Archive for May, 2005

Success – her own way

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

We live in such civilized times that driving a car, paying with a credit card, or receiving a computerized exam in a modern hospital are normal. We do not consider how we would function if these “luxuries” were suddenly unavailable. Our busy lifestyles, that we are so use to, do not allow us to undertake such reflections. We never face dangers or struggles that are above our means. We live utilizing all available resources in life, and complain when they are in shortage. But somewhere far away, in what seems like a different dimension, like in a book about a wild tribe, are people who also need to survive. There people live an existence that differs greatly from ours. People, who like us, need food, clothing, and medicine. On occasion, someone discovers this different world that we only know from publications and television. The two worlds collide, first with shock, then with acceptance after seeing how much they are in need. (more…)

Polish Jokes

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

On April 12, 2005, The Plain Dealer published an article entitled Be yourself and laugh at hearty ‘Polish Joke,’ written by Tony Brown.  In reviewing David Ives’ play Polish Joke, Mr. Brown wrote that “big laughs and even bigger kielbasa are the rewards for those venturing (…) for the hilarious area premiere of David Ives’ excoriating satire…”  We learn from the review that the play contains lots of jokes that “deprecate and insult” those who trace their origin to Poland.  And there are “a few snide references about the Vatican as well.”

Apparently, “the point of the play is one of self-acceptance, of being comfortable with who we are.”  This statement by itself sounds unoffending.  However, Mr. Brown gives us some hint what our self-acceptance should entail by including in his article one special quote from the play. “All Polish jokes are true,” proclaims his favorite and the only quote from David Ives’ work.  Apparently according to Mr. Brown, this self-acceptance simply means that we have to accept that we are stupid.  Such explicit public message would be considered offensive if directed at any ethnic group.  We also learn from Mr. Brown’s review that the play includes a nurse who strips down to negligee in the colors of the Polish flag, and that a partition map of Poland is on display during the performance. (more…)