Meanwhile in Cuckooland 74

“What purpose mom serves” (do czego służy mama)? This is the question that children’s play in one of the schools seeks to find an answer to. And so they do, along with the current trend in education: “Mom is for washing, cooking and washing up. Mom is for constant reprimanding and moaning. (…) For frying steaks and cooking cabbage (…) For constantly running, even if she’s tired”. OK, but then, what is the dad for? “Dad is for lying on the couch when mom is doing laundry, and for reading the paper when she fries steaks for him”. To sum it up, “Mom is for washing, cooking and serving dad”. But don’t worry, Poland is not some Islamic country, right? Here, men respect women and are grateful for their work. As the play goes on, the kids note, that “Mom deserves something else in life than just dirty plates”. And so dad decides to help mom. He buys her flowers and takes her for a walk. That’s some help, good for them. Because being a wife is all women need in life. As “finding a good husband” is shown in that play to be an antidote for migraines. But who really needs who? In the play at one stage woman leaves the house on her own (this is something unheard of!), leaving father and children hungry! Luckily, she comes back, she just went to the hairdresser to look nicer for them.

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Some say this was a satire. But is, really? Aimed at 7-year-olds? And if there is nothing wrong with this, then why the play has been removed from the school’s website?

PiS’s Poland tries to put “traditional Catholic values” down the throats of the Polish kids at every opportunity. A mayor of the Tuszawa Narodowa parish has decided to put plaques with Decalogue next to the entrance doors at all local schools. People were outraged, as this is an outright breach of the constitution: Poland is (in theory) a secular country, and therefore Church matters should be divided from the state affairs. The mayor responded with an official communiqué regarding the matter, in which he says “I would like to remind everyone, that God’s 10 commandments are given for the good of men, which is so obvious, that nobody decent and sane is able to deny it without being discredited and making a laughing stock of himself”. Sounds as if it was inspired by one of Feldkurat Otto Katz’s sermons…

But of course, Church propaganda is supported by the state not only at local level. According to weekly paper “Nie”, the problem with lack of John Paul II museums is being targetted by the state in cooperation with father Tadeusz Rydzyk. The deal is simple: the state is to give over 300 000 000 zł. Father Rydzyk provides land in Toruń (which he recently purchased for 100 000 zł with 85% discount), rights to use some of his existing buildings and some Polish Pope’s memorabilia that haven’t been exhibited in any of the other John Paul II museums. The new one will be chaired by a director appointed by the ministry of culture, but his candidacy will have to be approved by Rydzyk.

Of course, nobody had anything to say. PiS does what they want, and they don’t even allow discussion in the parliament (recently the opposition’s rights were further limited by the speaker). Even if they ask people, it is all just a joke: recently a local referendum has been held in Baranów. 84% of people were against the new giant airport that is to be built there and 94% thinks that it will be bad for local residents. And this is not your typical NIMBY, many experts doubt that the new project makes no economic sense and it is simply yet another example of PiS’s superiority complex. But it means nothing, as the decision has been made already. It is a similar situation to that when the city of Opole decided to swallow a small village just next to it in order to take over taxes paid by the electric plant located there.

There is a joke circulating in Poland recently: a knock on the doors. Man opens and sees two PiS politicians. They ask him “excuse me, can we relieve ourselves onto your doormat?” “Of course not!” he answers and slams the doors in their face. Next time he goes out of his door, he steps into a big poo. He finds those PiS politicians and challenges them, but they answer: what’s your problem? We consulted you beforehand, and there is two of us and just one of you, so your objections were noted, but you have been outvoted!

This is not a far-fetched parable, as politics of PiS is at equally stinky level. Patryk Jaki ignored the electoral law and have already started campaigning to become president of Warsaw. He promises to clear Warsaw from nepotism, which is quite funny coming from someone, who has made his home city of Opole into a private mine of well-paid jobs for his friends and family. This has been pointed out by local activists from left-wing party Razem, but the case of his father or childhood friends has been known for some time already.

Apart from the ability to find cosy jobs for his friends (he made one of them, a 26 years old Maciej Rol, a deputy mayor of Opole even though he had no required qualifications), there is a little known about Jaki’s qualifications to become a mayor of the biggest Polish metropolis. He seems to be unsure of what city he wants to be mayor of: in his spot, amongst other stock photos, there is a picture of Prague’s Barrandovski’s bridge. Apparently, someone has mixed Czech Praha with Warsaw’s quarter Praga… He also claimed, that “Warsaw has fewer bridges [over the Vistula] than Budapest over Dunajec”. Which is obviously not true, as Warsaw has a few bridges while Budapest has 0 bridges over Dunajec, as this river has its source in Polish Tatra mountains and goes north-east, so, unlike Danube (Polish: Dunaj) it never comes even close to Budapest.

But if you were about to think low about Jaki, hold on, as that’s nothing yet. As yet another element of the PiS propaganda, according to which Donald Tusk is a traitor working for Germany, Jaki’s official Facebook profile posted a football related meme in which the picture of crying Tusk and Schetyna (current leader of PO) has been captioned “our team has lost a game with Mexico”. This was as low as it gets, as the picture was made during a funeral of Sebastian Karpiniuk, a PO MP who died in presidential’ plane crash in Smoleńsk. Jaki briefly apologized and then, seeing that this will not be enough, instantly moved to attack his adversary and the whole of PO. He is supported not only by the army of social media bots but also the main news program on TVP, that run a propaganda piece on how PO is using appalling memes to fight PiS…

Donald Tusk is already taking Jaki to court over that scandal, which is a big thing on its own, as Tusk is a victim of the unprecedented scale of internet hate, and yet he rarely responds to any of it. But will he be able to achieve anything if the courts are already put under control of PiS? The newly and illegally elected members of National Judicial Council have already made it clear, that “Poland is not democratic and liberal state with the rule of the law: Poland is deeply rooted in Christian culture, and therefore constituted law has to take this Christian culture into consideration”. They say, that Constitution has to be read through the prism of its preamble, which mentions Christian values. But apparently none of them had read it, as the preamble goes as follow: “We, the people of Poland, all citizen of the Republic, both those who believe in God, as a source of truth, justice, good and beauty, as well as those who do not share this belief and derive those universal values from other sources, equal in rights and duties towards our common good – Poland…”

Perhaps this constitution is simply too difficult for PiS. They cannot understand it and that’s why they keep breaking it. Even presidential adviser admitted it. “President breaks constitution much less than opposition used to do”, she said. Perhaps this is why presidents want to write the new one. He proposed a referendum, in which Poles will be asked about 15 things that could be put into the new constitution. One of those is to write a retirement age into it – different for men and women, which, ironically, would be against the constitution or even to a preamble quoted above, as this is obvious gender discrimination. Unless president want to go further with his changes and make discrimination legal? Brilliant idea, we have not enough conflicts with the rest of Europe!

Meanwhile, there are new developments in the investigation into Beata Szydło’s car accident. It seems that framing young innocent driver into causing it will be even more difficult, as the prosecutors established, that his testimony is true, and that of government drivers has not been confirmed… Not that anyone expected any other outcome, even PiS itself seems to be moving to another scapegoat: they are to relax environmental laws to make it easier to chop down trees that are growing “too close” to the roads. That could be a solution to the never-ending string of government limo accidents: by cutting roadside trees down they would ensure that limos have nothing to crash into, and by raising prices of petrol they would get rid of other drivers, as not many people will be able to keep driving their cars any more. This way, they would have all the roads to themselves!

Although the roads might be the problem as well. As I write this words, Warsaw’s road services succeeded to replace missing manhole in one of the Warsaw’s main arteries. It took them 13 hours, as they were unable to find the one that fits. No wonder, that Poles take the matter into their own hands. At infamous Warsaw’s office quarter nicknamed “Mordor”, the infrastructure cannot keep up with the development. Office buildings plopped there in vast numbers, causing a total traffic gridlock on most surrounding streets. One of developer placed barriers on one of the unpaved roads used by construction vehicles and issued access cards to its tenants, thus allowing the chosen ones to cut around the traffic jam at rush hours… As you can see, nothing new in here as well, usual Polish stuff: some are equal, but some are more equal.

And only our American friends managed to surprise everyone this time. During a low flying helicopter raid, one of the choppers has been forced to make an emergency landing in the field of corn. Two others landed nearby. The pilots seemed to be lost and confused and were unable to tell where they are, or even what was their destination. Luckily (for them) they managed to fix the problem, and the helicopter went airborne again, made a few circles around the village and left towards setting sun, like on a good American movie. Unfortunately, Hollywood movies usually don’t deal with such petty things as frightened animals breaking free and escaping, or crops destroyed by the wind from helicopter’s rotors, so it’s hard to know what to do about those things now. Local farmers would like to ask for a compensation, but nobody knows what unit those Americans were from or where they are stationed. But who knows, maybe they weren’t even Americans? After all, such helicopters can be bought in pretty much any helicopter shop…

This piece was published in Britske Listy
Picture: Adrian Grycuk, CC 3.0 via Wikipedia



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