Slovenia is out. And now, apparently the World Cup is like the Second World War. France have surrendered, the US turned up late, whereas England is left to fight Germany (via Tinacka on Twiiter)
In all honesty, England is the favourite in today’s game. Not only do Rooney & Co. have way more experience with make-or-break matches, Gordon Albion will be wearing their all-red outfits for only the sixth time in history. And they’ve never lost wearing them. On the other hand, Slovenia is always at its best when playing the role of the underdog. Beating or at the very least drawing against England is a nice thought to entertain. We’ll be entertaining this particular thought this side of the Alps for good five hours more. This will be followed by ninety minutes of intense nail-biting. And then….?
P.S.: Yes, I know that quoting The Sun is way below par even for pengovsky. But you have to give them credit for coming up with the title 🙂
In wee hours of Monday morning (or was it Sunday night) a group of merry Britons wandered around Ljubljana and apparently tried to indulge in age-old tradition of British tourists to bathe in the river Ljubljanica. According to POP TV one particularly adventurous 29-year-old leaped across the railing, misjudged his aim and landed on the concrete embankment.
Seriously, how the fuck do you miss that!?!
It would seem that copious amounts of alcohol softened his landing, for when the police arrived to the scene (apparently within minutes) he was told not to move as they were coming to get him. But, probably trying to prove to everyone that he’s OK, the chap reportedly tried to stand up, which only resulted in him falling into the river. Which was his initial plan, but the river, a treacherous little stream on a normal day, was swollen from two days of constant rain and he soon found himself fighting for his life. It was a one-sided fight, not unlike what France Prešeren described in his poem Povodni mož:
Boatmen only saw a swirl
where Urška danced her last twirl
Well, our fearless Briton was luckier than that spoiled bitch Urška. Coppers went right after him and caught him just as he was about to swallow his last gulp of the Ljubljanica. The three of them were then pulled ashore downstream by the rest of the police patrol and instead of literally sleeping with the fishes the would-be swimmer was only treated for hypothermia and alcohol poisoning.
Big game tomorrow. As you know Slovenia plays USA in second round of Group C in World Cup in South Africa. I will not bore you with punditisms. Bob knows there’s too much of that going around as it is. They are fun to read, though. Apparently no one expects a beautiful game as both teams play a 4-4-2 formation which will provide for a lot of manhandling in the midfield. Add to that the fact that both teams need a victory (although Slovenia could do with a draw provided a favourable turn of events in the third round) and you can bet on tomorrow’s match not being a pretty sight.
“That’s NOT the way to do it”. pengovsky’s entry for SLO:USA jibes on twitter
However. As if to offset that a more or less good-natured jibes and quips started appearing on Twitter under the hasthag Hate Slovenia Week (#hatesloveniaweek). Thus Byrnes_Gregory says that “To get in the mindset of my enemy, I am not going to bathe and pretend like I have no food, agh the Slovenian life“, while fogs2 shares a link by Dr. Soccer who in turn reveals The Top 5 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Slovakia & Slovenia in a rather unflattering way. And last but certainly not least, the legendary-cum-lethargic talk-show host David Letterman takes a swipe at the smallest country in the tournament.
Slovene part of the twittersphere of course started returning fire. The good doctor found that even the legendary-cum-came president Clinton conceded that the “US Declaration of independence was based on an ancient Slovene ritual” and kricac noted that “Kleenex shares at record high ahead of tomoorow’s SLO:USA match. 309M Americans expected to cry like babies.” And you can see pengovsky’s small contribution above 🙂
So, what’s your prediction for the game? 😈
With a comfortable 7-2 vote Slovene Constitutional Court yesterday banned a referendum on The Erased. As you will remember in March the parliament ammended the law on redress of inujsticed against some 25.000 people who were unlawfully stripped of their »legal alien« status in 1992.
Judges of the Constitutional Court delivering the verdict (photo: Voranc Vogel/Delo)
In what later became a recurring-theme-turned-political-platform cries of high treason, betrayal of national interests and defamation of »values of independence« came from the right side of the political spectrum, specifically from the ranks of Janez Janša‘s SDS and Zmago Jeličnič‘s Slovene National Party both of whom demanded a referendum on the law. The government of Borut Pahor disputed the move at the Constitutional Court, arguing that a referendum on rights of a defined minority can not be held. Furthermore it cited several rulings by the Court itself, which invariably say that the Erasure was unlawful and unconstitutional. The court found in favour of the government and banned the referendum, thus
Despite a comfortable majority, however, things could well have taken a different turn. In 2004, shortly before the elections, which put the power to run the country in Janez Janša’s hands a similar situation occurred. Back then the parliament passed what was know “a technical law” on the Erased, returning the “legal alien” status to those Erased whose eligibility was unquestionable. Right wing parties nevertheless called for a referendum (see the pattern) and through a combination of bureaucratic fuck-up and political indecision the parliament failed to submit the question to the Constitutional Court in time and the referendum was held with disastrous consequences both for the Erased as well as for the ruling left-wing coalition and the time led by Prime Minister Tone Rop of LDS.
Six years later and seventeen years after the “erasure” the largest en masse human rights violation in the history of this country is finally to be remedied and a this chapter is finally about to be closed. On a symbolic level this already showed in the form of President of the Parliament Pavle Gantar apologising publicly for the erasure.
With this the incumbent government scores a second major policy victory and this only ten days after winning the referendum on the Arbitration Agreement. But despite the political gravity of the moment there are some ironies, which need not be lost on us.
Firstly: Despite the fact that the erasure took place under the first government of Lojze Peterle (technically centre-right, but in reality a sort of national-unity government), the period between second half of 1992 and September 2004 was marked by a continuous left-wing governments (with one brief interjection in 2000) providing ample time to solve the issue. But instead LDS-led governments put the issue on the backburner until 2004 when it became too hot to handle. Thus it is only fitting that the main political player in this was interior minister Katarina Kresal who at the same time also leads the now severely diminished LDS.
Secondly: The infamous cock-up with the referendum in 2004 happened when President of the parliament was none other than Borut Pahor, the incumbent Prime Minister. Thus he also shares the responsibility for the fact that the whole thing was protracted beyond any reasonable time-span. Not that there is a reasonable time span for human rights violations, but there you go.
So, at any rate: it is good that this issue is now settled at least politically. No point in getting overly excited about it, though. It was high time.