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Should Poland's taxpayer money be used to finance illegal theatre productions?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Feb 2017 #1
Warsaw's Teatr Powszechny is at the centre of a controversy due to its production loosely based on Wyspiański's "Klątwa" (The Curse). Some find the play vulgar and obscene, whislt others claim its substance does not exceed the bounds of artistic freedom.

One scene shows an actress performing fellatio on a "well-endowed" figure of JP2. Another alludes to plans to assassinate Kaczyński. The Polish penal code penalises both the violation of religious sentients and instigation to murder. Should public funds be used to bankroll productions not only grossly offensive to the majority in society but which also promote, glorify or instigate illegal activity?
Harry
21 Feb 2017 #2
Thanks for the information, I'll buy my tickets today.

As for whether taxpayers should finance such works, I'm a taxpayer, unlike you, and I have no problem it, especially given the countless millions of taxpayer money which are paid to Torun as bribes for delivering the votes of the old and confused.
Atch 17 | 2,933
21 Feb 2017 #3
illegal activity

fellatio

I don't think that's illegal, even in Poland, actually especially not in Poland with its penchant for Gabinet Eroticzny etc.

Anyway, to address your point - the thing is Polly that this would come under the heading of avant garde theatre. The fellatio on JP II is a rather obvious attempt I imagine, to symbolise the sucking up to the Catholic Church aspect of the conservative Establishment. It's an attempt to shock but there are much cleverer and original ways to make a point. However present day Poland is a 'young' country and so we're seeing the sort of thing that one might have seen in the 1960s elsewhere. You might have seen something like that in London fifty years ago. Poland will go through this phase and then grow out of it and find better ways to make a point.

plans to assassinate Kaczyński

Don't really see anything wrong with that. Just to clarify, I don't mean it's ok to assassinate him ! I mean I can't see anything wrong with it being mentioned in a play. It's clearly not an incitement to the audience to go out and murder Kaczyński.

Now as to public funds, well we're getting into the territory of censorship. To what degree should censorship be imposed and how would it be done? Are you proposing that all scripts for proposed productions would have to be submitted for approval to the government? And that a theatre would need government permission to stage a play? That's getting into dangerous territory.

As to the blasphemy laws being contravened the authorities are of course free to act if they wish. Wonder why they don't?
Lenka 3 | 1,514
21 Feb 2017 #4
As usual you want to stir ****...
If I remember correctly in Nergal case (for burning Bible on his concert I believe ) the judge ruled that since it was a concert and ppl knew what kind of artist he was no one can claim their feelings were offended - they went there willingly. I think the same applies here. You don't want to watch it, don'don't go.

And claiming that a sciene of planning to kill Kaczynski is in any way 'instigation to murder' is simply hilarious. If that's the case than any movie showing murder, rape etc would classify.

Come down to Earth Polonius or are you too far gone?
Ziemowit 12 | 3,614
21 Feb 2017 #5
Some find the play vulgar and obscene

Has it something on gay sex?

Are you proposing that all scripts for proposed productions would have to be submitted for approval to the government?

We had been through it once. It didn't end well for those exercizing the censorship. By the way, the address for the submissions was: Warszawa, Mysia 5. Half of the original building of the censor's office still exists.
Harry
21 Feb 2017 #6
It didn't end well for those exercizing the censorship.

That's not entirely true: some of those involved in it retain at least the trappings of their former status, status which was directly funded by the same taxpayer which they now proclaim should not be allowed to fund plays which they object to.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Feb 2017 #7
I don't think that's illegal

Fellatio is not illegal, but violating people's relgious sentiments and calling for the assassination of a real person are punishbale offences under Polish law.

As to censorhip and artistic freedom -- those are the buzzwords hypocrites use to promote their own poltical preferences and prejudices.
What about a film showing kittens being tortured. Or how about Israeli boy scouts roasting marshmallows in the glow of the Auschwitz crematorium. Suddenly artistic freedom would be forgotten and the animal rights crowd and Holocaust industry would be screaming bloody murder and calling for immediate legal action. Or a play calling for the assassination of Tusk, Petru or Wałęsa?

You can't have it both ways. Either there is artistic freedom for all, or certain topics are restricted.
mafketis 21 | 7,478
21 Feb 2017 #8
violating people's relgious sentiments

A silly pointless law. Far too much can violate people's religious sentiments. Any particular religion, by its very nature, violates the religious sentiments of those who follow other religions.

Many protestants find the symbolic cannibalism of communion to be repulsive, does that mean they should be able to prevent its representation in the arts?
cms 9 | 1,271
21 Feb 2017 #9
No - I am a Polish taxpayer and I do not think it should be used for this. But a larger waste of money is two separate planes each weekend to take Duda and Szydło home. Is your issue the blasphemy or the waste of money ?
mafketis 21 | 7,478
21 Feb 2017 #10
Is your issue the blasphemy or the waste of money ?

You will never read Polonius criticising anything PiS does. He's had plenty of chances and hasn't started a thread on the change in laws regarding cutting down trees (which has been a disaster).
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Feb 2017 #11
blasphemy or the waste

It is waste and fairness. Either no censorhip of any kind or a selective one. But either way it must be equal for all -- either an anything-goes free-for-all on both sides, or selective censorship respecting each side's sensibilties and taboos.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Feb 2017 #12
cutting down trees

That was a mistake. Part of the blame goes to the oppositon's siege of the Sejm, forcing the governing camp to make do with another chamber. Amid all the resutlant confusion somehow that amendment got passed. MPs probably didn't have the time and conditions to soberly discuss the draft sicne the state budget was the prime concern. Proabably some lobby or agent of influence supported that change for their own ($$$ €€€ zł zł zł zł) reasons.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Feb 2017 #13
separate planes each weeken

Were you criticisng PM Tusk when he took govt planes to Gdańsk at the weekend? The only reason Komorowski didn't is because there are no planes flying from one Warsaw district to another.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
21 Feb 2017 #14
Polonius, please don't try and twist facts. The law was actually rushed through, as it went from the first reading to the final vote within 3 days, while the Senate (which was operating normally) and the President had plenty of time to analyse the law in question. Instead, they chose to rubber stamp it without amendment.

As for who supported the law, we know that the Minister of the Environment was currying favour with foresters and those living in forest communities with it. PiS are only backtracking now after the realisation that it's causing huge amounts of negative PR for them.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Feb 2017 #15
currying favour...backtracking...negative PR

In case you haven't noticed that's what poltics is all about. All politics whether now or in the 17th century or whenever. We could add lobbying, agents of influence, tactical alliances, hand washes hand, backroom deals, corruption, threats, blackmail, scams, etc., etc. That's not what constitutions and rulebooks, which are full of pious platitudes, say, but that is the nitty-gritty of it. Only naive fools believe otherwise.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
22 Feb 2017 #16
Polonius criticising anything PiS does

PiS are a far better alternative for Poland than their predecessors but that doesn't mean they're perfect. I think it's a shame they haven't proposed decreasing the size of the Sejm (to let's say 200 seats) and the Senate (to 50). And directly using the savings for specific people-friendly causes. Also I don't know if the money saved on the elimination of fat-cat SB pensions is being channelled back to the victims of communist oppression. It certainly should be. Far too long has the so-called III RP allowed the vicitms of oppression to languish in poverty while the red victimisers lived high on the hog. The Tusk regime did make a half-hearted attempt to right this wrong but only PiS followed through with it.
Ironside 49 | 9,913
22 Feb 2017 #17
Should public funds be used to bankroll productions

No, they shouldn't. Let them finance such a crap from private sources.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
22 Feb 2017 #18
finance such a crap from private sources

That certainly makes sense. That way no-one can be accused of censorship because there is freedom to bankroll such smut, but taxpayer money is not used to fund content that is offensive to the majority of Poles.
Atch 17 | 2,933
22 Feb 2017 #19
calling for the assassination of a real person are punishbale offences under Polish law.

But not within a fictitious context. Calling for the assassination of a politician by standing up on a soap box is an offence but depending on the person doing it, even that may simply be downgraded to a public order offence, rather than incitement to murder.

violating people's relgious sentiments

So in that case, hard core pornographic magazines and movies shouldn't be for sale in Poland, nor should there be sex shops and Gabinet Eroticzny with large signage declaring their purpose. I don't know many observant Catholics who aren't offended by such things and remember that these things are clearly visible to children and we all have to see them, we don't have a choice in the matter. Plays, books etc are a matter of choice. One doesn't normally go to see a play without finding out a bit about it first and if, when you get there, you find that it offends you, you're free to leave. Quite frankly it boils down to common sense and people need to exercise that for themselves.

selective censorship respecting each side's sensibilties and taboos.

Empty waffle. Give an example. I'll help you out. I'm a producer who wants to stage a play about a young Catholic homosexual man struggling to come to terms with being gay. I go to the censorship board with it and they tell me it's offensive to Catholics, but you can stage it if his religion isn't mentioned, just tweak the script a bit to take the religious element out of it. But, we reply, it's the whole point of the play, the struggle between his sincere religious beliefs and his sexuality, his love of God which is deep and sincere and his confusion as to why God should have given him this cross to bear etc etc. No, says the censorship board, we have to respect the sensibilites and taboos of the majority of people of this country, Poland is still a Catholic country etc. Or imagine it's a play about domestic abuse. The man is a 'good Catholic', in church every Sunday and active in the parish but he beats his wife. No says the censorship board, you can't show a Catholic beating his wife.

However, I see no reason why theatres shouldn't have some kind of warning system on their posters and advertising material in the same way as TV programmes, 'this play contains scenes which some people may find disturbing or may offend religious sensibilities'. That way nobody will waste money on a ticket or be offended.

As far as films go there is already an adequate method of dealing with that, by grading the suitability according to age.

Then we move on to printed material. If you're going to introduce new censorship laws for plays, then you need to also control what people write. That means monitoring books and newspapers..........you're basically talking about a return to Poland in the Communist era and a far greater waste of taxpayer's money.
Harry
22 Feb 2017 #20
the red victimisers lived high on the hog.

As a Polish taxpayer I would very much like to see my tax burden being lifted by the state coffers being swelled by the proceeds of sales of properties seized from those who used the contacts they made while collaborating with the commies to purchase formerly state-owned properties for knock-down prices. I can think of a number of villas in leafy bits of Warsaw that could be seized on such grounds. Perhaps the proceeds could even be used to fund thought provoking theatre productions.
TicTacToe
22 Feb 2017 #21
Has the Guardian got a few of it's divisive journalists into this theatre company, sounds so like them. Where there was peace shall we remove it.

I hope the Polish fight this, don't let the western liberal mind set take over Poland, resistance is needed.
cms 9 | 1,271
22 Feb 2017 #22
Yes of course I also objected to Tusk doing that - as at that time PiS were vigorously opposing it. I have no special liking for PO.

One of PiS's clear appeals to the population in 2015 was that they would stop that kind of thing - but in fact they now simply see it as their turn to get the trappings of power. Tusk at least was running the country - something neither Szydlo or Duda are.

As to state support of the arts then I think it is a good thing but should not be exploited by needless controversies - difficult to say where that line is but it is somewhere before JP II being fellated.
mafketis 21 | 7,478
22 Feb 2017 #23
One of PiS's clear appeals to the population in 2015 was that they would stop that kind of thing - but in fact they now simply see it as their turn to get the trappings of power.

Teraz qurνvα my! Is the guiding princple of all Polish political parties. The more they say it isn't the more it is...

difficult to say where that line is but it is somewhere before JP II being fellated

yes, it sounds like lazy shock for the sake of shock, very trite.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
22 Feb 2017 #24
Tusk at least was running the country

He was running what turned out to be a "theoretical state". Only now is it coming out that the machinery of Tuskite jurisprudence were impotent to deal with scams and corruptiuon such as Ambergold, in fact it seems in many cases they purposely turned a blind eye to such "irregularities". For loyal oldboys such "irregularities" were a normal fact of life. Only suckers (non-clique members) were prosecuted for nicking a wafer bar from Tesco (shades of Jean Valjean!). Under PiS even foremrly sancrosanct judges are being prosecuted for shoplifting -- a lady judge tried to walk out with slack worths 120 zł, a male judge nicked a piece of kiełbasa and his colleague pocketed a part for some e-gadget. Considering the salaries they make and the informal side-profits judges rake in, it's incredible anyone could be that greedy.

Teraz qurνvα my! Is the guiding princple of all Polish political parties

Only POLISH poltical parties? That's a universal fact of poltical life everywhere. Winners have to clean up after the losers, set things right, make new appointments. It's part and parcel of the game. You seem to have a naively idealistic view of all politics except that of Poland.
mafketis 21 | 7,478
22 Feb 2017 #25
You seem to have a naively idealistic view of all politics except that of Poland.

No, it's everywhere, but this is polishforums not everywhereintheworldforums....

Most of the time in poland the best bet is to vote against whoever's in power. It has its drawbacks but more often than not it's the way to go.
Harry
22 Feb 2017 #26
the informal side-profits judges rake in

How surprising to see you making baseless attacks on the latest group to draw the ire of the PiSlamic State for refusing to unquestioningly follow the illegal orders of The Dear Leader Chairman Kaczynski.

it's incredible anyone could be that greedy.

As opposed to the PIS politicians who rake in salaries paid by the taxpayer which are beyond the wildest dream salaries of most taxpayers but who still expect the taxpayer to pay for private planes to fly them home at the weekend. As a Polish taxpayer I see no reason why these people can't just take the perfectly good train or fly on a budget airline in the same way that the British PM does when he's travelling on personal business.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,614
22 Feb 2017 #27
But a larger waste of money is two separate planes each weekend to take Duda and Szydło home.

Were they to travel on one plane, I would think they live in one home. Is that what you mean?
Harry
22 Feb 2017 #28
Were they to travel on one plane

What is stopping them from taking the same plane and then separate cars? It's not as if any decision makers would be on that plane, so no security issues. But what's stopping them from just taking a train like a normal person would? Why should taxpayer money be used to fund the lavish lifestyle of the elite of the PiSlamic State?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
22 Feb 2017 #29
vote against whoever's in power

That certainly made sense as rehard O'Bama and the Platformer crowd.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
22 Feb 2017 #30
Give an example.

Regardless of any specific laws, are you trying to tell us that a fictional feature showing Tusk fellating Merkel (yes it runs out she's fellatable after all!), or a cartoon showing kids gouging out a kitten's eyes and then setting it ablaze, or a feature film titled "All f*gs burn in hell" (and showing them writhing in blazing agony) or a scene of Israeli boy scouts roasting marshmallows in the glow of Germany's famous Auschwitz death camp would be simply chalked up to "artistic freedom". The very same people making excuses for defecating on the Cross of Christ, wiping excrement off bums with the Vatican flag and showing JP2 getting head or being hanged would be screaming bloody murder for immediate legal action. And it would surprise no-one if the theatre or cinema got burnt to the ground in the process.


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