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:

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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! 🙂

Censorship?

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This country never ceases to amaze… Thanks to nymphee the Gušti Affair caught my attention.

To summarise: Disctric Court in Ljubljana ordered Gušti and SiOL to take down a post where Gušti shared his impression and encouters with Ana Jud. She was rather displeased with the contents of the post and filed a suit against Gušti and SiOL. A part of the suit was also a motion to temporarily take down the post until the issue has been resolved. In Slovene legal terminology this is called začasna odredba, something like a temporary order

A temporary orded is a legal instrument which can be filed by the plaintiff in order to prevent any (further) damage that might occur in the period between his/her filing of the suit and the final rulling of the court. In this case Ana Jud apparently claims that the contents of the post amounted to slandering and sued the man.

While Pengovsky is not a lawyer he is rather familiar with the Law on media and the judicial practice on slander-cases. Now, Ana Jud’s motives are questionable at best and the contents the post in question are in my opinion quite harmless, but the case raises several interesting questions:

1.) Is there a difference between a blog post and one’s private personal opinion?
2.) Can a blog be treated as a media?
3.) Is the owner of a blog responsible for its contents?
4.) Is the owner of the server (or blogging service) responsible for any and all blog contents is services?
5.) Does this temporary order amout to censorship?

The Law on Media does indeed regulate web publications or web media. While inherently different fromy “traditional” media, the web media must conform to the same rules and procedures as any other media. I.e.: They must be registered with Ministry of Culture, which includes an appointed Editor-in-Chief. But what about a blog? Is blog a mass-media?

In a way – yes. It is intended to be read by other people. It is in fact no different than a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a radio or television.

But in a way – no. It is not a mass-media product as such. It is not distributed, it does not have an editor-in-chief as the owner is ussually (but not always) the sole writer, it does not necesarily publish regurarly, the author’s identity is not necesarily known, et cetera… From this perspective a blog is much more like a book than a newspaper. The closest analogy is of course some sort of public “personal diary” – which is also a book. And some diaries even get published.

Thus, we’ve shown that a blog (singular) is exempt from the Law on Media, because it lacks features that media in Slovenia must have to call themselves media – the most notable of all being that a blog is not registered with the Ministry of Culture.

The story is somewhat different for the blogging service provider (in this case SiOL). This particular provider runs a variety of other services as well and IS registered with Ministry of Culture. As far as I know, SiOL blogging service even has an editor-in-chief which means that Marko Crnkovič is in not-so-shallow doo-doo as he is legally responsible for any and all content of SiOL blogs.

Thus we have answerd items number 1, 2 and 4. A blog post is not strictly one’s private opinion, but one’s private opinion which has been made public. But while a blogging service must conform to Law on Media, an individual blog needn’t.

Now: is the owner of the blog responsible for its contents? In short: yes. Everyone is (except under-aged persons) is fully responsible for opinions they make public. If I were to go to a park, take a lung-full of air and started yelling that Ana Jud is a pompous bitch who doesn’t know her mouth from her cunt it would be the same as if I posted that very same sentence. Either way I made my opinion public and must take responsibility for it. It can be considered slander unless I can prove otherwise in a court of law, should she make the mistake of sueing me. Item number 3 is thus dully aswered

But the real question is: does this amount to censorship? No. Not from a legal point of view, at least. This is a classic case of one person’s freedom of speech clashing with another person’s right to personal integrity. Again – I’m not saying that Ana Jud actually has a case. But neither is the court saying that. What the court did was just temporarily suspend the publishing of this particular blog entry until the matter has been resolved. And should it emerge that Ana Jud acted in bad faith, Gušti and SiOL will definitely have a case agains her.

Censorship is by definition imposed by the same entity which feels threatned by a certain content. Thus – were Ana Jud by any chance SiOL’s editor in chief and had she forced Gušti to take down the post, that would be censorship. But the court’s decision is (again) temporary and was delivered (presumably) upon due consideration. One must know that in a civil suit the burden of proof lies with the defendant (and not with the accuser) so in court’s view Ana Jud’s claims have merit thusfar.

And one more thing: One of the earliest issues of Direkt ran a story about Dora Plestenjak supposedly molesting her grandchild. The Plestenjak family did exactly the same as Ana Jud did – they filed a motion for a temporary order, preventing most copies of that particular issue ever reaching the stands, and then filed suit against Bojan Požar and Direkt.

The lesson: While blogs are created by private citizens, they can have public consequences and are not exempt from the law. It is just sickening that an excellent musician ends up at the wrong end of stick held by a below average would-be reporter.

To-Nite Only…

…Pengovsky steps out from the darkness. Given the brouhaha about photos in general and my physical appearance in particular two days ago I decided to post a couple of photos of me, myself and I. Tonite only, folks! After this, Pengovsky returns to the dark side… Let this post be a testament to the fact that I indeed write better than I look (sorry, mali!)


Pengovsky in 2001. Young and foolish.
And in love, might I add. Alas, it wasn’t to be


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My favourite, taken in 2004. I’m the one on the left 🙂
(thanks kk and Večer)


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The most recent one, taken a week ago. Slightly older, but none the wiser.
However, if you look closely, you might just see a touch of grey hair


That’s all, folks! 🙂 “…he wraps his cloak around him dramatically, disguising his face and slowly reenters the darkness from whence he came….”

Veseli december

It’s that time of the year, again…. 😀

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Ljubljana on a December night (source)

From December 3rd to January 2nd Ljubljana’s Old City will be filled with fast food joints, čevapdžinicas, makeshift bars and stands selling generally useless stuff. Except for slippers, which are highly useful, especially if one has – like Pengovsky – only recenlty moved into his new appartement and has yet to buy slippers (or copati) for visitors and has to, when people come to see him, utter the sentence “no, please, don’t take your shoes off” thus defying decades of tradition and upbringing, whilst every fibre in his body reacts with utmost disgust and shame, yelling “is THAT how mother taught you???


But upbringing aside, December is arguably one of the best months to see Ljubljana. Not just because the city centre is so lovely lit that people should actually be issued an emergency supply of insuline upon arrival, just to cope with the mooshines Ljubljana in December tends to bring up in an unsuspecting individual, but people in general go a bit bananas. Not in the Ausländer-raus-kind-of-way, but just beeing predominantly in a good mood and generaly drunk, with honney schnapps and kuhano vino being everybody’s favourite. (Yes, I still don’t know the English expession for “kuhano vino”… Michael, help!!!).

The lights will be officially switched on by Mayor Janković tomorrow at 17.30, and then the fun begins, so take a look at the programme and decide what’s your pleasure.

BTW: it has been unofficially confirmed to Pengovsky that Zoki has had a major say in the final outcome of the programme. Apparently he decided that Danijela, Petar Grašo, Gibonni and Oliver Dragojević should give performances, and so they will. For better or for worse 😉


I will try to report on the events in the Old City as they are within earshot of the Firm™, but don’t hold it against me if I don’t since I just might end up like on the bottom picture…

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Pengovsky in his natural state – seriously drunk