teisipäev, jaanuar 08, 2013

nii naljakas

Käi perse, Semper!
So, the number one most read blog post last year appeared in April. "Eat Your Heart Out, Truman Capote!" Not like so many Estonian and Esto-connected readers care so much about Mr. Capote, or Friedebert Tuglas for that matter. It was because of something I included in the post: the fact that a member of the Estonian Writers Union told my wife, a rejected applicant, partially in jest, that membership depends on on who one drinks and sleeps with.

This led to an Õhtuleht article, where the headline inferred that I was the one who said the stuff about drinking and sleeping with writers. After that, Mele Pesti discussed the manner in which my words were taken out of context in Memokraat. Meantime, the affable gents at the Writers Union were sending me private messages on the world's most popular social networking site about how getting in has absolutely, positively nothing to do with whom one sleeps and drinks. Absurd!

My main point was that there is a disconnect between some of Estonia's archaic ideas about art (or anything) and the reality -- a shred of evidence being that self-annointed "writers" wallow away in obscurity, while people who sell many, many books are not even deemed to be worthy of the term "writer" in an Estonian context. I am actually not writing about myself here, though when I accidentally told someone I was a writer, a kirjanik, it amused them greatly, and I was informed that only people who can translate from ancient Greek into Estonian dialect are allowed to call themselves writers in this little cold land. See what I mean? Anyway, whatever I tried to say, it interested people. That controversial post received about five to ten times more clicks than any other in 2012.

88 kommentaari:

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

This is where I'd quote:

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

(Groucho Marx)

Marko ütles ...

Oh dear. I suppose you're not the only one fed up with their attitude. It was only couple of months ago they were begging from the general public, through media. To allow access to our private holiday homes abroad, for their members. I think they still think of themselves as some sort of 'Soviet intelligenca', a privileged class in a classless society, lol.

I think they wont let you in for the same reason, Estonia is not member of Nordic Council. Its just, theyre so full of themselves. But I also think that you should not give up.

Me ütles ...

Why don't you grow a pair and try to be a writer in New York or somewhere where there is actually a competitive marketplace for writers in English instead of taking such an interest in a place where your wife has basically made your entire career and you can be a big fish a in small pond.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Ouch, Me slapped it "serviti" ... I am sure G can take it in stride. :-)


But I wanted to share something else, rather off topic, but something that set internet on fire yesterday. You gotta see this. Funny as hell. Also sad as this guy represents half of America. Most of Republicans as it happens. Pierce Morgan interviewing Alex Jones on CNN ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWQPZ-taYBs

Giustino ütles ...

I didn't really think of pursuing writing until a few years ago when the first book opportunity came up. I did not expect that book to do so well. There was demand immediately after for a second book, which took a year to write. This is now the period encompassing Feb. 09 to Dec. 10. After that came out in Feb. 11 (and promoting it through the spring), I fell into a deep depression, and only started to come out of it in Oct. 11, when I started writing Montreal Demons. That book was originally conceptualized for English language audiences, and I have had readers tell me the English version is far superior, but it's hard to sell a novel about Quebecois nationalism, sex addiction, and Catholicism. No luck yet. The Estonian version came out in Oct. 12. In the meantime, I started writing some short stories. The first one I submitted was called "Mr. Perfect," and it wound up in Foreign Encounters, the Writers Abroad anthology. Over the past few months, I have been finishing off material for an Estonian language collection of my columns called "The Missionary Position." Now that is done, I can focus more attention on trying to write shorter and longer pieces for competitions, journals, etc. I just submitted another story to a competition last week, and I am hoping to get a few more done this month.

As for my wife -- she is an exceptionally gifted individual. She has written many good books in very different genres, and has a good business sense. She was also the editor of two of the bestselling books of 2011 - Minu Eesti 2 and Sillamäe Passioon. Mastermind! ;) I don't feel any shame in that she "made my career." The opportunity to write something interesting presented itself, and I said yes.

As for Estonia, well, this is a blog about Estonia. Sometimes people have criticized me -- Why do you write so much about Estonia on your blog? The answer is, because it's a blog about Estonia.

Me ütles ...

Your wife may be a talent individual, but the whole reason she is interested in you as a writer is because you *are* sleeping with her. And it is nepotism... especially since you had no literary career to speak of before you were together.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Frankly, I thought you were past the stage where you'd feel compelled to explain yourself to some nameless troll on the internet. I find it charming that you did, Giustino. :-)

Ah. You are still so young at heart. It's a good thing. Soon the time will come, where you won't do that. You won't explain anything at that level. I thought that time had arrived. I was wrong. So still growing, what a wonderful feeling that must be. Love it. Wish you all the best while admiring your growth.

I wish I myself would could grow a pair ... or two ... ahahaha.

Me ütles ...

I am not a nameless troll... I have an art blog... Which I started and publish without sleeping with anyone... I don't have much time to work on it because I work all the time and go to grad school (again because I don't just want to sleep with someone and let them take care of me, which is the path many estonian women seem to take when they can)

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

to Me

So Clover ... and your name is? ....


There. Point proven.

:-)



P.S. How about that "growing a pair"?


Me ütles ...

Unfortunately I'm the one who doesn't have time to argue with a nameless troll. :)

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Tsk, tsk ... that IS unfortundate, indeed. All these busy people, doing important busy things. So much to do, so little time, oeh. No time to write your own name even. Busy, busy, busy ... so busy.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

You were saying that you were not slepping with anyone. Maybe you and I should sleep together, get our respective literary careers going and have good time while doing so.

Oh, I forgot, you are too busy ... no time to sleep. With anyone.

:-(

Me ütles ...

Oh... ok you aren't nameless after all.. You are actually that drunk homeless guy that was harassing me on the subway last week. So glad you got an internet connection:) Welcome to the worldwide web...

Giustino ütles ...

Actually, LPR, I was explaining myself to *you.* And as for nepotism, I am all for it. I mean, I am still an Italian, albeit in some watered down form. Don't let your scruples stand in the way. That's what Grandpa always used to say before he spent his salary on off-track betting. I think Grandpa would have liked you, LPR.

Me ütles ...

Yeah, Justin. But nepotism and leaning on it is the reason you are not a successful writer outside of Estonia.By getting married (to an older more experienced woman in who had it to her advantage to cater to you so she could retain a connection to America and write those best selling books) at a very young age, you missed out on a lot of experience and networking and grunt work, that goes into becoming a writer in the real world. I am not saying it is a bad thing... you have a cute little company which is relatively honest ( since it is so in the family). I'm just saying you can't have it all... here's why.

Giustino ütles ...

It's good to know that there is at least one of us here who knows everything.

Marko ütles ...

That's the spirit, Giuostino. Good old Italian meat-maffia (or icecream-maffia if you would live in Britain). It seems we have found a maffia trade for Italians in Estonia too - writing! Just stick to your guns and the little people drown in their own misery soon enough anyway.

@ Me, you are bang out of order. You are talknig about married couple with underage kids. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Me ütles ...

I think it is great that they have kids, and cute company. I just think they should be happy with what they have and quit complaining.

Marko ütles ...

Maybe its time to stop now, you starting to embarras yourself. He has every right to be officially recognized as Estonian writer. And not because of his family business, but for his literary works.

Bunching below the waist is frowned upon, keep that in mind.

Giustino ütles ...

Actually, it would be a fine column idea, Marko. I have had my "pair" dragged over the hot coals many times for failing to conform to the post-cultural revolution ideal of what a young person is supposed to be ("Endlessly searching for the perfect lifestyle, and that perfect someone to share it with ...")

I had a few jolts in my college years that led me to the belief that the idea that we all have about 100 years of time on our hands to waste in search of something is just not true. So why not get your things done why you still have time? People delay childrearing until late in their life, with the assumption that they will a) live that long and b) won't need help to conceive. But not all of us make it that long. I've watched high school and college friends drop before their time -- before they even got around to doing the most important things, it was all over.

These are big ideas, Marko. I basically dismissed the Singles/Friends order of life. It was a way of life, the "correct way" to live ones life, that was tolerated by older generations who were so terrified of getting old that they were happy to watch ours live in some post-adolescent limbo right up into our forties, because we were too young to "settle down," and who wanted to repeat the errors of naive, young-marrying postwar youth and the divorce epidemic that followed in the 60s, 70s, and 80s?

And when most people are living life according to "the plan," and you choose to not follow "the plan," then you must be stupid, or crazy, or ... there just might be something wrong with "the plan." I mean, hey, what's up with all these miserable, lonely, workaholic thirtysomething people? How did that happen?

Me ütles ...

When he get something published in somewhere beside a local Long Island newspaper or company which is run by his wife, sure. I would love to be a longtime commentator on the blog of prominent writer. I just don't think it is the case.I am just telling it like I see it.

Giustino ütles ...

You can buy your copy here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/writers-abroad/foreign-encounters/paperback/product-20450826.html

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Most Americans (in my circle of friends here) have such vanilla falvored, straight as arrow, simple, good, wholesome, easy to follow, pre-determined before birht life and career trajectories, that I dare not offer factoids about my own rather ordinary soviet past and path. I now know better not to shock the proper button down crowd that I am part of now. Sympathy leaves very little room for respect. So I just grin and keep the social chatter on very light topics.

So why America? I say I was young and impressionable, all I needed to know was that there was a place where they had better pop music. I found that to be true. If anyone asks what music DID you have, I tell them to go to youtube and search for "Trololo" song. That's what we Soviets danced to. This was the only music we were allowed to have.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Me,

Have you ever been a fan of a badn before they broke out big?

Have you invested in a stock when the price was low?

Ever been in a startup before it gets bought out?

Think of it like that.

This is where some "pair growing" comes into play and would be helpful in a long term, but what can I say ...

Me ütles ...

Ok kids... It was fun! Didn't get as much accomplished this morning as I could have, but I am on winter break right now so it's ok.

Good luck all!

ttyl :)

Marko ütles ...

I'm 100% with you on this one. ( I'm 31 and have been in a solid relationship for nearly 7 years now, in that sense gay years are like dog years, being from New York you should know that that's one hell of an exception) .

Hate peer pressure. New house, new car, new shag once in a fortnight, claiming corporate ladder - why, oh why? I want two bedroom flat with nice view and balcony, enough money to make couple of trips a year abroad, and most importantly - time to read, time to spend with my family and friends, time to spend five hours a week in an art gallery, time to be myself. And I'm being looked down upon? Please.

I knew this movie producer once. And he was like party -party-party, new boyfriend every month one more exotic than previous, drugs, fame, all that money. But on one random Saturday we started to talk about life and things and future, and you know what? All he wanted was what I already had - a life. That was also the point I stopped hanging out with him. As I knew, he would never have what it really takes.

Giuostino, you are not alone.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Marko, what bothers me about such stories you just laid out here is that you never really detect any serious regret in them.

That kinda makes me wish I had my own cigar jacket, fast friends and lines of blow period in my life. So that I could now sit here warn other people how "awfully empty" it all was and blah-blah-blah. Instead it was just boring work-work-work, study-study ... nerdy stuff ...

OK, some saunapidu here and there, but the only producer there was usually naabri onu Elmar with his home made brew.

Such was night life in the provinces ...


Marko ütles ...

I don't understand. Why should I regret anything? Havent done anything wrong in my life. And our past experiences make us who we are now, so there's a bit of contradiction in what you say. I think I just had an awful lot of pressure on me while growing up, but I was self confident enough to weather it out, sort of, with some major ups and downs. So the choices I made later in life might have not been as expected or what people 'had in mind' for me.

I just know what he means. But what I don't understand is that why society thinks that they have to reign us in. Really, why? Up to a point I can see that from the 'herds' point of view - the stronger/fitter/successful individual, the stronger/fitter/successful the herd. But who decides, and why should someone even have such an power over individuals free, or at least allegedly free, will?

Me ütles ...

Well that is exactly my point. I think that Justin has a perfectly good life. I think maybe he should get a real job though.... other than advocating for his wife's career and let the writers association or whatever alone..

He is entertaining but he isn't that good a writer And lots of good writers, much much better than Justin( I had a lot of friends in the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins that would blow Justin and his wife out of the water ) have to have crappy real jobs. Experiences which Justin has avoided by getting married early and into a small country where you can be a big fish in a small pond.

Me ütles ...

I am not saying that the crappy jobs where good or glamorous experiences but they were experiences.

And some of those people are married, but they are married and in Oakland or something and they have not so great jobs but degrees from better schools than Justin. And they read Anne Lamott and work on their craft. And that to me is being a writer.

Giustino ütles ...

I am an editor at an online media company. Right now I am in San Francisco attending a financial conference. That's my "real job." I wouldn't expect a person I have never met before to know such things about me. At the same time, I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish by criticizing me, the big fish in the small pond. I could do the same to you, but I don't, not because I don't know anything about you, but because I try to maintain some basic decency and compassion and respect for my fellow human beings.

Giustino ütles ...

And in line with that thought, I hope that most of you who read this blog will not waste your time fighting amongst each other or criticizing each other, and do something positive, productive, and even creative with your time.

Me ütles ...

If you have a good job then just stick with that... And leave the people who were willing to go into debt and take risks to having a literary career...Same with the Estonian Literary community...you can't have everything.

Me ütles ...

... You don't need the money... you just fell into Estonian culture because you wanted to be cool... why do you have criticize what people have been doing their whole lives and don't have much choice about just because... You've been at this for 10 years...what makes you think that you know what the literary society should and shouldn't do...

Me ütles ...

Again you should read this book : http://books.google.com/books/about/Failed_Crusade.html?id=9Ps0W3sr2poC

Me ütles ...

It's a good book and I have been trying to get you to read it on this blog for about "what US officials and other experts call "reform" has for most Russians been a catastrophic development--namely the unprecedented demodernization of a twentieth-century country--" .What you are trying to the with writers union is similar. They might be strange but they have their reasons...

Just let it be.

Eppppp ütles ...

Just wanted to mention that Justin's real job is at the biotech news site http://www.genomeweb.com/

Eppppp ütles ...

And the original writer's union comment was a joke.

Giustino ütles ...

There are some interesting ideas here.

One is that Estonia is less significant than the US, because the US is larger, and therefore more important. And because of this significance, the American reader is more important, meaning that one American reader is "worth more" than one Estonian reader. So, selling, say, 20,000 books in Estonia and selling, say, 20,000 books in the US are different phenomena, because Americans are more significant than Estonians.

The second concerns the hazards of self publishing. One is only "real" if someone else (an unaffiliated publishing house) is willing to take a risk on him or her. Of course, this writer might have some other link to the publisher, and may very well be sleeping with him or her (though not married, of course). The reason the Minu series was self published is because nobody wanted to publish those kinds of books. And yet the books have sold very well, which means there was a market for them. So, in order to seize a market opportunity, some people self publish.

A third is the idea of marriage as the end of one's life. You get this a lot in the US. Life is lived until marriage, then it enters some other foreign zone, a sort of numb, sleepwalking existence that is not "real life." This is how many unmarried people view marriage. Only with this concept in mind can one person accuse another of "escaping" something by getting married.

And finally, who is an artist? Honestly, I don't give a shit. I'll do whatever the hell I please, write books for whomever about whatever I like, and if some people like them, that's great, and if some people hate them, well they can fuck off. Simple as that. Anyone who tries to keep others down by playing the "artists only" and "you're not real" card deserves a stake in the heart. It reminds me of my poor old guitar teacher who complained to me about Kiss. "Paint my face, make a million dollars." But that's right, they did paint their faces and make a million dollars, while you toiled away as a "real" musician. Or these pompous classical musicians who won't even discuss pop music because it's not "real" music.

I just got back from City Lights. Some good books in there, but the more modern stuff just oozes with postmodern liberal arts college translucent venal slimeshit. "Extraordinary" "Profound" "Incredibly ... boring." Just because someone tells you something is great doesn't make it so.

Rainer ütles ...

"Some good books in there, but the more modern stuff just oozes with postmodern liberal arts college translucent venal slimeshit."

*standing ovation*

Rainer ütles ...

Me, have you actually had your texts published in a recognized arts publication, or are you just an anonymous fish in a virtual pond?

Me ütles ...

Enjoy you money and success.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

As a man, who does not hear the sound of a biological clock frantically ticking away, it is too easy for me to tell a lady like "Me" not to be bitter like that. It is easy for me to suggest to ignore the feeling of your life slipping from your grasp like grains of sand and instead focus on the moment or if you do not have the talents of concentration required for such endeavor, just sit back and live your so called life vicariously through talented beautiful people like Giustino (and others). Since it would be too easy for me to do so it woudl be unfair and I won't. I just sit here and shake my head in quiet amusement. It's been interesting.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Did I say that out loud?

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I get Me's angle though. I've seen yanks playing White Gods to estonians before. I've run into them personally on my trips to Estonia in the mid 90s. Saw them blatanlty founting their so called confidence and air of "otherness" among an admiring giggle of eager flock of model grade village girls so many times. I remember confronting one and making him frown for a moment in the middle of his wide mouth grin. Seen it. These fish exist. Giustino is not one of them. I'd smell that rat from far away. I tell ya, Giustino is not one of them. "Me" is pinning it on the wrong man.

Marko ütles ...

I read recently that paperbacks are making big comeback in Estonia at the moment. Sales volumes are bigger than they have ever been, since reindependence. So there's plenty of room for all of you guys, even for miserable cows like Me.

You should remind yourself, Me, that Pushkin was a grandson of major of Tallinn, and that Tolstoy was a filthy rich aristocrat. Not to mention Wilde, or Shaw. That list is very long, mind you.

What I gather, is that Giuostino is being passive aggressively bullied by the Writers Union, and as an Estonian national (also ethnic) I condemn it. What's their problem, eh? I think Giuostino would be great asset to their movement and that they are shooting themselves in the foot with this one.

Me ütles ...

Whatever guys.... I don't really care...Be as douchey as you all want ... It really doesn't matter.There is no reasoning with you.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Marko ... tsk, tsk.

"Miserable cow"? Really?

Me ütles ...

Ok.. Fair enough. I may be a miserable cow... but just as attacking people on this thread doesn't get me anywhere.. neither does arbitrarily attacking the writers union... If they don't want you they don't want you life is full of hard knocks ( full disclosure I am not in the Estonian writers union nor do I want to be really)... but they have a right to define some things as literature and others as not and a dishy travel memoir might not really apply... Just because 50 shades of grey is the number one best selling book in the US doesn't make it literature either... ( not that the two are necessarily the same)...

Me ütles ...

Fifty Shades of Grey Ruining literature

Marko ütles ...

"... divided by the common language". In Britain its in the same category as 'old fool' or 'cheeky bitch'. Its lighthearted.

Cheer up, Me. No need to be so uptight about everything. To me its literature, so is Bible and so is Scotland for Dummies. They're all nonsense, or light entertainment but still literary works. Didn't like your comment about Universities either. Since when does a degree give you talent? Did you know that Tammsaare went to University only in his late forties and did so mainly to shut up the snotty little commentators, with their heads up their asses.

And as I can see, nowhere had Giuostino go at you. So why are you on defensive?

Temesta ütles ...

Minu Eesti may not be worth the nobel prize for literature but the book helped me yesterday. I just spent three and a half weeks in Belgium and it felt so good there to be with my family and friends. Yesterday I was sad because I had to return to Estonia today, I took Minu Eesti 2 from my bookshelf, read a few chapters and I could connect with Estonia again.

Marko ütles ...

Temetsa, are you happy at all in Estonia? I don't know what's the part of Belgium you are from like, but it must be a bit of a culture shock. Do you think you will stay for good, or you think you might move back to Belgium? I hope you're surrounded with nice people and don't feel too cut off.

Asehpe ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Asehpe ütles ...

Me, for someone who said he was leaving twice, and who claimed he has little time to spend on such things, thou dost complain too much.

I'm wondering what you would do if the Writers' Union did accept Giustino. Would you then write something in your blog about the low standards of literature in Estonia? I'll bet you'd get good grades for that. :)

To each their own. If you feel grander by downplaying someone else's work, so be it. Oh, and 50 Shades of Gray is not destroying literature: Stephen King already did this. So did Chaucer and Bocaccio before him. Literature has always been being destroyed, and will always be being destroyed (nice verb tenses, eh?). It's what literature is all about, as Jean Genêt might have said.

Peace.

Me ütles ...

Wow! Never gotten mistaken for a guy on this blog before... I must be getting more assertive as a writer. yay! :)

Also if either of the Petrones write Pet Cemetery or Misery... they would have my vote.
Don't see it happening though.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

"Me" reminds me sometime commentator called "Puu" ... albeit a milder, a bit les agressive version of her.

Thi is a certain category of young(ish) females united by the fact that all their girlfriends have gotten married and are busy with their first babies.

That's where we come in, innocent bystanders and at the receiving end of this frustration.

I wish I could help somehow. Give a hug? Something? Anything. Marko, you are the sensual guy around here, say something nice.

Temesta ütles ...

Marko,

I am quite happy in Estonia and I know some nice people. I am from Flanders, so you could say there was some kind of a culture shock, but not a negative one. I don't miss Belgium so much, but my family and friends I miss a lot (It would be great if they would move here :)). They are hard to replace so I think it will stay like this, but I will get used to the feeling. I can never say if I will stay for good, this depends on so many things: my future work opportunities, my girlfriend, if I continue to feel at ease here,...

Giustino ütles ...

No, I don't think I'll ever be some kind of master novelist. It's just not in me. I've been writing since I was very small ... I got Big Sur as a gift when I was about 15, and I've kept journals since then. I just write because "the voice" comes into my head, and I write down what it says. I have to write down what it says, because it is urgent. There is no commercial aspect to "the voice." I would write it down one way or the other. That being said, I should work harder.

Marko ütles ...

I've been called many things in my life, but never a 'sensual guy' before. Lol. You're a softy, aren't you? :) Very sweet.

I think you are right. Me just needs lots of love and attention. And someone to show her that she is appreciated, both in personal and professional lives. Lack of comfort can do strange things to a person, it can twist their personalities and it can make them bitter and inward looking, spiteful and resentful.

Me, what do you want us to do? Do you want us stop supporting Giuostino on his pursuit? Or do you want us to support you, on yours?I think we've got big enough hearts to support you too.

Oh, and something amazing happened today. I was given a tiny little flat in Viljandis Old Town as a present by a family member. I just cant hold it back how excited I am! Just took a round trip with google Street view and it brought back some many good memories. Back in the late 80's it was a heaven for kids. We used to play hide and seek on Lossi Street and we used to nick fruit from peoples gardens and just literally run over hedges and fences. And Tartu Street used to be safe for us to skip down barefoot! I cant believe my luck that I can actually have my little holiday flat there now. Just comes to show that good things happen to people who wait!

I think we need to all wind down a bit, have a cracking weekend with some drinks and good company and just try to enjoy life more, for what it is - a flower;)!

Me ütles ...

Ok and there are novelists in the writers union. Which neither of you are. So leave it alone.

Me ütles ...

The way that Epp uses you to leverage her own agenda is really not cool... but very typical of how Estonian women who are married to foreign men operate... I know all about this first hand.

Any again have fun.

Temesta ütles ...

"I know all about this first hand."

Tell us more! It seems you had some experiences in your life that inspired all these bitter comments.

Me ütles ...

Not biting... sorry.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Now she went all passive-aggressive on us.

Aw.

Don't do that, "Me"!

(Snickering)

Marko ütles ...

Giuostino, we dont explain ourselves in Estonia. Especially if you havent done anything wrong, and you havent. In Estonia do what the Estonians do - grow a bit of a stiff upper lip. Me is like Christine, in a way - they've got it all figured out in their heads, no matter what you say or do is going to change that. Try to change things you can instead. Put yourself more out there. Gain more support from likeminded people, and soon enough whiners will have to swallow it up, as nobody wants to be an outsider, really.

Asehpe ütles ...

Me, I'm more of a fan of The Stand than of Pet Sematary (not Cemetary -- go check), but again to each his own.

You haven't been confused with anybody. You are who you are -- someone who claims s/he has other things to do yet cannot leave. It's as if Giustino's work attracted you so much, you just can't stop yourself.

Look: you've delivered your message. It has already been rejected by everyone here. What else is left for you to do? Don't you have books to read, essays to write, something productive to do with your time rather than spend it on us? Take your own advice: you've said more than once that you were leaving. And go make some literature.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Yes, Giustino needs to learn full out "tuima panema" Ansip-style.

väga väga naine ütles ...

What I don't get, is what Me is so bitter about. There are people in Estonian Literary Community whose's books are downright bad. So bad, I read 30 pages and had to stop and stare and escape. Ok, maybe those My Estona books are not the greatest novels ever, but they are readable, funny and way, WAY better than some people in Estonian Literary Community, who write youg adult novels, have written.

TM ütles ...

the Estonian Writers Union, right... why would they want to have successful writers part of they club and share this little money they get from the state budget? That's what the Writers Union is all about after all, hand out taxpayers money to their members so they wouldn't need to starve.
And they call it 'Art' what they do. In case you didn't know, 'Art', its something that's not suppose to sell. And that's why they need state's support. So why would they want to have you eating off their table, and why would you want to be part of it? It doesn't make sense...

Giustino ütles ...

I guess I have failed here to make my point. I never said that I want to join this organization. I don't have any antipathy for it. Instead, I was using the situation with the organization to highlight a cultural difference. I come across the same attitude in education. There is an old fashioned ideal of what education is, and yet I wonder, in today's world, what are all of these traditions good for? Bill Bryson wrote similarly about the elite universities in the UK. Congratulations. You've mastered Latin. Now what.

Another aspect is the incestuousness of Estonian society. That's what the joke about drinking and sleeping was about. Small countries are notorious for this. Think of Iceland's David Oddson -- mayor of Reykjavik from 1982 to 1991, prime minister of Iceland from 1991 to 2004, foreign minister in 2004 and 2005, president of the Central Bank until 2009, and since then, editor of on of the largest daily newspapers.

These are just ideas for discussion. But you can see here how fragile human communication really is.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

People just enjoy shouting at each other. For some it is an alternative for sex life.

This day and age, we have plenty of food, not so much for sex ... so what is the next best thing to do?

And here we are.

I really do get my rocks off goning to republican web sites and driving these gun nuts up the wall. My kink is to watch them them wallow and howl.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Anyway, I thought I'd share this with you, dear friends ...

Listening this will be worth your time, trust me ...


http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/19188

Marko ütles ...

Very interesting, LPR. Never thought you might be into hippie stuff. Although I must admit I myself live an alternative lifestyle, namely my partner being homeschooled thus sharing my life with someone not being brainwashed by institutionalised mainstream education. Its very liberating, mind you.

In a way I find it odd, that so many highly educated straight Estonian womenfolk complaining about not being able to find their life partners from what they refer to as illiterate 'lumpen' type of Estonian men folk. Yet, when they end up with someone of foreign origin, they tend to be as under qualified as their Estonian counterparts. Double standards, me thinks. Actually all they want is something different, something exotic and unorthodox. But what they tend to fail to realize is the fact that there's plenty to go around in Estonia too, so long they will stand up against stereotypes and the class system.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Did you actually follow it and did it what Andrew Barnes is talking about, Marko?

As for the "hippie stuff" ... well what can I say? ... my job is so dry and technocratic that if I did not seek the deeper meaning, understanign and meaning of our existence, I might as well put a gun to my mouth ... never mind that I make twice the salary of Andrus Unzip and his ilk back at "home" and live a life of envy of the thousands ...

Andrew Barnes is hitting it dead on ... read and seek out more. That's all I say. Gay or not, energy is one.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Oops, tyoes again. I live by autocorrect ... sorry. I should edit my burst outs more carefully. It is not my intention to make you read through garbage. I am a talker, not a writer ...

Marko ütles ...

Don't worry about the typos, nobody does. I did follow it through, and I think he is spot on. Unconventional, but still. How do you find these sort of guys? Recommendations?

I believe 60's are gonna make a full on come back. Not just the hair styles and fashion, but also the flower power thingy. Its happening as we speak.

What to think of it? I think its great! Make love not war. I also think its very much in tune with the Estonian psyche - tree huggers, as we are. The only thing that made me wary though was the way he called outsiders 'sheeple', that gave it a bit of a cult feeling unfortunately. Don't put people down! Other than that, a great guy with some great ideas.

Oh, stop making those gun comments. Most of us still reside in Europe and feel uncomfortable about the idea. We don't do guns around here. Keep it in the America. A free man can make a conceous decision not to carry arms, and that's what we have decided to do. The land of the free, eh?

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

This guy was recommended, yes. There's much that makes sense he says and he stays humble throughout. Impressive. Also how he makes women orgasm without touching them. As I age, I wish to pick up that trick one day .... :-) Just in case.

Ah, on guns ... did you see Pierce Morgan interviewing Alex Jones and whatshisface Shapiro on CNN? Unbelievable!

(It's all on youtube too).

I say use Patriot Act and lock up all the gun nuts in Quantanamo without trial. They are the repubs who wanted the the Patriot Act to begin with, so let them eat their own dog food now. That would be so funny. Lock them up for anti-Amrican activities. They say that they need guns to fend off tyranny. In this case, the American government. Lock them up and sit them right next to the Al Qaeda guys. :-)

Marko ütles ...

I don't really follow American politics, British can be tricky enough: ). Obama's attempt to end 'don't ask don't tell' summed it pretty much up to me and I just lost interest. But I suppose you have your hands full over there by opposing the gun laws. Its one of those 'holy cows', a bit like conscript army in Estonia - even whispering about a possible change will make some people lose their rag big time.

Marko ütles ...

LPR, something has been playing my mind lately. And you're couple of years older than me. I watched this documentary recently about that Rein Mets character. Who was he? I always imagined the Singing Revolution being about holding hands and singing songs on towns squares. But this guy said that the KGB tortured and sexually abused his boyfriend at the time. In the late 80's! Is he telling the truth and have these KGB guys brought to justice or did they just leave with the Red Army? Were people tortured in Estonia in the 80's for their political views, religious convictions and sexual orientation? Or was their sexual orientation used to get to them and were they using sexual violence to shut them up? What really happened behind the scenes during Singing Revolution? It just after this documentary I started to think how little do I actually know about that period in country's history.

PS Hate the commie sickos more and more, as stuff resurfaces.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Behind the scenes lots people go laid I am sure ... I was not there for all that. I was in the Russian Army when this was taking place in Estonia. No idea who tortured whom and how much. I just hated the whole scene (the entire communist block) so much that all I could think of was to leave, leave, leave ...

Have not seen the documentary about Mets, but what little I have seen has convinced me that he'd very annoying person to hang out with ...

Just the entire vibe he gives out ... is just ... aghrrrrrh. His poor wife looked clueless and intimidated by the entire strange ongoings ... Poor thing.

Marko ütles ...

I suppose I have to read up about the era. There's a lot of emotional stuff out there but not much fact based. Like, how did Rüütli regime treat political prisoners, were they harmed, who's accountable etc. I think most 20 somethings haven't got a clue what was really going on. I agree about Mets wife and feel really sorry for her, but I don't judge Rein either - maybe back then it was expected for gay men to form heterosexual relations to please the general public. Although on the individual and family level, nobody benefits from such arrengements, quite the opposite - its cruel and it can destroy peoples lives.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Never thought to bring this up with my friends in person and ask if they have ever experienced a a gay guy trying to put moves on them .. I am sure think they'd lie to me ... It is a touchy subject, you'll never get a man talk about it. Unless they are ... gay.

So the question is, what's up with that? It happened to me when I was in my twenties twice and once in my thirties. I must have lost my looks by now or something, but now I just get attention just from the ladies. What's your take on this? Color me baffled. I never found an answer. I've just decided to take these misunderstangs as a form of compliment done in good faith. Used ot get angry, almost busted one guys face and he probably meant no harm.

Does eny of this ring a bell?

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Did it again ... iphone has terminally messed up my spelling chops

:-(

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

If I need to clarify, this question was to you, Marko, our very own representative of the LGBT community.

Although I am ironic most of the time, this question was not loaded.

Marko ütles ...

Obviously I can only speak of my experience, which limits me to free Estonian Republic and the United Kingdom. I have no idea what it must have been like in Soviet Estonia or how it is in the States. I've been grabbed too by straight ladies in nightclubs etc, your average British lassie can really let their hands go on strangers, lol. But I know no harm was meant thus it might be annoying at time, I'm not bothered to be honest. If someone takes advance on you and you do not like it, just say no - no means no, in our culture.

I think people might have been more confused in the past. If I can give out wrong signals to ladies, for sure some men can give out wrong signals to guys too. And there's always the chancers, aren't there. The people who think that they can 'turn' you, on both fronts. You must remember that its a two way street - gays on straights and straights on gays. Obviously we are talking about a small minority here. Nowadays, mainly thanks to the internet, globalization and interpersonal contacts between different communities, you tend to get less of those ackward situations. But hey, on a positive note at least you know exactly what your wife must feel like, all those dirty old men learning every single move she makes.

In Britain I have also found its a lot to do with class also. The higher up you are in the foodchain the more at ease you are talking about, having a laugh about it. Its the working classes who can get touchy and aggressive about it, but then again their sole purpose throughout history has been to reproduce the workforce for the landlord - sex, pleasure and individualism has been a big no no. But that's changing too, so who knows, fifty years down the line probably nobody gives a shit anymore, gay, straight, whatever!

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Thank you for the answer. The class is a good reference point. As I've moved up in life, the air is different. It makes sense now. Very good explanation.

I've a life long habit of dressing well, minding my looks and manners and with the certain group of people, it may have come accross as sending "signals".

James Bond must be a very confusing character for some.

Marko ütles ...

Any time. I just wanted to make this point too, that I am not pushing some sort of agenda here. Guistino himself has brought the subject up once or twice. It just so happens that the words gay and Estonian get rarely used in the same sentence, unless of course it comes in a derogatory form from a Russian immigrant. The truth is that I myself have come across with people who know not much about Estonia and when the discussion arrives at gay issues I personally have been pointed finger at and said 'you guys need to back off a bit' and when I then reveal that I'm gay actually myself, then the reaction would be something like 'oh, at least you are safe here now' and I'm like 'what do you mean' and they would be like 'well, isn't it like in the rest of the Eastern Europe there' to which I would then say ' well, not really'. You can be Estonian, be gay and have lived a perfectly normal life. This is a very difficult point to make actually, since we do have a lot of openly homophobic individuals making headlines all across the world. And since this is Estonia related blog, I feel that I should make that point once in a while.

Mind you, I was asked by a Scottish gay charity to write a column in their newsletter to share with their readers what it means to be foreign, gay and to live, study and work in Scotland. Unfortunately I was really busy at the time, but maybe I should still do it.