Up-to-Date Internet World Stats here

poniedziałek, maja 30, 2005

It's getting more difficult to tell Warsaw from Wausau

It's getting more difficult to tell Warsaw from Wausau

News Poland
This in from Houston Chronicle

The tour bus is rolling along a busy street when suddenly there's the Philadelphia 76ers star, staring from a shoe ad.Welcome to the United States of Poland. At least that's the way it feels sometimes, what with all the Pizza Huts, J.Lo and Levi's.

Sixteen years after communism fell, the Polish embrace Western pop culture with a stunning eagerness. Watching on the streets of Warsaw as a beefy guy in a Chicago Bulls cap passes a petite blond babe with a blouse cut down to there, it feels like I never left home.

Indeed, unlike travelers of a previous generation, I have no need to walk around with a Polish-English dictionary pointing to phrases and mangling the language. Most people ? at least most I come in contact with ? speak English, some flawlessly. After a while, you begin to expect it.

Frankly, there's a certain pride that comes of seeing your country's products, fashions and mores so eagerly adopted by a new democracy. But at the same time, I find myself wondering if these people realize what's happening here. Do they understand that they are selling their uniqueness for the price of an MTV video?

I think similar thoughts when I drive through the United States and find it difficult to remember where I am because this town looks like every other town, the same jumble of Exxons, Taco Bells and Holiday Inns.

"McWorld," political scientist Benjamin Barber famously dubbed it. He saw a world that was simultaneously being pulled apart by tribalism and extremism, and drawn together by free market forces. Meaning, teach the people what to want, then give it to them.

The result of tribalism and extremism was on view on 9/11. The result of McWorld can be seen here in Poland and in the ongoing homogenization of the world's cultures and languages into a blanded, blended uniformity in our image.

Small wonder France has sought ? futilely, of course ? to institutionalize French as the nation's one and only language, waging war against the encroachment of English into daily life. If you think that's much ado about nothing, well, you probably haven't seen the Nike swoosh sign in the old marketplace at Krakow.

Which is not to pick on Nike. Rather, it is to note ? and lament ? the passing of a time when American popular culture was ... escapable. But if it's really a choice between McWorld and extremism, I'll take McWorld. Reluctantly.

Still, I wish Poland looked more like Poland.

Comment: Nicely done and accurate (I guess) piece of report from Polish cities. I remember even attempts to introduce official ban of using non–Polish names. Fortunately the idea failed but now we are at pretty the same point of the question. Are we doomed to have dozens of McTowns and Mc Cities across Poland?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

The French Vote and Poland

The French Vote and Poland

******************************************************
PolBlog - News Poland 24/7
Poland's first (almost) daily English-language news blog.

The critical mass in Poland is clearly at odds with the view of European government institutions represented by Chirac and Schroeder. All of the leading parties in the polls here for the October election are non-socialist and pro-market. While a recent poll here shows Poles supporting the EU Constituton, it is difficult to separate that confidence from their general approval of EU membership so far. The policies likely to be pushed by a Social-Democratic alliance in Brussels will be unpopular in Poland as rejection of the recent Services liberalization policy illustrated.

The movement in EU politics away from the federalists to those with a more modest Brussels agenda will be entirely consistent with the views of the new Polish Government, if not the current one.

Watch over the next months for a more vocal Poland aligned with the former Brussels outsiders, critical of the French and German direction for the EU. This will occur along with the simultaneous erosion of Chirac and Schroder in their own political environments.

Many of us are, obviously, not upset with the changes......

Randy Mott
Warsaw

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

niedziela, maja 08, 2005

Gone Polish

Gone Polish

News Poland
In from Delta Democrat Times - Greenville, MS

It's one thing to know the English language, quite another to speak it in conversation.

Toward that end, 20 students from Northwest Mississippi Community College became teachers - in Poland. The young men and women are members of the Senatobia institution's Baptist Student Union, which spent nine days in March in the city of Wroclaw.

For more, click here


View
I am sure this was a very educational experience for everyone involved including the Polish students learning English. It would be good for more school systems to get involved in such activities. Although I don't know how much the students could get out of the 9 days that they were here aside from a brief taste of Poland.

I think colleges and universities would be in a better position to send students to teach briefly in Poland as the high school student are a bit underqualified to do anything other than talk to the people. I think it makes EFL teaching seem easier than it is and more of a job anyone can do with no extra training.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

środa, maja 04, 2005

Great Pope, great discussions

Great Pope, great discussions



News Poland
By Wojciech Rogacin

Everyone could expect that this discussion will be full of emotions, sometimes hot and ... unended. This is what it was like exactly during last CF meeting at Bald Penguin pub in Warsaw. The topic of the discussion, animated by Father Robert Szelagowski from one of Warsaw's parishes, was: "Pope John Paul II ­ Prophetic Church Doctor or Traditionalistic Church Doctor?"

Although there were lot of warm tributes and admirations to JPII over the media last month, it was simply not so unequivocal that Poles agreed with "Polish Pope" totally. Samples were seen during the discussion itself. ­ I couldn't agree with Pope's vision of "civilization of death" ­ sounded one of the arguments. The other was quite often declared: ­ Why did he oppose priest's marriages (the celibacy issue)?



The audience had questions


Even Father Robert's explanations did not cut the discussions. According to the presenter, the Pope was part of the great Church's tradition of teaching. It seems that he cared more about the catholic doctrine than the people expectations or admirations.

Coming back to the main question: was he prophetic or traditionalistic? It simply depends on what do you expected from him.

PS. I would like to invite you to discussions on that topic. Whether you've been at Bald Penguin during the meeting or not, you certainly have a lot to add to this topic. Feel free to use this space to say what you think.

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

podsafe music network

Our neighborhood produce stand