Author Archives: panoptical

Victim-Blaming in Georgia (or, stop telling women not to be “too friendly”)

Recently, a woman posted on a Georgian expat facebook community that she had been sexually harassed on three separate occasions during her brief vacation in Georgia.  Surprisingly, most of the comments were sympathetic and supportive.  Predictably, there were also a … Continue reading

Posted in Sex and Gender | 1 Comment

Zaza Pachulia: Why Georgians Ruined NBA Voting

From 1974 until 2016, American basketball fans were able to vote for the starting lineup of the NBA’s All-Star game, so that the players in this exhibition game were actually the most popular players in the league, as determined by fan votes.

Last month, however, the NBA announced that the fan vote would be discounted by 50%, and the other 50% of the vote would be made up of superdelegates current players and select members of the basketball media. Fans were disenfranchised in this way because last year, they screwed up the vote by almost putting Zaza Pachulia in the All-Star Game.

I don’t watch basketball and I have nothing against Zaza Pachulia, but the perplexed reaction of sports commentators tells me that he does not merit inclusion in the game. He is not one of the league’s best or most popular players. He will not draw the interest of fans who will spend money to buy tickets to the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. The only reason Pachulia is punching above his weight in the NBA vote totals is that a sizeable number (but probably not a large percentage*) of Georgians – most of whom live in Georgia and many of whom do not even watch NBA games – are voting for him because they think it would be cool to have a Georgian in the All-Star Game. Continue reading

Posted in Civics | Tagged , , | 66 Comments

“Love it or Leave it” – On Cultural Narcissism

A reader asks, “why in the hell are you still living in here when every post of yours involves amd critics Georgia and its people in there”. I actually get this question a lot – this, or its imperative version … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock! | 7 Comments

On “Hats Off”

What is the point of having students take their hats off when they come into the school building? As far as I can tell, there is no educational benefit to be gained from removing your hat. It’s not like the … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

This is why we can’t have nice things

Perhaps you’ve already heard the news that’s prompted me to come out of retirement and get back on my high horse: a group of Georgian chauvinists decided to bust up a film screening at a vegan cafe, because these days … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Politics | 6 Comments

You really have no idea, do you?

One of my colleagues asked what the worst thing about living in Georgia was.  Now, I’ve learned my lesson about being negative and I rarely offer Georgians unsolicited criticism of their country in normal social interactions (contrary to what you … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Myths about the Georgian Alphabet

Agenda.ge appears to be a mildly nationalistic, pro-regime English-language news site in Georgia. They often write feel-good pieces promoting Georgia to English readers, and there’s really nothing wrong with that, and so even though the faint whiff of propaganda rises … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments