Matt: Thanx for your thoughtful drunken response. (Gentle reader: See Matt's comments on the entry two doors down.) I am interested in the section of your note about the French, Brits et al. selling the Czechs down the river. This seems to be the crucial moment in your note. You are talking about the weird deal Churchill cooked up to pacify Hitler by handing over control of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland--which countries was it? It was called the whatchamacallit deal?
Obviously I've drunk a lot of bad American beer since I left and it's pickled the Czech-history sector of my brain.
I know what you mean about the Czechs and xenophobia. It might have something to do with the fact that Czechs have historically always been under exterior control, and felt insecure. When you are insecure, you always want to feel in-control, even when it makes you look like a terrible insecure asshole. This was one of the great things about Masaryk: He was so confident, so stylish and masterful. He was not an oppressed leader.
But I don't want to make excuses for genocide. The Czechs didn't put up a huge resistance to Hitler.
Of course, most of those who did were shot in Kobylisy or wherever (did you know about the execution range they had preserved in the panelak development on Strelnicna where Barney, me, Wade and a bunch of people lived--it was turned into a resistance memorial)---or like that entire village outside Prague, Lidice, that was slaughtered--or else they died in Terezin or wherever, like that babing GF of Kafka, Milena Jesenska, who died in a camp because she was a flamboyant Jew-lover and a weirdo journalist with a mind and a heart. She was very into fashion. She said, My idea of freedom is a little cafe in Prague.
She said that while she was in a camp.
Imagine being in a Nazi concentration camp, sick, starving, dying, and just fantasizing about wearing your sexy gorgeous clothes and meeting your boyfriend at the cafe on the river and having Becherovka and coffee. She liked Slavia Cafe the best.
This is why a girl should never feel ashamed about loving light physical pleasure--like coffeehouses, clothing, conversation, boys and cigarettes. There's something deeper about it that you might not discover until you lose it.
Got to go.