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Entropa: Derailing Europe

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 08:02 pm
Entropa: Derailing Europe

Observationalism
17 January 2008

The Czechs thought an art expo would be a fine way to launch their EU Presidency. The account of a credulity straining clusterfuck and its political implications.

P.S.: Georgeob1 should love this one Razz
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,858 • Replies: 8
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 08:33 pm
@nimh,
Romania is the master of the Obvious. I clear my nostrils in its direction.
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 04:13 am
Typical Czech humor.
Like in the movie "Disastrous results of a TV failure" - a family doesn't know what to do with their free time.
In Poland we say, "A Czech movie, no one knows anything".
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georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 10:04 am
Nimh suggested I visit this thread. I read the link and even recall the story in the press from a couple of months ago -- it is clear that Nimh, vicious Dutch Hungarian that he is, is trying to bait me into saying something unpleasant about Europe, Europeans or possibly the Czechs.

Frankly I think the story is amusing, It is clear that the artist was parodying the EU and the sensibilities of its members, and had everything to gain from the fees and the notoriety it would bring him. The interesting part, however, is what might have been the expectations and intent (if they had one) of the Czech government officials who sponsored it. I find Vaclav Havel to be an interesting and appealing individual, but I don't know enough about Czech or European politics to confidently infer what might have been his influence here (if any) or the possible intentions of those more directly involved.

Certainly the EU government, which at heart is a bureaucratic structure, even compared to the national governments of its members, is deserving of some parody (if perhaps not this one), however, the characiatures of the various states do seem a bit ... unkind. Still, months have now passed and the EU has not fallen - nor has the behavior of its rather complacent and self-satisfied bureaucracy changed in any detectable way.

The Czechs have often been at odds with the major powers dominating Europe, from the struggles of Saxony with the powers at Vienna through the unhappy 20th century's wars. Perhaps this is a related factor here. They suffered a Nazi occupation, but were largely spared the awful destruction their neighbors suffered in WWII. I have often thought the post WWII forced expulsion of the German population there, though perhaps understandable then, was a sad affair.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 10:11 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
Frankly I think the story is amusing

That's the only reason I invited you here ... thought the artist's humor would appeal to you. No baiting involved.

I must say I had a good laugh about it myself. Those darned Czechs, Europe's jesters ...

As for the motivations of those who sponsored the idea, it is tempting to recall President Klaus's aggressive Euroscepticism and assume some kind of dastardly plan to ridicule the EU, but I dont think so really. It sounds just like your typical managerial cock-up: departmental high-flyers who bought into the flashy language of leaflets and didnt bother to doublecheck what they were getting themselves into. Occam's razor and all that.

But what a spectacular cock-up it was Laughing
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 10:11 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:

georgeob1 wrote:
Frankly I think the story is amusing

That's the only reason I invited you here ... thought the artist's humor would appeal to you. No baiting involved.

I must say I had a good laugh about it myself. Those darned Czechs, Europe's jesters ...

But what a spectacular cock-up it was Laughing


Agreed. BTW - I meant to write Klaus not Havel.

Pleased to see that you are more attuned to the ironies in events than it seemed you were a few months ago. You were getting a bit strident and humorless for a while - not at all relaxed and easy-going like me !.

On the other hand there is so much out there now to inspire an ironic view !
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 01:14 am

Christian influence on everyday life is one thing, but in the Dutch Bible belt it also matters what kind of Christianity it is.

A group of traditionalist Protestants has objected to the use of the European Union emblem on car registration plates in the Netherlands, on the grounds that the circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background symbolises the Roman Catholic veneration of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7949140.stm
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 02:58 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
Pleased to see that you are more attuned to the ironies in events than it seemed you were a few months ago. You were getting a bit strident and humorless for a while - not at all relaxed and easy-going like me !

Funny - I thought the exact same about you.

Yes, McTag - the Dutch Bible Belt is quite a thing of wonder! Most people think of coffeeshops and the red light district when they think of the Netherlands - but did you know Dutch parliament includes a party that until just a couple of years ago refused to use TV ads or appear on TV shows because it's a sinful medium? And that party's been in parliament since the introduction of universal voting rights in 1918! It also only allowed women to become party members in 2006 ...
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 09:53 am
@nimh,
nimh wrote:

georgeob1 wrote:
Pleased to see that you are more attuned to the ironies in events than it seemed you were a few months ago. You were getting a bit strident and humorless for a while - not at all relaxed and easy-going like me !

Funny - I thought the exact same about you.


Possibly true - or perhaps that I merely came across that way. I got rather tired of the invective and name calling on the political threads several months ago and took a holiday from A2K for a while.

What cured you?
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