Now This Is What I Call Good Television

The setting: Slovene state television, Monday night’s prime time slot.
The players: On one side, Boško Šrot of Laško Brewery and Igor Bavčar of Istrabenz and economists Bogomir Kovač and Jože Mencinger on the other.
Hiding in ambush: Zoran Janković, mayor of Ljubljana and former CEO of Mercator retail chain
The question: Are Šrot and Bavčar selling Mercator because they’re in deep financial doo-doo as a result of a credit crunch and should the state buy Mercator back.
Statement of the day: Boško Šrot: “I’m not blackmailing the state. It would be blackmail if I said that I’m selling Mercator to a foreign owner if the regulators continue to terrorise Laško. But I’m selling after a careful consideration, because regulators continue to terrorise Laško


The fact that Boško Šrot and Igor Bavčar appeared on TV screens together speaks volumes. Either that the crisis is hurting them bad and they can no loger protect their position with money but have to resort to PR instead, or that they think that with Janez Janša gone, they’ll be operating in a friendlier media climate.

Well, the latter was definitely not the case. The show was interesting but not brilliant. The moderator held her own, but there was precious little being said that we did not already know about. And then she cued in mayor and former CEO of Mercator Zoran Janković, whose appearance visibly upset both Šrot and Bavčar. Zoki (who was implicitly labeled as a good guy in this story) did not say anyhing new either, but it was clear that neither Šrot nor Bavčar expcted him to be on the show. Even more: while I cannot say this for certain, I can totally imagine that both Šrot and Bavčar appeared under condition that Janković is nowhere near the studio. Well, he wasn’t. He was patched through via a videolink.

This is true television. Grill your guests on live TV and when they think they’re in the clear, drop a bomb.

Of course, the Mercator affair is highly political and yesterday’s show would not have been possible before the elections and quite possibly not after the new government is sworn in. Thererore it is only obvious that it was done during interregnum, when Janša’s goverment is no longer a factor and Borut Pahor‘s goverment still hadn’t become one. This is one of the better examples why RTVSLO should be purged of political influences: this way RTVSLO could actually produce wathcable and relevant content.

I want some more…

P.S.: Sorry about yesterday’s MMM (or the lack thereof). Things just kept – well – popping up! :mrgreen:

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

53 thoughts on “Now This Is What I Call Good Television”

  1. Bovina sancta! You felt the need to explain to your trusted and educated readership such a lovely latin word as “interregnum”? Deus misereatur!!!

  2. Ha! Don’t you Latin me, young man! 😀 Not everyone reading this has had the benefeit of a classical education (or its closest approximation in the 90s :))

    Besides. It is a lovely word, isn’t it? I thought it would be a nice gesture to link to it 😉

  3. Don’t you “young man” me, you younger man! 🙂 But otherwise I guess you are right in the fact that the days when Latin quotes needn’t be translated even in popular press are over. Though some of the basic concepts and phrases should nevertheless remain a part of general knowledge besides all of the IT lingo.

  4. In any case, it’s still an improvement on the internet newspeak we’ve all come to use these days, isn’t it, lol? Quod erat demonstrandum. :mrgreen: And last night’s show was perhaps some sort of ‘timeo televisiones et dona ferentes’ for Srot and Bavcar? 😉

  5. Very good dr. Arf, it definitely seemed that way from the perspective of those two guys, while Zoki, however, appeared rather somewhere along the lines of “Reddite Zoki quae sunt Zokis” vendetta style.

  6. OK, now I’m annoyed. I try to post a comment but no dice. I try to post it again and am told that a duplicate post has been detected. I’m not happy.

    One more time (I’m now not sure it’s worth it!).

    @ Luka & Mr. P: You’re not going to like this.

    The stupidity of British politicians, eh?

  7. Well guys, can’t you notice the female absence in your highly cultured and refined conversation!!?? Our regnum feels deeply hurt by the lack of MMM this week after the increased expectations of last week’s MMM.

  8. My dear Deer, how can you, in face of such inspiring and learned debate, still think about such profanities as naked male bodies?? Don’t you realize that “Homo doctus in se semper divitias habet”?

    pengovsky, which Carthago did you have in mind?

  9. @DearDeer & Luka: Hummm, can’t seem to find her picture 😀

    @all: Please note Adriaan’s comment @ 2:41 pm, which was salvaged from today’s heap of spam.

  10. @ Luka : you’re absolutely right, it was a clear case of ‘Zoki ante portas’ to those two. And P., are you gearing up for the Fourth Punian War, perhaps? Dignus est intrare in some cases, but I, too, am wondering which Carthago you have in mind… 😉

  11. @Luka: Don’t you consider your inspiration is at high when your body and mind (including oculi) are well fed? I’ve just figured out your regnum benefited from the FF muse while mine didn’t. And yes, I do prefer to enrich myself with a wise and smart homo whome I would be ready to travel along this life acknowledging momento mori. Nevertheless, homo sum humani nihil a me alienum puto.

  12. Adriaan, WTF? (pardon my French this time). So such things can happen even in such noble and cultural places like UK? Mon dieu! And what in God’s name is the meaning of this:

    “Some local councils say using Latin is elitist and discriminatory, because some people might not understand it – particularly if English is not their first language.”

    Does that mean that we, poor non-English speakers, are even less educated and that even an innocent “vice versa” confuses our simple barbaric minds? Stultorum infinitus est numerus!

  13. @Dr. Arf: Thanks for the link. Yes that’s EXACTLY what I mean.

    @Luka: Thought you’d be “amused” by this. Remarkable isn’t it? Unless you lived in the UK in which case nothing would surprise you.

    “So such things can happen even in such noble and cultural places like UK?”: Been here recently? Or just being ironic?

    Although I’m not surprised, I find the decision ridiculous and completely out of touch with reality. Disregarding the benefits of learning the subject for a moment, it’s plain that many phrases have become absorbed into English and are used naturally. Their banning makes the language poorer.

    And yes you’re right, it is patronising to assume that people who don’t have English as a first language cannot grasp the meaning of a few latin words in context.

  14. @Luka & Adriaan : That kind of attitude doesn’t really surprise me, as the U.K.’s class system is still largely intact, as is their disdain for anything foreign, which is most prevalent in the upper classes. Because of my native speaker status I am largely exempt from this kind of behaviour, but being an exception to the rule doesn’t make it any more right.

    And while we’re on the subject : I’ve known a few people round these parts (my immediate surroundings, not this blog of course) that use their knowledge of Latin to exemplify their intellectual standing in society. Which I think is rather sad and more a display of insecurity, rather than intellectual properties. Fallit imago.

  15. @Dr. Arf: I’m not sure about the class/foreigner concept. While it’s absolutely true that the class system exists, even if now a bit watered down and that the British can be effect disdain for things “foreign” I’m not entirely sure this is an example of that. If anything it’s an example of the politically correct culture gone mad i.e. (sorry!) not wanting to offend or exclude anyone.

  16. @Adriaan, well, there has always been a tendency of keeping one’s subjects (should I even use this word, I mean it’s English but of Latin origin) as ignorant (hm, this one too) as possible (another one). This sounds just like one of “let’s make them even stupider” measures.

    @Dear Deer, sure, I give you that, it was just that your first intervention (shit, can’t get rid of them) was exclusively (this one too) carnal (damn, again) so I had the impression (another one?) you didn’t care at all about the intellectual (ok, I am giving up) component. So please go on and enjoy freely what us men have to offer besides our Latin. As I always use to say: Coito ergo sum! (no, it’s not a typo)

  17. @Luka: I’m not sure the council concerned are smart enough to have come up with this gambit. I reckon they thought they were being “helpful”, rather like those people who think it’s a good idea to get rid of punctuation (because it’s complicated) or not worry too much about spelling (ditto – blast you’ve got me at it now).

  18. @Adriaan: Topic-shmopic 😀 Please, you guys go ahead. I just wish I could participate more, but it’s a tough day at the office…

  19. Well, as for me, in my part of the world the time has come for me to retreat from this lovely debate until tomorrow morning, so I’ll just add before I leave that, Adriaan, I mostly agree with you and that my answer to this can only be: “Sic transit gloria mundi!”

    (P.S. DearDeer, you don’t necessarily have to benefit from the FF muse, just read Asterix 🙂 )

  20. @ Adriaan : point well taken and Luka’s not wrong in his assessment (another word derived from Latin :wink:).

  21. @Luka, Adriaan and Dr. Arf: That’s man thinking… a woman never stop to exist if she cannot do it anylonger. Very disappointed…

  22. @DearDeer: What have I done? I’m puzzled (not for the first time). I might have to have a good sit down.

  23. And I fail to see where I come into this, DearDeer, and what exactly you mean by man thinking in regard to my comments, which I believe had nothing to do with MMM or any of your comments today? Equally puzzled here…

  24. The way you have welcomed Luka’s misspelling???? Adriaan envying him for not having thought in advance “ditto – blast you’ve got me at it now”??? and Dr. Arf for the way in which you try to compliment his inspired (I have to admit) misspelling. You can argue but I feel a trace of misoginism!!!???

  25. Misspelling? I take it you meant the comment towards you? I wasn’t referring to that. I was agreeing with “@Adriaan, well, there has always been a tendency of keeping one’s subjects (should I even use this word, I mean it’s English but of Latin origin) as ignorant (hm, this one too) as possible (another one). This sounds just like one of “let’s make them even stupider” measures.”, as it was directed at a comment Adriaan made on my latest reply and not the debate you seem to have going with Luka. Sorry if I gave that impression, but my reaction wasn’t about that at all.

  26. @DearDeer: You’ve got me even more confused now (I did say I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box, didn’t I?).

    I don’t quite see how my “ditto” comment leaves me open to an accusation of misogyny and for the record I didn’t envy Luka’s amusing references just in my answer wished to point out how normally one interpolated Latin phrases into English usage.

    If you don’t mind me saying so, you might be seeing ghosts where there are none. Perhaps we were “talking” at cross purposes?

  27. Reading Luka exclaim “Bovina sancta!” gave me a rather unwanted mental image of Batman’s sidekick Robin in a toga…

  28. @DearDeer: Chill 🙂 I really don’t think you can accuse any of the three gentlemen of misognism. If anything, Luka’s comment was self-derogatory.

    @Luka: agent provocateur! 😀

    @Adriaan & dr. Arf: What’s wrong with man thinking 😉

  29. There’s nothing wrong with man thinking. Man boobs, however… :mrgreen: I think we best leave the mammalial protrusions (both words derived from Latin :P) to women, as they wear them a lot more gracefully, as is evidenced – tastes may vary per case; de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum est – by the weekly FF… 😉

  30. I am the first in line to defending the use of Latin since I speak the dialect which preserves the highest percentage of Vulgar Latin. But one should see the issue in the given context. As one living in UK, Adriaan said he is not surprised by the decision but he contradicts himself immediately by saying that the decision is “completely out of touch with reality”. It is my opinion that it is precisely the way the brits see democracy and human rights. The City Council deals with honorable British citizens of Indian and Pakistani native origin, to name just a few, who have no idea of the Latin interference into the English language they had learned as a second language. This is the way I explain myself why a e.g. is confused with an egg. By the way, e.g. is not even Latin, it is the abreviation of “example given”, which in Latin is “id est” (i.e.). So that from my perspective the decision is not directed towards “Barbarians” (avis Luka) but to help those who the brits care. And they need to show they do care about being understood by the tax payers!
    @pengovsky: Thanks for your approach! I feel more confortable now.

  31. @DearDeer: I don’t believe I did contradict myself when I said that I wasn’t surprised but that the council’s actions were “completely out of touch with reality”. How exactly are these ideas contradictory? I have never believed that exclusion is a positive thing, even in language and it should be remembered we were talking about Latin that is NATURALLY used in English rather than esoteric phraseology.

    I agree that the council could have sent a reminder to all its public facing departments to take more care with the language used when dealing with the public (such as the use of simple English words rather than legalese) but I don’t agree with a blanket edict that takes no account of the relative merits of each phrase or word.

    I’m intrigued with your statement that “it is precisely the way the brits see democracy and human rights”. Would you care to explain this further so that I may understand your argument better?

  32. I see the party continued after I had retreated for my daily dose of beauty sleep. Here’s something in lieu of early morning hangover.

    Dear Deer, first I have to say that I should be the sole object of your disappointment since I believe that Adriaan and dr. Arf have actually in no way aligned with my inappropriate comment and perhaps may have even failed to notice it unlike your shrewd and more attentive feminine eye. So the blame is mine and mine alone. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

    On another topic, if you would forgive for my being so uncouth, I’d like to correct you on a small issue. I.e. of course is an abbreviation for, as you said, “id est” which stands in the place where in English one would say “that is”. E.g. however is equally Latin (and not English) abbreviation for “exempli gratia” which is used instead of “for example”. So they are actually not used with the same meaning at all.

    @Cornelius: My appologies to you too, I seem to keep dissaponting people today, but honestly I never realized Robin was using swear words with Indian flavour in them.

  33. The City Council deals with honorable British citizens of Indian and Pakistani native origin, to name just a few, who have no idea of the Latin interference into the English language they had learned as a second language.

    DearDeer, let me disagree with you, about those Indians and Pakistanis… They do learn and use something that is called Indian English nowadays, at least most of them, and one of its main characteristics is a certain obvious love for formal expressions. Logically, many of those will come from Latin.

    Pengovsky: I am disappointed at your handling of MMM, too. 🙂 I mean, of course there are days when you cannot post anything, but you could have done it the day after. Or, how about that: on Friday? Friday Female Fun? 😈

  34. @Luka: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Of course, you are right.
    @Adriaan: I know you are intelligent enough not to wait to elaborate on the issue of your interest. You already know the Brits way of thinking so let’s try follow your logic: first, you say that you are not surprised by the decision. Let’s stop a bit here. Why are you not surprised? Because, as I said, you understand (not necessarily accept) their way of thinking. Now, let’s go further: they are out of touch of reality. Well, may I ask, in the same logic, whose reality? Because if you understand them conditioni sine qua non is to live in their reality. So that according to their reality you were not surprised. The new issue here is that you want to influence their reality by your means.
    @Alcessa: according to whose logic?

  35. @DearDeer: Firstly thank you for taking the time to answer my question. That said, I still don’t see how I have contradicted myself; Those of us with experience of the workings of our lords and masters (I’m being ironic here), have certainly come to expect such ideas to be implemented. That they do so seems to me (and I’m sure many others) to bear little relation to the wishes the public at large.

    I must be honest here and say I really don’t understand your argument. Perhaps it’s because I’m just not intelligent enough to grasp its nuances. Perhaps because it just doesn’t make sense. Your argument is certainly deep and you use many fine words but to me, to coin a phrase, they “don’t add up to a hill of beans”.

  36. @Adriaan: populis versus individuus. You were so close to the core of the answer you have expected!

  37. @DearDeer: I’m sure your answer is very clever but I’m still at a loss as to how you think I’ve contradicted myself.

    Whilst I’m sure you don’t mean to patronise someone less intelligent than you unfortunately (for me) that seems to be what is happening.

    I ask again: How exactly did I contradict myself and, while we’re at it, when did I did I display a trace of misogyny?

  38. @Adriaan: I’ll explain you personnaly when my English standard will improve. Contentus?

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