Monday, April 06, 2009

400 newspapers and 900 Polish corruption posts…

The reason why I am typing right now is because I feel some necessity to say something about another milestone in my blogging history. There are actually two milestones going on here- the Polish Police and Administrative Corruption Page is waiting to have its 900th post posted (I post them in advance to cover my "one yellow story a day" framework) and the Being Had Times is being published for the 400th time today.

I guess in the end we might say only that these are round numbers and, as I have just celebrated, or better, did not celebrate my 45th birthday for exactly the same reason, round numbers don't really mean crap. This thought actually was not mine but came instead from a 40ish neighbor lady who has obviously given aging some thought herself. But then again, maybe these sorts of things do have meaning. On an average, it takes about 2.5 hours to make a newspaper. Sometimes it takes longer on poor news days and sometimes there were technical snafus and I do remember losing 2 or 3 finished papers which had to be completely redone. I also have not been perfect at this and I think, if I remember correctly, I did not publish one time for computer failure, choosing not to do it at the internet café, something I had done once or twice. I think I have done these a couple of times on the road as well. Generally though, this two and half hours is a reasonable amount of time to plan on being spent every Wednesday and Sunday and I guess this means that I have spent at least 1000 hours of my life making these papers. We can also probably double that number for Story entries and then add in again for letter writing and other such duties and I am not even going to begin thinkinig about the book. So, in any case, this isn't nothing.

But again and again and again, it is not the quality or content of these web spaces that was at the heart of making them, nor was it ever about creating an artificial celebrity for my ego to play with. I mean, I don't actually like drawing attention to myself very much. I like getting attention for work I've done, this is cool, but on me personally, no. It is also not a money making enterprise in any way. Well, getting some money from this would have been nice, but basically about the only positives is that it has led to some interesting encounters and some new friends and I have been written to by students, business people and folks with roots in the region, so this is always nice. Eventually, the whole Being Had Blog was created only for the specific purpose of keeping alive on the web that Polish incident which happened so long ago. It has always been about being pulled out of my life for a year, the resulting damage to the people around me and about trying to create a situation which might make it difficult for this to happen for others. This is not to say that this newspaper and the Story are irrelevant- I have seen many things I have written have an effect on the general argument about Belarus. But it is only an advertiser to lead people to the book which is on the sidebar in WORD or PDF form and has so far been read, well, downloaded, a couple of thousand times. And, it is about corruption.

I hate corruption.

Despite the endless arguments I get from idiots (no apology) who seem to think that the highest level of enlightenment available to them is that they understand that there is corruption! (This great knowledge being I suppose their wake up call from the largess of childhood). "Hey Adam," they say, "don't be naïve. You gotta understand how things work!" And this from EVERYBODY. But I say no.

That's me beating my head against the wall at the bottom of the sidebar. And this is me, sitting next to the computer, a 25 watt bulb lighting the keyboard at four in the morning almost eight years later. And yea, as it always is, I am still griping and still publishing story after story after story about how screwed up and nefarious the people who stole my time were and are. And this is you too George W! This is me still trying to say that the world does need character before nepotism, pride of accomplishment before payoffs and responsibility and vested interest before standing in the road. It must be. Why must we only say that this is the way it is? I mean, why fight cancer if all we want is for things to be the way they are. Why bother?

What? Not fight cancer? Haven't you ever seen anyone with cancer? Don't you know how horrible it is?

Yes I have. And you know what? Corruption is cancer.

And here's one example. How about sport? Do you want to tell me that knowing that one team or player has less of a reason to try hard than another (the standings, the draft, etc) is a factor in making your bets on the game? Ok, this is reasonable. But sometimes teams that want to win lose because of the pressure. Tiger Woods doesn't win the open, Rocco Mediate losses it. And so does Sean O'Hair. But my question is this: would you care about these guys if you found out that O'Hair didn't choke and go 3 over par in the fourth round but was paid to do it? And as for another sport analogy, where are Bonds, McGuire and Sammy? Thousands write in to forums saying that we don't need Saint McGuire in the hall because in addition to all of the time he spent practicing his craft and lifting and running and training, and regardless of how much he gave us by playing how he played, he also added to his testosterone count via something other than Wheaties. Apparently we hate the thought of cheating so much, we happily throw these guys away despite the fact that they were literally gods to us in their time. We throw them and much of our love for the sport away along with them.

This is an example of corruption.

But listen to me: 200 players, owners and referees have been arrested in Poland for corruption and bribes in their premier league. You want to bitch about American baseball players being juiced because it makes it harder for you to enjoy strat-o-matic baseball? I'm talking here about a whole country of 1919 Black Sox. I'm talking about 900 entries about Poland and Polish people and Polish politicians- I am talking about an entire geographic entity, an entity which prides itself on being religious by the way, which cannot and does not believe in anything it does as being clean, or right or beautiful or even real.


So I bother. Of course it is still relevant. It is relevant everywhere. It'll be relevant until we, and that's a cool word there- we, until we decide we don't want it anymore. And I'm saying we shouldn't want it. I'm saying that fighting corruption is important. And all I have been doing is using my own experience as an example. It's not for me. It's never been for me. It's just what I have been given to do as my service to the world and I believe what I am saying is right.

Well, actually, I do it for that and because of one other little thing: When I was in Poland, the only actual argument ever brought against me in that farce of a trial was that, in the words of Stanislaw Wiesniakowski, the surely to be sainted public prosecutor, the damage to Tomas Zaremba's car could have be cause by a human hand. Now, we are not talking specifically my hand. They had my finger prints, there was very good evidence that the damage was pre-existing and also Zaremba himself used an estimate of damages to his car in court which was made some six weeks after our meeting after yet another vehicular incident. No, they justified taking a year of my life only because the damages to the car could have been caused by a hand.

So because of that, my argument for the continued publishing of these web objects is simply this:

After 400 newspapers, about 600 Stories and 900 entries in the Corruption journal, don't you think it is possible that my little affair could have been staged by Poland?

Anyway, again and again, thanks for reading me and for all the support.