Broadcasting since 2002 and still going strong…

Pengovsky’s workplace – featuring the legendary AKG-K141 headphones

The Firm™ celebrated it’s fourth anniversarry yesterday. While the concept of a multimedia (or convergent) radio was brewing in our heads as early as 2001, we didn’t have it on paper until early-2002 and it took another six months to set up the company as a legal entity and put together a team of enthusiasts. Most of the legal wrangling was done by El Presidente™ for Pengovsky was just an undergraduate greenhorn back then. We did a test run on an IT event called Interinfos, then shut down for about fourteen days in order to move all the equipement to our present location and have all the communications set up. But on November 21st 2002 we started broadcasting – and have been ever since.

As I intend to keep this post short (the Official History of the Firm™ is yet to be written) I would only like to put down a couple of things I have learned in the last four years:

Never go in business with your family. Ever. While El presidente™ rocks and has incredible managerial and financial skills the project did put a lot of strain on our relationship. Grief neither of us needed.
A line in a PHP script always ends with a semicolon;
Private enterprise in Slovenia sucks. I love my job, but it will not make me rich and/or famous and as I work 12+ hours a day it makes the prospect of a “normal” family life a rather distant one.
When you try to sell an idea always make the other party sign a non-disclosure agreement (this one I learned very painfully).
Cable operators sometimes tend to abuse their local monopolies (as also witnessed by this incident).
Most of Slovene journalists have absolutely no idea how to do the job properly and have a criminally short memory. Kudos to the selected few who constantly save the face of the profession. Hopefully someday I will have achieved that status.
There is a difference between objectivity and neutrality.
System administrators are species that live in a dusty part of the LAN network and ingest only beer
If you want to do your job professionally, never put all of your eggs in one basket. If you step on somebody’s toe and he/she knocks over one basket, you’ve still got at least one more. Maybe not as full and beautiful as the first one, but it makes starting over much more easier.
Only spineless editors and journalist are prone to political influence. There are many in Slovenia, but that many
Dimitrij Rupel is an idiot and an international menace.
The study of journalism on FDV should be made a post-graduate study exclusivelly. I’m not a journalist by education, but the cadre that is produced by FDV is awful: Overambitious, overzealous, overopinionated and without the foggiest about what media is really about or about the subject of their supposed reporting
Any given cable is always 20 centimetres too short
The food at the Prime Minister’s New Year banquet is awful
Boštan at the City Hall makes the best coffee in town (sadly his place is not open to public)
Geonavtik makes the best publicly available coffee in town
All journalists are either chain-smokers and drunks or right-wingers or on the verge of becoming either of the two

I would not have learned these things without the help of the following people who have my eternal gratitude for being a part of this project at its various stages (some of them even more than once):
Boštjan (a.k.a. Voja Brajović, Veliki Beštijan), Greciozo, Igor (who first put together our webpage), Rollo Tomassi, Mojca, Neža, Ajda, Katarina, Janja, Urša, Brigita, Katja, Matej, Gospod Ravnatelj (formerly of Gama MM), as of late also Luka and Goran, and of course El presidente™. I just hope I gave something back to these people (besides ulcers and ocassional fits of rage)

That said, there are things that need to be done as soon as possible:

overhaul the webpage
promote the mobile webpage
hell, promote the entire Firm™!!!
update and edit the musical database so that the music played by the computer will stop suffering from a manic-depressive dissorder (i.e.: going from absolutely faboulous to Radio Center-like)
update the English page regularly
finally get an FM frequency in Ljubljana
finally get some vacation
listen more to RSI (100,8 MHz in Ljubljana)

Damn! It was a long post afterall…..

Skrokani župan

Huda je županska, huda… Pretekli četrtek je Zoki zaprisegel kot župan Ljubljane, dan kasneje, se pravi v petek (17. novembra), pa se je zgodila tudi primopredaja poslov – po domače: Danica se je izselila iz Magistrata, Zoran pa je pritekel v Hribarjevo sobo. No, bolj privlekel, kot je razvidno iz teh fotk

17112006003.jpg 17112006006.jpg
Prva županska noč je očitno pustila posledice…Malo po deveti zjutraj v petek je Zoki komaj gledal.. 🙂

No, res je tudi, da Zoran ni bil edini, ki je imel za seboj težko noč. Če je bilo soditi po glasu Janija Möderndorferja, je človek prejšnjo noč skadil dosti več kot škatlico cigaret, hehe
V primerjavi z Zoranom je Danica prav blestela. Kako tudi ne bi, saj bo zdaj še tri mesece vlekla župansko plačo, ki ni majhna. Če bi bil jaz na njenem mestu, bi šel za mesec dni nekam v tople kraje


“Anti-Gypsy” wall somewhere in Eastern Europe.
Slovenia is saying: “I have to get me one of those!”

Contrary to popular belief Slovenia was never a text-book example of ethnical or religious tolerance. Or any other kind of tolerance for that matter. Kind of hard to be tolerant when 90 percent of population is of Slovene ethnicity (there is a huge difference between ethnicity and nationality, as will be shown shortly) and when on average 75% of people are of Catholic faith (the number depends on wethwer Slovenia has a left-wing or a right-wing government) thus leaving very little room for other ethnicites and religions to develop and maintain their identity.

In mid-nineties a very interesting study was published which found that almost two thirds of Slovenes thought of themselves as tolerant. The same study, however, showed that more than 55,7% of Slovenes were intolerant towards the Serbs, almost 42% felt the same way about Croats and some 36% couldn’t stand the sight of Roma (commonly known as the Gypsies).
And that’s just intolerance in general…

When asked “who would you not like to have as your next-door neighbour”, almost 38 percent said they wouldn’t like to have a drug addict as their neighbour, 31 percent felt the same way about a homosexual person, 17 percent about Roma person, et cetera… Almost 9 percent of people would hate to have a Jew as their neighbour! (according to 1991 census 199 people declared themselves of Jewsih faith, and only 99 in 2002 – less than 0,1 of entire population of Slovenia!!!; source)

These numebrs had of course changed by 2006, at least as the anti-Serb sentimet is concerned, as it was fueled by the historical proximity of Slovene fight for independence and the attrocities commited by the Milošević regime in ex-Yugoslavia at the time. But the level of intolerance has not changed significantly, that – I’m sure of. The intolerance just refocused on other minorities.

In real life the religious intolerance is best seen by fierce opposition of Slovenes and a good proportion of their elected representatives to erecting a mosque in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital. The Firm(tm) has a relatively good archive on the issue (although it is slightly outdated now). But for an objective look on the issue, check out this story by the Beebs.

But the most recent example of not-so-well-hidden intolerance are the latest incidents in the municipality of Ivančna Gorica, some 20 kilometres outside Ljubljana, where a Roma family was evicted by the local majority population (i.e. Slovenes). Check out the story by the Int’l Herald Tribune for an impartial report.

The last paragraph of the said article is particularly telling: “There is a huge sense of relief,” said Sinkovec, the village president. “We have nothing against them. We just think they should be found somewhere else to live.”

It is the embodiment of the begginig of this post. Slovenes don’t think of ourselves as intolerant. We just don’t want anybody who’s different in any way to be living near us.

Now, the usual argument is that outsiders like me cannot know how it is like in Ivančna Gorica. EEEEERRRRR!!!! WRONG!!!! We sure as hell know! Almost every apartement building in Ljubljana – and I’m sure it goes for other cities as well – has at least one person whose only purpose in life seems to be to make life sheer hell for everyone in that particular building. But hey! We have to live with it? What am I suppose to do if Mr. V. from third floor pumps his turbofolk music way over the medically acceptable level at noon on Sundays? Should I knock down his door, light a bonfire in his living room and tell him to get the fuck out and never come back? I can’t really, can I? So I have to learn to live with it. And so should the people of Ivančna Gorica. That’s what being tolerant is all about.

Of course noone is asking them to tolerate crime, but as shown above this situation has grown beyong security and enviromental issues. Now, a person in guilty and a persona non grata simply because he/she is of Roma ethnicity. Which brings us to the next interesting question:

Ethnicity vs. Nationality

The Roma family is obvisously of Roma ethnicity. But they are Slovene nationals. How in the world is possible that this government refrains from using force when one or more of its citizens are in danger and are being denied basic human rights? The “us” vs. “them” dillema is artificial, as is artificial the notion than Slovenes are purely caucaisan Chatolics. But this is what drives the current anti-Roma sentiment – that they are not one of “us” and should be therefore removed.

But they are one of us. They deserve the same priviliges and are subject to the same duties as any other Slovene national. Should they happen to avoide those duties, the State is the only institution which can punish them. No one else. That’s why the instrument of due procress wasn developed: so that everyone would get the same treatment in front of any court. It seems however that the Roma are second-class citizens, who were stripped of most of their human rights, and – in the case of Roma family in Ivančna Gorica – of their land as well. Sounds much like they did it in Nazi Germany or during the period of hardcore communism in Slovenia – shortly after WWII.

Today, it’s the Roma. Tomorrow it will be Bosnias. Next – the atheists. Then the left wingers and liberals. Endlösung – the final solution to purge this country of any and all unwanted elements. The people of Ivančna Gorica might not see it that way and could very well be shocked by the notion of being compared to the Nazis. But that is what they’re doing. That is what this nation is capable of.

P.S.: I will undoubtedly have the sad opportunity to write some more on this issue. There are scores of issues this post doesn’t cover: The idleness of government(s) during the past three decades. The dissolution of the rule of law. The role of the current prime minister in fueling the anti-Roma sentiment two years ago, and so on – ad nauseam, I’m afraid. But fear not! Come Monday, there will be meat galore, yet again 🙂

P.P.S.: Why in English? I could say that this way more people will understand this post, but the truth is that Michael was bitching about my posts being all in Slovene so I want to give him a break – at least as long as Poulette doesn’t nail me to the cross for my terrible English 🙂

Yet Another Urban Legend Disproved

John Cleese

Potem, ko je Bush jr. drugič snedel volitve, sem nekje na netu našel dokument z naslovom “Revocation of independence“. Bojda naj bi ga spisal John Cleese, tole pa so nekateri bolj zabavni poudarki:

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections
You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up “aluminium.” Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’; skipping the letter ‘U’ is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters.

You will end your love affair with the letter ‘Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise.”

….in tako naprej…. Celotno besedilo (še enkrat) je tule.

A tudi ta urbana legenda se je razblinila. Ni bil John Cleese, pač pa neki Alan Baxter iz Rochestra, vsaj tako trdijo na Škoda sicer, ampak še vedno je zabavno

Political correctness

Zedinjena Slovenije
Tomaž Domicelj opeva točno ta zemljevid

Michael raised an interesting point yesterday….

Politična pravilnost oziroma “politična korektnost”, kot pogosto napačno prevajamo termin “politically correct”, mi je šla vedno bolj ali manj na qrac. Še posebej v njeni totalno degenerirani formi, ki jo najdemo čez Lužo – saj veste: Don’t say fat! It’s “horizontally challenged”.

Ampak Michaelov post mi je dal malo misliti… Kaj so nas učile pesmice, ki smo jih prepevali kot mulci? OK, Muca Maca je zaspanka, prava mačja Parižanka… Bejba je komot in razvajena ter totalno klepetava. Peca jo pol Mačjega mesta, ampak šteberji jo ne ganejo (veliki in učeni maček Miki). Takisto ne frizerji (ni popolnoma jasno, ali je Pepe, ki frizira mačje repe, gej – najbrž ne, sicer bi bil njen najboljši prijatelj). Bleferjem tudi ne naseda (Muc Mijalko govori in sploh ne neha). Kmetje in obrtniki tudi ne opravijo dosti (brkati Marko in Rigoleto z mišjo dreto). Potem pa uleti naš svobodni umetnik Maček Muri (ki po naročilu župana piše kroniko Mačjega mesta) in gresta z Maco na kosilo.

Dobro, za kroniste javnega življenja (like my humble self) je to morda spodbudna novica in upanje, da morda vendarle ne bomo večno samski, poleg tega pa pesmarica Maček Muri ni ravno sporna.

Gremo naprej: Danes so tako hudo “popularni” Romi. Se še spomnite glasbenika Pedenjpeda avtorja Nika Grafenauerja?

Danes smo si oddahnili.
Sviri sviri svirili,
mir je spet kot prejšnje dni.
Pedenjpedu je piščal
kar čez noč cigan ukral.
Svirilili, svirilili,
niso ga še izsledili.

“cigan” z malo. Kot “žid”. Rasni (etnični) predsodek? Gremo dalje: Andrej Šifrer in njegov legendarni “Martinov lulček“.

Martinov lulček je kot metuljček,
je kot metuljček, sredi trav.
Ko bo zrastel, ta mali lulček,
postal bo velik kot Triglav.

Utrjevanje mačizma? Does size really matter?… Hočete še? Tomaž Domicelj, Na gobec:

Zavpimo z vrha Triglava,
Kranjska center je sveta
od Pulja do Grossglocknerja
zopet bo Slovenija

Nacionalizem? Ekspanzionizem? Ali čista zajebancija na temo Zmaga Jelinčiča in njegovih?

Afterall – why the fuck should we care? Komad je komad – če bomo v vsakem verzu iskali subverzivna sporočila, jih bomo lahko našli. Sploh v tej državi, kjer znajo vsi, ki so danes stari nad 40 še kako dobro brati med vrsticami. Kar spomnite se komadov Parada ali pa Praslovan. Ampak ob Mačku Muriju je moja generacija gor rasla. Ob Juriju Muriju Toneta Pavčka smo spoznavali Afriko. Piko Nogavičko (to neprilagojenko) so nam starši brali za lahko noč. In Pedenjpeda smo se učili v šoli.

Če bomo resno začeli govoriti o “primernosti” literature bo tudi pri nas prišlo do podobnih bizarnosti kot v ZDA, kjer so organizacije temnopoltih (črncev, ha!) zahtevale umik knjige Huckleberry Finn Marka Twaina, ker uporablja besedo “nigger”.

Star čebelji pregovor pravi “ko pjeva, zlo ne misli” – čeravno to ne velja čisto v primeru Marka Perkovića – Thompsona in Jana Plestenjaka 🙂 Ampak na splošno gledano je po moje najslabša stvar, ki jo lahko naredimo to, da začnemo pazit na vsako besedo vsakega stavka. Kar seveda ne pomeni, da nam mora biti komad všeč ali pa, da se moramo z njim celo strinjati.

BTW: Če vas zanima – Domicelj se z besedilom komada ni zajebaval, ampak je z narodobuditeljstvom resno mislil.

P.S.: Če smo že pri branju med vrsticami – Robin Williams o spolni usmerjenosti animiranih likov