Saturday, March 11, 2006

Polish bigots meet their Waterloo?


Swedish Euro-cheesy popsters Abba come to the rescue of Polish gays.

The four members of Abba, who have hardly been in the same room as each other since they broke up nearly two decades ago, have came together this week to sign memorabilia which will be auctioned off on the internet.

But what will all the ‘money, money, money’ raised be used for? Swedish web site The Local reports:

The signed Abba gear is being sold in an auction on eBay by Stockholm Pride, which organises the Swedish capital's gay pride parade every summer.

The proceeds of the auction will go to Warsaw Pride, which has come under attack from Poland's new president, Lech Kaczynski. He banned last summer's gay pride celebrations in Warsaw, said that homosexuals were "not a natural part of Poland's culture," and challenged gay people to repress their sexuality.

"As arranger of a Pride festival in a neighbouring country that is so privileged by comparison it is impossible to be aware of what is happening in Poland without doing something," said Stockholm Pride chairwoman Ulrika Westerlund.

Polish gay campaigner Szymon Niemiec is delighted that the Swedish Dancing Queens are showing their solidarity. He told Radio Polonia yesterday:

”I think this is a great idea, because we in Poland are getting help from other countries to make our country more tolerant or more democratic. For us, this is great promotion, and for me, personally, it is a good incentive to work harder against homophobia and intolerance in Poland.”

The Abba action came in a week that saw President Lech Kaczynski heckled while on a visit to Germany. Lifesite reports:

Dozens of protesters delayed his speech by about half an hour, chanting “solidarity without exclusion” in reference to the slogan of the 1980’s [Solidarity] movement that challenged communism in the country. The activists were protesting what they called his “homophobic policies.”

President Kaczynski banned a gay pride march in Warsaw last year, while he was mayor of the capital. The action outraged Polish gays.

The president responded to the demonstrators by saying he did not believe homosexuality should be encouraged because gay relationships cannot produce children. “I do not plan to persecute homosexuals or to hinder their careers,” he said. “But there is no reason to encourage it because it would mean that mankind would slowly die out.”

Er...right. So relationships are only valid if they can produce children, are they?

Not a very bright man, apparently, Kaczynski thinks that if you ‘promote’ homosexuality then heterosexuals everywhere will suddenly throw away their wedding rings, leave their partners and start hanging out in gay clubs, ‘dark rooms’ and public toilets, jumping on the first person they see of the same sex.

Is he that insecure in his own sexuality that he has to start oppressing someone else’s?

I’m off to the shops to get a copy of Abba’s greatest hits.

29 comments:

sonia said...

Is he that insecure in his own sexuality that he has to start oppressing someone else’s?

Pretty much describes all homophobes, male and female. And it explains why man are more tolerant of lesbians than of gays, while women are more tolerant of gays than of lesbians.

I am glad ABBA, which still is very popular in Poland, is doing this.

But it won't be easy in Poland. Most Polish lesbians I know are in the closet and determined to stay there. Because of their families, religion, upbringing. The last thing they want are parades and publicity around them.

beatroot said...

I have been on these marches and there were quite a few lesbians on the march too.

The only way to deal with homphobia is to confront it head on, get it out in the open, and then ridicule it.

eulogist said...

I was at the Tallinn pride last summer, and what struck us was that there seemed to be *only* lesbians taking part (well, clearly more than 50% that is - whereas in western Europe a clear majority of the participants would be men). People later told us Baltic society traditionally is "matriarchic" with women used to playing a strong role and taking initiatives. It could be the reason, I don't know really. Or perhaps (considering how badly things went at the Riga pride a few weeks earlier) women are just more courageous than men...

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs sex. Jaroslaw Kaczynski lives alone. Where does Jaroslaw Kaczynski get his? Has anyone bothered to look? Is he covering something up?

beatroot said...

Jaro has his cat, Anon.

Eulogist: People later told us Baltic society traditionally is "matriarchic" with women used to playing a strong role and taking initiatives.

It's similar in Poland...always has been. If you look at the early days in the Gdansk shipyard 1980, it was the women who were taking the lead - later to be overshadowed by Walesa etc.

Anonymous said...

As a conservative Christian man Kaczynski probably regards his pussy cat as a unworthy outlet for his fantasies.
Based on his outlook on life, I suspect the portrait of John-Paul II that hangs above his bed is in fact a more likely candidate.

I propose buying him 2 male octopi. So he (along with his cat) can bear witness to the transcendant beauty of 'God-given' bi-sexuality.

beatroot said...

Don't youmean 'octopussies'?

The Venial Sinner said...

Ah, Abba, such super troopers. Personnally though, I have to say if I'm forced to dance to another Abba song in a trashy gay bar, I think I might just renounce my sexuality and get myself a cat...or an octopussy.

beatroot said...

So do I take it that you are a gay person who is anti-Abba? This is very good indeed. Why has gay culture become so kietschy? Ironic? Artifice?.I read that essay by Susan Sontag 'Notes on camp', which was very good. But I still don;t understand why liking trashy pop culture is cool?

Please help me on this, Venial Sinner!

Pan Emigrant said...

This ABBA nonsense shows that Poland's gay and lesbian community is well on the way to becoming a 'martyr of sexuality' and will soon avail itslef of its shackles (inability to parade in Warsaw). Give or take a decade. In the meantime the underground intelligentsia will develop another pantheon of gay oppression theory which will become the lens for left leaning students through which to view world events. Lots of people's time will be wasted, but that's OK, there's plenty more where they came from.

The Venial Sinner said...

Lordy, Pan Emigrant, that's a touch heavy.

I'm not really sure why gay culture has become so kitsch. At certain times and in certain places, it almost seems to have become a parody of itself. I suppose there is a certain hedonism associated with being gay that might find an echo in the throw-away culture of trashy pop. Who knows? Maybe I'll read Susan Sontag's essay and see what she has to say about it all.

beatroot said...

Cheers Venial. And don't worry about Pan Emigrant, he gets a bit like that sometimes...always has.

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