Poland's Pulse in the Blogosphere

Gushers of cool at the local Mall in Warsaw – by Embe, WarsawDaily

Poland is a hotspot in a few ways this week. While the heatwave is starting to take its toll on fan stocks (Warsaw seems to be sold out of them), Blog from Poland reports on the annual outdoor rock concert called “Woodstock Stop”. Touted as the largest European music festival, The Woodstock Stop (repeat that 5 times fast!) will attract an estimated 400,000 people — I suppose this is where all the “fans” went?

The Woodstock Stop (Poland)

Far from the peace, love, and piwo, but no less the hotspot, As the Warsaw Crow Flies blogs about a live re-enactment of the Warsaw Uprising:

My inside man tells me the battle begins at 4pm with ‘some’ fighting expected in the streets near the Fort Legionów.

And while the ‘real-deal’ fighting continues in Lebanon, Our Man in Gdansk, identifies some “uncritical acceptance” of the Israeli strategy by Poland's largest newspaper:

“Lebanese Children want to be Martyrs” is the surprising headline in Friday's Gazeta Wyborcza. The subhead: “Thousands of children are the victims of Hezbollah's war with Israel [not Israel's war on the Lebanon]. In photographs from the Lebanon one sees mostly the dead or those injured after the explosion of bombs. But most of them are those with sick souls.” I don't recall such sickly moralising accompanying the same newspaper's publication of a photograph of Israeli children writing messages on the bombs used to kill their Lebanese neighbours.

A country having twins as its Number One and Two in charge, Poland's gaffes also seem to come in pairs, not only in connection with unbalanced media, but as Traveling Life informs us that a PR specialist is being sought to find a way to boost the so-called Duck Republic's image abroad. Imagine that! According to P3, one such gaffe in need of immediate damage control is talk by the nationalist party about re-instituting the death penalty for pedophiles. In the comments section, Kasia appears to side with the nationalists:

For me death penalty it’s not a way of punishing criminals, it’s rather a way of preventing them from doing what they did again. Sadly, some people can not be stopped from ruining other people’s lives or from taking them away in other way. I will always be hoping that EU will change its attitude about death penalty someday.

Perhaps then it's the EU with an image problem? Image is our modus operandi this time, and Poland's architectural reputation is on the line as Boo suggests a solution to the “thick layer of neglect and sadness” caking the cityscape of Lodz (Poland's second city, and fondly nicknamed ‘Hollywoodz’ due to several Oscar nominations from movies produced there; Roman Polanski studied film in Lodz). Unfortunately, the icing on this dilapidated cake is the people who “seemed uncared for, looking out from windows over crumbling balconies and sipping from cans on the streets.” The proposed solution to this unenviable dessert downer is ‘manufaktura':

Manufaktura is one solution to the problem of the old decaying factory buildings. They've been transformed into an enormous shopping centre, typical of the malls springing up all over Poland.

So, can the market forces give Lodz a much needed facelift? Who knows? Perhaps the invisible hand will also come with a scalpel.

…In the Polish-language blogosphere, there are some unspecified grand plans for Warsaw in the head of Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, former Polish Prime Minister turned Mayor of the Capital, who – as of 31.07. – has also become a fellow blogger. In his first entry, he talks about brainstorming session he had with his friends over his ideas for Warsaw. “The potential of this city. Enormous. Still confined, but enormous,” – he writes. Well, we'll see what ways of unleashing that potential he has in mind. As a Warsawian myself, I sure am interested.

Later in this entry our ex-PM complains that his time in the office was viewed mainly in categories of maintaining good PR for the ruling party. O co naprawdę w tym wszystkim chodzi, commenting on Marcinkiewicz foray into the world of electronic media, points out that starting a blog itself is a PR move for any politician, and warns:

[…] there are a few politicians writing blogs, sometimes quite intimate ones. But rather none of them can be counted as a major league player. Honestly, it's not a coincidence.

In a case of blogging deja vu (again, the Polish twin effect), Poland definitely feels a need for improving its PR image in the world. Polandia reports on a new initiative of the government, alarmed at the amount of bad press our country has been gathering lately, to create a new office for protecting and promoting the image of Poland in the world. The head of this institution is yet unknown, and its tasks – unspecified. Some Polish diplomats already fear it will turn out to be something akin to a communistic Ministry of Propaganda.

By contrast, Polandia‘s author presents an idea of a PR campaign proposed by the Polish magazine “Wprost”: if the Kaczyński twins are the most criticized, and therefore most recognized abroad Polish politicians – why not use the image of brothers to promote the country in a series of humorous billboards?

Picture of two little boys talking: “When I grow up I will be a prime minister,” and the brother responds: “Ok, so I will consider the presidency.” Below the line: Two more reasons to visit Poland.

That’s the Poland blogopshere update! Until next time – Do widzenia i powodzenia!

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