Military coups in Thailand, rioting in Budapest and here in Poland a government falling apart and apparently bribing opposition members to join them. The main opposition party wants to take to the streets… Where will it end? The prospects are grim indeed. This is only a young state – just seventeen years – and some of the things we in established democracies of the west take for granted are still fragile blossoms. And the evidence in Poland is certainly of regress. After all, this is a country which rates “Words” by F.R. David highly enough to bear constant repetition on the trendiest, most youth-oriented national radio stations there are.
It never ceases to amaze me how unspeakably bad Polish commercial radio is, even though its awfulness stems directly from its repetitiveness. Here I am, not a wet day back in the country, and already I have heard Roxette. Roxette! Now correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t Roxette explicitly banned in the preamble to the Nice Treaty, of which Poland is a signatory? (“Nice or Death,” they said at the time.) And who died and made Annie Lennox’s “Dibi dibi dum dum” a classic? As I sat in the hurtling death trap of a minibus, subjected to the unfolding horror, the waves of crud just kept on crashing around my ears. You hit the bottom of the barrel and then, three and a half minutes later, you hit the real bottom, and then, three and a half minutes later, you hit the real bottom, and then, three and a half minutes later… it’s the double pantload himself: MC Hammer, “You can’t touch this.” Not with a bargepole, not with a bargepole. And I don’t even have a radio.