Meanwhile in Cuckooland 83

Last week people of Cuckooland were talking about a few major events. The first of it was Andrzej Duda visiting Donald Trump in the White House. PiS probably expected it to be a major PR success – after all, the opposition was pointing out that US President doesn’t want to treat Poland seriously after PiS decided to breach the constitution, and here we have our very own Andrzej Duda talking the most powerful man on Earth like equals. Except, that it worked out as usual: after years of begging to be admitted to the White House, Duda was finally let in.

Click HERE to read previous part of the series. 
Click HERE to see all chapters of the series so far. 

There was a problem though: since Duda is just a puppet and has no say about anything in Poland (he is just a notary for the PiS government, who sometimes happen to say something really stupid from himself), and since he is nobody in international politics as well, there was nothing he could talk with Trump about. Especially, that Americans are still not pleased with the recent changes in Polish democracy. But PiS was desperately in need of the success so they organized signing some documents. That didn’t bother anyone, especially, that the document was roughly about the same as the one signed by Radek Sikorski a few years back, except that in this one there was much less concrete, and America’s promises were watered down.

But what really got media’s attention is the picture, in which Trump seats behind his desk with his face clearly expressing, that he is not amused. Next to him is Duda, leaning over the corner of his desk to sign the document, smiling as if he was 5 years old who just been given a Happy Meal toy in McDonald’s. All that brown nosing of Trump, promising to pay him hefty sum of money to bring US Soldiers to Poland and joking that the new US Army base is going to be called Fort Trump went to waste – American president said that he will consider those options (what in the diplomacy language means about as much, as sarcastic ‘yeah, right’) but when there was a time to sign the documents, president of Poland was not even given a chair. Many Poles considered it to be an affront to our country and considered PiS to be responsible for this disgrace, so PiS activists quickly rushed to rescue the situation digging themselves even bigger. First, they said that to be allowed to lean over the desk of the American President is a great honour on its own and that there is a rule that in the Oval Room can be only one chair. This last lie was quickly debunked on the Twitter with a picture of president Trump sitting behind with desk with two young women (allegedly some right-wing bloggers), each of whom was given a chair. Finally, the presidential minister asked in the radio what Poland achieved from the Duda’s visit in the White House said, that the president was given the marker pen used by Trump to sign the document (so there was a Happy Meal toy after all!). If that was to be a joke, it was funny on a wrong level.

Meanwhile, Duda himself was just digging himself deeper. He published several tweets in which he managed to misspell Ronald Reagan’s surname, Nord Stream gas pipeline and called the planned US army base “Ford Trump”. Internet hadn’t had it so good for a long time – everyone went after Duda, from Lech Wałęsa, who was trolling him by posting his picture with actual Ronald Reagan or Trump in submissive pose next to Wałęsa sitting in the armchair, to ordinary internet users, who announced that the new car from Ford, Ford Trump is now available in Poland and posted this picture: 

(C) Europics, reused for informative purpose

Finally, PiS decided to just try and swipe this all under the carpet and forget about it. They were so keen to do that at all price, that one of the journalists from Belsat TV (a government controlled station trying to be to today’s Belarus what Radio Free Europe was to Poland during the times of communism) had lost his job just for simply posting this infamous picture from Duda’s visit to White House on his private social media account.

To recap: I posted this photo of Donald Trump and Andrzej Duda on my personal Facebook page with the capture saying that…

Gepostet von Ivan Shyla am Donnerstag, 20. September 2018

Would it be in any way meaningful that the mother of his boss is one of the advisories to the president?

But Duda’s foreign voyages did not manage to distract the Polish public, awaiting the cultural event of the year: new movie by Wojciech Smarzowski. Smarzowski, enfant terrible of the Polish cinema, is well known for his talent to hit the most sensitive points accurately. While his movies might be considered exaggerated, he is valued for being a man, who is not afraid to put a mirror in front of Poles to show them how ugly they can be – he already shown the dark side of the communism (“The Dark House / Dom Zły”), treatment of Germans who remained in Poland after the war (“Róża”), the corrupted police (“Traffic Police / Drogówka”) and the Polish provincial culture (“Wesele / The Wedding”). After pleasing the right side of the political spectrum with the monumental, high budget piece “Vohlyn”, that “finally showed the scale of Ukrainian atrocities against Poles”, he felt strong enough to dare to touch the untouchable.

The movie, which is to hit cinema this week, already caused some stir. People from father Tadeusz Rydzyk himself to local councillors in smaller towns are doing everything to prevent people from seeing it. „We are the city of which John Paul II is an honorary citizen. He called the Catholic Church his mother! And so if we are Catholic and we also consider the Church to be our mother, we should not spit at her!” – argumented one local councillor in Ełk when demanding for his city to ban the movie from being screened in a local cinema. The film is to be banned in Ostrołęka as well, and in Grodzisk Mazowiecki the local government says it will be impossible due to unrealistic demands from the distributor, which is obviously just a smoke screen. When during the film festival in Gdynia the movie was receiving a record long standing ovation, the organizers asked people to stop applauding, which was then used as a pretext for government-controlled Radio Station to refrain from awarding it their annual award of Golden Claquer – the chief of the station says, that because the applause has been stopped prematurely, it is impossible to confirm which movie was applauded for the longest time (which is the award’s main and only criterium). His decision has been met with the fierce opposition of the station’s crew.

Regular readers of this series have probably already guessed what is the topic of the new Smarzowski’s movie: it is entitled “Clergy” and talks about pathologies in Polish church.

PiS controlled TVP devoted nearly 5 minutes of their evening news show to talk about the movie, or rather about that it is a symptom of the fight against European culture, that is sponsored by Germans, that nobody would dare to attack Jews or Islam in such a way, that the movie is not really that good, aims to smear the clergy by showing most radical wrongdoings as a norm, that the movie is praised by the opposition and, last but not least, people who praise the movie were protesting attempts of the USA to have Roman Polański extradited. Because, you know, he is the real paedophile here! You can see this piece of propaganda below:

Polańskim i Niemcami w "Kler"Po roku obejrzałem „Wiadomości” dla tego „materiału”.Padalce:-)

Gepostet von Paolo Luck am Sonntag, 23. September 2018

All those actions of course bring the opposite result to the one desired by PiS, who apparently still haven’t learned about the Streisand effect. I predict that “Clergy” is to become one of the biggest box office hits of this year.

And so, despite all those big promises from the government a couple of years ago, about how Polish cinema is to spread the glory of Poles across the world, the most expected movie during PiS’s 3 years in power is a full-blown attack on the Church, the PiS’s closest ally. If you want to wait for PiS cinematographic response to this political discourse, I would not advise you to hold your breath: their people are unable to even design a billboard. The local department of Institute of National Remembrance decided to celebrate the anniversary of 1939 September Campaign with the billboard saying “POLAND – FIRST TO FIGTH” not only lacked a proper spelling but also used a poster from the era that is still a subject of a copyright without the permission of its rightful owners… But what to expect, if the only qualification one has to meet to be employed by the state-owned company is being faithful to PiS? Recently a director in one of the energy companies lost his job, after it had emerged, that a sailor’s song band he is a member of sported t-shirts with the word “Constitution” on them during one of the concerts. Local PiS MP protested against the state-owned companies supporting “anti-government protests” and “actions leading to overthrowing the legal government and harming the state”. And so the company decided, that their employee cannot be trusted any more and sacked him. Because how PiS can trust someone, who demands the constitution to be observed?

Even PiS’ specialty – grave digging and coffin bashing – didn’t go as well as planned – not only the forced exhumations of the Smoleńsk crash victims did not bring any new information, that could prove that the crash was actually an assassination, but now Poland lost another case in European Courts – this time the judges ruled, that exhumations of the victims despite fierce opposition from their families was a breach of their right to privacy and family life. The state has now to pay them 16 000 Euro compensation.

So all is left is propaganda and brainwashing. The latter is facilitated by the disastrous educational reform. The overcrowded schools see pupils attending classes in shift patterns, from 7 am to 6 pm or even later. Luckily to take some of the burdens off their heads, it has been decided, that even handbooks for the Polish language are to become religious education materials – this way children avoid confusion caused, for example, by obtaining skill of critical analysis of the text. Not everyone is, of course, happy, so parents look for alternative options. But if you hope that your children might learn some values in scouting, it might also not be a long-term option. Currently, there is a campaign against ‘homo-propaganda’ in Polish Scouting Association, ZHP. According to its authors, ZHP “promotes deviation” by, for example, teaching kids tolerance and respect to the minorities, or saying that one’s value and dignity is not related to one’s sexual orientation!

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Morawiecki is getting more and more excited with the campaign for local election and gets carried away with his lies. His statement, that “previous government was not building any roads” had been brought to court which ruled, that it was not a lie, because, primo, Mateusz Morawiecki has not been speaking in an official capacity as a prime minister, and secundo, he is not a member of the PiS electoral committee, so his statement is simply a judgment of a private citizen, to which he is entitled, especially when carried away when giving an informal speech during electoral rally. So basically, he can smear the previous government as much as he pleases, and can tell any lie about them.

I only wonder about one thing: how is that possible, that a private citizen travels across Poland, giving speeches during PiS electoral rallies? Especially, as pointed by one cartoonist, that there allegedly aren’t any roads to travel on?

This piece was published in Britske Listy
Picture of presidents Duda and Trump are public domain. 
Picture of Lada car used for informative purposes. 



Leave a Reply