Monday, May 19, 2008

The last post

Well...kind of. After three years and 646 posts, the beatroot is going into a summer hibernation - as all root vegetables should do at this time of year - only to re-emerge in the autumn bigger, better…etc.

We will be back in a slightly different form, however, taking a little more multimedia approach. And I am still going to write for other places. In fact, I can write more often elsewhere.

Thanks to everyone who has passed through here, at some time or another - and particularly the regular commentators, who helped give us a reputation for being a bit better than the ordinary blog.

And there has been quite a few folk passing by.

From January 1, 2008, we have had 289,248 hits with 238,814 uniques.

In April, the last full month, we got 79,542 hits and 65,303 uniques.

I know some commercial web sites in the English language in Poland that would be pleased with that.

The reasons for the summer break are many: over work, the need to recharge batteries, etc.

The Beatroot Republic

But mainly it’s because the beatroot has run out of a subject. This blog was really about Poland under the Fourth Republic - that two years of lunacy from the Law and Justice government.

It’s been six months since the demise of one of the strangest governments in Europe, certainly in my lifetime. And little did I expect to be caught up in it all.

So in case your memory has dimmed, let me remind you of how it was.

At one time we had a government with a cabinet made up of six inch nail swallowers, bearded ladies and other circus freaks.

The PM was Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leading the charge against what he thought was a cabal of communists, still clinging on, post 1989, in public institutions, government, organized crime and media. Jaroslaw didn’t just think there were legions of Reds huddled together under his bed - he was of the impression that they were under his nose, his hat and probably under his pet cat’s basket (I never did find out what his cat‘s name is, so let‘s call him Sebastian).

Jaroslaw launched an assault on what became known as the uklad by setting up a counter uklad. The nepotism that Poland has indeed laboured under since the fall of communism continued - except now we had a different bunch of cronies fighting over the spoils of being in power in this poor, long suffering country. Why a decent people like the Poles can’t ever get themselves a government good enough for them, we can only ponder on as one of those great unanswered questions - like, how large is the universe; or why it is we can’t tickle ourselves?

So close was the net he weaved around him that many expected Sebastian the Cat to get a job as Minister of Feline Affairs.

But he resisted. He did, however, end up by doing something even stranger - appoint Roman Giertych and Andrzej Lepper as his vice prime ministers.

This was too much for many of Kaczynski’s supporters, and it was all down, down from there into an inferno of madness.

Still, for a blogger, it was groszy from heaven. Every day brought some gory fascination. It was like watching the political equivalent of a slow motion car crash, on a loop.

If you came in late and have no idea what I am talking about then feel free to look back through this blog….and I never had to make one word of it up….Cue here wobbly screen like they do in old corny movies when cutting to another time, a memory, or when it’s a dream sequence.

Yeah, perhaps it was all a dream. And now we have woken up, haven’t we?

Haven’t we?

That's all, folks.


Anonymous said...

Yea, I guess it was all getting a bit repetitive with the lone exception of Beagleskin's continually original and insightful on-topic commentary.

See you in September (?) online unless you manage to make it to my neck of the woods sooner.

Cheers and best wishes for a fun-filled, relaxing, but still productive summer,

The Geezer

beatroot said...

Geez, you have been one of the stars of the beat.

luridtraversal said...

Have a good summer man!!! Don't drink too much gin and spend too much time in the "salon"!!!


beatroot said...

For the historical record, I have been reliably informed that Jaroslaw’s cat’s name is in fact Alik.

Gabriel said...

It somehow makes sense: no twin rule, no Beatroot... I find my blog (as well as the Letters) was also a lot easier to write when it was straight outta 4th republic. Have a nice and relaxing summer (I might visit the hottest city in Europe, but I guess as all sensible Varsovians you will be someplace less... inland climate) and good luck with future multimedia expansion..!

michael farris said...

Admit it, you're just going into hiding before someone makes chłodnik out of you.

Mmmmm beaty.... arrgghghhhhghghg

Damien Moran said...

Thanks for the time and effort you put into posting BR.

They were always refreshing and insightful for me over the past two years, having found himself based in Warsaw and needing a 'no nonsense guide' to what certainly seemed like a fierce lot of non-sense indeed!

It was educational and hilarious(like when trolls got seven shades of shite kicked out of 'em) and consistently exemplary of what journalism could and should be if it didn't taste, as increasingly appears to be the case in many mainstream outlets, like a McSlurry dessert squeezed into a Starbucks slop bucket!

And most of all, thanks for inspiring me to do a little blogging and giving advice on the way.

To the king of vegetables, I lay down my spade!

Anonymous said...

All we can wish for as a come back of PIS so you have somebody to throw your humor and vitriol at! Have enjoyed your blog, much of it jives with my overall opinions, what doesn't - well that's while we have horse races my Mom always said.

You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

And now you're changing your name to Bogdan Zarys, too? Congratulations on your conversion.

Reminds me of how on that great old TV show Taxi, a WASPy Harvard guy did waay too much Acid and wound up driving cabs and changing his name to Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd). Obviously, he was the better for it.

Great soccer show BTW on Polish radio but I really had to strain to understand some of the English. I hope it's a continuing, regular feature, though. I do wish, too, that you all develop a niftier way of downloading the shows, showing somehow on-screen they are being downloaded. Maybe some kind of networking with, too.

beatroot said...

What the f### has Bighdan Zaryn got to do with me? he's a knows very little about welll...anything, really.

Anonymous said...

"Presented by Aleksander Kropiwnicki and John Beauchamp, with contributions from Bogdan Zaryn (or was it ____________?) and Danuta Isler."

Just goes to show Canadians always create confusion, chaos, and even . . . @n@rchy. Too much beaver on the brain, I suppose.

beatroot said...

It's the beavers...but nothing to do with me...

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

But seriously…thanks for the nice comments guys…I put a stop to it with a heavy heart, I must say. I have been doing this every other day, mostly, for three years. It becomes part of your life. And many people who I vaguely know here in Warsaw have commented about ‘the last post’. I am quite moved, really. But what I tell them is I don’t want to go round and round in circles, repeating myself like a rootveg in groundhog day…and of course, neither do my readers.

So, quit when your ahead, me old dad - who very sadly died last October (it was an October from hell, I promise you), said, and I am taking his advice.

But I am also doubly determined to bring it back later in the year.

So cheers and let’s hope Manchester United beat Chelski tonight.


Anonymous said...

I must be the only one in the country or any country not watching football. I decided to log on to your blog and am saddened you are going - but I hope you come back soon refreshed - I will miss your posts - have fun, enjoy the football and I too hope MUtd win as well being a northern gal:-)

Best of luck
Issie x

Anonymous said...

Dear Beatroot,

I need to express also my thankfull for your posts and deeply regret your going -even if I understand it. I don't remember how I came to your blog but I will remember this day when I leave it. How will I say to my polish girlfriend that the Beatroot is gone ? Won't tell her I think : I'll try to invent new posts and talk with her about them when coming back from work ;)I wasn't very active on the comments part but I read all your post, often with passion.
What a day when the PIS crashed at the election, how an exciting period ! And your analysis and deconstruction of "everyday" racism and anti-poles attacks in british newspaper was always impressive.
Thanks for these lessons of ethics and before autumn, we'll surely be watching the same football matchs this summer !

Avec toute mon amitié

Brian May de Bruxelles

Anonymous said...

This is a nice blog. I like it!

beatroot said...

Brian May...of Brussels? I thought it was Brian May of Queen for a minute there. He is playing Gdansk in September, you know?

Anyway, very kind comments, thanks.

As a citizen, the day PiS went down the pan was a good one - it got embarrassing trying to tell people in the UK etc that Poles were, generally, not like their government.

But as a blogger…I am almost nostalgic for those nutty characters. But where are they now?

Well, Roman Giertych has semi-retired from politics and is now making some money as a lawyer…although he pops up often on the TV.

Andrzej Lepper is like Roman no longer is parliament. But he is now trying to get into the Senate in a by election which will take place in June, I think. He has little chance of winning. He is also facing a court case (wasn’t it always thus?) this time for gross sexual harassment of a Self defence party member. Will he finally end up in jail?

And Jaroslaw? He got over losing the election quicker than most - quicker than his brother has - and is back where he belongs - haranguing the government from the opposition benches. I get the feeling he is happier there than in government.

So a freak show, but an interesting one. And the new government? Rather boring, but for the minute, calmer. Trouble will mount for them from outside parliament, strikes etc will get worse as they fail to reform the public services and as the economy slows slightly.

But for now, the populist moment is over.

Anonymous said...

I have every confidence in the Polish system's ability to provide you with more blog-worthy fodder in the not too distant future but agree that this government is just to boring to write about. Is it boring enough to do the right things though?

Anyway. Best of luck with the batteries and hope to find this multi-media thing when you make a comeback.

Mind you, I'm not really a multi-media kind of guy.

Frank Partisan said...

Keep me informed.

I've been looking for a format, to have more than one story commented on at a time.

Keep me informed of your plans.


beatroot said...

ren, you nedd the forum software. EU referendum blog has it. Link is on the blogg roll.

I will have time for your place now. So see you soon.

Anonymous said...

What a shocker! Although I discovered this blog rather late, it was obvious that it was a step above the run of the mill, and a big step at that. No one blogging about Poland was unaware that The Beatroot was the standard against which they would inevitably be compared. It certainly caused me to stop and think, and to try for something better.

Best of luck with the future project and have a great holiday.

beatroot said...

But the Polandian blog is shaping up great. Will be along to help out next week.

Damien Moran said...

I will be keeping a keen eye out for your comeback BR. I myself am leaving Poland quite soon, heading back to Ireland to cash up and then to Africa for long-term volunteering placement. Which means I gotta rechristen my blog - how the hell can I call it Paddy Irishman in Dublin?

Paddy Irishman in Africa sounds fairly grand, alright.

What do you think if I call it Paddy Beatroot in Ireland?

Anonymous said...

President's cats name is Alik. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

i join many here when they say 'thanks' for the hard were among the first serious political bloggers in english living in poland and have outlasted most (if not all) from the early days...and not just outlasted but managed to attract alot of conversation along the way, a credit to you!


beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

thmx jordan..and it was great to have polblog in the early days, too...loved the early experiement.

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