Opinion on the river banks in Vilnius; EP election
I read an opinion about the river banks in Vilnius - to some extent it I agree with it. The way the river is integrated into the city life in Vilnius is rather miserable and can never compare to Budapest, Ljubljana and many other cities. Some nice exceptions are near the White (Baltasis) bridge, where people can sit and chat.
Also, KultFlux seemed promising, although I think it failed the expectations. And, of course, Užupis, where the river Vilnelė attracts many people to sit by it and many artists to accept the challenge of the river and create their works in such a way as to make them suitable for the use near the river or in it (I should finally upload some photos to this blog). All of this the author "forgets" to mention...
What I totally disagree with is his opinion about the corroded pipes as masterpieces of modern art. He says that they are "the best what has happened to the river for a long time". In addition, he assumes that people who protest against them either are intolerant, or use artists as scapegoats to channel their general frustration against. The author has his point when he says that the artwork skillfully depicts the current state of Vilnius and its inhabitants - well, maybe. Yet you already know my opinion about the pipes. I strongly oppose the use of public money for something that (a) the majority of the population, for whatever the reason, disapproves and finds ugly, (b) does not engage bypassers in any way (in contrast to the sculptures of Nuno Vasa, which were very interesting, very artistic and very engaging, yet were destroyed by hooligans in a few days), (c) unbalances a public space people are used to and evokes negative emotions, and (d) is cheap to produce, yet claims lots of public money. I believe that the government should sponsor modern art museums, even if the art is not popularly accepted, sculpture parks and so on. But using taxpayers money for something that defaces their public space is a double slap in their faces. With all my respect to modern artists, I will not approve their ideas as long as they are offensive or milk public budgets for no apparent benefit for the population.
Another topic. I did a test on who I should vote for in the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament. Apparently, the greens should be my first choice. Well, thank you, but they are not represented in Lithuania. They are followed by European United Left - also not represented here. Finally, the socialists. From what I've heard about them, they seem nice, but this fact does not make me dislike their local candidates - the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (which should be rather called the Lithuanian Party for Bureaucratic Oligarchy) less. The LSDP clearly wants to recycle its politicians with unattractive biographies to the EP. At least some notable positive exceptions are there, too.
I think many Europeans are facing the same problems. Or don't they?
And yet another topic. This article has counted what baby names are the most popular in the town of Šiauliai. The author highlights that although the country celebrates 1000 years after its name was first mentioned (the celebration is another topic, but let's leave it for now), no rise in patriotic names was observed. Funnily, the author of this news item says that "on the anniversary, there is no rise in the interest in traditional Christian names". I beg your pardon, what Christian names? Maybe Bruno, the name of the monk who was killed and this way made the news for Lithuania in 1009? Anyway, what interest me is that the authorities in Šiauliai have observed an interesting trend. They say that "muslim" names are making their way into the Lithuanian landscape of names. Such baby names as Ali, Aisha and Aliyah (hehe, very muslim) appear.I would like to research on this one day. Despite the widespread islamophobia in the political and media elite, the society picks up some aspects of the culture they learn more and more about, and use them in their everyday life. Most probably these names simply sound good to people, but still :)