Category Archives: Civics

Family Purity Day is Violence

(I wrote this in an expat discussion forum. Reposting here for permalink status.) The WHO defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, or against a group or community that either results … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Politics, 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

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

Liberty Without Guns

Georgia has pretty strict gun control laws – not that you would notice. I have often described the country as a libertarian paradise in many ways – laws are few and far between, and enforcement of existing laws is often … Continue reading

Posted in America, Civics, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Then They Build Monuments To You

“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.” – Nicholas Klein, American trade unionist Yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia, and as … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Politics | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Quality of Life, Political Economy, and Ethnocentrism

A CNN article caused an uproar in the Georgiasphere because it listed Tbilisi as an example of one of the world’s worst cities. This list was based on the Mercer “Quality of Living” survey which rates 221 cities based on … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Culture Shock!, Economics | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ban Smoking

Every once in a while I have to remind myself to be compassionate. I am easily annoyed by relatively insignificant things, and if I’m not careful I find myself reacting towards strangers with loathing and disgust, and when this spiral … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Health and Sickness in Georgia | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Mundane Mafioso

Did I make it an entire month without posting? Why yes, I did. My excuse is that February is a short month. The water in my apartment building has been corrupted. Rumor is that it’s due to a new motor… … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Health and Sickness in Georgia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Every Rose Has Its Thorns

Couldn’t resist the Rose pun. So the Georgian Dream has become a reality. It looks like they’ll take 80-84 seats in Parliament, based on the current numbers, but everyone agrees they’ll have a small Parliamentary majority. Last week I was … Continue reading

Posted in Adventures in Adventures in Georgia, Civics, Politics | 7 Comments

What To Expect When You’re Electing

Last week we saw democracy in action in Georgia. On Monday, we’re going to see something completely different: a Constitutional Parliamentary Republic in action. I’ll start with my predictions: I predict that the President Saakashvili’s UNM will remain the ruling … Continue reading

Posted in Civics, Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment