The Game’s Afoot

Foto by Stane Jeršič,

And thus it begins… Ljubljana City Council convened for its first (and second) extraordinary session yesterday. The substance wasn’t all that much interesting unless you count raising parking fees from 100 SIT per hour to 0.60 € (SIT 144) per hour or if you hold a keen interest in City of Ljubljana filing an appeal with the Constitutional Court to strike down the ammended Law on Financing Municipalities which in effect reduces Ljubljana expected income by some 11 bln SIT (45,6 million €).

The fun part was watching the three-times-Maganer-of-the-year-award-winner Zoran Janković trying to control 45 people whom he can’t fire. He boldly announced that both sessions will take three hours altogehter, but instead the debate raged on for seven hours.

Janković learned a couple of things: Procedure is the basis of democracy. On at least two occassions he blatantly violated Rules of Procedure: If the Rules stipulate that a decree comes into effect a day after being published in the Official Gazzette, that means precisely that and cannot be read any other way. Zoran Janković however rammed through a decision (obviously invalid) that this particural decision – on forming a Committee for Sports – becomes valid upon its confirmation in the Council. From a legal point of view Ljubljana City Council now doesn’t have a Committee on Sports and its members are holding their positions illegally.

Secondly: If Rules allow a broad debate then the Councilors will use every millimeter of this broadness. That’s what democracy is for. The Rules stipulate that a Councilor must stick to the issue on debate, but the nature of a Councilor’s debate is entirely up to him/her. As is the length of the debate. As expected, Miha Jazbinšek took full advantage of this, contributing at least an hour and a half of a seven-hour session.

Thirdly: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. Janković apparently takes great many things personally. He will have to let certain things go, otherwise he will keep getting involved in a pointless exchange of words, whose only aim is to throw the Mayor off guard. Yesterday several Councilors succeeded in doing that.

Janković will have to learn these things by heart since he has set out to complete his twenty-two projects in four years. Yesterday’s session lasted for seven hours. I wonder how long the budgetary session will take? And even if he manages to ammend the Rules, imposing a time-limit on debate, he will have to brace himself for a fiery hell when he will try to ram a decision through the Council. And I see no way of limiting the sessions to below five-to-six hours. Not with all the projects he has set out to complete.

2006 in review

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 😀

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.

Veseli december

It’s that time of the year, again…. 😀

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…

Pengovsky in his natural state – seriously drunk

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