2006 in review

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End of the world as depicted by The Economist


As this is probably my last sober weekend this year I might just as well use it and do a rundown on 2006 as seen by Pengovsky.


POLITICS:
Political life in 2006 was dominated both by Janez Janša’s government consolidating its power in every aspect possible. The consolidation started late in the year as the first half of the year was dominated by the resignation of minister in charge of reforms Jože P. Damijan. Janša however bounced back from this blow and set about prepairing terrain for the hoped-for victory in municipal elections. The victory more or less materialised, but not in Ljubljana, where Zoran Janković won with a landslide and pretty much upset the murky political pond of Slovenia. Whether it was for better or for worse remains to be seen

On a global scale of things it does feel nice that the people in the USA finally realised what the rest of the world (save Tony Blair) was telling them all along.


SOCIETY:
When looking back on 2006 one cannot ignore the rise of racism and the dissolution of the rule of law, both of which were paintfully manifested during Ambrus crisis. I’ve posted at lenght on this issue, so let it just be said that the matter is far from resolved. For the time being it seems that single-digit temperatures have cooled down the racist rage of the Ambrus population, but when the ice will have thawed time will be up for the government which will want to provide some sort of viable approach to ensuring that Slovenia will become a country of and for all of its people, regardless of ethnicity – which includes the Roma.

On that note: People seem to want simple and fast solutions these days, which is probably one of the reasons Janković got elected. Someone should be brave enough to tell them that simple and fast solutions often create just more of the same problems.


PROFESSION:
The Firm™ survived yet another year, which I’m very proud of. The media market in Slovenia is a true dog-eat-dog world and just having survived for four years is good, but having finally picked up the pace in increasing number of visitors/users/listeners proves, that we were right all along and that our programming and other services perform their respective functions. Just a quick example. In January 06 the Firm’s website recorded 9690 visits, while in November (last full month as of this writing) the number of unique visitors jumped to 83.500 visits.

I continued writing for SBR, which can sometimes be time consuming, especially when I don’t have the foggiest what the fuck I’m writing about. It happened when I was given medicine as a subject of my article and I virtually pissed blood for a month (much like on the two projects I’m finishing now). But in the end it turned out to be an excellent article and I was even commended for it by dr. Vinko V. Dolenc, the world renowned neuro-surgeon, which was kind of nice.

I also returned to Cutty Sark Pub as a DJ after becoming single again (see below) as I quit the year befoe in the name of love. I missed the place, and although it can be a bit frustrating at times when people don’t respond to music, I still love working there. The staff are great, they know how to pour a Guinness and when people start really partying it trully is a sight to see.


PERSONAL:
Well, I became single again this year. As of February Pengovsky is on the market 😀 I met a couple of really fine women since then (one in particular) but it never came to developing a deeper relationship. I got used to being single, but there are two things about it I don’t like: 1) even if you solve your own problems, you still need someone intimate to talk to – and there is noone, and 2) you don’t get laid as much as you’d like to. True, I also fucked up this year at one point but I’ve only myself to blame for that one, so I hope she forgave me.

And of course, I started writing this very blog. 😀


OVERALL:
It was a year to remember, no doubt. But so much happened that I have the feeling I’ve been living it on fast-forward. Of course I’m tired accordingly. Both physically and emotionally. And there’s no indication that 2007 will be a lot different. Whether it was a good year or a bad one, remains to be seen, but my gut instinct teels me that this year was not one of the brightest. I just hope were not headed for a political, economic, military and social trainwreck. Globaly, I mean.

Drle-groove

It’s been a long time since an email made me laugh out loud. But ths one just cracked me up. Our beloved president spreading peace on Earth and goodwill toward mankind. Now all I need is a semi-competent musician and we can make a video 🙂

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Just some thoughts on Janez Drnovšek, a.k.a. “Drle”:

I’m glad he’s our president. Not because of his Movement, which (full disclosure) I am a member of, but because he does present a certain degree of uncertainty in Slovene politics, which breeds fresh and unconventional thinking, necesary for society as a whole to move forward. When Drnovšek is gone (I still mantain that we are about to have Slovenia’s first state funeral some time soon), this country will fall into the abbys of carefully staged public and press events, with the tendency to amass power in a single pair of hands going on in the background.

Right now Janez D. and the Constitutional Court are the only two instances which help maintain a democratic division of power. With Drle gone, the Constitutional Court will find it hard to maintain independence on its own as its members are proposed by the President and elected by the Parliament. So we might just as well enjoy Drnovšek as long as we have him.

Oh and one final note: I definitely don’t like the way he mixes his movement with his presidency. He should keep the two separate and if he can’t, then he must choose between leading the Movement and leading Slovenia. The way things stand now, he’s loosing credibitily on both counts.

Some random useless facts

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A random image from random-art.org


Just some useless facts to keep your brains occupied until the next shot of skin, meat or the occasional policial rant

“Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand and “lollipop” with your right. (Bet you tried this out on your keyboard, didn’t you?)
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple. (didn’t know that one)
“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”. (unbelievable!)
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. (Just look at prince Charles!)
The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet. (Everyone who ever installed a copy of Windows knows this)
The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes). (Childish, I know)
There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. (Hm, gotta check that one out)
There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.” (don’t go “a e i o u” on me now, please!)
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out)
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear. (really?)
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (Just like me in the mornings)
A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. (A Brit must have thought of this one)
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon. (WHAT?)
Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors. (and became the honorary member of the hairdessers guild, no doubt)
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite! (so peanut butter is like…. plastic explosives?)
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. (Good thing he did that)
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid. (if it happened today, Janez Janša and Urška Bačovnik would be quick to climb the frozen waterfall)
There are more chickens than people in the world. (And some of the latter are already defecting)
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance. (no wonder he was a drunkard – must have scarred him emotionally)


And now one in Slovene:
Katera slovenska beseda vsebuje pet “e”-jev? (presenečenje vam ne uide)

Požar is out!

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Obviously a fake front-page of today’s Direkt (by Pengovsky)


As of yesterday the notorious Bojan Požar is no longer Editor-in-Chief of Direkt tabloid newspaper. One might argue why spend a single keystroke on an editor of a tabloid, since their kind are a dozen a dime. But Bojan Požar is the embodiement of the “Dark side of the Force” of Slovene journalism. He is roumoured to have files on every VIP, wannabe and has-been in Slovenia. Much like Sid Hudgens, the murky journalistic character played by Danny DeVito in L.A. Confidential (off the record, on the QT and very hush-hush).


The official reason for Požar’s dismissal is the failure to reach an agreement on his contract for 2007. Direkt is published by Dnevnik media corporation, whose flagship newspaper Dnevnik took somewhat of a beating when the latest circulation numbers were published. The real reason might be both financial and political. Direkt is roumored to fare quite badly at the newsstands, well below the expected sales. On the political scale of things, however, Bojan Požar might have become to much of a liability for Dnevnik media house.


Namely: Dnevnik newspaper is trying very hard to become the leading newspaper in Slovenia, dully spending ludicrous amounts of money for star journalists like Ervin Hladnik Milharčič, Ali H. Žerdin, Uroš Škerl, Rok Praprotnik, Bojan Veselinovič, et cetera. Adding them to other influential journalists like Vesna Vukovič, Meta Roglič, Sonja Vogrič and Vito Avguštin, Dnevnik became a star-studded newspaper. These people cost money, as do all the other journalists whose star has yet to shine – although I’m sure none of them will become rich just writing for Dnevnik. But it is imperative that Dnevnik cleans up its act and slowly gets rid of a dirt-mongering scandal-rag. It is also possible that getting rid of Požar was a price to pay for non-interference by the government, which must be getting increasingly annoyed by Dnevnik’s ever-sharper articles, especially in its Saturday edition.


Anyways, Požar is no more. Personally I won’t miss him. I never much cared for tabloid journalism, especially of Požar’s type, because I constantly got the impression that he was in somebody’s service. I mean, I know people can be just mean, but with several of Požar’s articles (even while still with Slovenske novice), Slovene journalism hit rock-bottom. And again. And again.


But being gone from Direkt doesn’t mean that Požar is gone for good. I’m sure that he will resurface somewhere else. He might try to convice Rupert Murdoch to invest in Slovenia. Who knows. With his files and expertise in collecting information while still in the Central Committee of the Communist Party (I’m told he was in charge of following German media) I’m sure he still hasn’t outlived his usefulness to the Dark Side. Be it left- or right-oriented.


I wonder what Jonas would say 🙂

The Game

The rules of the Game are simple: every once in a while Pengovsky will post a couple of paragraphs of fiction on any chosen subject. The commenters (henceforth the players, and yes, that means YOU!) will then continue the story with as little or as much addition as they see fit.

-Anyone can play the game, regardeless of how many or how few addition he/she makes.

-When a comment is published it becomes a part of the story and must be taken into account by other players when they continue the thread.

-All comments are valid except those which Pengovsky will deem intended to destroy the thread of the story. Such comments will be promptly deleted (if they are not deleted immediately, players can freely ignore them). Pengovsky will notify the players of deletion via comment.

-Any non-story related comment must be preceeded by letters “N.B.” (nota bene).

-When a player would like to end a story, he must start his addition with “Proposed ending:”. The ending is accepted either by other players or by Pengovsky.

So, here it goes:

###############

THE GAME


One thing Sam Drinkalot never quite understood was, where do all the cabs go at night. This part of town sure as hell don’t got no garages, he thought and the Russkies ain’t lettin’ ’em operate nowhere but downtown. But there he was, on the corner of Braun and Fifth and no a single friggin’ cab in sight.


A gang of wiggas was nearing him by, trying to look mortifyingly mean, but at 2.30 AM he was way to tired to play hide and seek, so he took his gun from the holster and put in his overcoat pocket, making sure the kids saw it. They froze for a split second, then scrambled across the street, disappearing in the nearest strip-joint. Jesus, what a town. People don’t even know how to conduct a decent robbery anymore.


Walking. The process of a controlled fall, putting one leg in front and hoping the other one will follow. So far he’s been lucky in that department. True, he did get one in the knees with a baseball bat back in ’92 but the upside was that he got layed with a nurse and most of all he got to meet Lynn. Or maybe was that a downside? A smile crept across his face, either way.



N.B.: Well, let’s see what happens next! 🙂