March 19, 2008

"I started getting translations of the phrase the president used as the image appeared... I thought, 'oh my God, what an insult' ... "

"Tom and I are just a couple, like any other couple around the world."

Irish-born New York resident Brendan Fay reacts to the discovery that Polish President Lech Kaczynski used pictures of his wedding in a national speech railing about gay marriage. Fay is suing. [ADDED: Fay has sent his complaint to the Polish Consulate in New York.] Kaczynski was warning Poles about the EU's new Charter of Fundamental Rights. He said
"An article of the charter, due to no clear definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, may go against the universally accepted moral order in Poland and force our country to introduce an institution in conflict with the moral convictions of the decided majority of our country."


Synova said...

I support gay marriage (okay, so it's sort of passive support but I think they ought to be able to) but...

It's a valid concern, the EU thing. A whole lot of countries are essentially planning to give over their right to control their own laws.

That's sort of major.

Palladian said...

Synova, you (and Poland) can oppose that without trashing someone's marriage using their pictures. But it's easier to inflame religious Roman Catholics by showing pictures of scary faggots than it is to convince them that it's generally unwise to cede their sovereignty to Belgian bureaucrats on larger and more important grounds than opposition to gay marriage. After all, it's much easier to trade on hatred and prejudice than reason.

Palladian said...

By "you" I meant "one", not you particularly Synova.

Lawgiver said...

Fay is suing.

In this case you are using the word "suing" as a synonym for complaining, right? I didn't see anything in the article about civil legal action.

Does suing mean the same thing in Europe as it does in the USA?

Synova said...

I agree, Palladian.

Theo Boehm said...

**Polish Joke Alert**

You know about the gay Polish guy?
He slept with women.


Ann Althouse said...

Lawgiver: I interpreted "filed a complaint" as suing. I could be wrong. "Complained" ≠ suing, but filing a complaint?

Theo Boehm said...

Here's a Polish Tinky Winky.

Revenant said...

It says he filed a complaint with the consulate. That sounds more like a diplomatic complaint than a civil complaint.

What grounds would he even have for a lawsuit, anyway? I'm pretty sure it is legal to be a jerk, even in Poland.

Theo Boehm said...

If it's filed with the consul, could that mean it ultimately winds up with the EU Human Rights Commissioner?

I suspect people caught up in that tangle would pine for the American tort system.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry. I see the consulate bit down at the end. Corrected.

Ann Althouse said...

Grounds for a lawsuit? Well, they used his photographs... I'm not suggesting he should sue.

Theo Boehm said...

I suppose I could get up and ask my wife, the one with the advanced degree in international law, and who knows all about the EU Human Rights Commissioner. But you really don't want me to come back here in half an hour with a summary of the most boring, irritating subject on the planet, do you?

What we chiefly need are more and better Polish jokes.


Help us out here.

Mark said...

How did the Polish President happen to have a photo of a NYC gay couple? If it was in the article I missed it. I can only surmise that the picture was in some public location on the Internet, most likely posted by the happy couple. How would it be wrong or "insulting" to show said happy couple in a photo they themselves chose to publish?


Quayle said...

I wonder why diversity is the mantra of the left except when it comes to parents.

If diversity is our strength, as we are constantly told in seminar after seminar, then wouldn't a family where there is a male father and a female mother be stronger than the alternative?

I mean, just wondering what gives?

Theo Boehm said...

Actually, the most irritating subject in the world is the Canadian Human Rights Commission, but that's probably because they're so close.  We tend to think of Canadians as having the same rights as Americans, but its too depressing to think that the kangaroo courts of speech supression that are human rights commissions are that near to hand, eh?

Middle Class Guy said...

...but its too depressing to think that the kangaroo courts of speech supression that are human rights commissions are that near to hand, eh?

Nearer at hand than you think my friend.

Theo Boehm said...

How so? Last time I heard, such things were safely away in the frozen white north.

And, of course, lurking in dreary Brussels.

Middle Class Guy said...

Theo Boehm said...
What we chiefly need are more and better Polish jokes.

A Polish kamikaze has flown 48 successful missions.

Question: Did you hear about the Polish Helicopter crash?
Answer: The pilot got cold, so he turned off the fan.

Question: How do you stop a Polish army on horseback?
Answer: Turn off the carousel.

Did you hear about the terrible automobile accident last night? A Polish family on vacation lost all of their children. The pickup truck they were riding in ran off the road into a lake and sank to the bottom. The parents got out of the cab OK but all the kids in the back drowned; they couldn't get the tailgate open.

Knock, Knock?
Who's there?
Polish burglar.

There, Theo, happy now?

Tim said...

"How so? Last time I heard, such things were safely away in the frozen white north."

Well, it's pretty much accepted in civil society that I (or, more to the point, anyone in my demographic), as a white Christian male, cannot say in a public forum "God Damn America, it's in the Bible, for allowing - insert favorite protected liberal "civil rights" shibboleth here - ..." without being excoriated, while the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright can say something similar, albeit attacking something different, and pretty much get it explained away.

Tommy said...

Most things posted on the net can be copywrited using a creative commons license. Ann could probably talk better about this but if someone used my copywrited material for political purposes without my permission, I would be pissed too.
Just found you via the "Blogging while female" article. I think I'll stick around for a while if you don't mind.

Theo Boehm said...

We're getting somewhere.  Thanks, MCG.

I was hoping Trooper could show up and do some Polish-themed movie dialog.  Did Jerzy Kosinski write any movies other than "Being There?"

We need something sophisticated and snarky, as befits yet another story of members of the perpetually offended classes being offended yet another time.

Tim, you're just not a member of one of the Perpetually Offended Class, according to Paragraph 13, Subsection, 9a of the European Handbook of Bad Things You Cannot Say.

MadisonMan said...

Quayle, what does parenting have to do with gay marriage and the President of Poland?

(No, I don't have a punchline)

Theo Boehm said...

I realize there's a copyright infringement angle, but how would that play out, except in "real" legal proceedings? That's no fun at all.

Synova said...

To go completely off topic... Quayle... because the whole thing about how kids don't need both a father and mother, pushed for so many years in order to keep single mothers from feeling bad, is a lie.

Oh, as far as parenting goes a particular single parent might be far better than a particular mother/father parenting duo. Because some people are hopeless. (or abusive!)

Kids need *at least* one adult to bond to them and define the world for them.

Two is better.

A larger extended network is better than two.

So, assuming we're not talking about the hopeless sort of parents, two primary adults is better than one so... two women is better than one... two men is better than one.

But as single mothers are well aware... kids need male role models. Boys need a man to bond with. Girls, *desperately*, need a strong father relationship. Kids also need mothers. Female role models. Boys need an adult woman who loves them. Girls, too.

Does everyone get that? No. Not even just having the "right" make up of people in the home means that anyone *gets* that.

And what people who have a clue try to do is to provide their children with those relationships if the family doesn't naturally provide them.

Which doesn't *at all* mean I'm arguing that two men or two women (or my polyarmorist, multi-household friends) won't make wonderful parents and provide an exceptional environment for children.

But they do that by recognizing that their children need both mother and father figures and facilitating those connections.

Synova said...

Heh... I misunderstood what you said for some reason.

Still... my reply would be the same, just framed slightly differently.

Middle Class Guy said...

I was locking up a Polish guy once. This mutt says to me on the way back to the station"Who is making these allegations? I want to know who the Alligator is."

Then there was the blonde polish girl who called me up to ask for my phone number.

I knew a polish guy who stared for an hour at an orange juice carton because it said Concentrate.

Then there was the Polish guy who tried to put M&Ms in alphabetical order.

There was the Polish woman who asked for a price check at the dollar store.

I had a Polish driver take me to the airport. When he saw the sign that said Airport Left, he turned around and took me home.

A Polish couple missed the #44 bus, so they took the #22 twice.

Theo Boehm said...

There is some hope for Polish justice, however.

Seems there was a proposed law to limit lawyers' fees to 70 Euros per hour.  It was quashed.  Seems the biggest opponents were British law firms, who, while not quite as mercenary as American ones, do operate to international standards of extortion.  Polish law firms (I know what you're thinking) were also up in arms about it, as they have just begun to bleed society in similar ways, and didn't want people to think Poland was backward and primitive compared to the West.

Anyway, it sounds like Poland is not the litigators' Happy Hunting Grounds so far.

Back now to the Case of the Polish President's Purloined Private Pictures...

Theo Boehm said...

They're getting better, MCG.

Sorry, my "seems" were showing in that last comment. It's past midnight, and brainwaves in my editing cortex have gone flat.

Middle Class Guy said...

It is the best I can do on such short notice Theo.

Kev said...

Theo said:
You know about the gay Polish guy?
He slept with women.

I always heard that one as an Irish joke:

What do you call a gay Irishman?
One who prefers women over beer.

(Two days late for St. Pat's, but oh well. And I'm a quarter Irish, so I promise not to offend myself by telling that one.)

But Polish's been a while--since the last time I visited my Uncle Bob in Cleveland, who had a slew of them. (Here in Texas, they've been recast as Aggie jokes.)

Still, I'll make a contribution:
Why do Polish men have trouble making love?
They wait for the swelling to go down.

michael farris said...

I live in Poland, so quick background:

The president is from a party that's been bleeding supporters for the last year or so. His party went from ruling to opposition last year and he's been involved in one undignified tussle with the new government after another. CW is that he's come out on the losing side more often than not (in Poland the president's and prime minister's duties sort of overlap, a situation bound to create conflict most of the time).

A big base of support for this party comes from the Polish moral equivalent of Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson combined - father Rydzyk of the Radio Maria media empire.

Both Rydzyk and the president's party (Law and Justice) operate on a hard oppositional model, they need a visible enemy to keep their followers riled up and that they can blame their problems on.

Word is that Rydzyk has told Law and Justice that if they don't derail the Lisbon treaty, he'll withdraw his support and the (smaller and smaller) masses of discontented urban retiree and elderly farmer voters that come with it.

This speech was kind of a last stand to try to muster up some kind of opposition among the public.

It hasn't worked so far, and in that light, it was a spectacular failure.

Taking a hard euroskeptic line in a country where EU membership has overall been very, very good for people so far is not the smartest policy in the world.

_And_ he violated Polish flag etiquette (when hung vertically the red is supposed to be on the right).

The speech is already on youtube (search for 'oredzie prezydenta').
It's untranslated so far, but I'm sure that within a few days someone will get subtitles up.

michael farris said...

"How would it be wrong or "insulting" to show said happy couple in a photo they themselves chose to publish?"

It was video footage of the marriage license and a few seconds from the ceremony.

And I take it you would have no problem with footage from your wedding ceremony being used on national television in another country as an example of moral depravity, both yours and whatever group you happen to belong to.

michael farris said...

"Did Jerzy Kosinski write any movies other than "Being There?"

The real question is did Kosinski really think up "Being There" or did her just liberally plagiarize a very well-known Polish novel that was unknown to English speakers?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Theo Boehm said...
What we chiefly need are more and better Polish jokes.

As a bona fide Polish-American, I am disgusted, offended, hurt and otherwise emotionally distraught at these jokes.

Do you know what the Polack did with his first 50 cent piece?

He married her.

Now THAT's a Polish joke!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Tom and Brendan are NOT a couple just like any other in the world.

They are like no more than 1/2 percent other couples in the world, based on detailed StatisticsCanada surveys, corporate applications for same-sex benefits, and so on. Another 1/2 percent or so are on the lesbo side of the ledger.

Most generously these guys are decidedly unlike over 99% of the couples in the world. Their core premise is pure bull$#|+.

Trooper York said...

The two biggest lies in America.

The check is in the mail.
I won't come in your mouth.

The two biggest lies in Poland.

The check is in my mouth.
I won't come in the mail.

Trooper York said...

A Polak, an American, and a German had a room full of dirty tampons, and they decided to have a contest to see who could stay in there the longest. First it was the American's turn. The other two
locked him in the room and waited. A week later, they heard him
whimpering and pounding on the door so they let him out.

"That is the sickest smell I have ever endured!" cried the
American. "I couldn't stay in there another minute!"

Next it was the German's turn. After a month he finally banged
on the door to be let out. "Oh God, that is the most putrid smell in the world! I couldn't take it another minute!" he cried as he gasped for breath.

Finally it was the Polak's turn. They locked him in the room
and waited. A week went by, a month, a year. The German and American heard nothing. Finally they began to worry, so they yelled through the door, "You can come out now! You've won the contest by far!"

To which the Polak yelled back, "No, not yet! I'm not done
eating the jelly donuts."

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper York...
To which the Polak yelled back, "No, not yet! I'm not done
eating the jelly donuts."

I heard that one, but the punch line was- when they opened the door and asked him how he could take the smell, he looked up and said it smelled like home.

paul a'barge said...

Fay, a documentary filmmaker who was born in Ireland but is now a New York resident

documentary filmmaker.

Hmmm. Now, I wonder where those videos of the gay guy's so-called wedding came from?

Can you say selective moral outrage? I knew you could.

Might the documentary filmmaker have filmed his own gay wedding and used that film as propaganda to peddle his own agenda? And now, his panties are all wadded up what with him being hoist on his own petard?