Letters to the Editor, #49
What is Think Magazine? Just an extended fraternity party. A magazine seeking to dominate expatriot minds with, albeit sometimes humorous, garbly-gook. Something from the last hangover? I suggest you do a thorough investigation on crimes by Czech business and police force against the Americans in Prague.
I state two: SKRIVANEK TRANSLATION AGENCY, OWNER PAVEL SKRIVANEK, and BERLITZ LANGUAGE SCHOOL, PRAGUE.
These companies are guilty of fraud, abuse, and exploitation of young American workers who do not know any better. A month ago, The CZECH police extorted 20,000 CZK with pistols pointed at me. The US Embassy did nothing to help me.
– Patrick Landon email@example.com
I noticed Czech people in Jama did not seem too mournful or respectful. Some were laughing and making mocking comments in English. I almost wanted to knock the living sh*t out of these spoiled little c*nts. I have been in Prague long enough.
I think I will go kick some serious ass tonight. When a Czech piece of sh*t f*cks around like that he can bear the brunt of all the scams, police extortion, Berlitz and Skrivanek employee exploitation, and Olsanska police sh*t I have gone through for years in this city. Let the Czechs know that we are tired of their snotty attitude. An American can only be pushed around so much. And I have been a hippy type liberal for most of my life.
– Reginald Wright
I wanted to show you a Virtual Tour of prague: www.czechbyclick.com
– Thanks, Gil Silberman firstname.lastname@example.org
So, in this new age of globalisation, blah, blah, blah.
On the other hand, we are also in perhaps a very old age of slave trading, child sex over the internet, young girls in Nigeria being lured to Germany for work and then finding they have to spread their legs mighty wide to get back home…
So I have this company and needed someone to surf the internet for me. Put up ads and eventually found one Ukrainian dude who offered me between 30 and 50 cents an hour. I went for it and soon found that he talked me up to 60 cents an hour. Gave him work for about half a year or something, during which time his wages climbed to an astronomical one dollar an hour!!
But, while surfing for me, he found some other work. He said he learned a lot from me and thanked me many times for the help I gave him in computer and internet matters.
But, alas, my finances started running dry and I started warning him that our cooperation may need to end. But he was forceful and kept egging me to keep it going. So I warned him I might have to pay him in the future and that it will be his risk if he keeps working.
But egging he kept until, now half a year later, I am ready to pay him what I owe him. An entire 169 USD. Must be a lot for a Ukrainian. But you know what he said? He said, “Mr. Kosman, keep your money. What I learned from you has much more value than what you owe me. Furthermore, I am glad to hear that the money you want to pay me will be used to hire another fellow brethren compatriot.”
So, in this disgusting age where little Moldovan (neighboring the Ukraine and even worse off than those dudes) girls are being sold by their parent or otherwise stolen from the streets to sexually serve some greasy western pig, am I doing good or am I an exploiting capitalist?
Tell me, all you knowledged, anti-globalisationists.
– Charlie Kosman (Bimbus Duckie)
Letter to Think
I was glad to see that someone, Jason Penazzi Russell, actually had the boldness to mention some level of aversion to the Think martyrdom of Carlo Giuliani. Additionally, the Think response to his letter was, well, somewhat unthinking.
Like Jason I think there is a lot of evidence which questions not only specific actions of some of the officers involved in the Genoa summit but calls into question the underlying philosophy of how the defense of this summit was implemented (though in retrospect it does seem the claim that a terrorist threat necessitated automatic weapons with live ammunition was probably more true than many suspected).
It seems quite clear that there were many instances of police brutality and rights violations and I hope for the sake of everyone involved that the investigations and punishment of transgressing officers is rapid and severe. Additionally the death of Carlo Giuliani was certainly tragic and needless.
Tragic that a young man lost his life and his family lost his soul, also tragic that another has to live having killed a fellow human being. What remains unclear is why Think singled out the death of one violent protester as a martyr. A critical look at the death of Carlo Giuliani or the events in Genoa would have been welcomed. I haven’t read any account which did this. Who do you turn to?
We all know the pitfalls of mainstream media, corporate bed partners, profit pumping machines, sensational five o’clock soundbites but often the independent media is little better, reciting a litany of simplification, speculation, and reactionary hysteria more to rally the masses made mindless by their years originally rooting for Brittany Spears, the compact disc, and the Ford Expedition, than to provoke thought and creative solutions.
It’s a blitz for public opinion that both sides are trying to win and they are both going for that lowest common denominator. There are distortions, inaccuracies, simplifications, and while mainstream media is often owned and intimately intertwined with the very entities with which the anti-globalization forces object to the amount of money and power that NGOs produce these days definatly subverts their assumed incooptability and shining golden words.
The contributors in Think should be responsible for what they write, but that which is sanctioned by Think should be considered even more closely, the values which think ascribes to must be universal and not selectively applied to certain people. For instance, where was the picture of the officer who had a letter bomb explode in his hands, and the assurance that this is not the form of protest or tactics that the magazine supports?
Where are pictures of protesters who on video tape were beaten while extremely passive or incarcerated? If the editors of Think have so much compassion and empathy perhaps they can extend it to everyone who was screwed with regard to the protest, members of the establishment included rather than only responding to the most sensational moment.
Think may wish to use it’s language a little more carefully. In response to Jason Penazzi Russell Think says that the death of Carlo was specifically a cold-blooded murder. A cold-blooded murder is an assassination, something which is premeditated,
which the death at Genoa surely was not.
The letter bomb on the other hand was cold-blooded, unprovoked, undefendable, unstoppable, while the shooting of Carlo Giuliani, wether warranted or not, was an action taken in fear or anger, an action of the moment, one which did not afford time enough to consider the consequences of that action. In the United States at least, on any normal day, if you run at a police officer with a fire extinguisher, it is well within the confines of the law that he may legally shoot you.
This is one reason (in addition to two bullets to the head) that makes it rather dubious that the running over of the body with the car was deliberate. The officer knew he was in trouble and that the masked man with the big fire extinguisher wasn’t coming over to his vehicle to tickle him or massage his erogenous zones, just as this is not what the protesters as a whole are going to do upon entering the building in which the G8 leaders are meeting.
That will be a very interesting day indeed when the aggressive protesters enter the meeting, and wether it was initially planned or not the worlds leaders are defenstrated. Hopefully that won’t be the first time other critics of corporate power consider the impacts of their actions.
We must facilitate the question, what are we going to do once we do achieve what we think is our goal and penetrate police lines and more importantly how (if it) is possible to prevent a violent few from exploiting other people’s work to perpetrate violence.
The shock that every one immediately expressed upon hearing of the death of Carlo is not only incredibly naive, it’s dangerous, and is the same shock that fellow protesters who were in the vicinity displayed at the moment Carlo was shot. Upon realizing a fellow protester had been shot one made a time out signal like when you played tag as a small child. Time out? What is this game you think you’re playing?
It was only a matter of time before someone was killed, it certainly needn’t have been a bullet, and it could have just as easily been a cop or god forbid a non protesting citizen of the city everyone invaded. A vicious molotov cocktail, a truncheon blow to the head, a well aimed cobblestone, or an errant rubber bullet all could have produced the same result, and would have sooner or later.
And making martyrs of those who actively engaged the police in a violent confrontation encourages this, and will assure an escalation of injury, death, and crackdowns in the future. It is a very reckless position that Think has taken and I think it should be reconsidered and discussed.
Protest is such a huge spectrum, it’s important to remember. We cannot simply support people because they also oppose the forces which sustain our corporate society, we must think, Think. The recent slaughter of thousands of people in New York was a globalization protest, very plainly, against our economic and military involvement in the Middle East.
That’s what it was, it wasn’t an act of war at all, or possibly conversely violent protest isn’t a form of protest at all, it’s an act of war. Next time please think twice before you serve us a hero.
Britain backs the U.S. all the way
I keep telling everyone here that there I was as a small child sitting in air raid shelters night after night as the bombs fell and Britain was asking for USA to help and did they?
Did they f*ck apart from saying would you like to buy some leaky old destroyers to guard the convoys packed with things which we sold you at a profit.
Yes, said Britain, How lovely of you. Then after two years and three months, the Japanese raided Pearl Harbor which of course is out in the middle of the Pacific and which the US had stolen and not ‘America’ at all so the outraged US Imperialists said to the Japanese Imperialists we are at war but they didn’t declare war on Germany. Hitler thought what a wheeze, I’ll declare war on the USA.
So, why are we backing the USA now? We should say We may join in if someone bombs us but don’t count on it and in the meantime do you want any leaky old destroyers? Spam? Dried milk. Sure? We can give you a good price in the circumstances… not quite wholesale but if you buy in bulk…
– yours, S.S. Disgruntled British expat
A MESSAGE FROM AMERICA
I stayed up all night compiling a list of major newspapers throughout the world. I did not attend my college classes today because I felt that this was far more important. This is my message.
People of the world, Please as you read this whenever and wherever that may be, take a moment of silence this minute to remember and pray for the victims of the attack upon America. Thank you.
We must be careful now of how we will respond to this vicious assault upon the Free World as a whole and when we do retaliate we must be absolutely sure about any evidence that points a finger towards any group and/or nation. We must provide our evidence when it is gathered truthfully and completely for the entire world to see.
To do otherwise would be playing into the hands of the people who have committed this act of aggression. America has a great responsibility that comes with being the most powerful nation on earth and it must now provide an example for other nations to follow. The people responsible for this cowardly act of murder-enmasse and destructiveness are certainly wondering at this time…
What are you going to do now America? As a proud American I know the answer will be… You will find the reply to that question when you do not see it approaching, and you have now sealed your fate in blood.
Freedom remains undaunted, Bravery Is undeterred and America still stands Proud. Buildings and Institutions can be replaced, and your many victims are now nestled safely and lovingly carved upon the palm of God.
I feel at this moment that I could leave my home and go anywhere and up to anyone at all in my country, or any other country in the Free World for that matter, and no matter who or what that person may be… rich, poor, young, old, man, woman, black, white, oriental, whatever… . and join them in saying “We Shall Get Through This Great Tragedy And We Shall Become Stronger Because Of It… . My Friend… . We Shall Stand Together.”
I also feel great hope for the future in knowing that we will never forget Tuesday, September 11th, in the year of our Lord Two-thousand and One.
– Brad Alan Westcott, American Citizen In New York email@example.com