Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Friday night quiz (on a Wednesday)

Q: I’ll be blunt. Does this man have a foreskin? (photo: Jacek Kurski with medical report?)

Answers on a post card to the usual address.

Roundhead or Cavalier? It may not be of any interest to you (at least, I hope it isn’t) but to Jacek Kurski – one of the ruling Law and Justice’s (PiS) key strategists - it’s a matter of political credibility.

This week’s Polish version of Newsweek is carrying a story claiming that a key government politician is a bit of an exhibitionist. Two years ago, Kurski (known to his friends as ‘the Pit-bull’) was so worried about rumours going around members of the catholic-nationalist party, League of Polish Families (LPR), how he was a bit short in the foreskin department, that he got on a chair, took down his trousers and undies and proceeded to show a room full of LPR members his…member!

Kurksi has denied the gossip as ‘lies’ and is assuring anyone who will listen, he does, in fact, still have all that he was born with below the waist.

But why all the fuss about the ownership, or not, of a few milligrams of flesh?

Kurski comes from the political tradition of Catholic Poland. He was leader of the Movement to Rebuild Poland (ROP) in the mid nineteen nineties, a party associated with the mindset – if you are not a Catholic, then you ain’t Polish. And if you are Jewish then you defiantly ain’t Polish. The Stephen Roth Institute identified ROP in 1997/8 as being one the anti-Semitic parties that were growing in number in Poland at that time.

So you can understand why Kurski wants to make sure that everyone knows he still has his foreskin.

Kurski became (in)famous during the presidential elections last autumn for claiming that Donald Tusk – rival to PiS candidate Lech Kaczynski – had a grandfather who fought for the Germans in WWII. Shock, horror! Kaczynski, even, embarrassed by such a cheap stunt, sacked Kurski from his post of Communications Director for Law and Justice - only to reinstate him after the elections were over.

Robert Strak, from the League of Polish Families – a catholic-nationalist party that makes Kurski look like a moderate – remembers rumours going around a couple of years ago that Kurski was circumcised. And posters were up in Gdansk - Kurski's political base - claiming ‘Kurski is a Jew’.

For some circumcision is a religious ritual, for others it’s a ‘health’ thing. For Kurski, it’s probably a matter of reputation.


michael farris said...

You know, if fewer people voted for the Duck brothers, fewer people would be thinking about Jacek Kurski's penis right now.

sonia said...

I pity Polish Catholic boys with tight foreskins: lousy sex life or anti-semitic persecution...

Anonymous said...

"from the League of Polish Families – a catholic-nationalist party that makes Kurski look like a moderate"

With all respect, but you should make a better research before posting:
Two years ago, when the whole incident is said to have happened, Kurski WAS a top-rank member of the Ligue of Polish Families. He deflected to PiS shortly before the last elections. For this reason he is heavily hated by Roman Giertych (who is said to be the source of the whole romour).

roman said...

I heard there is a new medical procedure to re-attach foreskin. It's quite expensive but what's a few sloty when a "reputation" and political future is at stake.

beatroot said...

Anon: he now is with PiS and there is quite clearly ideological ground between the two. I would say that PiS is a more moderate League.

League and Młodzież Wszechpolska (youth wing) have roots that go all the way back to Dmowski and the nasty nationalism of the 1930's.

PiS are made up mostly of the more moderatly conservative members of Solidarnosc.

And Kusrski and the Kaczynskis go way back....

Frank Partisan said...

Polish day to day politics seems quite colorful.

beatroot said...

'colorful' is one word for it. And sorry anon, but but the only 'research' I did was read that onet article...

Anonymous said...

Let me state this bold:

IN 2004 JACEK KURSKI WAS A MEMBER OF THE LIGUE OF POLISH FAMILIES. This is an easily verifiable piece of information. For example:,68586,3211181.html

And a fragment of the second one : "Krótko po tym Kurski dogadał się z braćmi Kaczyńskimi. Zaczął dla nich pracować, będąc formalnie członkiem LPR. Wiedzę i doświadczenie zdobyte w Lidze wykorzystał wkrótce w zwycięskiej kampanii PiS."

"Shortly after that Kurski went into business with the Kaczynski brothers and started working for them while still being formally a member of LPR (the Ligue of Polish Families). He soon used his knowledge and experience gathered in the Ligue during the victorious campaign of PiS"

With all respect, but short and simplified description of modern Polish right you've presented above is completely irrelevant for the topic. The simple fact You somehow fail to grasp is that Kurski was a member of many parties, including both LPR and PiS (actually he'd entered PiS on three different occasions and and left twice...).

Now You can answer yourself wheather this kind of political biography actually proofs that his political views are more moderate than that of the Ligue. (Or wheather it proofs he has no political views at all, but is pushed by pure desire of power, which to me seems much better explanation)

Anonymous said...

1. Beatroot's article is factually incorrect in (though implicitly) suggesting, that during the alleged strip-tease incident Kurski was a member of PiS while in fact he was still a member of LPR. This not 'an accusation' but an easily verifiable fact (at least it is easily verifiable if one reads Polish, and Beatroot surely does).

This also makes contrasting Kurski's political views with that of LPR illogical - while being in LPR he expressed the views of LPR, now he expresses the views of PiS.
And If he ever got permanetly thrown out by Kaczynski, the next day we may easily see him expressing the views of Lepper (Samoobrona is famous for accepting dropouts from various other parties, from SLD to LPR)

2. Beatroot is a journalist who made Polish politics his chief field of interest. To get accustomed with the peculiarities of his subject and 'expect' things like that is his duty.

If this:
" Coming from a country where a parliamentarian's shift from one part to another is headline news, I doubt that beetroot would expect..."

was true, that would mean that he does his job poorly and maybe should switch to some different occupation. Thefore Your good willed (as I hope) attempts to defend him may look like a disservice. Maybe It'd be better if he responded himself?

PS. And I suppose he prefers 'Beatroot' to 'beetroot' ;)

beatroot said...

It was an articleabout a was a joke. Calm down and get a life.

beatroot said...

Sorry, I only just saw this bit...

"Beatroot is a journalist who made Polish politics his chief field of interest,,,"

Where do you get the impression that the antics of Polish political trogladytes like Kurski is particular, and the Polish political class in general, my 'chief field of interest'?

I am very interested in politics but I am not interested in what Polish politicians 'do' at all...except to laugh at them. Period.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
michael farris said...

"the penis rumour"

There is so much wrong with that phrase. Ideally the only people who should think about Kurski's penis are a) he himself b) his urologist c) whatever unfortunate person(s) he has sex with. But not it's in the national spotlight, so much for the fourth republic.

And a mocking blog entry doesn't need not concern itself with Kurski's exact party affiliation (LPR and noone's denied it AFAIK) at the time he treated/subjected onlookers to the full monty.

Finally, being a sick and twisted sort of individual I used a text about the incident in a translation class. Anyway, one student (relying too much on a dictionary) translated 'obleśne wydarzenie' (disgusting incident) as "oily thing" in a whole sentence that went something like "you couldn't hide that oily thing for two years". I won't soon recover from the mental images that phrase conjured up.

beatroot said...

I just thought it was a story about a prick.

It was also about anti-semetic bigots. Interesting that that angle hasn't been questioned.

beatroot said...

...and another thing!

You can sau what you want on this blog, but then next time you make personal comments about me or anyone else that participates on it, I will just delete the stupid nonsense.


michael farris said...

"It was also about anti-semetic bigots. Interesting that that angle hasn't been questioned."

Given the context, that would be like questioning the existence of air.

beatroot said...


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