On Giving Thanks The European Way, Or, Freedom: It's The New Black!

I have a Thanksgiving story for your consumption that has nothing to do with turkeys or pumpkin pie or crazy uncles.

Instead, in an effort to remind you what this holiday can really stand for, we’ll meet some people who are thankful today for simply being free.

It’s a short story today, but an especially touching one, so follow along and we’ll take a little hop across the Atlantic for a trip you should not miss.

It is 20 years now since a series of events began in Europe that culminated in the fall of the Soviet Union and the dictatorial governments in numerous other neighboring countries, and the European Commission has produced a series of eleven three-minute films to mark the occasion.

Each is particular to one country, and each tells personal stories from people who were on the ground at the time...and each will help you fill out a history that today might not extend further then the memory of what happened over the course of a few evenings at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

I’ll describe a few of the films below, but I want you to go to the website of an ad agency to see them (something you’ll rarely hear me say...); that ad agency being Belgium’s Tipik.

Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were the first to declare their freedom, but before that occurred each had organized unique protests, including one that involved all three countries.

Estonia’s film describes how environmentalists were at the forefront of revolution; in a time when writing about environmental pollution could get you arrested, Rein Sikk and Raivo Riim did it anyway.

Latvia’s “Singing Revolution” is chronicled in the words of attorney Romualds Razuks, who swears the birth of his daughter united the re-emerging nation...which, in my opinion, is a lot of pressure to put on a little girl.

Lithuanians, in an homage to Hands Across America, gathered 2.1 million people, in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, to hold hands as a form of protest one afternoon. “The Baltic Way” is described to us by social scientist Dr. Aldona Pocienè and sculptor Vladas Vildžinus.

Two border guards, one Hungarian and one Austrian, recount a day when they allowed 120 men, women, and children heading for a picnic in Austria to cross their checkpoint just ahead of the Hungarian Army, who had orders to shoot border crossers.

Hana Bosková and Jirí Hollan were on Prague’s Národní Avenue November 17th, 1989, the day armored vehicles tried, literally, to crush a crowd of protesters—and a revolution. Eventually both became citizens of the Czech Republic following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia as a nation.

Two days later, in what is today Bratislava, Slovakia, people took to the streets; although the revolution was successful in removing the Government in place at the time, there are those who are still learning the lessons of how hard it is to be free.

“...Now we try to deserve the democracy and the love we create...”

--Zuzana Cigánová

I promised a short story today, so I’ll point you to just one more little holiday clip—and its mine. Over the weekend, I ran into a car with, shall we say...remarkable...decorations, as you can see from the video...

...and who doesn’t feel thankful for fun?

So that’s it for today: enjoy the holiday ahead, don’t scorch the marshmallows, and when the talk gets around to “what are you thankful for...?” you can answer with: “I’ll do you one better...here’s what a whole continent’s thankful for”.

After the holiday we have a lot of new ground to cover, and not much time; our weekend homework will be a conversation about unusual metals and the American economy...and how, just like oil, one will come to a dead stop without the other.

Comments

it may be possible...

...that the driver of that car, which has canadian plates, has heard the phrase "cavity search" before, eh?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

There used to be a car like that in Chapel Hill

only all the glued on artifacts are body parts from dolls, mostly heads. Hundreds and hundreds of body parts.

As I recall, the car was totaled in a wreck. Bummer.

Happy Thanksgiving, Fake.

I remember that car

I think there were a number of Trolls on it.

There were

And some of them had disintegrated hair. It was really creepy in the right light.

it wasn't...

...this car, was it?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Nope

:)

But here's a story about our local cartist.

http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A19291

Here's a picture (pdf) of her second car ... as I said, I think the first was totaled.

sweet...

...gotta go do "day before" errands", but i'll be back tonight your time.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

if you look on the hood...

...there's a "busby berkeley"-like display of doll's legs.

and a happy day to all y'all there, too.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

You said "y'all"

We're rubbing off on you!

that may be true...

...but i'll bet i keep using some sort of bbq sauce for awhile yet...

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965