Georgia on Hollywood’s Mind
16 June, 2011
Georgia on Hollywood’s Mind

Hollywood has made numerous movies about wars – some of them genuine blockbusters, some just mediocre and some in a disturbingly bad taste. ‘5 Days of War’, released a week ago is one of those features which has not yet been fallen into any of those categories. The niche for it will take a certain amount of time to be carved in the spacious Hollywood sky, which will probably depend on how much the investor will manage to cash back in.

Revenues are usually the best barometer for putting a final sticker price on a film – that’s Hollywood’s unforgiving yardstick. Unless my memory is failing me real bad, I have never written a critical essay or commentary on a movie, nor do I want to step into an untapped for me a field, particularly the oversensitive artistic realm. I know that this is not my job, and God forbid I present myself to my readership as a feisty little upstart who can’t wait to stick his nose into a competition with other zealously operating squirts. ‘5 Days of War’ (original title ‘5 Days of August’) is a horse of a totally different color. I cannot and should not keep mum here. Here, I have to say something, be it as unintelligent or irrelevant as it might get. We the Georgian intellectuals love to go publicly smart and bright because we think this is cool. But in reality we often sound pompously self-indulgent and provincially conceited. I am talking about some of our smarties who had an expressly negative reaction on the fortnight-ago release of the Hollywood film about the Russia-Georgia conflict which turned into the 2008 South Ossetia war in August of 2008. They commented on just another Hollywood produce so boisterously as if that was the end of the world. Guess why? Politics! We go political even as we have comfortably parked our butts on our toilets seats, not wasting the precious time and viciously trashing out whatever piece of art or act come our way against our will and mind.  Folks, it is not the film itself that matters in our case. Even if it is the worst movie Hollywood has ever made, it does not matter at all. What counts here is the political value and weight of the artifact. Period! How many countries have lately interested Hollywood to put them on the big screen? Georgia has all of a sudden gotten on Hollywood’s mind, and this is a big deal. We don’t need to scavenge in it and scatter filthy trash around it. We have to simply recognize that it is an extremely agreeable fact for Georgia that its president was presented on the screen by an international megastar. How many kings or presidents have been that lucky and deserving in history? There is another, even more important twist to it that attracts our attention. Russians had produced a movie about that war in just two week’s time after the damn thing was over. They had almost the entire world on their stinking side thanks to that farce, having persuaded the mankind that it was Georgia who had started the war. Isn’t now this Hollywood feature film a perfect answer to the Russian brashness and mendacity? Listen, somebody did a good job for us and we now want to trash the efforts of those good people? No way! The fact is a fact is a fact – a serious movie is out there for the world to watch and make conclusions in our Nation’s favor. What else do we want? Ingratitude and lack of appreciation will never pay. How many millions more will know where Georgia is on the world’s political map thanks to Hollywood’s ‘5 Days of War’? Just think about it for a second! And how many more will think right about this country!

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“What did you teach my kid today?” is critically meaningful for every family to ask the school where their children go.

I was about fifteen when I first heard this famous country song performed by the celebrated American folk singer and composer Pete Seeger. Since then, its tune and lyrics have never escaped my memory and imagination. I am saying “imagination” because, while listening to the song played on a tape-recorder, I used to visualize every stanza and word of it. I also took the question, contained in the title, very personally.
Political Stereotypes
The history of Georgia is long and eventful, and it is excessively charged with numerous political stereotypes – both good and bad. Categorizing those stereotypes and subjecting them to thorough analysis could prove to be a worthy theoretical effort, but it might as well take a lifetime, and many bulky volumes into the bargain. I think it is too late for me to embark on the project of this magnitude.
Conchitaism
“Das ist mir doch alles Wurst” or “it’s all the same to me” – says this German expression, which is used as a catch phrase by Conchita to describe his/her personality and philosophy of life. It is all the same to him/her, but the most interesting part of the whole thing about this famous bearded drag queen is that the rest of the world doesn’t care either. Yes, we don’t care anymore whether we perform our libidinous shtick this way or that way. The Austrian singer Tom Neuwirth, 26 has chosen the German word “wurst” (sausage) as her stage name. And no more no less, he/she has recently won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Conchita Wurst is a gay male, enjoying the conjugal life of the same category, no kids – just another DINK family!
Expectations, rights, duties...
The 27th of June 2014 has officially been declared as the day Georgia will sign the Association Agreement with the European Union, further referred to as the Agreement. I have so many comments on this upcoming event that I don’t even know where to start and how to begin. I have also heard that the long-awaited signing of the document is going to be done by the Prime Minster. Who else! But I am getting increasingly confused with the terminology we are pushing into our thin political veins, if not clotted at all. I am reading in the press and among the wires that our president is a Chief Executive Officer.
Eavesdropping
Before I embark on doing this funny piece today, let’s first delve into dictionaries to look up the meaning of the word “eaves” – it is the lower border of a roof that overhangs the walls of a building. So what? – One might exclaim. Patience, my dear friends, patience! Etymologically speaking, the curious word “eavesdropping” has come into English from this particular word. They say the dripping of water from the eaves of a house, or the ground on which such water tends to fall, was the prerequisite for coining the word “eavesdropping” which has lately acquired mega meaning in Georgia. Eavesdropping! And an eavesdropper used to be a personally interested or a deliberately commissioned man or a woman, who stood on eavesdrops with the intent of overhearing what was said inside.
Being what you are
Why is there such a big hullabaloo in our society about being what we actually are? Why are so many serious people all agog about accepting or not accepting the unconventional sexual orientation, alternative sexual identity and same-sex marriage? Because, most probably, we do not want all these uncustomary ways of our self-expression to become standard, routine and anticipated! Understandable! But why is there such a stormy controversy? Because, in principle, the entire world is in disagreement on the issue, and we are part of that freshly born world, which differs drastically from the previously existent one, where we had lived only two or three decades ago!
Dancing away as Star
I am getting seriously tired of being earnest about my life and work although I am well aware of “the importance of being earnest”(Thank you, Oscar!), especially when it comes to political journalism, which I am so much into at the moment. And guess what! As a result of my noisome fatigue, I have found myself in the much-talked about-and-watched television show DANCING WITH THE STARS. Who would say No to being rich and famous! Not me anyway! Some chances are coming once in a lifetime. Some of them are always there but you don’t even want to pick them up for X-number of stupid and wise reasons. For instance, I would never kill myself over using a chance to be on the go in big politics.
In Store for Georgia!
Most of us would probably agree that looking back is much easier than gazing into the future. Evaluating the past is extremely important but having a more or less unmistakably calculated vision of prospective hazards or opportunities should be even more significant. If on the eve of political upheaval of the beginning of those roaring nineties of the 20th century in the former USSR the Georgian political leadership of that time and the nation’s intellectual elite had had a clearer perspective of those devastating incipient developments, Georgia might have endured the end-of-soviet-era economic social and political “earthquakes” much easier and with minimized pains and losses.
Our Posterity
Do we remember the celebrated text of the Preamble to the United States Constitution? Isn’t it amazing that it so accurately fits into the best political beliefs of the Georgian people? Listen to this slightly altered version of the Preamble, tailored on Georgia: We the people of SAKARTVELO, in order to form a more perfect republic, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...
Phrase-Mongering
I have always wondered if phrase-mongering was part of our national character and everyday life. A considerable number of good and nice people in this country are desperately carried away with verbiage. We love to talk without putting much meaning into the words and phrases we are using when communicating with each other at any age and on any level, including political. What matters most for us is to say something as if the main function of a word we utter is to serve as an emotional exhaust. We are saying something because we just want to say it. We just have a physical need to say what we are saying.
Which way to go?
Historical destinies of the Georgian people have it that we always stood at crossroads, looking around in fear and doubts about the painful geopolitical choices we had to make. A crossroad-mode of existence has persisted up until now, keeping us in abeyance interminably without a clearly-cut model of the nation’s future. The annals are pointing at only one historical period, called the “Golden Era” – in 11th and 12th centuries – when Georgia was a large powerful country, playing its significant regional and international role. At all other times, Georgia was torn apart between some great powers – holders of geopolitical reigns at this or that historical stage in the duration of more than two millennia.
Geopolitical Daydream
I am opening my eyes in one of these fine spring mornings and guess what – the TV set, in front of which I had fallen asleep the previous night, is still on, with my favorite anchor shoving the breaking news
Referendums... Plebiscites ...
Discontent prevails, dissatisfaction perseveres, displeasure persists, disgruntlement reigns and disapproval continues everywhere in the world. A sense of misery and desolation is more commonplace among humans than a feeling of bliss and delight – based on average global measurements. Not a single government of any country throughout history has ever performed to complete satisfaction of the governed. In this lovely world of direct, pure, representative, participatory, deliberative, mature, immature, partial, full, embryonic, developed or whatever sort of democracy, humans are more angered, annoyed and irritated at the performance of their elected, imposed or hereditary rulers than pleased, content and happily settled.
Russia vs. Humanity
Russia is today under huge stress if not in deep trouble. On a more generalized note, she has always been invariably worried and exasperated. This is Russia’s character, formed and tempered by her historical fate. Russia is used to a role of an unfair player in matters international. Otherwise, why has Russia been putting up with that much pressure and condemnation since she was shaped into statehood many centuries ago? How come that Russia has that much patience to listen to those unending disparaging comments in her address on the part of the rest of the world? Has Russia any serious reasons to reconcile herself with the massive unconcealed odium that is thrown on her big neurotic head from every direction?
Foreign Relations
Let us put it as trivially as we can – even a child in a nursery school today knows what Foreign Relations means. If we define it in a more or less quizzical way, Foreign Relations would connote the nations, rubbing up against each other in amicable or hostile circumstance, seeking as much benefit from one another as a particular situation would allow at the moment of interaction. Wow, what a perfectly comprehensive new definition, ready for entry into any reputable reference book on the subject.
Soviet Pattern Recurrence

When Putin said that the collapse of the USSR was the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, he had probably wished to let the world know that he was regretful about the inevitable soviet calamity that had come about so instantaneously. Who knows, the tsar in democratic clothing could have been right. Looking back into the last twenty-five years of history, the momentous change in the life of the populous human conglomerate, called the Soviet People was indeed a disaster, which swept away the halcyon years of peaceful existence for otherwise demoralized and despondent experimental nation.

Minorities
Fair and right treatment of minorities by the nations of the world is one of the most pronounced features of our times, and one of the outstanding achievements too. Achievement yes, but not every nation has achieved the status of a fair-and-right handler of minorities in their own countries. I wonder where Georgia stands in this respect. Does this nation have a right sense of what Minority means? Are we reasonable enough a people to co-exist with minorities in our land lovingly and peacefully? Or are we still shrugging our shoulders and goggling our eyes at those who do not look, behave and feel exactly as the majority does?
GJ Editor's comment
11 September, 2014
Chauffeurs make a special caste in this country – they are almost the members of the boss’s family, taking care of privileged wives and kids and running for them everyday chores and errands.
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