Editor's Word - Early Spring Potpourri

3-4 2007 Aktuality English
obálka čísla

There was no real winter in the Czech Republic this year and it sure doesn't look like there's any on the way. The daisies in the grass in our back yard have never stopped blooming while crocuses and snowdrops sprouted up in gardens at least a month ago. Along the Rokytka creek in Vysocany violets are already in bloom.

Yesterday was the 157th anniversary of the birth of our first and till now irreplaceable president, Tomas G. Masaryk. I searched in vain in the TV listings to find any kind of program dealing with the anniversary of this great personage. What else can we expect from the so called public TV, ruled by a trio of a former communist, a militiaman and a former secret- police man. The privately owned TV channels naturally, showed their regular silly soap operas and commercials.

Today it's March 8th and the radio broadcasts continuous programs, celebrating the International Women's Day. 99 years ago the poor seamstresses in the US rebelled against being exploited. What a morsel that was for communist propaganda!

All those years, after work, they had presented us workingwomen with bars of soap, nylons, later on even a flower. We were invited to have a hot dog or a sandwich. I can't remember whether alcohol was included among the refreshments or whether that was something we had to pay for. However, later on that night you could meet in the streets of towns and villages quite a number of drunk men (they had to entertain the ladies) a lot more men than women who had to hurry home to work their second shift.

That date usually brings to my mind my daughter in advanced pregnancy, who was leaving the house that morning on the way to the doctor. I was still half asleep but a few hours later, she called me from the hospital that I had a grandson called Janek.

In March was also born the great and famous teacher of our nation, Jan Amos Komensky. His name has become well known all over the world thanks to activities of many Czech organizations abroad, for example the Komensky School in Vienna, the Komensky Club in Canada, or the village of Komensky in Texas. Unfortunately, his heritage and his wisdom have not, even after so many centuries, found fertile ground in practice.

In Czech schools pupils are still made to memorize huge quantities of bare facts and historical dates. The idea of "school as game" or school alive and human as I would phrase it, is still a minority.

And what's new in politics? Don't even ask? actually nothing much. The Czech energy industry, a company, supported by all the governments as untouchable and without competition continues to profit in an outrageous manner. After an unusually warm winter, they proclaimed that they have to raise the energy rates, since the citizens had used less of it.

Jan Kavan continues to be the most successful government "businessman" and entertains the public with further scandals. Even though he was on the STB list under the name of Kato, and getting paid for it, he claims that he never knew that he was an informer. The CSSD government gave him a seat in Parliament as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At that time there suddenly appeared in his wardrobe heaps of money he knew nothing about. He also knew nothing about the Czech House in Moscow or the embassy affairs in Africa that also dealt with millions, including a share to his secretary Srb, who is now sitting in jail for the planned murder of a journalist. When he crashed into several cars in front of Parliament and proclaimed that it was an alcoholbased salve that gave off the smell and not the alcohol he had consumed, was almost amusing. Then he got a post in OSN and after he got back, a post of advisor. He kept a rather low profile until he opened his mouth without knowing that a hidden camera was documenting his speech. He disclosed the truth about corruption in the Gripen aircraft affair. It was reported by Swedish TV as well as by Czech TV. Kavan was forced to leave his post in Parliament, but right away got the post of Advisor to the Slovak Prime Minister, Fic.

Let's forget about this subject. Easter is on the way and soon the whole Czech countryside will be green and in bloom.

But here is some good political news. For 40 years we feared the Russian tanks and rackets. Now the Russians are afraid that we may have on our land an American radar. Isn't that wonderful?

Eva Strizovska
Translation Paula Schultz

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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