Friday, 22 June 2012

Warsaw Boy(s)

Yesterday's post was a tad depressing, no? Such revelations can lead to serious disenchantment with the caffeine in the cappuccino of life and inspire the question, "Why do we keep men around again?"

My preferred cure for resentment of Men in General is to silently say "Bless his little heart" (in a non-patronizing way) at the sight or approach of every man that day. All that blessing works like a charm at lightening one's own heart, and I suspect it prevents wrinkles, too. It definitely eliminates the "I Hate Men" vibes, just about the only vibes men get without having to have them explained to them in words of one syllable. (Bless their little hearts!)

But it is also helpful to think about what it is we really like about men and will miss when a tragic sex-linked epidemic kills most of them and we have to keep the few remaining for procreative purposes. One thing is that they are often very, very funny. Intentionally funny, I mean.

I was thinking this yesterday because, HUZZAH!, at last I have access to Youtube and can look up all the Polish pop video links I've been sent. One of these videos is called "Nie masz cwaniaka ade Warszawiaka," which roughly translates as "There is no crook like an inhabitant of Warsaw." It is utterly hilarious. The actual song can be summed up as "Yeah, so what? We'll kick your butt."

Central European pop musicians who use American rap music, tics and visual cues are often very funny whether they like it or not, and as evidence I link here to Fler's "Neue Deutsche Welle", which is absolutely hilarious in its thuggish lack of self-awareness. (The cherry on the cake is that Falco was not German but, quite famously, Austrian.) However, the brilliant thing about Projekt Warszawiak's video is that it makes fun of Warsaw men as much as it celebrates them. My native Toronto is just as hated by the rest of Canada as Warsaw is by the rest of Poland, so I wish someone back home would come up with something similar. That would be AWESOME.

Hmm. It occurs to me that if you know absolutely nothing about Poland, you will not find it as funny as I do. However, see what you think. The actor portrays all kinds of men, and at first I was disappointed that the one Warsaw character he didn't play was a priest. However, after watching the video several times, I suspect the man in the grey wool jacket in the green cafeteria might be a priest. (I suspect I've been in that cafeteria. I am relatively sure I've seen that old lady before, too.) Meanwhile, I find the construction worker rather fetching, which is no doubt a telltale sign of aging. (By the way, there's one gay culture reference and one man in a pink bunny suit surrounded by lingerie models. You've been told in advance, so nobody have a heart attack on me.)

I looooove the fact that the sensitive left-wing intellectual has to take his girlfriend's little sister along to the mall. Don't ask me what the Jewish guy is doing with the skinheads. I think the inference is that they would be beating him up, were they not momentarily united in their defense of Warsaw.

Reader Update: Long-time reader Aussie Girl in Australia, who used to be Aussie Girl in London, is now Aussie Girl in New Zealand because she upped and got married. So best wishes to Aussie Girl because we at "Seraphic Singles" are kind and sympathetic to married women for obvious reasons.

Source Update: Local Pole suggests that's not a priest but a mathematician. Apparently that's what Polish mathematicians look like. Gracious.


Sinéad. said...

Oh yay, congratulations Aussie Girl, the best of everything to you and your new husband!

Seraphic I quite like the builder bloke too, men who can do stuff are always handsome. And the dude with the moustache in the deli too. :-)

I haven't a notion what he's saying but I'm nodding my head along here to that beat, can you understand what he's saying at this stage?

Fair play to him pulling off so many different looks, I need tips from that man! He must be great craic to do a video and song of that sort.

Seraphic said...

I ran the lyrics though my magical Polish-English program, and I still don't understand it. It would appear to be a folk song from the 1930s about some poor provincial who trips over a stone in the road and says "How could anyone stand to live in Warsaw?" And then the singer gets all stroppy and there's something about the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919. Complete madness. Maybe Berenike or another Polish reader can explain.

I don't think that's a deli, though; I think its a Turkish donair restaurant. (Note that our hero is noticeably darker in that shot.) I was surprised as I hadn't seen Turkish joints in Warsaw myself, but there must be as many Turks outside Turkey as there are Poles outside Poland.

Yes, it is a catchy tone! But for some reason the song that's stuck in my head is "I'm a model and you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the catwalk..."

Seraphic said...

Okay, more wrestling with the translation site and the dictionary have revealed that the singer is explaining that it's a bad idea to insult Warsaw. Once some guy even said that Warsaw was kaput and now he's decaying the mud because the locals took revenge. Says the singer, you can insult him and you can even bop him in the nose, but if you want to insult Warsaw, you should buy your coffin first. Awww....

Sinéad said...

Unforgivable Seraphic, unforgivable. I now have the image of Right Said Fred's video I'm Too Sexy in my head before I pray my evening rosary. :-D I was thinking more of The Streets looking at the video, wherever they are now... Enjoy the broadband!

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

Congrats, Aussie Girl!

This is quite a strange song, but I quite like Warsaw so I'm happy to refrain from insulting it. :-)

Urszula said...

This is hilarious! Thanks for introducing me to hitherto unknown aspects of Polish culture, somehow this passed me by.

A word of explanation: the 'deli' looks like what goes by name of 'kebab' in Warsaw, Turkish or not. The other sights are all also in Warsaw, unfortunately not in any of the beautiful parks... And the chap (priest or mathematician, I don't know) in the restaurant is actually in what is known as a 'milk bar' - one of the only fun remnants of communism, where homeless people, trendy businessmen and students rub shoulders over approx. $2 meal (unfriendly service thrown in for free). They're quite the vogue now! More here:

Apparently, this is a modern version of the same song by Stanislaw Grzesiuk from the 1930s:

I think the Polish you learn from a combination of such music videos and theological talks will be quite unique ;)

Urszula said...

And congratulations Aussie Girl in New Zealand! Very happy for you.