Linkage

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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18 Responses to Linkage

  1. That smudgy old font on the Vintage Sleaze sight is funny. Unreadable, but funny.

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  2. agnostic says:

    Croatia here, too. From the results I’ve seen on Facebook, it looks like most people get a country with a small population, not one of the major Western European nations.

    If you click around on the country profiles at the end of the quiz, they show Spain, Italy, Germany, etc., to be super-liberal and very a-religious. Not that there isn’t something to that, but the degree seems way off. Like, work ethic is the most important value to “Italians”? Puh-lease!

    So I’m guessing the data from large, major nations are from liberal extreme cities, since surveying the rabble out in the sticks would cost too much. Whereas in small populations, there’s less variation across urban vs. rural residence, so that surveying city folk isn’t so unrepresentative. When normal people take the quiz, they’ll end up looking like a small-pop country, not the liberal extreme of an urban elite in a huge country.

    Even if they just looked at urban residents, there’s too much regional variation in some of those countries, like Spain or Italy or Germany. “Spain” is listed as one of the most fag-friendly countries, so they probably surveyed Catalonia rather than Andalusia. So take these results with a grain of salt.

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  3. Toddy Cat says:

    Turkey. WTF!?!

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  4. Will S. says:

    Yeah, I got Turkey, too! Crazy. 🙂

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  5. Zelený drak says:

    I got the Czech Republic. This is funny because I moved to the Czech Republic some months ago exactly because it seemed the best match for me. Non-liberal and non-religious.

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    • When I posted this on Facebook, the most popular results among my friends were the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Denmark.

      So how’s life in the CR? It match your expectations?

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      • Zelený drak says:

        Yes it does. It may have to do also with living in Prague (nothing beats going to work over the Vltava in the morning with the castle barely visible in the fog). I don’t know if would like it as much somewhere else in the Czech Republic. There are a lot of lovely small towns (all with a small square with a column dedicated to Mary for help against a plague, and some baroque houses and churches) but there are also some really dreary places full of dusty and dirty non-nondescript buildings.
        I decided on this country because while it is west enough for the good things (developed economy, non-religious) is east enough to avoid in part modern liberal attitudes. There are a lot of lesbians in Prague but gay’s rights are not an important topic. Casual racism (from a western perspective) is everywhere and nobody likes the Roma (Gypsy). Feminism is a dirty word. Foreigners are not very well liked and the bureaucracy is quite challenging (at the foreign police office all the information is in Czech). People in general don’t care that much about the rest of the world so they are not so influenced by outside cultural trends.
        An unexpected thing is the ubiquity of nudity (female). I heard before but I was still surprised. You can see it on prime time TV on the national station (imagine BBC1), in summer in a lot of places and so on.
        There are, off course, things I don’t particularly like. There is too much tolerance for drug use (especially marijuana – everybody smokes it in high school), too many homeless people and too many slot machine places. Vegetables (like vowels) are almost unheard of (try to say this nice Czech word- zmrzlina).
        Czech girls are really lovely in the national women uniform (short skirt when the temperatures are between 0-40 degrees Celsius and some tight pants below 0, everybody from 7 years to 40 years dresses like this). I never knew I liked legs so much. At the same time from what I’ve seen from a distance (as I have a non-Czech girlfriend) they are unfaithful (everybody is here, you cannot read a Czech book or see any Czech movie were somebody is not cheating) and not very ladylike in a lot times.
        The beer is great; Prague is full of old buildings. What’s not to like?

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    • Fascinating comment, thanks. Feel free to drop by here whenever you like and let us know how things are going over there.

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      • Toddy Cat says:

        Sounds like Roissy, over at Chateau Heartiste, would love it. I would have probably liked the CR better when I was twenty or so, but it still sounds pretty nice.

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      • Zelený drak says:

        Thanks. I’m actually a long time reader. I was even following 2blowhards back in the day just that I usually don’t comment

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  6. agnostic says:

    We shouldn’t idealize the pro-casual-racist attitudes of Eastern Europe, if talk rarely translates into action. Look at how long the place has been infested with Gypsies. Or how long they were effectively ruled by a foreign ethnic administrative class, i.e. the Jews. They thrived the most in Prague, making up 1/4 of the population in the early 1700s; more lived there than anywhere else.

    Western Europe kicked out its Jews more or less for good (until the 19th or 20th centuries) in the Late Middle Ages, while the Slavs put up with them. That’s far more degrading than being militarily conquered by outsiders. Jews were more of a bureaucracy that had its hands on the levers of your daily life and well-being, not some military elite that you paid tribute or taxes to but were otherwise left alone.

    The Slavic way seems to be to put up with humiliation for centuries, and then act out a revenge fantasy for real (every 200 years or so), but then letting the parasites colonize the body all over again. And until the next pogrom, everyone just talks shit about the problem group but doesn’t do anything about it. It’s humiliating and demoralizing.

    Hence the spiritual black hole that the whole region is becoming — godless, joyless, and heartless. Everyone is looking out for Number One in all social interactions, the lack of fellow-feeling making it impossible to feel a sense of belonging. And pleasure and enjoyment have been replaced by fixes and vices — distractions that only provide a fleeting buzz, but no catharsis or lasting fulfillment, and which therefore must be constantly “indulged” in, like you were a rat in some twisted experimenter’s cage.

    Can it come as a surprise that the Weltanschauung holding that “man is a pointless spec in a cold uncaring universe” is so popular in the East? Or that they smile about as much as the Inscrutable Orientals?

    Come to think of it, who has ever romanticized Slavic Europe? We long for places with pastoral appeal: Ireland, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Provence, the Alps, even Transylvania.

    Hate to run on and on about this, but I’ve read too many idealizations of Eastern Europe and its tolerance for casual racist remarks (not action, though). If that’s your main thing, you can find that in Kentucky and still feel connected to your fellow man.

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    • Toddy Cat says:

      I take it that you lived for an extended period of time in Eastern Europe? Where at? I’m always interested to hear opinions about this part of the world. Who know, there may even be better countries out there for me than Turkey.

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      • Zelený drak says:

        I don’t think agnostic has ever been in Eastern Europe (if I remember when he was writing on the same blog with Razib a long time ago he was once in in Barcelona for a couple of months). He just likes to make grand theories about stuff. I don’t have a problem with that as I tend to the same. The thing is he has some pet theories which he is trying to use everywhere. I will also add that he has much more familiar with the history of pop culture of the 80’s than other stuff. This is why he writes comments like the one above, not based on anything. I am from one of the countries in the region and I also moved now to the Czech Republic (I spent a couple of days also in other countries in the region).
        The Czechs are indeed a very passive people (but, you know, Prague has more historic buildings than Warsaw, so this is not always bad). However this summer there were anti Gypsy marches and protests in a couple of cities. In some cases there fights with the police as the protesters tried to attack some Gypsy neighborhoods. I don’t know what agnostic means by “actions”. It’s not Rwanda here so what more can you do?
        Eastern Europe was also not ruled by Jews. Outside Czech Republic (btw never say to a Czech that they are Eastern Europeans) and Poland there were not even many Jews until the 18-19th century. In the 19th century yes, they burst out the Pale of Settlement in all directions.. The middle man positions were occupied by other peoples before (Armenians, Greeks- in the sense of people from the Balkans, Baltic Germans in Russia). And no, they were not some kind of bureaucracy.
        Everything else is already only fantasy. Yes people do romanticized Slavic Europe (ever heard of the countless volumes written about the special “Russian sole”). Poland with it’s tragic history was also very popular with the French. Before the Second World War the region was very popular for all kinds of romantic stories of epic struggles and proud warrior peoples (mostly Balkans Slavs). There where people who went in the Balkans to learn about how Homeric poets recited and memorized the lyrics by following the local “guslar” poets. The real break in the romanticizing came after 1945.
        Czech Republic might be a very atheistic place but this is an exception (maybe Slovenia and Estonia could be including also). The rest of the region is very religious. Nothing can be further from truth than “man is a pointless spec in a cold uncaring universe” being popular. Yes the attitude for an American can seem very passive and fatalistic, but there is nothing nihilistic about it. People have a more jaded and cynical attitude but there is no “spiritual black hole that the whole region is becoming — godless, joyless, and heartless”.
        There is much more to say but let’s say that maybe agnostic should write more about the things he knows, like 80’s music.

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  7. Miss Conduct says:

    Croatia.

    Regarding gas station restaurants, the best Indian food in DFW can be found in a gas station/convenience store in a run-down industrial area. It’s addictively crazy delicious home-cooking style. The proprietor of this establishment told me it was much easier to get a small business loan for a convenience store than a restaurant, then showed me his catering calendar which was booked solid for months.

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    • Cool. What’s this place called? What’s your favorite dish there?

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      • Miss Conduct says:

        Mom’s Spice, in Hurst, across from Bell Helicopter. Their menu is not extensive, and the beef or goat biryani is the standout dish. It is HOT HOT HOT. The owner, an extremely loquacious man, also took me into the kitchen to see the two tandoor ovens and an enormous pot of spices he was slowly roasting for hours. $5.95 gets you a filling dinner and enough leftovers for a good lunch the next day.

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