Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The president sucks….

Lollipops. There, I did it. I challenged Polish law. I put myself on the line for a night-time raid from Poland's internal security police, a hard drive seizure, an obliteration of Poland X, and a one-way trip to court on charges of "publicly insulting the president."

I have thus shown solidarity with a fellow blogger who survived all of that last week. Robert Frycz was raided by the secret internal police for launching AntyKomor.pl, a blog that made fun of President Bronislaw Komorowski by, for instance, letting people play games in which you could throw shit at a picture of the man. Funny pictures were there too, if you can believe it.

"AntyKomor.pl was solely satirical . . . Preventive censorship and press licensing are characteristic of methods used to control the media in an authoritarian system," Frycz says in a message on the rump page his blog has been boiled down to.

Komorowski and PM Donald Tusk have reacted with surprise to the closure and say they will change the law to stop law enforcement from being able to abuse the "publicly insulting the president" part of the law. We shall see. If they move as fast as they have with reform, we could be waiting a bit.

The opposition Law and Justice (PiS) of course reacted with outrage. One PiS member of parliament talked of massive threats to Polish freedom of spee . . .

. . . of course, a PiS MP would forget the funniest misuse of this particular law. When Lech Kaczynski (PiS) became president, a homeless drunk at Warsaw's seedy Central Station apparently cursed Lech's name to high heaven. A police officer heard the drunk and proceeded to arrest him on charges of "publicly insulting the president."

Hubert H., the last name protected due to law, provided yours truly with one of the best bits of "reality TV" ever. During a trial that was televised live, the judge asked Hubert to give his side of the story. Hubert looked at her, pointed his right hand to his neck and said, "I can't remember, I was wasted."

If Komorowski et al want to be remembered in the same vein as his predecessor, do nothing. But if they truly want to be different, and show they have a sense of humour, change the law pronto.

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