Our Man in Gdansk, Henry Grodsk on life in Poland

Our Man in Gdańsk

Our Man in Gdańsk is a blog on Polish politics, culture and society, written by one H.Grodsk

The Doctors Plot

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Today’s Wyborcza takes rival newspapers Fakt and Dziennik (both published by Springer Verlag) to task for their hysterical coverage of the doctors’ strike. El?bieta Cichocka comments that for several months she has been hearing with “przera?enie” (terror, dread) how doctors have been discussing the use of “miners’” tactics – i.e. physical, violent protests. Miners and […]

Petulance, the dangers of

Friday, May 26th, 2006

A short passage from Marcin Swietlicki’s new novel, Dwanascie (Twelve), should give pause to all internet posters except me. A brash Varsovian kicked out of a Krakow pub thinks on his way out that he’ll destroy the business by writing about it in his blog. The blog entry he thinks up: avoid the “Office” on […]

Won’t somebody please think of the children?

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

“Terrorists” reads the headline in today’s Fakt (in English: Fact – I present this information without a trace of irony). Beneath it are photographs of the terrorists in question: about half a dozen doctors, who are on strike at the moment in Poland (80 hospitals out). The tabloid whips itself into the usual frenzy of […]

World’s shortest characterisation of Poles?

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

He was a typical Pole, who said “no” to everything Slawomir Mrozek describes his father in the autobiographical Baltazar.

Shadow and Substance

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

This weekend’s skittishly unpredictable Gazeta Wyborcza has an intriguing article on the always fascinating subject of the European Union by Judit Kiss, a Hungarian economist. The article is built around a tortuous analogy between the EU referendum and the Merchant of Venice as yet another technocrat tries to perusade us that they read literature too. […]

That’s my Life

Friday, May 19th, 2006

In the previous post I mentioned how a line in a Langston Hughes poem was changed in communist Poland from “And the slime in hotel spittoons: / Part of my life” to “The slime in hotel spittoons / That’s my life.” As it happens, “That’s my life,” is a phrase that might reverberate with some […]

Chavez, the Guardian and Rzeczpospolita

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Todays’s Rzeczpospolita has a translation of part of yesterday’s Guardian editorial. Interestingly, Rzeczpospolita leaves out a few sentences from the Guardian piece without following the convention of putting in ellipsis to mark the ommission. Also, the Polish newspaper translates the original “the old left” with the words “extreme left-wingers.” The Guardian suggests that Chavez is […]

Ridiculousness breeds ridiculousness

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Quote from a Polish politician who shall remain nameless: The overwhelming majority of mafia members in Poland and abroad are heterosexual. This was in response to the real nut-job of the piece, Wojciech Wierzejski, a member of the current, democratically elected Polish government, who has demanded in parliament that links between homosexual organisations and the […]

Who’s the Boss?

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Sometimes you have to admire Poles their openness. The new head of the state TV channel is the right wing Bronisław Wildstein. In the puling adolescent west the new boss of a TV station or newspaper might be expected to trot out some feelgood cliches about how he does not intend to interfere in anyway […]

Framing the Debate

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Today’s Gazeta Wyborcza contains an article on Chavez and Morales which is too outrageously partisan to pass up even though I’ve mentioned the subject before. It’s by Maciej Stasiński, which I suspect might be the name of a computer program which shuffles and deals out US-approved cliches about “populism,” “demagoguery” or “the free market.” Here […]

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