The Original Think Magazine (Published since 1996)
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Reflections on the Prague IMF summit

After all was said and done, the ever growing traffic jam that gets a little more ridiculous each year I'm here.

 

pulsing brain gearIt's like every car was trying to go to the same place at the same time, in both directions, and with different maps in their mind about how to get there.

A traipse through the metro yielded another line of Andropovian proportions. I stroll past the line and into the tabak, which serves me up a three-month pass in 45 seconds and I draw a blank as I pass the line of folks for whom time is not money. Not a vendor took advantage of the windfall to extract a few crowns from the empty expressionless collective gaze.

The fruitless anger of bosses vainly attempting to get their phones answered, when the whole staff is standing in a line for no reason. There were hardly any complaints from locals who got the whole week off because of the IMF / World Bank protests for that matter.

Money was lost in so many ways it was the anti-Christmas, I think we even lost a few clients in the shuffle. Waiting in a dust cloud of car sh*t, I can't help but wonder if anything came out of this great catharsis. Certainly a lot of people on the sidelines, and not just police provocateurs, felt an urge to lash out at something, or perhaps someone. The attempt to ignore what was happening led to herds at tram stops, but lacked any protective, cardboard on windows not withstanding, impulse to save the 'city' from the infidels.

An outstanding levels of civic ennui often leaves spectators feeling humble for their exaggerated appreciation of P-town, and left the town as empty as the O.K. Corral for the showdown.

A glimpse of the future of this town could be hailed on the side streets that Tuesday afternoon. A tension, like in Detroit or Adam, or London, or Philadelphia could be felt, as a 'watch your back' energy cut through the malaise and torpor of an ordinary autumn Tuesday. In their misguided and galactic effort to thwart globalization, the protesters in fact brought Prague one giant step towards the west, and for a little spin in the middle of history, if only for a day.

Somehow it made me admire the guys who sit there playing electronic gambling machines all day for a chance at a 100 dollar jackpot. It made me feel for the anorexic ladies in sweaters spending their days in the perfume section of Tesco. That dude in the phone costume down on Vodickova who has to hurl himself to the ground to escape the thing after his hours of prostitution, gets my respect.

At least these people are answering economic questions, being ground down into a confusion of choices that fulfill new social paradigms and capitalist principles, without gaining any benefits. These folks are way ahead of the line people, fully realizing what the protesters only suspect about a globalized capitalism.

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