RIP Vaclav Havel | Czechs and Canadians | Communism and Post-Communism | Adam Daniel Mezei VB #322





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Uploaded on Dec 20, 2011

*** UPDATE I make reference to the following clip: http://youtu.be/QX4A2mpJaDo ***

The remainder of this Toronto, Canada week -- until Friday, December 23, 2011's funeral -- will be a fulsome tribute to the late Czech President Vaclav Havel (Václav Havel): a meandering retrospective about his life, his art, his personal politics, his fervent opposition to the evil Communist Czechoslovak regime, and his good plays and other works.

This is a direct response to a comment I received from a Czech Republic-based Friend. In it, she claimed she couldn't find any foreign (i.e. in English) videoblogs she could share with her Czech friends showing how Westerners cared about the late statesman (http://www.youtube.com/comment?lc=ujE...).

To clear the air and for the record: I care DEEPLY.

Today's discussion centers around the historical connection between Canadians and Czechs (and Slovaks!) especially during the 1970s and '80s, about the help Canadians extended to Czechoslovaks during the worst years of Czechoslovak Communism and its ridiculous "normalization" (normalizace) policy, which I explain the video.

Prominent Czechs, like author Josef Skvorecky (Josef Škvorecký) or politician-entrepreneur Otto Jelinek (Canada's former Minister of Youth and Sport in the Mulroney administration -- and watch that "j" there and no flames please against Jelinek and his reputation in Prague!), men who spent the bulk of their productive career years in this country, coming into their own in the nurturing crucible of Canada's democracy.

On the other side, Paul Wilson, of course, is another one of those very prominent personalities in the Czech-Canadian nexus. He was Havel's "semi-official" translator, and if you're anything like me, you'll have taken in the bulk of your Havel-ian ideas through Wilson's sharp Czech to English translations. Wilson, of course, is all-Canadian and presently resides in Northern Ontario.

On the diplomatic front, sadly, there remain intractable difficulties between Czechs and Canadians with the visa situation.

Without delving too deeply into the politics of the matter, what I can say right now is that there are plenty of Czechs who would like to visit our beautiful natural wonder, but can't, due to the silly visa issue. I have a simple suggestion on how to fix the visa issue, but I'll have to leave it for another videoblog. ;-)

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