What Can Vaclav Havel Do For You?

  wonkette world o' books

Incorporating Washington Post Book World.And now Vaclav Havel is dead. Absurdist playwright, passionate essayist, beer connoisseur, deep thinker about humankind’s place in the cosmos, non-violent fighter for human freedom and dignity, political prisoner of his country’s totalitarian communist regime, and then the post-Velvet Revolution president of Czechoslovakia (and, after the nation split, president of the Czech Republic). What do his writings have to offer us, here in the U.S. of States, on this December day in 2011? Does a disheveled anti-authoritarian haunter-of-theaters-and-pubs have anything to teach us in Earth’s Most Exceptional Country? Let us see.

The remarkable thing about Havel wasn’t just that he was a writer and an intellectual who ended up president of his country. It was that he was so thoughtful a writer, one who couldn’t assume a political position without thinking through its moral and spiritual implications. He was the opposite of glib and shallow, which in practice means he was about as far away from most American journalists and bloggers (librul and konservative) as one can be.

It’s interesting to compare him to American writers and journalists who are routinely called “brave” for any number of things (writing blog posts about Newt Gingrich, writing about their difficult relationship with their mother, writing about their wacky online dating experiences) and like to see themselves as outspoken risk takers. Havel was an actual dissident who put himself in physical danger to voice his beliefs, and willingly went to jail for them.

Havel on what led him to form Charter 77, the human rights movement launched following the arrest of a Czech rock band, Plastic People of the Universe:

What was happening here was not a settling of accounts with political enemies, who to a certain extent were prepared for the risks they were taking. This case has nothing whatsoever to do with a struggle between two competing political cliques. It was something far worse: an attack by the totalitarian system on life itself, on the very essence of human freedom and integrity. The objects of this attack were not veterans of old political battles; they had no political past, or even any well-defined political positions. They were simply young people who wanted to live in their own way, to make music they liked, to sing what they wanted to sing, to live in harmony with themselves, and to express themselves in a truthful way.

Two decades after the Velvet Revolution was cheered by Washington, American citizens can be locked in military cages forever if the President, in a fit of fraternal assistance, decides we are thinking dangerous thoughts. Is this a blessed place or is it not?

Havel on “a more meaningful way of organizing the world”:

Man must in some way come to his senses. He must extricate himself from this terrible involvement in both the obvious and the hidden mechanisms of totality, from consumption to repression, from advertising through manipulation through television. He must rebel against his role as a helpless cog in the gigantic and enormous machinery hurtling God knows where.

Havel on economic arrangements, capitalist and socialist and otherwise:

The most important thing is not to lose sight of personal relationships — i.e., the relationships between man and his co-workers, between subordinates and their superiors, between man and his work, between this work and its consequences, and so on.

An economy that is totally nationalized and centralized…has a catastrophic effect on all such relationships. An ever-deepening chasm opens up between man and the economic system, which is why this type of economy works so badly.

IBM certainly works better than the Skoda plant, but that doesn’t alter the fact that both companies have long since lost their human dimension and have turned man into a little cog in their machinery, utterly separated from what, and for whom, their machinery is working, and what the impact of its product is on the world.

Havel on advertising in sports:

Yesterday at the embassy, together with many of the local Czechs, we watched the final match in the World Hockey Championship, which the Czech Republic won. As usual, it seems the whole nation was caught up in it. I shared in the general excitement, the admiration of the players’ skills, and the joy of victory but I couldn’t help thinking again about something that has bothered me for a long time: these marvelous players are like billboards on skates. Anyone who didn’t know what the Czech coat of arms looked like, which probably means most of the people in the world, would have no idea these boys were playing for the Czech Republic. It looked more as though they were playing for the Skoda automobile works and a cooking pot called Zepter.

Take that, Jaromir Jagr, you MULLETED WHORE.

You can find Havel’s essays, diaries and interviews in Open Letters, Disturbing the Peace, Summer Meditations, and To the Castle and Back. All of these are rich, expansive  books. The next time someone tells you that Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviet empire through his folksy witticisms and gigantic military build-up (which we’re still paying for), remind them that, perhaps, some brave Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and East Germans had something to do it.

Related

 
Related video

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

183 comments

  1. BaldarTFlagass

    Plastic people!
    Oh, baby, now you're such a drag

    Take a day and walk around!
    Watch the Nazis run your town!
    Then go home and check yourself!
    You think we're singing 'bout someone else!

    But you're Plastic People
    Oh, Baby, now you're such a drag

  2. Mort_Sinclair

    America read a book that doesn't involve some or all of the following: a sports team, tandem guys adept at snappy patter, a tough-talking chick with swagger, a somnulent vampire, a bevy of willowy, narcotized female adolescents steeped in testosterone, ghosts, Jesus, or a dog? Oh, how you do go on.

      1. Mort_Sinclair

        I must have been time travelling when I wrote the comment at the crack of dawn. Your point is extremely well taken. I like those stories, too, In fact the best books are the ones with time travel and an nerdy, scatterbrained professor.

    1. tessiee

      As a tough-talking chick with… a moderate amount of swagger, I'm not sure what you're going for here.

  3. BaldarTFlagass

    "It looked more as though they were playing for the Skoda automobile works and a cooking pot called Zepter."

    Obviously they don't have NASCAR in CZ.

  4. Oblios_Cap

    Does a disheveled anti-authoritarian haunter-of-theaters-and-pubs have anything to teach us in Earth’s Most Exceptional Country?

    Yes, but no one listens to me either.

  5. Chichikovovich

    The article forgot to address the most important question. Where can I buy some of these Zepter cooking pots and Skoda automobiles?

    1. johnnyzhivago

      Even more important, the article skips over the kind of stuff that keeps readers engaged, like what were his hobbies? What was his favorite TV show? What was on his iPOD?

      1. Chichikovovich

        Or at least they did back when Czechs would wear cabbages on their belts, which was the style at the time.

    1. SorosBot

      Well there were a lot of people talking about what a misogynist and warmonger he was too. It's certainly not as bad as when fucking Steve Jobs died, and he was apparently the greatest man ever who wasn't just another bloated plutocrat and didn't employ tons of sweatshop labor because hipsters like their iPhones and prefer overpriced computers that look shinier than a good PC.

      1. Negligently_Joe

        Honestly? I think it depends on how you define bad. Providing an intellectual framework and a "liberal" voice advocating for the mass-murder of at least a half-million Iraqis is probably also a somewhat graver sin than your run-of-the-mill sweatshop-labor-using plutocrat.

        And as far as the dumb mitigating arguments, "formative influence on the development of personal computing as a thing", versus "well, he was 'warm' if you knew him personally (unless he was actually a drunken mysogynist asshole???)"… well, ehn. It bothered me when people did it to Steve Jobs, but doing it for Hitchens definitely seems worse.

        Plus, even if you actually liked his stuff, there's something really unseemly about fingerbanging the corpse of some guy who was a petulent atheist in life. What the hell makes you think he'd have even wanted your reverence, guys?

  6. Negropolis

    Hush, Greer. One of the Kardashian skink-lizards is trying to vocalize on my television, right now. You know, the big one, the alpha female in some kind of metallic bodysuit who appears as if she could eat the other two, whole.

    1. FNMA

      Or Thomas Friedman. Or maybe Dan Brown…
      Now, see what you've done. I was hoping to get through this morning without getting pissed off — OK, well, too pissed off — about shit and you have to bring this up.
      Thanks.

      1. Barrelhse

        I believe that most of our social ills today stem from the writings of Walter Lantz, but that is personal opinion.

        1. Biff

          Walter Lantz used to have some summer cabins in June Lake, we all loved him and Gracie for what they did for the community.

    2. tessiee

      "I was beaten with Tom Clancy novels… which, admittedly, would have been less painful than reading them." — Sideshow Bob

  7. ProgressiveInga

    "….but I couldn’t help thinking again about something that has bothered me for a long time: these marvelous players are like billboards on skates…"

    Billboards are people, my friend.

  8. Toomush_Infer

    Yeah, what was so amazing about Havel was that he reminded me that all my 3 dimensional friends count, and his presence cleared away some of the smarmy fecal matter covering our political landscape – how do we get these 2 dimensional media creations (Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, Boehner, McConnell, Harry Reid, not to mention most of the political commentators left and right) to pretend that they are human and folks we would like to entrust with national decisions…? It really is too early to start drinking (been down that road too many times)…

  9. ChernobylSoup

    IBM certainly works better than the Skoda plant, but that doesn’t alter the fact that both companies have long since lost their human dimension and have turned man into a little cog in their machinery, utterly separated from what, and for whom, their machinery is working, and what the impact of its product is on the world.

    Havel's totally ripping from Styx, here.

  10. jaytingle

    "…perhaps, some brave Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and East Germans had something to do it."
    Perhaps… if their name was Ronald Reagan! Little known fact: The USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 aircraft carrier does not run on nuclear power. It is powered entirely by Ronald Reagan's balls, which were donated (posthumously, of course) by the Reagan Library. I'd like to see any saintly relic so much as move a jet-ski! Take that, John-Paul II!

    1. user-of-owls

      Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence. To wit, insofar as balls are mutually exclusive with cunts, and whereas Reagan was history's greatest monster cunt, it follows that Reagan's balls are a logical impossibility.

      Res loquitor ipso hoc gamma hubba hubba.

    2. tessiee

      "The USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 aircraft carrier does not run on nuclear power. It is powered entirely by Ronald Reagan's balls, which were donated (posthumously"

      They tried donating his brain, but it turns out that didn't generate sufficient power to run a Timex watch.

  11. Baconzgood

    "Jaromir Jagr, you MULLETED WHORE"

    As a Pens fan I endorse this comment.

    (I used to like him….until he learned to speak english and I found out that he was a whiney little bitch. I mean c'mon you're a fucking right wing! Muck it out on the boards you pansy)

    1. Chichikovovich

      Ah, brings me back to when I was living in the 'Burgh back in the 90s. Loved that city. There was a commercial on constant rotation on WTAE (which was then a quirky independent talk radio station well worth listening to) that had Jagr trying to teach Myron Cope how to pronounce his name. Even the presence of Myron couldn't give that stiff any personality. 'Course at the time the Pirates had Barry Bonds and the Steelers had strong-armed, granite-brained Bubby Brister at QB, so Jagr didn't seem so bad.

      (Edit: corrected call letters of radio station.)

  12. BaldarTFlagass

    OT, but reviewing the comments on yesterday's sparse offerings from our wonkette overlords (I mean, 5 whole posts all day, and two of them on the sidebar?), I must say that everyone was really on their game. Avanti, my friends!!

    1. Chichikovovich

      Well, the fact is, Baldar, that we came to post. We were giving it 110% out there, leaving it all on the board. Not taking any posts off. 'Cause none of us wanted to let the rest of the guys on the team down. It's all about pulling together. There's no "I" in "win". You can't spell "me" from the letters in "team". And we just want to put those other guys on notice – the posters at Gawker and Huffpo and the Breitbart – Abteilung that the Wonketeers will protect their house. And the upfisters were like an extra man on the field, giving us support even to remarks that were banal and obvious, 'cause they're not fair-weather fans. So Baldar, even in tough times we just find a way to get it done, to keep this miracle stretch going.

    1. Baconzgood

      BUT THE DUDE CAN'T PLAY THE BOARDS!!!! That's what right wingers are suppos'ta do. DON'T GET ME STARTED MANCHU!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Chichikovovich

      Ah, memories. You've reminded me of a precious childhood moment, when I was about 10 years old. Time magazine had some kind of "look back at the 60's" special piece, and they had a photo from the Prague spring with a longhaired hippie type marching alongside and hectoring a Red Army soldier. Caption (first three words remembered like it was yesterday, rest I'm less sure): "Young Czech bohemian taunts Russian soldier in Prague." And I thought (as best I can reconstruct): – "Surely they must realize that Bohemians are – I mean, Bohemia is, – I mean, that might have been a Bohemian bohemian,…". And that's when I first realized with crystal clarity that Time magazine is produced and written by hacks.

      1. tessiee

        "And that's when I first realized with crystal clarity that Time magazine is produced and written by hacks."

        A fact that is driven home, with emphasis, every other month when they run one of the following stories:

        1. Back to the kitchen, bitch: The scientific basis for gender roles
        2. "Mommy, why did Jesus have to die?" "It was the Jews, Timmy."

      2. Negropolis

        What an excellent story. Being quite bit younger, I didn't realize that Time was garbage until I witnessed their coverage of the 2008 Democratic primaries. Someone had got me a subscription as a gift, and needless to say, I didn't renew it after that drek.

  13. johnnyzhivago

    If this foreign guy had spent more time worrying about the ornaments on the Czech Christmas tree – or at least had the courtesy to fix their language so it looked more like a real language like American, he might have earned more respect here.

      1. ChernobylSoup

        Gah. It's too early in the morning. I'm deleting the comment and hanging my head in shame the rest of the day.

  14. MrFizzy

    Maybe there's a post-mortem job opening at the George W. Bush Center for Thoughtful Action and Mission Accomplishments.

  15. Terry

    "The next time someone tells you that Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviet empire through his folksy witticisms and gigantic military build-up (which we’re still paying for), remind them that, perhaps, some brave Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and East Germans had something to do it."

    Bravo. You said this better than I ever could. Of course, I tend to add "Hunkies* rule!" at the end, which may dull the impact of the rest of my statement.

    * – Hunky: old derisive term applied to people who come from (or whose family immigrated from) the area once included within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. About half of my family.

    1. EatsBabyDingos

      In Cedar Rapids, they were called "Bo-Hunks." Bohemian Hunkies. I'd forgotten about that, as it was a good memory from Iowa and my youth, things that are both in short supply these days (my youth and good things from Iowa).

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        There's a pretty big colony of them over between San Antonio and Houston, half the names in the phone books for Flatonia, Hallettsville, Shiner, and Yoakum end in "-czyk" or a variation therof.

    2. Negligently_Joe

      Interestingly enough, this is also a place where, after the brave folks of Eastern Europe, but still well before Reagan, George Soros actually deserves mad props. His first foray into philanthropy consisted of helping to bankroll a number of these revolutions, as he's of Hungarian extraction and it was his countrymen amongst those languishing under Soviet dominion.

      Of course, Glenn Beck used this to cast him as dangerous anti-governement radical, in that anti-semitic hit job of a mini-series he put together on Soros.

      1. swordfis

        It's amazing how quickly this has been forgotten. I visited the USSR in its last days and saw Soros $$ in action. Beck accused him of fomenting "revolution," without mentioning that these were anti-Communist revolutions.Beck's star has faded, but has left a trail of tears and slime, if I can mention the latter without offending snails.

      2. tessiee

        "Glenn Beck used this to cast him as dangerous anti-governement radical"

        As contrasted with the wise and benevolent anti-government radicals on the right?

  16. SaintRond

    It's so rare to see a leader of a nation who isn't just a sick asshole. And even more rare to see one that is even more than that.

  17. johnnymeatworth

    You forgot Velvet Underground fan.

    From allmusic.com: "In October 1990, Lou Reed interviewed Vaclav Havel, playwright, poet, president of the newly emancipated Czechoslovakia, and — surprisingly? — a Velvet Underground fan. During the course of their conversation, Havel handed Reed a book. 'These are your lyrics, hand-printed and translated into Czechoslovakian. There were only 200 of them. They were very dangerous to have. People went to jail.'"

    1. bobbysneakers1

      I've got that interview somewhere. it was amazing that lou could have that effect on someone not a snotnosed would-be lovethug from upstate with pretensions of grandeur (and I mean that in the best way possible). I fell in love with havel that day…

      1. johnnymeatworth

        Yeah, it's in Lou's book of lyrics called "Between Though And Expression," and I think it might be the last time Lou was actually nice to someone who wasn't Laurie Anderson….

    2. Barrelhse

      When I stick that spike into my vein
      I tell you things aren't quite the same
      When I'm rushing on my run
      I feel just like Jesus' son

  18. Grief_Lessons

    I like Christmas surprises. When I started reading this article I had no way of knowing that it would end by ragging on Jagr.

  19. ManchuCandidate

    You know what else Vaclav could have done for me while he was alive?

    Introduce me to Czech women. Have you seen them? They're gorgeous even Martina Navratilova in a manly sort of way but I digress.

  20. GorzoTheMighty

    Something about those Czechs. Let us not forget the Prague Spring of 1968 with revolution in the air. Always on the cutting edge are they.

  21. Guppy

    "What Can Vaclav Havel Do For You?"

    Can Vaclav Havel give me a four hour erection?

    I'm asking for a friend.

  22. CapeClod

    Yeah, but how many real estate deals did he pull off? Or how many casinos did he build? And how many vulgarian tv shows did star in? Hardly seems like Presidential material to me.

  23. Mumbletypeg

    "have long since lost their human dimension and have turned man into a little cog in their machinery"

    We're already so disconnected personally and dehumanized professionally (depending on your occupational demands and disposable income free-time priorities) it wouldn't surprise me if Havel hadn't given up on championing this precedent of sustaining direct human contact long ago — or at least as recently as this week when Mother Jones detailed yet another snapshot of the sordid workplace conditions in the online retail industry.

  24. DerrickWildcat

    So like there's this old guy that's like a cop or detective or something and he has this tattoo of a dragon that helps him solve crimes. And then there's like this weird girl that's good with knives, explosives, motorcycles and hiding that can read animal's thoughts. They go to Czeckl La Slavakia where it's always night to look for some Millionaires lost pet cat. They have to kill a bunch of people but they find the pet cat and so then the guy asks the creepy girl if she will be in another movie with him if he has another case that involves an animal. She says whatever and then there is a big explosion with lots of fire.
    The End.

  25. rileywaggs

    Another keeper:

    “The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore one another, to care only about ourselves. [...] The previous regime — armed with its arrogant and intolerant ideology — reduced man to a force of production, and nature to a tool of production. [...] It reduced gifted and autonomous people, skillfully working in their own country, to the nuts and bolts of some monstrously huge, noisy and stinking machine, whose real meaning was not clear to anyone. [...] We had all become used to the totalitarian system and accepted it as an unchangeable fact and thus helped to perpetuate it.” — Václav Havel, New Year’s Address to the Nation, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1990.

    Just missed him….I'm moving to the Czech Republic in two weeks!

    1. paris biltong

      "Nature as a tool of production." I like that.
      You're not going to work for an insurance company, I hope. Also, think twice before going up to the castle.

  26. SudsMcKenzie

    What can Vaclav Havel do for me?

    my Vaclav Hummels are selling like hot cakes

    kids, … there Will be a Christmas

  27. WhatTheHeck

    We have many beautiful, Czech crystal glasses at home and they are frequently filled with Czech Pilsners, Scottish single malts, French, Spanish, Italian wines. So every time I raise a glass, I am unpatriotic?

  28. freakishlywrong

    Where's our Mourning Briefing? Where's our Mourning Briefing? Where's our Mourning Briefing? Where's our Mourning Briefing? Where's our Mourning Briefing?

    1. Chichikovovich

      And what's tragic is that things could have been so different. If only American men knew that 95% of Milan Kundera's stories are compelling, vivid descriptions of lively, fun, perfect-10 looking hot bodied women getting nekkid and naughty with men who are complete fucking assholes…, Czech literature could be more popular than NASCAR.

      (At least the comic book versions.)

  29. SayItWithWookies

    Havel's emphasis on the dehumanizing aspect of power is refreshing for two reasons — the first is that repressive governments tend to produce bad art and philosophy, even in their dissidents, as any statement even nominally rebellious gets noticed and gains circulation. So for Havel to maintain a standard of rigor as a political philosopher and an artist is especially rare.

    Second is that he knew the anti-human leanings of political and economic power applied regardless of whether that power was communist or capitalist or some other, which tends to get missed. Hearing the right in the US attempting to appropriate Lech Walesa's opinions as approval because he's anti-communist during the healthcare fight just pissed me off — Walesa just sounded a warning about state encroachment and the GOP took it up as some sort of rallying cry for a while, as though the puppet government in Warsaw before he came to power had anything to do with the Democratic party. Turns out Walesa was more ill-informed than anti-healthcare, though the Republicans made the most of it anyway.

    But Havel seemed to be a little more savvy than that. Our politics are so partisan now that it's taken for granted that whatever hurts one side is good for America — well — it takes a little more focus to keep one's eye on the humanist ball.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      It's taken for granted that whatever hurts one side is good for our side, and the hell with America.

      Fixed.

    2. An_Outhouse

      None of that stopped him from being W's butt buddy when the opportunity presented itself. I guess all that power managed to dehumanize him too.

  30. vulpes82

    Isn't the guy who's president of the Czech Republic now, the OTHER Vaclav, some global warming-denying homophobe or something? Quite a drop-off there, Czechs!

  31. SorosBot

    Where is everyone today? It's noon, and there's been nothing since early in the morning. I believe most of us are not students but working adults, and so only get off one day for Christmas instead of a long break.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      No shit. I think this is the first time ever that a Wonkette World o' Books thread ever exceeded 100 posts.

  32. user-of-owls

    Owls' little sister acquired a bit of what she quaintly described as, "an opium problem" (sounds so much nicer than "black tar junkie") some years back. We always knew she was back on the pipe when all communications essentially ceased. And like clockwork, after these lulls, she'd be back on the phone (or once, to my horror, barreling toward my nest with deadbeat, illegal Irish husband and born-junked nephew in tow) saying everything was going great, even peachy. But oh, by the way, those assholes at the restaurant/landscaping/housecleaning/etc outfit where I work screwed up my check this month. Think you could spot me a few, just until I get it straightened out?

    I'm sure any number of you have similar stories. What I'm trying to say is if Wonket comes by on Xmas Eve and asks for a wee loan, be afraid.

      1. user-of-owls

        No cry albino. Iz B ok.

        [Damned if I could actually get a usable link on this Walnuts Original. Anyone?]

  33. flamingpdog

    I have a hard enough time getting my brain working to perform the mental drudge work my evil state gummint overlords require of me on the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and I go to the Wonkette for relief (tits, dicks, and buttsechs) and all I find is someone's first semsester European lit final exam essay on Vaclav Havel? I'm with Soros on this one.

  34. An_Outhouse

    "He must rebel against his role as a helpless cog in the gigantic and enormous machinery hurtling God knows where."

    He should have kept this mind when he was whoring the Iraq war for the neocons.

  35. johnnyzhivago

    I reject this notion of foreigners getting credit for earning their own freedom. Freedom making responsibility and credit goes to the country able and willing to bomb these people into submission. When foreigners realize that they either submit to our will or be blasted to the stone age, they will begin to enjoy their freedoms more fully.

  36. Pres.Libunatic

    Must have been a Wonkette/Gifzette XmasJesusWeen/Solstice Party last night, because neither publication has been updated. Gifzette still has that little slice of the Batman trailer they posted yesterday showing Hines Ward running away from the exploding football field…

    1. johnnyzhivago

      The whole staff was gitmo-ed at 4am this morning. They've all been assigned making Obama ornaments for NEXT year's Holiday Tree.

      Seal Team 6 is now going through the commentors picking out the freedom lovers from the terrorists.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Hello, this is Chichokovich and not some other person pretending to be him. I want to say that you have made an excellent joke Dr. Zhivago, and of course it is funny because we all know that it would be silly for people from the military to do what this very funny, not true at all joke says. Heh, heh. Good one.

        OK, now time to return to posting normally as I always do, and you should too, about Buttsox and Trucker's nuts. It is so pleasant when nothing like a roundup of people is happening.

  37. An_Outhouse

    "Havel presided over the destruction of the education, health and pension systems, and the introduction of the “Wild West” capitalism that continues to shape the Czech Republic, Eastern Europe and Russia to this day. For workers and pensioners the political changes of 1989 have produced a social catastrophe. Havel, however, benefited from them; the return of the family assets expropriated in 1948 made ​​him and his brother Ivan millionaires."
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/dec2011/have-d2

      1. Chichikovovich

        That would be irresponsible. We'd better leave the weasely guy with the tattoo and a pack of cigs rolled up in his t-shirt sleeve behind too, so they can have sex.

  38. ttommyunger

    Sorry, can't get much attention in 'Merika with a name like 'Vaclav Havel". Should have changed it to something simple, like: Donald Trump, or Ted Nugent or somesuch, also, too.

  39. johnnyzhivago

    This story makes me PROUD to be an American! In OUR country, an old guy like this Havel fellow wouldn't have to be banished to old age as a useless, shriveled man forced to sit around and "think" and "philosophize" all day. In America he could be productive to the end – as a greeter at Wal-Mart for example. USA!!!

  40. proudgrampa

    "…would have no idea these boys were playing for the Czech Republic. It looked more as though they were playing for the Skoda automobile works and a cooking pot called Zepter."

    How great a line is that? The man was a fucking genius.

    1. Biff

      Were it not for the Formula 1 race at Monaco, I'd have never seen the name Zepter. And were it not for Top Gear, likewise Skoda.

  41. ChernobylSoup

    Having learned the Wonkette pay structure is based on the number of comments-per-post, Greer KILLED THE REST OF WONKETTE.

  42. paris biltong

    Someone please tell me what's going on. Is it just a non-functioning Wonkette or is it the end of Western Civilization as we've known it?

  43. Biff

    I fear that the Sekrit Cervix has discovered that teh Wonkeets, like me, clicked on something or other in support of Bradley Manning and are being gitmo'd as we read this post.

  44. tessiee

    "The next time someone tells you that Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviet empire through his folksy witticisms and gigantic military build-up (which we’re still paying for), remind them that, perhaps, some brave Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and East Germans had something to do it."

    I'm still trying to figure out why he kept asking "Mr. Gorbachev" to tear down a wall that was in frickin' Germany.
    Oh, that's right. He was a stupid bastard with a worldview 50 years out of date.

  45. slothrops_willy

    "The next time someone tells you that Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviet empire through his folksy witticisms and gigantic military build-up (which we’re still paying for), remind them that, perhaps, some brave Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and East Germans had something to do it."

    Don't forget dem Romanians, who got their asses righteously and spectacularly shot in Timisoara, Bucharest and everywhere else for their trouble. (And then had to put up with endless misery of a different kind under exactly the same bastards, forever, but let's not get into that). They had *balls*.

  46. Antispandex

    "The next time someone tells you that Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviet empire through his folksy witticisms and gigantic military build-up (which we’re still paying for), remind them that, perhaps, some brave Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and East Germans had something to do it."

    Now, you see, I would, except I don't want someone to think I'm a godless heathen (Commie), and send me to the new American Gulag….wait, is THAT ironic? I can never tell. I'm told irony is lost on modern Americans.

  47. sbj1964

    People around the world have been fighting to bring down tyrannical regimes that lock people up in military prisons without trial.Here in America our brave Congress,and president just signed a bill the NDAA that will give them the same ability to do exactly this.We have lost our way America.

  48. BaldarTFlagass

    It's the end of the year, and they have to use up their "use or lose" leave or it gets dropped from the books.

Comments are closed.