Meanwhile in Cuckooland 70

It seems it is about time to ask editor Čulik that he puts some of that money he gets from Soros (or so I hear from some readers kind enough to inform me about it) aside for me. Perhaps he could open an account for me on Cayman islands or whatever, as I might need them, when I will be forced to flee Europe. This is no longer a joke, writing humorous columns about Polish politics becomes a dangerous job nowadays. Antoni Szpak, a comedian, is being investigated already. In his column he commented president’s participation in Radio Maryja’s anniversary celebrations with the words: “for such merits, it would be right to kiss father’s Rydzyk not only on his hand. Only in stupid, backwards country a paranoia like this can happen”. Some outraged citizen have reported it, and now, if the prosecution decided to go ahead, he is facing up to three years in prison for insulting the nation. This is 70th instalment of this series, so I would probably face a life in some kind of PiS-run gulag by now…

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Jokes aside, many people of Poland start to be careful. A group of men who protest in Wrocław on regular basis invites people to join them even for a while. They take picture but make sure that faces of the protesters are not visible. “It’s OK now, but who knows what will come” – they said to me, surprised, that I am not afraid to show my face. My friends regularly create political memes, which they share amongst themselves on an encrypted chat, but they are afraid to release them to the wider seas of social media, in case that they can be tracked back to them. A friend, who hosts my blog, has moved it long time ago to a server that is physically located outside Polish jurisdiction “just in case”. My IT-wise friends keep pestering me that it is about a time for me to encrypt my computer and mobile devices… PiS followers will laugh at it, and call them paranoid, or victims to opposition propaganda. But when one hear PiS MP JOanna Lichocka saying to her voters “Our hands are tied, because it is a democratic country. I know you might not like this. I would also like to be able to close it all, to jail them, to instantly bring order, and, possibly, make Jarosław Kaczyński the sole ruler”, the thing start to look different. She claims now she has been joking. But when one read about new Judicial Council striving to bring judges who refused to submit to PiS to line by dragging them in front of ethics committee for their “political activity”, or about the plans to arm the parliamantery guards and double their number, her jokes are no longer so funny. Especially when we learn that Polish police is exchanging know-how with Belarussian OMON. Or when we hear speaker of the Senate explaining his (illegal) decision to close the building – apparently it is caused by the fact, that the protesters, parents of disabled children, who occupy the building’s corridors, can pose epidemiological threat to the public. Who knows, maybe for PiS the next logical step would be to accuse them of terrorism (perhaps they are trying to use some biological welfare on the representants of the nation) and start shooting at them? For now, they have cancelled annual seating of the Parliament of the Youth and the speaker of the parliament have barricaded himself in his room. Apparently an unheard thing had happened – some MP’s wanted to speak with him!

So who knows, perhaps MP Lichocka was joking, perhaps she was not. But is it even relevant? It seems that for TVP, there is no such thing as fake news. Dawid Wildstein, one of it’s editors, after TVP was criticized for sharing fake tweet of Lech Wałęsa, wrote on his twitter: “It was fake? Maybe. But he could write it, couldn’t he? And even if he didn’t, then this is what he thinks. And even if he don’t think like that, he could. So it is not a fake”. Allegedly, this was also a joke. But Wildstein could be serious, right? Anyone who has seen any TVP propaganda material recently would have no problems to believe, that he was serious…

What is a real joke is the government circus with bonuses. After Beata Szydło said, that they were well deserved, Jarosław Kaczyński ordered them to be “returned”. I am putting this word in inverted commas, as they actually won’t be returned to the taxpayer: the ministers were supposed to pay them to Caritas, so de facto it will be yet another way of pumping more money into the church institution, at least charitable ones this time. And ministers will still be able to claim some tax relief on them. But even this seems a bit shady, as media are having problems to obtain confirmations that ministers have indeed paid their money to the charity. Apparently checking if they have put their money where their mouths were is a kind of privacy invasion…

Meanwhile president Duda went to the states with semi-official visit. I write “semi-official” as nobody important wanted to host him on the official capacity: the governor of Illinois came to meet president in Polish consulate, mayor of Chicago spoke with him in local museum, meanwhile president Trump was too busy hosting with all honours president of Uzbekistan in the White House. With all due respect to Uzbekistan, if we believe PiS, relations between Poland and USA are better than any time before, and our countries are close partners, surely president of such important country could be officially hosted by someone slightly more important than a mayor of Jersey, 84th biggest city in the States? If president Duda goes to Czech Republic and is met by mayor of Pelhřimov, would that be also hailed by PiS as overwhelming diplomatic success?

Meanwhile in Poland, there was some event that required Police presence as well. As typical for conspiracy theory proponents, PiS’ investigation in the Smoleńsk crash is mostly based on anomaly hunting. This why they ordered exhumation of every single victim of the disaster. It went smooth with PiS followers, who often also believe in assassination, but now it came to exhumations of the bodies of those from the other side of the political scene, who were also on the plane when it crashed. Here, investigators are met with fierce opposition of the victim’s families, but apparently the lesson from Belarus has been already learned. The most recent exhumation was guarded by swarms of regular and military police officers – journalists counted 4 coaches and over 20 police vehicles – who were there to ensure that nobody will be able to enter the cemetery, even to visit grave of their beloved…

Perhaps there is no monthly anniversary of Smoleńsk crash taking place in Warsaw, but Police cannot complain about having nothing to do. The football hooligans are again causing trouble. Fans of Lech Poznań first interrupted one game by setting fire to their banner reading “We will never burn out” (oh, the irony), then another game had to be cancelled completely after pyrotechnical materials were set on fire and hooligans started to riot. They even set a car on fire.

Krzysztof Bosak, one of the leaders of Nationalists sparkled an online discussion after asking if it is OK that people from India are delivering food on bicycles in Warsaw. The discussion soon shifted to calling examples of immigrants setting cars on fire – apparently this is a typical Muslim behaviour. I live in Glasgow over a dozen of years, 1 in 6 people here is a Muslim and I am yet to see a car burned by them… I’ve read also about Western European cities being tormented by prayer calls being blasted from the speakers on the Mosque towers, but while the topic is omnipresent in Polish right wing internet, last time I heard the muezzin was back in 2006 when I was in Konya, Turkey… Meanwhile in Chełm a priest of the local church plays some Marian songs from his church’ tower 4 times a day. He does not understand people, who are not too keen to hear “Oh, Maria, I welcome you” every morning at 7:00 am – according to him it is already a common trend, and many churches amongst Poland do the same.

Apparently, if nationalists are scared of people burning cars and playing things from the speakers mounted on the religious buildings towers, they should look closer to home? I guess they might say it is different, as Muslims are full of hate, while Poles are friendly to everyone. But would it be true? There was a competition for school children about “Cursed Soldiers”, amongst the awards there were some pamphlets about history opposition during communist times. The children could find some other interesting information in them, abusing Donald Tusk or Committee for Defence of Democracy. “KOD – snitches, frauds, deviants. PO – communist scum and other members of communist regime: for your Judas silver go to Red Square in Moscow” – said one of such inserts. The organizers see nothing wrong about giving such materials to children – according to them, it was just “and advertisement for other materials published by the organization”.

But at least we are going to have some good movie, promoting Poland around the world. You might have heard that popular shorts, crossing the lines between Science Fiction and Polish legends, are to be made into full length feature movie – surely it would be a good idea to put some money into it, as with Oscar nominated Tomasz Bagiński behind the project, it has a chance to promote Polish culture in the world, just as the hit game Witcher 3: Wild Hunt did, right?

But don’t worry, PiS government has even better idea: they just gave 4 millions złoty to Maciej Pawlicki, producer of the 44th worst movie in history of IMDB: “Smoleńsk” (You can see its trailer here).

Now Pawlicki is going to make another movie, about Polish Legions in World War I – the total budget is estimated at 28 millions. This decision was against the opinion of experts from Polish Film Institute: apart from poor screenplay, they pointed out, that the estimated costs are inflated (especially when it comes to salaries) and that Pawlicki should not be given another funds until he settle accounts for Smoleńsk. Their opinions was duly noted, and then 12 of them were given a boot. According to “Fakt”, the new, PiS-nominated director of Polish Film Institute is sure that the movie will become an overwhelming success: he believes that such an expensive movie simply cannot be bad

But at least someone is making sure, that government money cannot be wasted. A pharmacist in Lublin refused to issue medicaments after finding out, that the prescription is not up to the newest requirements of the Ministry of Health. According to it, the minimum size of prescription is 200mm x 90mm, and this particular one was only 87mm wide! That’s what I call apothecary’s accuracy!

One could say, that doing one’s job right could be a way to make the world better place to live. But there is a different way. As the Museum of WW2 informed on its Facebook, 51% of Poles agree, that the world would be better place, if people from other countries were more like Poles.

So, dear Czechs, do you want to do something good for the world? Try to be as Polish as possible. Learn some Polish, jump into your car, drive like a maniac…. Perhaps it’s best to take example from the most Polish people of them all – proud Polish nationalists. So, go to the church, vote right, praise Hitler, hate Muslims and Jews, then cover your faces and go beat some teenage girls who happen to be supporting rights of gay people, shouting “This is for Poland, you stupid whore!”. If that works, then making world a better place should be an easy thing to do.

This piece was written for Britske Listy
Picture: Klapi via Wikipedia (CC 4.0).



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