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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Poland has never been a place to be envied, and this is in spite of having produced, in the 19th Century, two phenomenal pianists and composers, Frederic Chopin and Ignacy J. Paderewski (though the latter had all the appearance of having been teleported into Poland from another universe), and in the next century, probably the toughest union organizer of all time, an unsmiling bird named Lech Walesa, whose efforts with his movement, Solidarity, were, in my opinion, the thing that, more than the efforts of Mikhail Gorbachev or Ronald Reagan, really set afoot the process of stripping Russia of its massive and ungainly hairsuit, the U.S.S.R., that it had struggled with wearing for about 70 years.

(To that distinguished trio I happily expected to have the pleasure of adding the film actress, Linda Kozlowski, but alas, she turns out to have been born in nothing more than Connecticut, which is also responsible for J. "Lapdog" Lieberman. And besides, I couldn't quickly find a good 20-year-old pic of her to lift. But she was truly a marvel in her younger days, and her presence, along with Paul Hogan's "You want to see a knife? I'll show you a knife" scene, is the main reason for taking another look at 1986's "Crocodile Dundee." But she may very well still be a wonder today, not least because one of her main assets was her super-musical voice. Maybe because it is so well protected inside from everything except smoke and drunkenness, in most people the voice seems to stay intact long after everything else has started to lapse.)

So, added to its misfortune in not having directly produced Ms Koslowski, Poland traditionally has also suffered from lying directly between two of the biggest and baddest characters of recent times, the Germans and the Russians, with no oceans, mountains, deserts, canyons, icefields, or even respectable rivers to help protect it. So it consistently gets the short end of the stick whenever those two monsters -- and others -- get the idea of bloating themselves.

And to that natural misery of their unfortunate physical and human geography, the Poles are now suffering from the fact that that very subject, geography, is not taught in their school systems.

The most obvious result is that just a few days ago they signed a deal with GWBush and C. Rice, that horrible pair whose badly extended honeymoon in the White House is now, hopefully, just a few months from ending, to have a missile defense installation installed on their territory right in the Russians' faces. And in defense of themselves, the pair and whoever is haplessly in charge in Poland these days boldfacedly insult the intelligence by saying that the shield is to be directed not against the close-by Russians but against the distant Iranians, when in fact the Iranians are lucky to have any handfuls of sand to lob into faces, much less H-bomb-tipped missiles that can reach targets several thousand miles away. And besides, the geographical positions of Iran and Poland relative to each other don't appear to have any connection, unless missiles these days are programmed to take crazy turns in their flights.

So that shield installation can be intended only for one purpose, to irritate the Russians, and the Poles should know all the dangers of that. But obviously history, because it has been so unkind to them, is also banned from their lesson plans. But that is no reason to be unkind to themselves and so abandon any kind of good sense and prudence.

Because, when it comes to Poland, the Russians have shown time and time again that they just don't care, and, as everywhere else, the modern ones are little different from their predecessors, going back hundreds and even thousands of years.


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