Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The following email was sent to me via Prague TV:

Hi Mr. McMillan,
I am part of a group of students at Central
Washington Univ. Seatac campus doing a marketing
project on the Czech Republic. We are trying to speak
to as many persons "on the ground" there as possible.
Would it be possible for you to give us your
impressions of like in Prague as well as elsewhere in
the Republic: what is the mood of the people?
confident? Are they heavy consumers, etc....?
I know you probably get paid for this sort of
thing, so just a few general comments are good enough.

thanks, Chris K.
Central Washington University
This is such a strange and vague question, especially seeing as it has no apparent relationship to any specific event (upcoming election, natural disaster, etc.).

Still, would anybody like to try to begin to attempt to think about answering? Where to start?

By the way, early heads up: Keep an eye out for Prague TV's forthcoming group "city blog" -- all about Prague and Czech cultchah. Should be very lively, entertaining and informative, with all the usual suspects invited to post.
My big sister's not the kinda gal who a) uses bumper stickers, or b) quotes bumper stickers in group emails. But she is a pretty solid Massachusetts liberal (albeit one whose parents almost always vote Republican). She sent this out yesterday (Tuesday) during the day:

Hi all,

I'm not much into bumper stickers, but when I heard this one quoted on NPR
yesterday, it struck a chord:

Not hilarious, but prescient, and I guess that sums things up. I'm not going to bother getting depressed about this. It's at least comforting to know that about half the country basically feels the way I do about the situation. And it strenthens the case for northern seccession.

By the way, here is what I noticed on the blogosphere during the 24-48 hours leading up to the election, and during the election itself: There was nothing to read. Dearth. Silence. The whole history of the world's at stake, and considering the importance of the event, nobody really had jack shit to say about it. Strange.

I had (and still have) trouble articulating this question in any meaningful way, but I'll hazard a try. I turned to a friend last night (watching the show at Zlata Hvezda sports bar, same place I saw the Rex Sox win the World Series) and asked: "What does it mean that these two elections are so close? Why? How?"

He replied, "Because half the country's completely stupid."

That wasn't the type of answer I was looking for. What I meant to ask was, Is it mere chance, or is there something about the current state of our political system that tends to produce candidates who divide the country almost exactly in half?


Off to Dublin for four days to visit my girlfriend. If there's any place in particular you think I should visit, or something I should do, please drop a line in the comments box.

By the way, things are slowly proceeding with the sale of Tulip. At the moment I'm not actually entertaining any serious offers, but it's heartening to know that word is starting to filter out -- to the right people -- that the restaurant is, heh heh, "in play." One blog reader was seriously interested, but it fell apart at the last minute due to a disagreement with his possible future business partner. It would be tremendously cool if I were to hand Tulip off to a reader of this blog.

Monday, November 01, 2004

You know what I hate? I hate it when I tell my lawyer something, and her response is, "Oh, fuck..."
I was very happy to see this. "Prague plans a crackdown on the drunken Britons turning it into Europe's stag night capital." This restaurant owner will NOT be sad to see the revenue lost when this unpleasantness goes out of fashion.

I'm actually impressed. The Brit stag party explosion happened relatively quickly, as far as such things go -- say, during the past two or three years. It's nice to see the City of Prague, up to Mayor Bem himself, has caught on to how awful it is for the city's reputation.