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Polish "jokes" came from Nazi propaganda

 
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 10:45 am
OK, I'm back because:
1. This forum is on a list of top news-related forums. So basically there is no choice Smile
2. I've discovered Google News and I can see that a reader of New York Times or Time or the Houston Chronicle gets a lot of news from Poland, more than I would suspect. And the articles are quite balanced, just like articles in our papers about the US.
Watching me, watching you.
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 11:03 am
@Setanta,
"The Russians weren't interfering in Polish affairs because it was not until after the Great Northern War that Russia had a contiguous border with the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth."

Setanta, already in the 15th century we had a common border, and border skirmishes started then. Russia was growing stronger and stronger, while Poland was becoming an "old power".
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 11:32 am
Lithuania was an integral part of Poland, we merged because we had common enemies.

Foreign kings were probably like foreign soccer coaches - supposed to introduce high international standards. Bathory from Moldavia was successful, the Vasas were so-so, the Saxons destroyed the kingdom, but they were supported by Russians. The Muscovites started to interfere in Poland in the late 17th century.

When you look at the map of Europe in 1938 and 1950, only the shape of Poland changes, and the Baltic Republics are Soviet. It's some perennial war over these territories between Germans and Russians.

But don't necessarily think about Russians as Slavs. As early as the 4th century (the proof is in Roman historians and Norse sagas) Germans (Goths, who later attacked Rome) fought Gardariki (Vikings from Russia) and Wendland (Poland) was the buffer zone between those two.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 12:44 pm
@literarypoland,
polish news are available from the WARSAW BUSINESS JOURNAL online :

http://www.wbj.pl/
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 01:45 pm
Poland is now a country at the economic level of Portugal, with American-like laws and attitudes, a bit right-wing. In the 1990s, I was thinking: "The country is so backward, we'll never catch up, there's just crime and no progress", but the recent years have brought some prosperity. Generally, the younger generation is not "homo sovieticus" (those born after 1975), but wants to get really Western. Entry into the EU has been the turning point. Now there are no differences left between us and the old Capitalist states.
Poles like it that way. There have been no protests against the political-economic system as such in the last 20 years. These have been interesting times because in 20 years we have become acquainted with things which were introduced in the West for 60 years - such had been our isolation. So the transformation has been surprisingly successful, and fast, which means that there really were unused skills in the nation.
Of course we are not an A-level economy (own strong industry), but this is not a condition of prosperity in the world now - look at Qatar or Switzerland, or Ireland. But all those B-economies rely on American military protection. In Communism, all products in the market were Polish - and everyone craved foreign goods. Now only foodstuffs are Polish, though even fruit is imported. And no one cares.
Russians block imports and foreign investment, but they have oil and gas, so they work like Arab countries.
There is no lack of sources in English about Poland on the Internet.
Polish state radio:
http://www.polskieradio.pl/zagranica/gb/
English-language Wikipedia.
Warsaw Voice:
http://www.warsawvoice.pl/
Articles from Gazeta Wyborcza:
http://wyborcza.pl/0,86871,4728582.html
Polish forums:
http://www.polishforums.com/
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 01:55 pm
Well, Dashenka, you were absolutely correct--LP could not stay away, and he (she?) couldn't stand not to look.
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 02:07 pm
@Setanta,
He. Too many attacks in a short time. But nowhere to go.
Stupid Polish ambitions to go West. It would be so much better to be an Asian province and live in peace without the German threat, without all this frisson.
Adventureous prodigal son, and attacking Mother Russia.

http://pgf.cc/2006/03/20/poles-in-america/
The early American Poles were artisans, responsible for the first strike in America. The occasion arose in 1619 when the House of Burgesses in Jamestown refused the right to vote to all those who were not of English stock. The Poles were accorded the same rights after a successful work stoppage. According to the Court Book of the Virginia Company of London on July 31, 1619, it was decided that “Upon some dispute of the Polonian residents in Virginia it was now agreed that they shall be enfranchised and made as free as any inhabitant there whatsoever.”
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 02:08 pm
Here's a quarter . . . call somebody who gives a ****.
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 02:21 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta, I admire your historical knowledge. However, I can read Wikipedia instead. But I need some interaction, so better such helpline than silence.

Polish correspondent in Vietnam, always with the Vietcong:
Scroll to: NATO and the Former Eastern Bloc Countries
http://pages.prodigy.net/lynnpowmia/980411.htm
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 10:24 pm
@literarypoland,
what might help these discussions out is to try to rein in your wandering all around topics and running into tangents. This is a constructive suggestion.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 10:42 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:

I wish I had my library here .. I had this great collection of short stories and fragments from novels, sampled from the last 200 years of Russian literature or so, illustrating the image of the German. Some funny stuff in there, much along the lines of your joke.

Great posts here, by the way.


There's another one in the epilogue to War and Peace.

Tolstoy posits that if one were to show a then new steam engine to a Russian peasant, and then ask him to explain what makes it move - the peasant would surely say, "There's a devil in there who makes it move".

Tolstoy continues saying that if one were then to patiently explain to the peasant that there surely is no devil in the engine, and again ask him what makes it move.

According to Tolstoy the peasant would surely say. "Well, then there's a German in there."
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 08:57 am
Yet, we have mellowed down in recent years.
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 10:32 am
However, you will also find many people in Poland who will tell you that capitalism is like "**** in a piece of paper", meaning that golden mountains were promised, a villa, two new cars, shopping sprees, and the believers have ended with a bare salary of 600 dollars. With an apartment mortgaged for 30 years.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 11:11 am
@literarypoland,
literarypoland wrote:

However, you will also find many people in Poland who will tell you that capitalism is like "**** in a piece of paper", meaning that golden mountains were promised, a villa, two new cars, shopping sprees, and the believers have ended with a bare salary of 600 dollars. With an apartment mortgaged for 30 years.


Well perhaps they can organize to bring back their former Communist leaders and all the wonderful freedom and prosperity they enjoyed then.
literarypoland
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:53 pm
@georgeob1,
Yes, there is no choice. But does capitalism need to be such a high pyramid? With a bunch of moguls at the top.
And the workers who were activated by Solidarity leaders - once they shook the whole country, now they are at the very bottom of the hierarchy.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 01:00 pm
@literarypoland,
literarypoland wrote:

Yes, there is no choice. But does capitalism need to be such a high pyramid? With a bunch of moguls at the top.

It has usually worked out that way. However, even in this area there are variations from time to time and country to country. There are tradeoffs too - an excess of egalitarianism tends to stifle innivation and creativity. Life is unfair and it ends in death. Capitalism has many defects, but its alternatives are far worse.
literarypoland wrote:

And the workers who were activated by Solidarity leaders - once they shook the whole country, now they are at the very bottom of the hierarchy.


Perhaps so, however the heirarchy is now far less rigid amd much more permeable than it was previously. The social and economic mobility that result from capitalism compensate beneficially for some of its defects. Socialism provides no such compensations - instead people get a more uniform piece of a much smaller and less tasty pie.
literarypoland
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 01:33 pm
@georgeob1,
Yes, a person is kept in constant uncertainty and as a result must be watchful and work hard, like an athlete.
Those workers don't vote, I believe. So far, entrepreneurs are respected as job-givers. I haven't heard a bad word about foreign companies operating here, which usually pay better than Poles.
Now we often have situations where simple workers, who were given quite luxurious apartments in the 1970s, 1980s (and those apartments are valuable) work some odd jobs, and by Capitalist standards are the poorest of the poor.
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 02:24 am
The problem is that we don't have immigrants doing menial jobs. Someone has to become the poor class - and it's like in a Jewish ghetto - normal, respectable people are as if selected - you will have a job, you won't, you will live normally, you will vegetate on welfare. Selection - those who like to drink, will be eliminated from normal life, and those with criminal tendencies. Lazy ones. But in Communism they would be just citizens, the state would help them avoid unemployment, degradation.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 04:45 am
@literarypoland,
Who did the menial jobs under communism? Did the state simply declare that they were no longer menial and that all jobs were somehow "equivalent"? If there was no degredation under communism, then why did the workers rise up and overthrow the system?

I believe that freedom is a valuable thing - with it one can be degraded only by himself and the choices he makes: the lack of freedom degrades everyone. Freedom, doesn't insure an happy outcome, but it makes one responsible for his fate.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 05:37 am
George, in his religious belief of capitalism virtues, wrote:
Freedom, doesn't insure an happy outcome, but it makes one responsible for his fate.

If only it was that simple!
But it doesn't take into account the Brownian motion of human nature, which makes the fate of a single individual unpredictable, whatever his good dispositions be..
At most, capitalism allows individuals escape a miserable fate.
 

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