Category Archives: culture

What if society is a tropical forest?

People can use their hands and skills in many areas starting from handicraft, arts, services, care, farming, digging in the ground to picking up mushrooms or flowers and even in soldiering…Throughout the centuries thousands of such activities had been creating diverse and dynamic societies around the globe and across civilizations.
Now imagine you take the land from the farmers and give it to intense and big farming, you force the shopkeepers to close their workshops or stalls by opening new shopping malls, you pollute the gardens and orchards with toxic emissions and you destroy the factories or move them to other countries. What happened is you just removed many bricks from a wall thus made it weaker.
Even a light finger touch can make this fragile construction to fall into pieces or in other words a single spark can ignite this haystack of anger, frustration and hopelessness.

Now lets look at a forest. We all have been thought at school that
a healthy and strong forest consists of many trees species, bushes, grass, fungus and humus. Than on the other side we have human planted forests with very few type of trees if not with one which are extremely vulnerable to pests, wind and fire. Once destroyed it takes them ages to bring back a diverse life on its place. Anyway the factor of destruction is necessary to produce a new and rich ecosystem.

In our age of high unemployment especially among young people, with numerous examples of offshoring , moving machines, production lines and whole technologies to legally unbounded countries, where the employees are paid beggarly wages do we need a kind of destruction in order to bring back the natural balance of
a society? Can one use the parallel of a tropical forest to a human being society? If you consider humans as an ecosystem, why shouldn’t we try? We are animals though, so theoretically these rules apply to human race also.

Once we assume the above we must be aware of such a turning point may occur any time. Whether in form of a revolution or mass migrations, epidemic or other natural catastrophe we must be prepared. Do anything possible to keep our society in good condition, let the people use their natural skills and talents, free the spirit of human initiative and entrepreneurship.

And it is happening right now. Look around you and help all these city movements to preserve old professions, recipes, green areas, bicycle roads, children playgrounds, public spaces available to everyone and those who create any single workplace that can use the work of human hands and create beautiful things that a society needs or can use it for its own wellbeing and protection.

Be active, thing about your skills that you can share with others.
Be a living part of the unique tropical forest that your society constitutes.

Three weddings and a hangover

This summer was full of weddings… It was such a fun that one could say that only a gay wedding was missing there this time. Unfortunately all those were not mine but these happy couples are still my close friends and to be there was a real pleasure and quite a new experience for such a wedding veteran like me. After few years break in this specialized entertainment industry I discovered that there are new fancy developments. Starting with VIDEOS! I watched it with my jaw down and eyes wide open and I thought yes, this is it! Just have a look at this example shoot in Wroclaw Thank you parents.

For those who prefer more traditional thank you you can now print a real professionally looking photo album with hundreds pictures.  There is plenty of printing services around you but just remember that prepare yourself and spend some time on editing to have an absolutely astonishing result and make sure the final product will be delivered before the wedding starts. The printing process may take longer than the time left to deliver it 🙂

An interesting variant from what I’ve seen so far were those famous speeches you have on the Danish weddings! These may take hours (fortunately during the dinner! 🙂 Speech is one of the main parts of the wedding ceremony as well as singing songs with lyrics based upon the groom and bride stories. Note that even if you don’t get a word in Danish you keep singing and laugh, its simply hilarious!

You will find such a variety of music both in Poland and Denmark and still you can dance your ass off if you like. With excellent live bands, basses, keyboards, percussion, vocalists, accordion, saxophone, acoustic guitar, piano, whatever you can think of…

When it comes to drinks I must admit that wine is taking over both in Poland and Denmark. Allthough both countries have nothing to do with wine apart from drinking it. Oh, ooops, I forgot, did you know there are  now some wineries in Poland and Denmark?? Just wait for the climate change to show its pawns! Have a look at Vineyard Cantina

Do you remember how to play wedding games? Well they always have played an important role all around the world. There is equal fun if you try to kiss the bride while the groom is out or you rip the veil off or cut the socks, or tail, or push the eggs through the grooms pants or run around the chairs or try to bribe the toast master to let you dance with the bride. All these wedding games make one good thing -bring the guests together and make real fun to all. So they did to me.

Yes, with all these videos, photo albums and games few things remain stable throughout the centuries – white dress, veil, good music, food and great fun. What else you need to help you survive this pleasant hangover next day?

All you need is yoga light?

It started two years ago. With a patience typical for a “convert” I reached the point where I can touch my knees with my forehead and bind my hands behind the feet. However complicated it sounds like, the truth is there – yoga life brings you light!

I will always remember the night after my first yoga class when I slept like a baby and snoring like hell – as I was told the next morning. But who cared if I felt no sores, no pain, literally I felt like an angel! So I caught the hook or rather the hook caught me…

When I look now on my “yoga carrier” I may honestly say that it is still a yoga light one. Why? Have I ever tried to bath before and right after the class? Do I do it every morning and evening? Have I read the whole “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar yet? Did I give up on the whole meat of the world? Do I even fasten those two hours before the class? Nope, nope, nope, almost, almost there… And then if you watch few videos of any yoga guru you know that it is a yoga light version of what you are practicing.

But hey, tell me, isn’t it helping your body to relax? Isn’t your lumbago or migraine gone for good, aren’t your mornings so fresh now and isn’t your mind looking at things deeper than before? I bet they are, if not, please be patient, trust me and trust your body. It will do its job. Step by step you will get closer to your knees, maybe you will do it with the top of your head, and maybe you will even turn your full body on the other side but do it steadily! Remember, it’s not a competition, therefore no one is better then the other. Everybody is working out in silence and with patience for his own good.

I keep my fingers crossed behind my feet for you! 🙂

Namaste

PS.1 If you fell alone in a big/medium/small/micro city, don’t worry, you will soon talk to these funny guys net to your mat and what’s next is you will end up having drink or two oooops a tea or two at the neighbouring cafe! Voilà!

PS.2 If you live in Wroclaw, I recommend you Kuba’s classes. If you live in Gdansk, Sopot or Gdynia there’s no better place than this!

Riders and their little metal ponies

We live in a world of exaggeration. We exaggerate in the architecture (remember those crazy facade colors of the 90s…), our houses in Poland with average of 139 m2 are one of the biggest in the World, we are right behind Americans and Australians. The cars on our streets are also getting  bigger and bigger so the average jogger or rider has to be more fancy and with the latest outfit style.

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If you stop for a while and look around on the streets you will notice that almost every cyclist wears those fancy sporty clothes like helmet (which I understand, safety first!) but also the performance ultra shorts, elite team short sleeve jerseys with anti-sweat-anti-stretch-anti-wind&sun&rain functions etc. You can hardly recognize who’s riding – is it a girl or a boy? There are almost no jeans and skirts on the bicycles! Unlike the Dutch or Danish streets where the riders are wearing suits or dresses on the wheels and those with shorts and jerseys are left to sportsmen.

Is it a must to speed 30 and more km/hrs? Do they need to sweat each time they ride their little metal ponies? Why can’t they just simply use their bicycles for going to work or to the local shop? I wonder how many of those “sportsmen” drive their cars to and from the office and take their kids to schools and kindergartens…and then in the evening they jump on their mount for a ride…

Can you imagine that my father used to take me and my sister to the kindergarten on his bike for almost 4 years? Yes, its possible! And my grandmother still could ride her bike to church while she couldn’t walk anymore, isn’t it amazing?

Lets free our ponies from the sweat slavery, let them live their lives without hurry and competitiveness. Lets start to live with them not for them. Hereby I declare that from now on I shall not to drive that 1.5 km to my office with my 10 yrs old Peugeot 406 when its raining or windy. What I need is just one good and warm coat… 🙂

How to keep your spirit human?

Since I was a child there was always a fight in my mind between its right and left parts… In primary school my day schedule was filled with sport: swimming twice a day for 1.5 hrs workouts, weekly competitions, mid year workout camps. In the meantime I was trying to catch up with classes in math, chemistry, nature science carrying the books with me across the country. But when I was fed up with all that physical exhaustion I started to run a weekly school magazine…

Later on at high school, while solving mathematics/physics problems I used to sing in the choir and kept on issuing the magazine but this time in a monthly issues. There was so many maths and physics to catch up that these monthlies hardly managed to stay alive for those 4 years. But they did, fortunately.

When it came to think about the university, the choice was again very obvious and kinda natural. I started first with Drama School (why not?) but ended up on Environmental Pollution Science. You should know that I couldn’t imagine stop singing so I joined the Wroclaw University of Technology Choir. During the rest of my educational carrier I toured half of Europe and America and surely the whole Poland. I continued writing at home, “for the drawer” as we call it here …

Now…Is writing and singing enough while working for a high tech company? Nope, its not, so why not to start thinking of a human arts post graduate study? Which can be whatever but preferably philosophy, sociology close to any -ogies which may stir up my mind again and let the thinking flow and flow. For a technical mind with human arts flavor its a way of watering the soil, nourishing it with new ideas. It broadens perspectives and inspires that famous out of the box thinking, so desirable in our current liquid modernity as the polish sociologist calls “… the kind of chaotic continuation of modernity, where a person can shift from one social position to another in a fluid manner.”

Let it be fluid then and let’s see what happens next.

The unfinished book maturates in the drawer … 😉

Sex and the City vs Girls

Once upon a  time I was dying of laughing while watching every Friday night two of Sex&theCity episodes. Together with my sister who was at that time still studying  and I was spending Friday evenings with her and my beloved Foxy New York Ladies instead of having beer with my folks from my first job. Today, after thorough lecture of two books “Farewell to Growth” by Serge Latouche and “Swiat na rozdrozu” by Marcin Popkiewicz the undertone has changed. Adding to this the recent acclaimed “Girls” by Lena Dunham and you end up at least with a grim on your face.

Why? Consumerism, materialism, hedonism once in the 90’s TV series later on radiated across the whole globe, whether its South America , Africa, Asia or even Africa including the Muslim, Orthodox,  Catholic, Jewish or whatever countries. Imagine everybody lives the life of my excellent and magical 4 of Manhattan? We would need at minimum over 20 Earths in order to run such a way of life. Our only Earth is too small, there is too few resources for us all to run this horn of plenty. If you say its a fairy tale for adults I would agree, but the idea behind this great TV series is not only the sexual liberation of women, gay men or others but also the lifestyle which says: “Consume & have fun while you still alive” (you may refer to Miranda’s mother death in one of the last episodes). Please add to this picture hundreds of pairs of shoes and dresses, all-inclusive trips to the end of the World only to have a drink and buy another pair of shoes…

In this moment the “Girls” are approaching in a juxtapose to what Sex&theCity offers almost in every aspect. The idea of Latouche’s de-growth materializes here if you look at the modest second hand clothes, eco-food, eco-life, small apartments with co-tenants, bicycles, subway, buses, holidays at friend’s house. I would rather call this circumstantial since the idea of the authors was probably to show the hopelessness of youngsters life, seeking for job or money, looking for dreams that will never happen. Nevertheless if the screenwriters could expand some of its plots we could end up with a quite solid remedy for the ideology of growth.

So, watch the two, enjoy but please read Latouche or Popkiewicz and think how to keep ourselves alive. On Earth.

Discovering Future in the Past

Have you ever felt this enlightenment, after few dozens of pages, when something you were suspecting all of a sudden becomes clear and obvious and since then you know you learned the Reason?

This amusement accompanied me throughout 600 pages of Jan Sowa’s delightful book “Fantomowe ciało króla” (Phantom King’s Body”) At first you notice a strange title but after a while you know what this phantom means, as well as who’s the King’s body. Yes, its about a murder, phantom murder to be correct, of a King in the Kingdom of Poland in the late XVIIIth century. It is a story of the Fall of once the biggest country in Europe – the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth…

It is a story about how our Middle-Eastern Europe has been self-colonized by its aristocracy and later on colonized by the neighboring states. Fascinating reading on how the Roman’s Empire legacy continue to influence entire Europe which until today is divided by the Elbe riverrun.

You also come up to the questions like: Into what will develop the capitalism? or How to release our creativity? or Is all what we have given for ever and ever?

One of the most interesting analyses is the one regarding the post-colonialism in Eastern Europe . Once you read it you become to understand more of what is going on right now in Ukraine and Crimea. Current situation of Mid-Eastern Europe countries can be easily explained from the perspective of the post-colonial discourse and thanks to its analytic methods.

If you want to know how to overcome our fate and how to position ourselves beyond the periphery of Western World? It a book for you. Challenging & recommended reading.

Read more about Jan Sowa’s book here

Ukrainian Love Story

I’ve just finished the 700 pages of The Museum of Abandoned Secrets, an Ukrainian Love Story written by Oksana Zabuzhko.

From the times of post-World War II and its Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) fighters hidden in the forests to a modern day journalist who fell in love with a descendant of those forest soldiers. You fall in love immediately with these ancient and modern heroes, you follow their fight with the Soviets, the Nazis, the Russians and even the Poles, and there is no wonder why is it so attractive – the love they share is really strong and you want to know how it will express itself after all those nights spend in the deep, winter-cold forest or when standing against the new economical regime that is taking over the Ukrainian’s country and media, kicking off the old good journalist’s army and replacing it with a young and dumb forces of undergraduates of the new-social-networked-servile-to-government media schools…
This can only bring a good understanding of what is going on in Ukraine.

I recommend this book to everyone who is at least interested in whats going on right now on Maydan in Kiev. This book will enlighten you with so many wise sentences, comparisons, descriptions and stories from the past. A must for the Europeans, A must for people who care about the Freedom.