Monday, February 16, 2009

Some Misconceptions

Now, there are innumerable blogs that create the "Top Ten Myths of Poland" lists.  This one is slightly different: it only has three.

1.  Poland is a Poor Country of Concrete Flats.
Only slightly true, but changing fast.  Poland has yet to be totally sucked down by the current economic fiasco, and they're throwing up skyscrapers and modern buildings at a breakneck pace.

2.  Polish Girls Are All Pretty.
There are plenty of butterfaces in Poland.  If you really want the hotties, look further east to Ukraine and Russia.  That's not to say that there aren't beautiful girls in Poland, there are, but there are plenty of not-so-pretty ones either.

3.  They're Smarter Than We.
They're not.  They just aren't smarter.  In fact, they're actually just as dumb as Americans.  
(This topic actually gets me going, but I'll rant and rave on a different post.)
That's not to say that Polish people are retarded, which they aren't, I'm just saying that they (I should actually refer to Poles here, I'm more of referring to Europeans in general) are just as smart/stupid as anyone else in the world.


Anonymous said...

I got here accidentally and intended to leave the site immediately but a comment caught my eye.

Let me get it right: you are a guest in our country yet you're insulting your hosts out loud (point 3), aren't you? Wafer thin ice, "dawg". Not polite, nor smart. It speaks volumes of you as well.

ad point 2: Please don't tell me Russian girls are prettier than Polish, they aren't, do not create another myth. You might look to former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia (especially Croats and Serbs) for a good number of beautiful girls if you want to.

PolishMeKnob said...

How has anything you've said invalidated what I have said?

You've proved it by referring to me as "dawg", which, for some reason, everyone thinks that Americans say. Do you think we're all gangsta' wannabes? This is exactly what I'm talking about!

I can say whatever I want about the Russians, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you've just done exactly what I have done (i.e. create a myth about the beauty of girls from another nationality: in this case, the Southern Slavs.)

Anonymous said...


Russian women are beatyful, too. But only if they are younger than 35. Older women in Russia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece are VERY often fat and ugly.

PolishMeKnob said...

Jon Stewert said it best when he said: "Russian women are known for three qualities: their beauty, their hardiness, and the speed at which one becomes the other." (Jon Stewert, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, Warner Books 2004)

(It's just a joke. Remember, don't take anything to seriously.)

Anonymous said...

That's not the way to go, PolishMeKnob!


PolishMeKnob said...

Here's what Sta wrote (unedited):

Well, I see you have been forced to do some explaining following your rather unfortunate „Some Misconceptions” post. It’s a shame you have edited point 3 of the post dramatically as it’s lost its previous meaning (for example, you had written Polish people are „pretty dumb”, not „just as dumb as Americans”).

I had read your post on myths three or four times before I posted my comment last night. I had seen the note in your profile („Don't take anything too seriously or personally”) too and tried to keep that in mind. I tried to see humour or irony in the text. In the end I gave up; no-one but author himself could tell it was meant to be funny or ironic. It sure was insulting.
PolishMeKnob (what a nick), please show some respect for the country you are hosted by and its people. Also, learn to take full responsibility for your actions and words, think twice (or more if your need appears to be) before you write. If you had some manners and happened to be less arrogant you would apologise and move on instead of doing some lame explanation and throwing occasional (?) f***s around. You wrote what you wrote, it's happened, face it, better luck (?) next time.

I worked and lived in the U.S. for almost a year (office work and some physical work), met people from various backgrounds on regular basis (people from big cities, suburbs, projects, country, East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, South; families, single parents, divorced, young, old, students, teachers, craftsmen, business owners, unemployed, gangsta wannabes, rednecks, emos, you name it), spent time with them, talked to them, spent two holidays among them in popular vacation destinations (East Coast); I saw them happy, serious, having fun, struggle, sad, angry etc. – I think I had a chance to take a good look at different social classes in all sorts of situations. I found Americans to be kind and helpful people, that was my first impression; during my stay in the U.S. I met a couple of friendly, very likeable, colourful and bright individuals. Although I was far from calling Americans a bright and well-educated nation (or society, seems to me) in general, I didn’t dare to call them „pretty dumb” and bitch about them.
I know about the dawg-thing; it's just that your attitude reminded me of the attitude of some American students that I met, various majors, Ivy League, Stanford, Duke Medical School as far as I remember (some of the best American universities then). Those were extremely lofty people (boasting about their education and their social status), quick to judge, shockingly disrespectful towards other Americans (not to mention foreigners), who all liked to jokingly refer to each other as „dawg”. They were a bunch of bad-educated, semi-intelligent, cocky, snobby, sissy brats. And please, don’t make me tell you where they thought Poland was situated („Say what, Holland?”). Not one of them could tell it right, neither could my co-workers, my bosses, my landlord, my neighbours, a policeman, a nice post-office lady, an insurance company agent, a custom officer at the JFK and God knows who else.

Beauty sure is in the eye of the beholder but let's not forget of a thing called canon of beauty. I chose my words carefully and thought I made it clear: I just said there happen to be quite many pretty girls in those countries. Go there and check for yourself. I don't create a myth to abolish another myth; I didn't create a "former Czechoslovakian and Yugoslav girls are (all) gorgeous" myth. By the way, Czechs and Slovaks belong to the Western Slavs.

(I'm sorry I forgot to introduce myself earlier)

Anonymous said...



PolishMeKnob said...

First off, I know that the Czech are Western Slavs.

Secondly, I did re-edit my post. I realized it was rather inflammatory (remember I write these pretty much off the cuff) and felt the need to really make myself clear (others were, shall we say, "less than impressed.")

Polish M'Knob is a good nickname. It indirectly hails from when I was first studying Polish in school and a friend of mine (who studied Japanese) would ask, "How's Polish?" ('Polish' being pronounced "Pall-ish", just like nail polish.)

Mostly I'm not actually addressing Polish people directly, but more of Europeans (from my experiences of living in Germany in an international dorm.) And it's not just my experiences (and not just experiences in Europe.) My good friend Berkeley was getting rather annoyed with the same things.

I can say whatever the fuck I want about Poland while living in Poland and I can insult whomever I wish. I've worked with plenty of people from "Work and Travel USA" (the name they give the CIEE program.) Most of them bitched and moaned about the States without realizing irony that they were coming to work there and not the other way around. (I'm sure you're seeing the irony in my degrading statements about Poland (as I both live and work in Poland.) I'm enjoying it as much as you are.)

I'm not going to apologize, mostly because I actually don't really care what you think, and because I think I actually have a valid point (yours is valid as well.) If you're going to bitch and moan that I dared to say something bad about Poland or about Poles, then it's your problem and you're just proving another one of my points, which I'll make later in a distinct post. (It has to deal with people from the world not being able to take a joke about themselves. Don't think too much into it just yet, just wait and see what I have to say.)

About Americans not being able to locate Poland, I refer to my previous statements about Poles not knowing the capital of Canada (which, to most Poles, is rather trivial and not important. Just like knowing where Poland is, is rather trivial to most Americans; although, I urge most of them to be acquainted with this world by knowing basic geography.)

Lastly, I'm not too harsh on Poland. I go at great lengths to illustrate the beauty of the land, the culture AND the people. Did you read and comment on those posts?

PolishMeKnob said...

Fuck!!! I just realized I made a typo when I wrote in my second comment, "don't take anything to seriously." It should be, "don't take anything TOO seriously."

I regret the error.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for answering your comment that late, I’ve been away for few days.

Not much changed here, though. You still decline to admit you've done wrong, apologize and show some respect for Polish people this way. You don’t have to give a damn about me and my points. You may think whatever you like but you don’t want to be rude/tactless/ungrateful and hurt your host’s feelings. Haven't you got it yet? What are you, an eight-year-old? Who do you think you are to not respect others and put yourself above these rules? Would it be nice if I stayed at your home and I would disrespect you and your family calling you this and that in return, no matter if it was true or not? No, you'd expect my (meant) apologies otherwise you’d show me the door right away and give me a black eye.

Again, you wrote „POLES are pretty dumb” and as far as I know and dictionaries have it, words „Poles” and „Europeans” are not synonymous. Could one write it any clearer, dammit?! And where's the joke? You must take full responsibility for your words and views if you write publicly (I believe that’s what the blog is as anyone with internet access can enter it). Wake up and smell the responsibility. You have classes in high school back in America where they teach you that, don’t you? Also, I thought it was your second post to make yourself clear; with the first post you just changed a part of the text, the cause of this clash. (This makes me say I hope you are not a journalist-to-be) Oh, right, to follow your thinking: it’s your blog and you do whatever you want. F*** it, you’re calling the shots and the rest can f*** off.

You wrote about a situation that happened in America when you had Polish people bitch about the States much in the same manner you are bitching about Poland now (to some extent). Is that supposed to be some excuse?! My view is your patriotic attitude is far from perfect/desired. A person bitched about the U.S. in your presence while in your country and you didn't do anything about it? I assume your each school day began with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Stars and Stripes in order to instill patriotic attitude in you and I'm affraid it didn't work. Tsk, tsk. I am not going to say slapping their face was a way to go but telling them wrong and/or asking for some respect for the U.S. would absolutely do.

As I said before, I never dared to call Americans "dumb" and therefore I believe I'm allowed to criticise you for calling Poles „pretty dumb”. In fact, I was respectful and loyal to them and their country during my stay there. See, I never played this to them, although opportunity was there as the CD was bought in America (I always loved this song, mostly for the band’s take on American music. The musicians "have a valid point" too).
I didn't bitch and moan although I could easily picture myself doing so. Why? In my opinion America is a great short-time destination. You can cure all your complexes there. Take me for example: I'm a John Doe here, a Mr. Average at best, you can say I struggled at school - I’ve never been the brightest guy around, I’ve never been the most attractive guy around either, but in America I was a stand out guy. Amazingly, a trip over the Atlantic made me clever and well-read, well-mannered, a „good and reasonable bud”, an „awesome” employee, attractive and popular:) with women (and at 6’2’’, I’m over 240lbs with a visible belly and I’ve never cared about fashion and such that much). A miracle? Anything special about me? Nooooo, that was because of how I compared to the Americans, they made me look so good and so damn smart. Same case with my Polish friends who have been there.

Frankly? I haven’t bothered to read any other of your entries. It's just I'm not curious about your work, I’ve just had enough after reading the two. I accidentally came across your blog and saw a post on myths, read it and the rest is known to you. If you like it here, good. Criticising us is OK, insulting us is unacceptable.

On your nick: my mistake, I thought you were being „funny” with your nick in that its origin had something to do with „polish my helmet” phrase. Sorry.


PolishMeKnob said...

You can educate a fool, but you cannot make him think.