Posted by on 15 Jun 2012. Filed under Cartoons about Slovakia, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Communism or Religion; You Had to Choose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marek Bennett draws the webcomic COFFEE + DUMPLING + KOMIKS,

detailing his adventures as a teacher, cartoonist, and travelling ukulele-playing rabbit in Slovakia at: http://MarekSlovakia.wordpress.com

 

21 Comments for “Communism or Religion; You Had to Choose”

  1. Dave Crawford

    One of the few good things that came out of WW1 was the formation of the CZ Republic which was hailed as a beacon of democracy, liberal thinking and inventiveness during the 1920s. The chances are that if Adolf had not seized power in Germany the world would be a much different and better place with the CZ still being held in such high regard. What actually happened is history. What is disappointing is the lack of desire to re-establish the short lived glory years of this nation, maybe 50 years of subjugation have permanently erased the ability or will to do so.

    • Dave — Some maintain this rosy picture of CZ history — I have yet to encounter many Slovaks who see CZ as such a democratically equal partnership with the Czechs! But I’ll agree with you, it sure was better than Nazi collaboration, no debate there. — M

  2. George M

    mmmmmmmm…..Was that `doing great and stronger` just before or during the time you were being run by the German Nazi`s and paid to export 50,000 jews and others odd bods to the gas chambers? Slovak Fairy Tales ?

    Slovakia has no real natural resources, so what where they `doing great` at pray tell ?…theft of the Third Reich perhaps ??

    • Slovakia has for over 3000 years supplied empires like Germany, Hungary, even Greece with vital mineral resources and food and labor. (I won’t even bother to recommend the following “rabbit cr*p” for ye: http://marekslovakia.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/government-fell-redraw-1/ 8^) In lieu of encouraging you to learn about it through word bubbles, I’d recommend you take a walking tour through the dark, dripping mining tunnels that honeycomb the immense Velka Fatra range around ancient mining towns such as Banska Bystrica or Banska Srebnica, where you will find museums documenting the long and varied history of resource extraction in Slovakia (WARNING: museums sometimes employ COMICS to communicate complex narratives to multilingual clientele!)…

      It’s true that Slovakia — at least, ethnically SLOVAK Slovakia — was booming during part of the war — Collaboration helped develop internal infrastructure & much of the tourism base in the mountains today (trails and research facilities) was initially built during the war! But the country started to pay heavily for that brief era when the Ukrainians arrived in 1945…

  3. EXPAT

    The shame is that prior to the Russian invasion this country was doing great and even “Stronger” than that of Austria…. At least this is what I hear over and over! So now 40+ years later and we only see small changes! What is the hold up? Suppose evenone making the “Bonuses” for saving money should think about spending that money on something good, rather than lining their pockets!
    Church and State…. Hmmmm…. Pick one, I pick NONE! Why support any group that isn’t looking out for you or your family and the future?
    Give me liberty or give me death! (New Hampshire state Motto)….. I say “give me more money from my pay check and let me spedn it on things I see need fixing!” … Improve the roads and infrastucture of this small country and stop gold lining the churches and political structures.

  4. George M

    Hello Marek, ===I am pleased I made you smile . There are some real grumpy people on this forum just dont get it . I just like to say it, how I see it and better that, than people plain lying to you, as some obviously love to do . When telling the truth people often are offend, but only by the shock value of having to confront the truth, their hypocrisy, or trying to put a false positive spin on a piece of art work, or a news report that is crap, well IMHO. I am not really a people or PC person sorry to say.

    I do quite like the idea of the comic Rabbits , it is just the bubble phrase content I find so blooming dull and false . Perhaps it is the translation or even the mild humour, which does not really translate language to language?

    DC , I am not sure the regime was that bad, just different to what we are used too or we were taught . Given the the way the Americans are with their cattle prods, CS gas of protesters and their murder of bombing civilians, the fiscal Crises in the world-EU, who is to say WE got it right and are better ?. Some older Slovaks I speak to would go back to the old days and actually 46% voters went for a step backwards by voting for Smer .

    This world is run and owned by 2% of the people . We 98% need to start to take ownership of the planet back from them .

  5. Dave Crawford

    “But I didn’t, so I never had a good job or school”
    We should remember the terrible regime the Slovaks had to endure for so many years its just a shame that they are still putting up with the same old routine 20 years on.

  6. Dr Mervyn Windmill

    I sort of agree with you George . These rabbit cartoons are rather simple, mind numbing and really for young children . Bit old fashioned really, like Rupert Bear used to appear in the Express newspaper in Britain . I am not sure what was so wrong in joining the party, in a communist state ? Those were the rules of the game at the time, if you wanted to get on in life .

    I see John Boyd, the previous poster to George M is the Editor in Chief . I must say, rather an odd, rude way to address ones valued readership, I would have thought ?

    • Yes Bagpuss/George/Mr J, etc, hiding behind yet another name in this never-ending multiple identity crisis and self-dialogue you have hardly makes you fit to comment.

      • George M

        Does your knee jerk at every post that pokes pokes some irony at your comic strip ? As for self-dialogue, have you not have created an entire playground, with for your own self opinion . Just a thought ?

  7. George M

    We offer the News for free, but don`t criticize the content, because it is free and you should be grateful it`s free? I would offer some constructive words, but I feel you have more than enough people just brown nosing . I am really not sure how one one guy alone and his truthful comments, can cause you and others such total trauma?

    • Hi George — Thanks for the smile! I will try to live up to your expectations for “Rabbit comic crap”… Actually, maybe I will use that as a review quote on dustjacket of hardcover edition… 8^) — M

  8. George M

    Well, Huh ? All my girls were good they chose the church over the party ..?

    Like the RC church was some big moral compass over `the Party` during communism? The RC church is now big part of the problem with the world today!

    This Rabbit comic crap does not really explain anything, to anyone in real terms, unless you are 5 years old, or some retard . I guess this website has to please all members of their projected readership ?

    • Yeah, pity the whole human race is not as perfected as your good self. I wish I could speak my mind here, but wont, so enjoy your trip George/Jozo/Feri, or whatever you want to be called today.

    • Hi George — Thanks for you great question! Obviously, Babka’s comments are not documentary truth but HER perspective, and as such we can read them & evaluate them & decide (after some time & perspective of our own) whether we believe her or not. Call it what you will — subtext, inference, image-text interaction, accumulation of perspectives, EXPERIENCE — it’s yet another great aspect of The Comics that stimulates & engages readers of all ages & abilities. Enjoy! — Marek

  9. On the C+D+K website you will find clarifying comics that precede & follow this episode, such as:

    <> = http://marekslovakia.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/breakfast-memories/

    And general posts on COMMUNISM = http://marekslovakia.wordpress.com/category/communism/

    But I am wondering what other Slovaks’ experiences were. Do you agree or disagree with these points of view?
    Also, I am translating & adapting Slovak language conversations to English language comics; what is the Slovak equivalent to English slang word like “commie”?

    • George M

      The true English word slang or otherwise would not be `a commie` but `a communist` . Clearly you are American English taught, as only they would use the word commie .

    • Losgar

      I’m sure there are lots of people with many stories in SVK. How much you needed to be a party member for your career rise I’m not sure.
      If you were very talented you needn’t to be a party member. Most of the disidents were talented and they made it quite high despite the fact they disagreed with the regime.

      If you were a party member you either became a member to do career easier or for no reason. If you wanted to be a party member you could. Unlike here in China – to become a party member you need to wait for an offer, not everybody can join them.

      F.e. my father became a party member when he was 18 after a drunk night with one of his friends who persuaded him it was a great idea. When he told his mother she hesitated between option A: Killing him at the spot and option B: Waiting till morning and calling an exorcist. Eventually my grandfather calmed her down telling her that even the Chairman of the village /300 people/ goes to church so it will be OK.

      When my father married my mother they lived in the village of Brodske. A very communist village because the founder of Communist party Marek Culen had been born there. Actually Culen’s wife was a great cousin of my great grandmother. My mother’s father used to say: “Culen was lazy to work so he started a party.”

      That time my father was a postmaster. I was born and got baptised. The party called my father and asked him how he could allow something like that. My father was a good man, still not a partizan, he couldn’t say that if I hadn’t got baptised his mommy would brake his neck so he came up with story like: “I went to the petrol station to fill the car’s tank and meanwhile my wife took my son and had him baptised.” The charman of the local party office said something like: “OK, but your second child mustn’t be baptised.”

      When my brother got baptised they called him again with the same question. My father said something like: “The party wants happy marriagies and this is what makes my wife happy, it’s very important to her. If you want you can talk to her. ”

      During all this time my father was going to church and there was no complaints. I guess it was because been a postmaster was nothing special. My mother always complained how expensive the stamps for the red book are. If you were a member you had to buy stamps monthly and stick them in the book. They could cost from 20 to 100 crowns.
      Here in China I enjoy teasing my young colleagues by asking them how much they spent on the stamps, telling them what they could buy for that money and that the party is filthy rich. They tell me the money helps their poorer comrades in the country side.

      Anyway then my father changed his job, it took 6 months but eventually he got the transfer from a position of a postmaster into a factory – position machine worker. He did it because the pay as a worker was better then the post office job. He also moved to a company’s flat into another village that was again very religious. They called itself a little Vatican.
      Our neighbour was a communist /some higher position/ but his family was very religious. He, just by himself, used to sit next to the window whole Sunday morning so everybody could see that he was not in church.
      Again my father was attending church every Sunday. When my sister was born and got baptised no one bothered him anymore. We all kids got first communion and confirmation.

      My father thought that the party was OK. They gave jobs to everybody and helped familes with getting apartments.
      He listened nearly every night the Free Europe radio and my mother listened the Vatican radio. My father believed that what they were saying on the radio was 80% lies and 20% truth. It was actually the other way around. But there was no internet, no foreign news, the truth wasn’t easy to get.

      After the revolution all the “paper communists” and also others dropped the red book. I think who was who you can find out nowadays by asking the excommunists what they think about the time before ’89. If they say it was better then now they got some profit from being members if they say nothing or something negative they were the “paper communists”.

      The slang word for communist is “komous” /read komoush/ or I use word “komanc” /read komanch; literally comanchee/. But when I say komanc I don’t mean people like my father, I mean the real ones. Not all of them were evil.

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