This little gem ("Radenska
connects us") shows that Nokia wasn't the first company to connect people.
In light of recent events we might conclude that "Radenska" failed,
but you can't fail to appreciate the effort.
Until very recently you should look very hard to find anyone speak
openly against Christmas. One of those lone dissenting voices was
Phoebe Cates' character in Gremlins. Her diatribe against
Christmas was one of the most subversive things to appear in the
embodiment of Hollywood family entertainment.
days more and more people not only share her sentiments, but even come
out of Christmas-haters closet and express it. According to the
recently published, more than half of people in Holland would prefer
Christmas to be celebrated any second or fourth year rather than every
year. In Austria and Germany there is interesting phenomenon of
so-called "Santa-free zones" – shops and bars where people may gather
in this time of year without anything to remind them of Christmas.
reason for the appearance of such sentiments has little to do with the
spread of atheism or militant secularism in modern Europe. Most people
who don't like Christmas aren't opposed to Christmas per se – they are
simply getting fed up with Chritsmas as it is celebrated in today's
In the past, Christmas was part of local family
tradition. In today's globalised world Christmas can't serve this
function, because thanks to popular culture and modern media, there is
only one way in which people are supposed to celebrate Christmas –
presents under the tree, Christmas turkeys, old bearded man, snow and
reindeers etc. People are supposed to celebrate Christmas that way
regardless of living in Alaska, Sahara or New Guinea. This vision of
Christmas being popularised by American movies also contributed to
anti-Christmas backclash in today's atmosphere of growing
Another, even more important and more obvious
reason for people not to celebrate Christmas is in its utter
commercialisation. Somehow the whole idea behind the Christmas is being
buried under Christmas shopping. With the Christmas shopping world
comes to a halt, streets and roads are clogged with increased traffic
and, last but not least, a holiday which was supposed to be a time of
joy turns into sometimes unbearable financial burden. And the joy
people used to get from the family-oriented Christmases is lost in
today's world of individuals who often see Christmas as a reminder of
their own age, solitude and alienation. Many who cherish their personal
freedom often begin to see Christmas as one of rare, and therefore,
extremely annoying occasions when they don't spend their money and time
in a way they would like.
Recently Croatia was entertained by another Church-related scandal. Catechism teacher in one of Croatian elementary schools told children about Procter & Gambe products being used to finance Satanist causes. Catholic Church quickly denied that it had anything to do with it.
I wonder what would happen when new energy drink called Pimp Juice hits Croatian market. It would probably take some time before anyone notices what the word "pimp" really means. By then, violent reactions from Church and feminist organisations would only help the sales.
Today is the day Concorde made trans-Atlantic flight for the very last time.
All commentators contribute initial failure of Concorde to oil crisis, environmentalist pressure and claim that the final blow was struck by Osama bin Laden on September 11th 2001.
Needless to say, apart from environmentalists and leftists who hated class distinctions in world's air travel symbolised by Concorde, the only people who would rejoice today are Islamic fundamentalists. One of West's greatest technological achievements â€“ ability to fly over Atlantic in three and half hours - is not going to be part of everyday life. Just like the emptiness in New York's skyline, this sad fact is going to be constant reminder of Osama bin Laden's greatest achievement. Death of Concorde occurred in the same year with with Columbia disaster. Some may claim that the mankind is being banished from sky. Needless to say, General Boykin wouldn't be the only one who would see some form of divine intervention in current events.
Croatian northern neighbour is more relaxed about direct democracy and they held second
referendum in a year (following the decision to join NATO and EU). This time referendum was organised by labour unions and its aim was to limit the work of grocery shops to only ten Sundays per year. With some 30 % turnout referendum labour unions won with 60 % of Slovenians voting "yes" and 40 % voting "no". Slovenian Parliament will have to pass adequate legislation in a year.
This decision is going to be huge boost to Catholic Church in Croatia and its initiative to ban grocery shops from working on Sundays. Its impact on Croatia is also going to be more direct - most of supermarket chains in Croatia are owned by Slovenian firms who make enormous amount of business, at the expense of convenience stores, owned by local businessmen. Those Slovenian firms are already announcing major layoffs in Slovenia but some of their resources are going to be transferred to Croatia, where they could expect to compensate some of the losses by Slovenian cross-border weekend shopping.