Henry Grodsk

The Engineer of Human Souls

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Did you know socialism was bad? You did? Good. Because it is, you know. Bad, that is – not good. Just thought you might need straightening out on that point, the one about socialism being bad. A lot of you westerners think it’s good, you see. But it’s not. It’s bad. This kind of preaching […]

What’s News

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

After the revelations about the government’s plans to privatise higher education there was a storm of debate on the pages of Gazeta Wyborcza – no, not about education, about something called the Hausner plan. Unless I miss my guess this is the second plan to be named after this Hausner person.  This one concerns public […]

Going, going…

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Yesterday Gazeta Wyborcza announced plans by the government to stop paying for students to do two degrees – one’s your limit. Today’s paper lets the cat well and truly out of the bag. There’s an interview with professor Kazimierz Stępień, chairman of the Rada Nauki (Education Council, more or less) at the Ministry for Privatising […]

Twenty Years

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

June 4th rolls around again…. Twenty years gone by. What a wild ride it’s been! It’s worth looking back on what life was like before the historical change. Mostly I remember the boredom and the greyness. There was dirt everywhere and alcoholism was rampant as people sought refuge from the dull, mind-crushing realities of every […]

Research

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Yesterday’s Gazeta Wyborcza had an article about the decline of the Irish economy. It’s headlined “Womens’ Spendthriftery Caused The Crisis” and consists of quotable quotes from people affected by the depression in Ireland. Among them is one Newton Emerson, Irish Times columnist, who is quoted as saying “In the majority of marriages it’s the woman […]

Twentieth Anniversary

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Underwear in Poland is knotted up to all hell in connection with the upcoming 20th anniversary celebrations of the defeat of communism. Prime minister Tusk invited some other East – sorry central – European leaders to a shindig in Gdańsk, where it all began but the trade union spoilsports decided to hold a protest there […]

Harmony

Monday, May 11th, 2009

It’s old news now but still worth quoting: Greece passed in January 2005 a ‘media transparency law’ that would have prevented 1% owners of media companies from participating in public sector contracts. In April 2005, the European Commission told Greece that the law violated EU law and threatened to freeze funds for Greek public works […]

The Poles are at it too

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Pretending that the crisis is a good thing, that is. Last weekend’s “High Heels” (Gazeta Wyborcza’s ladies’ supplement) has a subhead on page 37 (above an interview with Karolina Korwin-Piotrowska, a teevee journo) that reads “This crisis has its good sides. Perhaps we will start eating bread again and I won’t have to constantly hear […]

The School of Life

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Another year, another disaster. I mentioned before how the answers to some mock school exams leaked last year, thus giving pupils ideal preparation for the vicissitudes of life. April 2009 rolls around and – yes – exam answers leaked. I don’t know which subject(s), which paper(s), which precise exams (“gymnazjalne”, I think) and also, in […]

Price Increase

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

There is no crisis in Poland and even if there is it’s gone now and wasn’t any big deal anyway while it lasted. So if Gazeta Wyborcza has raised its cover price by a piffling 10 or 11% it’s because Poles are so wealthy.