Tomorrow Belongs to Me

 

1 August, 1944, at 5 pm was the beginning of an operation by the Polish Resistance Home Ary to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. This is not to be confused by the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a year earlier. Both events ended in failure and tragedy. The Warsaw Uprising is particularly heartbreaking. Roosevelt had already handed over Poland to Stalin in 1943 in Teheran in exchange for Russia’s help in defeating Germany. So no matter what the outcome, Poland would be under the boot of somebody. Over 200,000 people were killed, most of them innocent civilians so it begs the question, Was it worth it? It’s a question not allowed in Poland because of course it was worth it! Any price is worth it, fighting for honor and country and especially the Nazis and Russians (who waited quietly across the river until it ended 63 days later). You say your grandmother went out for bread one day and the Germans rounded up her and 50 other people, lined them up against a wall and shot the retaliation for the Home Army assassinating a German officer? So what? She is forever commemorated in one of those plaques around the city where innocent people were shot. She gave her life for her country. No, she didn’t. All she wanted was bread to feed her children. Shut up and take the glory. But I digress. In response, Hitler ordered the Warsaw to be razed to the ground which resulted in 90% of the city destroyed. images

So next time you’re in Warsaw and you say, What an ugly building!, remember they desperately needed housing after the war and built it up as quickly as possible. And the next time you say, What a gorgeous building! you should also ask, How did it survive the war?

Consequently, this date is commemorated every year. At 5 pm, sirens start blaring, people stop whatever they’re doing even stopping their cars and give a minute’s silence in quiet reflection. Very moving. That is, until this government came to power.

The day has changed and I don’t know when. Maybe I was out of the country in past years or maybe they just sprung it on the public pretending it’s always been that way. Or should have been this way if it weren’t for all the Commies in power since WWII, aren’t you glad we are here to reclaim our rightful place in history as the only country to have fought back and the world has totally ignored our sacrifice so we’ll show them? Cut to violins or at least one of Chopin’s depressing pieces. So imagine my surprise when I see three weeks’ worth of documentaries, movies and interviews on the Uprising on state-run TV. One week before, one week during and one week after. No incident is too minor, no character too obscure, too young or too old, too dead or too alive to be remembered, venerated and dragged into the limelight to produce an hour program about it.   You say you heard this all before. You can’t repeat it enough. You can’t show enough flags or sing enough patriotic songs. You say everyone is on vacation? That’s not our audience. Our audience is the young, the poor, the bitter and the gullible. Or as Bob Dylan wrote in his masterpiece, Chimes of Freedom:

Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an’ forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin’ constantly at stake
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

 

And here is the real shocker. A huge parade is the culminating event on the day. Among the many marchers are, ready?- the neo-Nazis!!!!!!!

20526123_10211886926400276_4517567497146986439_n

 

Yes, yes, yes, you read that right. Remember, this is the day where people memorialize the destruction of a city by the Nazis by having Nazis march in the street 73 years later. I’ll give you a moment to wrap that around your mind.

Remember this when you think of Nazis in Virginia.The reality, from America to Ukraine is far more frightening.

 

ukraine_svoboda_img_0

Ukranian fascists, Lwów.

 

s0sR7dL

Oleh Tyahnybok, Ukrainian leader

 

john-mccain-went-to-ukraine-and-stood-on-stage-with-a-man-accused-of-being-an-anti-semitic-neo-nazi

John McCain with same man

 

And for effect, I suggest you read this post while listening to this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babcia and Me

https://ca.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idCAKBN1AD1T5-OCAEN

I find this story odd considering there are thousands of failing villages in Poland itself. Wouldn’t it be great if artists from all countries did this in their own countries? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The village roads in Poland are lined with benches where the locals sit and talk. Mostly elderly men and women, mostly women. It’s their version of the Senior Center. Here is a photo of me with them, being almost elderly myself.

My conversation went like this.

Location: Kruszyniany, near the Bielorussian border, home of the oldest Tatar mosque in Poland.
Elderly woman sitting on a bench.
Me: Do you have any eggs to sell? (my standard line to start a conversation. Sometimes I actually get eggs.)
W: No, we don’t have anything here.
M: You must have seen some interesting changes over the years.
W: I’ll say. Russians, Belarusians, Germans, Tatars, Poles, Muslims, you name it, they’ve all come here. Sometimes they stayed.

 

Pity the Nation

American poet, painter, liberal activist, and co-founder of the legendary City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote this poem in 2007.

“Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”

Donald Trump Came, He Saw, He Conned.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

19731899_10211601899954793_5989651762743557855_n

Suede coat, $599.

 

 

 

19665143_10211601897074721_6884962565423624610_n (1)

The rock. Tens of thousands.

 

 

19693693_10211610784256895_6834605789048692130_o

 

I need to get out more. I really live in a political bubble. Although I have lots of Polish friends who support the government and their sexist, racist stance, most of the foreigners I know think like me or mostly like me. At least we have bonded by our mutual hatred of Donald Trump. So to stand in a large crowd in Warsaw, listening to Trump give a speech he doesn’t understand, peppered by applause from a crowd who doesn’t understand because they don’t speak English, was both informative and exhausting. The real audience for this speech was the United States where it will be presented to a people who don’t know and don’t care.

19693516_10211610782056840_7462869511058220423_o

 

 

The reason I was in this crowd was because I was on my way to the Trump protest. But all the streets were blocked and I couldn’t get there so had to say where I was about 3 blocks away. But I did get to see Trump in his limo.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

Poles are a fearful nation. Understandably.  Its location was a tragic history of invasion from the East and West and carving up of territory until it disappeared from the map of Europe for 200 years. Granted, mostly because of their own making but it has left a deep scar of paranoia that everyone is out to get them. This translates into the love of the military, weapons, bombs, war, anything to keep the boogie man away, in this case, Russia. It was unnerving to be in a crowd like this. I’ve experienced it on very small, personal scales in my life but these were thousands of people.

So once again, here they were, welcoming another US savior even though the US has fucked them over for over 70 years. They ignored them during WWII. Hell, Roosevelt gave Eastern Europe to Stalin in Teheran in 1943 thus making all the Uprisings, destruction and bloodshed and more than 200,000 deaths a complete waste of lives. During Communism, they sympathized with their plight, urging them to fight back because although they would love to give them visas the government won’t allow it. But they would if they could….So imagine their surprise when after the change in 1989, the US refused to give them visas citing the Polish propensity to work illegally and overstay their visas by 30 years. This is still true today no matter how much they spend on US weapons. Again, it’s of their own making. When the US says Jump, the Poles ask, How high?SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

But what was with all the applause? Many, if not most of them did not speak English. Even if they did, it would be social English, not this political-speak full of meaningless vocabulary signifying nothing. Hell, Trump barely understood what he was reading. As an ESL teacher, I know when someone is reading something they don’t understand. Trump himself knows next to nothing about the geography or history of Poland, or any other country, for that matter. These lines were undoubtedly prepared for him by the National Security Council and fascistic aides like Stephen Bannon, and the clear purpose of the material was to fan the flames of anti-German and anti-Russian sentiment, both in Poland and more broadly in Europe.

Trump would pause, they would clap. And so on and so on for an hour. Oh, the power of PR. I wanted to give them a pop quiz but I myself wasn’t listening. It was the same bullshit he has been saying over and over again for the past 2 years.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Confederate flag, however, caught my interest so I wandered over to the two young men holding it.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

They looked like cowboys with their hats and I assumed they were Americans. They weren’t. I asked in Polish what the Conferdate flag had to do with Trump.

“It has many meanings.” he answered.

“Name one,” I demanded.

“”It has many meanings.” he repeated.

“So, in other words, you have no idea, right?” I asked. “It stands for racism and if that is your message, why don’t you create one for Poland and not use one connected to the Southern states of America? Nobody here understands it.”

They both stared at me and I wandered off. Interestingly enough, I saw the other guy interviewed on TV later and he spoke fluent English. What he said was full of shit so I guess he was afraid to engage with someone who knows what she is talking about and not afraid to say so. Cowards. And stupid. Still, I was glad to do my part. Confronting ignorance, country by country.

19679393_10211610704774908_692472587906931999_o

Trump has essentially conned the Polish people “into buying not a car that is parked on the street, but a car that may or may not one day be parked on the street.” Maciej Stasiński of the liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza was similarly critical: “Trump behaved like a cynical dealer in the relics of Polish Messianism, and the PiS masses lapped it up with a degree of delight that betrays their eternal victim complex.”

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-poland-visit-aftermath-by-slawomir-sierakowski-2017-07

Meanwhile…..

At the ATM…..

 

 

And now for the real news…..

melania-donald-trump-poland-9

$2650 dress. Shoes, $1,000

 

http://us.blastingnews.com/lifestyle/2017/07/melania-trump-wears-2650-flared-dress-in-warsaw-poland-001829015.html

 

The Ministry of Truth

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” George Orwell, 1984

The big story about Trump’s visit to Poland was a video of the Polish President’s wife purportedly snubbing Trump by not shaking his hand. It was a statement against his misogyny. You can tell this was made by Americans because this is the level of political discourse there. Poland? Where’s that? Warsaw? What? Why? Who cares? Let’s manipulate this video to further our agenda of laughing some more at our idiot President and show that the world laughs with us.  This is how to educate Americans on the dangers of corporate-run media so when they watch it they will become critical thinkers. American ignorance about international affairs is why the world laughs. Not at Trump but at you because you’re the reason he’s President.

This was not a protest, no matter how much you would like it to be. As a matter of fact, none of you have ever heard of her before this so how can you possibly have an opinion about her motives? Here is her story. Mrs. Duda was an ordinary German teacher in a public high school before her husband was elected President. Since then, she has not made a single public comment about anything. Certainly not about the discrimination of women,  and women’s right to control their lives and bodies during the big women’s marches a few months back. The fact is that her husband is a puppet and she is Mrs. Puppet and they are no different from any politician who has sold their soul for power at the price of silence. Granted, she didn’t run for office as did not Melania but everyone is complicit.

I knew it couldn’t have been a statement as Poles are VERY aware of their image especially in the presence of world leaders and this is THE world leader, like it or not. Mrs. Duda was not ignoring or snubbing Trump. She would rather have the earth swallow her whole than allow a faux pas in diplomatic relations. You can bet she was very well versed in how to behave during a Presidential visit and wanted to make a good impression. The etiquette is this. In Poland, you always shake a woman’s hand first. As simple as that. That’s it. That’s all of it. That’s the entire story.  It’s too bad Trump’s handlers didn’t tell him that. But look how that image was invented. Clever, but your perception was managed and it shaped your opinion. THAT is what is frightening. How easy it was. Orwell was right.

Try as I might, I could not find a photo of her actually shaking Trump’s hand. Only as part of the entire video. Not only that, it was difficult to find the ENTIRE video. It is outside the accepted narrative.  Mrs. Duda is part of a government who is waging war on everyone especially women while she stays silent. The only images of her that you see are her being surrounded by children in schools and orphanages. So portraying her as a feminist hero courageously protesting discrimination is truly laughable. But not as laughable as ignorance disguised as truth.

Makes you wonder about all the images you see, right?

Question everything!

Here is the ENTIRE video. Context is everything.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/no-trump-wasnt-quite-snubbed-in-poland-grow-up/article/2627908

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/polish-president-andrzej-duda-fight-fake-news-after-trump-handshake-snub-reports/article/2627971

And I had to go to FOX to find this…

http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/07/06/trump-handshake-snub-poland-first-lady-agata-kornhauser-duda-video-twitter-reaction

 

 

 

 

 

Media Lit 101

How to read an article like this.
1. The average Polish salary is 1000 PLN a month. ($400). Do the math.
2. Who wrote this?
Ruchir Sharma is the chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
3.Why? To encourage investment. Low wages means high profits. A rich country indeed……

Hipster Cafés

Is there any room for me as an old hipster in a new hipster Warsaw?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do I need an Apple product to get in?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there any city in the world immune from this kind of gentrification? It’s all starts with a trendy cafe with artisan coffee (whatever that is)……?

 

 

 

 

 

 

……all industrial steel beams and exposed brickwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

with uncomfortable but visually stunning chairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon, a second cafe, all used furniture and books….

Warsaw used to be called the “Paris of the East”, so it was only a matter of time.

 

When the vegan restaurant finally opens……

 

……the transformation is complete.