Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Doda Elektroda & the Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski

Noc Świętojańska (St John's Night) is the traditional Polish celebration of Midsummer (the Summer Solstice, more or less). But this year the holiday has a new name: Noc Świętojańska z Dodą. That means "St. John's Night of Doda."

That's because Polish pop-music phenomenon Dorota Rabczewska, (aka Doda Elektroda or simply Doda), is the headliner for a "St. Johns' Night" concert this evening in Tomaszów Lubelski, a small Polish town previously known primarily as the sight of one of the major battles in the infamous joint Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

Doda is currently under indictment for violating Article 196 of the Polish Criminal Code which prohibits "offending religious feelings." The charges stem from a television interview the singer gave in 2009 in which she stated that, in her opinion, the Bible is not a reliable source of accurate information, and she also speculated that some of those who wrote the Bible did so under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

Ryszard Nowak, the head of the right-wing ultra-Catholic (and Orwellianly named) National Committee for Defense Against Sects, had demanded that the city of Tomaszów Lubelski cancel the concert. The city has refused to do so, and the obsessivly litigious Nowak has warned that if Doda says anything "blasphemous" during the concert that he intends to take legal action against the town's mayor, Ryszard Sobczuk.

Very little information about all this is available in English. But if you do a google search on "bluźnierczej Dody" (without the quotes) and then use google translate, you can get a good idea of what is going on. In Polish "bluźnierczej" means "blasphemous".

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