poland

DISCLAIMER. The reason behind POLISH LIES is to give food for thought. Not fuel for flamewars. (When you’ll throw down the gauntlet, I may, reluctantly, pick it up.) Other members of this blog may not share my understanding of what POLISH LIES are.

POLISH LIE #68:
Polish March 1968 was about expelling poor Jews from Poland.

You may believe the lie, it’s your mind capacity to store it.
Yet, you are advised to note a few issues:

1. Decorum should not be violated.

Distrust narratives in which Polish March 1968 and the Holocaust are put in one sentence, mentioned together without a pause for another breath.

Distrust this text, for instance, in which Leo Kantor, a Jew from Opole in Poland, describes his hurt: “The post-Holocaust, post-Polish March 1968 sorrow can fade away – but it will need 4 generations”.

Hello? Holocaust and 1968 in one room?
I know nothing about political correctness, Mr Kantor, but you’re sure breaking decorum.

Distrust this Polish article. Its author, Leopold Unger mentions Mengele in the very title [Displaying colours, Mengele on the flags], says Anti-Semitism is reborn. Would he mean Germans, WW2? No, not at all. He means Polish March 1968. The same man, referring to 1968 here, coins the term “Polish-Soviet National Socialism“.

Hello? 1968 Poland and Mengele-like Nazism under one flag?
Mr Unger you’re breaking decorum. (I put it too mildly, and so am breaking decorum, too.)

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2. Proper terms should be used.

You can hear or read about Jews “forced to leave” or “expelled” in March 1968 – but what do these verbs hide?

When you think about Polish wartime expellees, images of numerous examples of human inhumanity may come to mind, kids taken away from their parents, houses burnt down, every fifth expellee going to Auschwitz. (You may think of Soviet atrocities, too, little difference.) — Or think about Ukrainian expellees the Polish state took care of: No love lost in the process, but lives: yes, they were lost. — Or think of German expellees, when you come across: “the German government’s official estimate of deaths due to the expulsions stood at 2.2 million for several decades” here. — Or think about all the history-made expellees forced to “reclocate” only because pre-WW2 Poland differed so much from post-WW2 Poland.

Now. Back to Polish March 1968. Read: “The Communists took away Polish passports and gave Jews a one-way ticket, usually to Austria”. — Well, the “passport and ticket” way of expelling people and the “killing, burning, kid-stealing, starving” way of expelling people — they do deserve separate accents, if not distinct words, in my vocabulary.

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3. Fates should be considered case-by-case.

Leo Kantor’s fate (see 1), for instance. He complains that because of 1968, his employment contract was not prolonged. But he was offered another job, as we can read, a full time gymnasium teacher. He refused. And then he declined to move from one city to another to become an academic teacher. Instead he chose to sail to Sweden and keep moaning about those damn Polish anti-Semites.

Well, if changing your job means expelling, I was expelled several times myself.

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4. Devil is in the detail.

There is that Polish phrase, diabeł tkwi w szczegółach, to imply: concentrate on details, for they host the gist.

Detail 1: Jews? Please, anyone: provide a reliable source corroborating the assertion that Polish Jews were expelled in 1968. (The accent’s on “Jews”.)
If you manage, provide statistics: what posts the “Jews” had before being “expelled”? What was their standard of living before they left Poland?

Detail 2: Communist Poland granted times of harsh day-by-days in grey. The West was the Promised Land, it had more of both — money and freedom. For many decades, the Soviet-occupied nationals were frantically desperate to go to the West. Sportsmen would not go back from olympic games. Artists would not return from gigs. Scientists would not return from conferences. Soldiers would defect. People would jump, run, swim, the faster the better, try every opportunity. Whenever a family man was granted a passport, the spouse and kids had to stay in Poland, as hostage-like assurance that the traveller will come back. So, how come the “Jews” didn’t want to go West? A detail not to be explained? Gimme a break.

Who could reject that potent urge to taste the West? Those who enjoyed Western-like privileges in Poland, I’d suspect. But who would have them under the communist regime? Members of the regime.

Detail 3: When you embrace (that’s-more-like-) the truth that March 1968 in Poland was because of the warring factions of the ruling party, that those defeated were banished by the victors, then you will stop at any detail like this one: “Israel’s relations with the Eastern Bloc drastically deteriorated“.

Drastically?! Would we be naive to believe that the political status of Israel can turn from ‘good friend’ to ‘sworn enemy’ in a matter of days or weeks? That anti-Anythingism can be born overnight, and unplanned? Haven’t we read our Orwell? Is it too hard to read between the lines about the Six-Day War, the Soviet politics, the US politics, Arab and Israeli politics, power policies of various states, Poland included?

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And so I dare you, meme spreaders, you political correcters, you history shapers — say it:
Within the number of 15.ooo of those leaving Poland in 1968, how many were there:
=== Political migrants: those rich and sated — and then “expelled” from the regime
=== Economic migrants: those who wanted to retire, to live on their lives in a lazier way, but sure better with the halo of an expellee than with the brand of an idler
=== National migrants: who had tried to get permission to leave for Israel long before, and been denied — so exercised their opportunity in 1968. Within those — how many Stalinist criminals? And how many Polish intelligence officers? (It’s good to plant them in times of commotion.)
And so on. What happened in 1968 was killing birds with one stone, and not just two birds, but many more.

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Or are you die-hard idealists? (Hint: how deep is your support for US democracy-spreading missions in Iraq and other places?) Are you naive to think that a theatrical performance can shape the history of Europe? Or do you believe ‘Jewish’ love for Poland was so non-standard, back in 1968, that it didn’t not look Westward at all? (Hint: would you call the now Poles emigrated to the Isles “not loving Poland”?) Are you racists, then?

Today, it is about money, too. About reclaiming citizenship. About reclaiming property.
About claiming love for Poland, I have no illusions.

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I have a blogsite though.

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Myth #17: Poland is poor

No it’s not. It was, 30 years ago. It isn’t now. And even 30 years ago it was pretty similar to, say, Britain in the 1950s. We’re not talking Third World poverty here. There are poor people in modern Poland for sure, and more of them as a proportion of the population than there are in the super-rich nations of Western Europe, but most westerners seem to have a wildly exaggerated view of what this means. The life of the average, working, city or town dweller in Poland is pretty much indistinguishable from the life of his or her British or French or German counterpart. People are most emphatically not walking around in rags or queuing outside bread shops or grubbing for potatoes in the fields. They drive around in shiny new cars, buy iPhones, shop in glitzy shopping malls, and eat out in trendy restaurants.

British people coming to Poland for the first time are often shocked to discover that it isn’t the austere, poverty-stricken place they had been led to expect by the lingering propaganda of the Cold War days. I’ve heard them wandering around the Old Town saying things like ‘Hey, this is just like any other city in Europe’ or ‘This is actually very nice’ in slightly unbelieving tones. I think a lot of them are slightly disappointed.

Could be anywhere in Europe… and it is.

galeriakrakowska.jpg

More myths?

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