Final Word from Thursday, July 8, 2010

A statue went up yesterday in Jihlava to hometown heartthrob Gustav Mahler, and a group of internet enthusiasts want a statute to another 20th-century musical genius, Michael Jackson, to be erected on Letná in Prague. To win street cred with the Facebook generation, Prague Mayor Pavel Bém agreed to support the Jackson project, but Petr Honzejk of HN said that Letná should instead be graced with a monument to Bém himself. The centerpiece could be a 6m Opencard terminal, Honzejk said, with ice-axes on each side. As an allegory, it's nice, but doesn't it exaggerate the importance of Bém? One man alone cannot move the mountain to Holland or cave in the tunnel. It takes an entire team, and each member deserves his share of the credit for all the misdeeds. Just as other countries have thousands of unknown soldiers who merit a monument to their bravery and sacrifice, the Czech Republic has hundreds of unknown perpetrators who have little hope of ever being identified. It's heartbreaking, if you think about it.[Czech Republic Blanka Hospodářské noviny]

Glossary of difficult words

unknown perpetrator - the unknown person who commits a crime (it is very common in the Czech justice system to file a criminal complaint against an "unknown perpetrator");

heartthrob - a man, typically a celebrity, whose good looks excite immature romantic feelings in women;

street cred - (slang) credibility or stature, such as among members of a street gang;

to be graced with - to be blessed with.


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