Split a cheque like Slovakia

M.I.A.: Born Free. New song from the 3rd album. Lyrics:

„So I check shit cause I’m lippyer / And split a cheque like Slovakia

Watch the uncensored version here. The original video directed by Romain Gavras contains violence and full-frontal nudity. YouTube in United States has banned it. M.I.A. tweeted: FUCK UMG WHO WONT SHOW IT ON YOUTUBE! FOR THE U.S.

Neighbours Without Qualities

As someone born in 1976 I belong to the generation of Gustáv Husák’s [Communist Party Chief and later President of Czechoslovakia] children, of whom around a million were born within a single decade. It was hard to imagine a greater contrast than that between these baby boomers and the aging leadership. Vasiľ Biľak, one of the Communist hardliners who had invited in the Russian tanks in 1968, was born in 1917, President Husák in 1913. The Soviet Politburo was also extremely elderly and were the butt of jokes about which politician would be the first to die.

My long-term platonic love affair with Austria, Vienna in particular, began when I was still a boy. Every Friday many families in Bratislava would buy the Austrian daily Volksstimme. On this day the Austrian Communist Party’s official mouthpiece included the weekly programme of Austrian TV which was unavailable elsewhere in Czechoslovakia.


The Whirlpool

I bought the ticket to Krútňava, or The Whirlpool, opera by Eugen Suchoň, probably the most famous piece of opera music by Slovak composer.

The Whirlpool was composed between 1941 and 1949 and produced in the latter year. It has had an eventful history and in the 1950s was even modified to accommodate the political demands of the communists. It has been staged with considerable success at all the opera venues in Czechoslovakia and abroad, in the Eastearn bloc mostly, of course, including Budapest, Moscow, Berlin, Leipzig, but also Antwerp.

I will see and hear the production by the theater director Roman Polák at the Slovak National Theatre. The Whirlpool is set after the World War I in a small upland hamlet. The story is that of a young man driven by jealousy to commit murder. It is considered to be the national opera with folk dances and customs and intimations of folk song; but it should also a riveting and psychologically well-worked drama based on the novelette by Milo Urban.


The most bizzare Slovak Christmas word is otiepka, the straw placed under the table. In some families, every member has to take one stalk and who gets the shortest one, will most probably die next year. Macabre!

In our family, to predict the future, only the cutting of an apple has been used.

See also: Hriatô