Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Holiday in Georgia?

File this under Department of Unintentional Irony: Even as Russian troops drive deeper into Georgian territory, the thoughts of many around the world must inevitably turn to more thorny issues, like where to take that well deserved but so far unplanned vacation before the summer ends. So we find, at the bottom of a 10 August 2008 HuffPost news update about the deepening conflict, describing the death and destruction being dealt out by Russian forces on the ground and from the air, the following tantalizing advertisement:
Hvad med en ferie i Tbilisi? Billige flybilletter - Bestil I dag
[How about a vacation in Tbilisi? Inexpensive air tickets - Order Today]

Tbilisi, in case you don't know, is the capital city of Georgia - not the Georgia that was invaded by Sherman's troops during the American Civil War, but the Georgia currently being invaded by Russian troops to secure the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Of course I'm sure the ad appeared elsewhere the same day, and had nothing to do with HuffPost specifically. This is simply what happens when an automated on-line program mindlessly relates web-page content to a potential advertiser based on the appearance of a few key words. Something exciting going on in Georgia? What could be a better time to fly down there for a holiday! Well, maybe it's really okay, because the Russians have denied any intentions to advance as far south as Tbilisi. In any case, the ad has disappeared by now. Instead, today's story had the following ad beneath it:
Single Russian and Ukrainian Brides for Denmark men. Dating, Marriage
Gee, what could be a better time to think about finding a Russian bride....


Anonymous Beelzebubba said...

I thought it was the same Georgia! I figured the US govt didn't care that much about it because they figured the Russians can have it. Who cares about the US Georgia, anyway.

September 3, 2008 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Zalman Paktorowicz said...

Well, I'm happy you cared enough to leave a comment, thank you.

But in the wake of the conflict, I was thinking of writing a version of "Gone With the Wind" set in the democratic republic of Georgia. The army of a Russian-speaking General W. T. Shermanov is advancing relentlessly south towards Tbilisi, cutting Georgia in two while laying waste to the countryside. "They started it!" insists President Medvedev. "They started it!" insists President Saakashvili, referring to South Ossetian separatists. To both of whom Rhett Butler replies: "My dear, I don't give a damn."

September 4, 2008 at 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Beelzebubblicious said...

I'd like that! But I think it would have a limited audience.
Hey Zalman... I heard a rumor about some poetry reading at the Poet Bureau you may have been a part of.. can't find any link on their page. You don't happen to know anything about that, do you?

September 5, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Steven Levery said...

Too bad these comments don't seem to have dates when I look at them. Makes it impossible to tell how long they've been here. In any case, maybe I should post something about the reading?

September 24, 2008 at 8:24 AM  

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