Sunday, April 3, 2016

Functionary W.

When Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the leading Polish communist military daily Zolnierz Wolnosci (Żołnierz Wolności, if you include diacritical marks) published a poem by one 21-year old. It appeared on the second page of the June 12 edition. This was very unusal. The second page was devoted to national and international news. This was not a place for poems, whatever their value might be.

The poem was entitled "Three shots" and spoke about assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. It suggested that the same conspiracy was behind all three deaths. The artistic value of the piece was nil. It was simply a piece of propaganda.

This peculiar kind of author's recognition indicated that (1) this young man was trusted by the top communist military authorities, and (2) he was selected to make a great career under the watchful eye of the communist apparatus. And this is exactly what happened. Communist careers did not just happen. They were carefully planned and carefully executed.

In the 1970s functionary W. worked in the radio, writing and directing satirical programs. Satire was no different from the rest of the communist reality. It was also under a strict control. Satirical production was designed and planned just like production of coalmines and steelworks. W. became head of the radio's communist organization, part of PZPR, Polish United Workers Party.

After 1990, i.e. after the simulated peaceful departure from communism, functionary W. was presenting "conservative" and "right-wing" views. His texts appeared even in parish bulletins, which theoretically should lie at the antipole of Zolnierz Wolnosci.

He became head of the First Polish Radio channel in 2006-2007 and more recently head of the Warsaw chapter of the Polish Journalist Association (SDP).

Comrade W. symbolizes the fiction and comedy of the so-called "democratization" in Poland.