Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Polish Absurd (II)

The Lisbon Constitution was accepted by Poland’s parliament. This comes under the heading of absurd because of the storm in the teacup that preceded it: I’m hazy on the details but half-former primesident Kaczyński was for it when he was not former and agin it when he was. If you follow. It was good when PiS was in power (a triumph of diplomacy back then) but bad when PO was. (Gazeta Wyborcza (April 2) was rapturous about the Sejm’s acceptance. Ignoring their normally scrupulous separation of news and comment and their icy disdain for taking sides, the lead story began: “The three week conflict over the bill to ratify the Lisbon treaty [sic] ended happily yesterday.” Happily for whom?)

The Catholic University of Lublin of John Paul the Second [sic] is in hot water for handing out doctoral degrees when not entitled to do so. It’s a vexed and complex question of staffing and seniority but it can, fortunately, be summed up in one sentence: the boffins can’t count. The university did not have the required number of suitably qualified staff to award doctoral degrees in pedagogy and economics in the years 2005 – 2007. This could be bad news for deputy Joanna Mucha: she was awarded her PhD in economics in October 2007.

Andrzej Matejuk, the new police chief, announced plans to create a special unit to deal with football hooligans. His predecessor set one up six months ago.

Ad on the side of car the regularly parked blocking the fire access road to my block of flats: “Are you looking for Compensation and Damages? Call ….”

Jacek Kurski.

The television stations that still keep inviting Jacek Kurski on to their shows. Here’s what Kurski had to say for himself in April 4th’s Gazeta Wyborcza:

“I, Jacek Kurski, apologise to Donald Tusk … for making false allegations … that PZU, using taxpayers’ money, financed billboards of Donald Tusk with the caption ‘a man with principles’ …”

Kurski is a liar, in short. Not just in the way all politicians vaguely lie about what they will do if elected but a documented slanderer of a named individual.

Speaking of liars, today’s paper has an ad for a car which is rotten with lies. The ad announces a seven year guarantee. Check the small print and it turns out to be a five year guarantee (only the power transmission is guaranteed for seven years). The advertised price is 23,450 zloties. Again: out with the magnifying glass and you discover that this is only half the price of the car. There’s a financing deal on offer and, as required by law, the real annual percentage rate is dutifully given in the small print: 0% to 11.46%. Some help. Better still, the calculations used in arriving at the figures are based on a car which is not featured in the ad! It’s nearly as bad as the toothpaste that promises “3D” whiteness.

I say: here’s fun! In the Catholic University of Lublin of John Paul the Second on April 9th there’s a trade fair: “targi zakonne.” That’s right: fair’s fair and the trade is holy orders. Among the attractions of the day are a discussion entitled “Holy orders: Avant Garde or Antiquariat.” But it’s not all serious discussions about monks and nuns. Also on the cards is a “Pokaz ‘mody’ zakonnej” (Holy orders ‘fashion’ show).

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