LOVE THAT TIE: Each day at 11:50 and 19:00 Czech TV shows a ten minute news bulletin from its archives called Televizni noviny po letech. It's fun to count how many times in 10 minutes you hear the words "komunisticke" and "socialisticke" and "marxisticke" thrown around. Sometimes they get em all into one sentence.

Especially fun are the interviews with some stout laboring hero who filled his quota ahead of time or some such. Often they are obviously reciting a memorized speech, and sometimes, judging from the direction of their shifting eyes, even reading from cue cards.

Today there was a report from Poland about a Solidarity strike. The voice over sarcastically informs that the strikers are protesting against repression. And who is *really* being repressed? Why, those honest workers who would normally be on shift at this time of day on a Saturday and who are prevented from doing so by the strikers. I'm sure those workers were broken hearted.

The spirit-crushing dreariness of the reports is a wonder to behold. No wonder people just tuned it out. But if you like 70s and 80s eastern European fashion, there are yards of polyester, interesting and eye-challenging color schemes, lots of those great big square, Russian-style spectacles with tinted lenses, and of course, enough wide neckties to reach from one end of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to the other if laid side by side.

Steve | 15:11 |