Advice wanted

3 December 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in diary, police | 13 Comments »

Well thought-out, and preferably knowledgeable advice, that is.

My original plan (after setting aside the absurd proposition of trying to turn the Slovak state against one of its own agents) for how to respond to my beatings at the hands of the Slovak police was to:

  1. Leave the country
  2. Publish the story online
  3. Attempt to make a media story of the incident

I’ve done numbers 1 and 2 already. The question is now: should I do number 3?

I have the media and other contacts I need already, I think. If any of them chose to actually make a story of it is another question.

Possible outcomes include:

  • Nobody touches the story
  • It’s published, and yields some good
  • It’s published, and my life gets even more difficult

A big part of me wants to strike back at these monsters. Another part recognizes that the first and third possibilities are the more likely ones.

As context to all of this, Bratislava is still home to me. I’d like to go back there and try to resume my life at some point.

What do you think?

  1. 13 Responses to “Advice wanted”

  2. By Peter Kovar on 3 December 2009

    Hi Mike,

    if you’re planning on returning there, don’t do anything. There are rather disturbing news in Slovakia featured in the newspapers on a daily basis, and as you can see it’s not like it’s been moving the ocean or something. We’re just a nation of careless apathetics. Unfortunately. Unless you know somebody who is even higher in the power hierarchy in Police, I’m afraid, and I’m sorry to say this, I don’t see any potential action to be made on your side that would result in any good. I might ask my friends lawyers, but their most probable response is gonna be something like “Can’t sue, too untouchable.” But I’ll ask anyways.

    hope you’re doing better by now.



  3. By Tomáš Janotík on 3 December 2009

    I agree with Peter. It is not worth doing it. It would not make any change and what is even worse, I think it would merely result in more disappointment for you.

  4. By Milos on 4 December 2009

    maybe if you try to file some complaint against them in the Internal Affairs office?

  5. By Dano on 4 December 2009

    get a gun and get it loaded, official media all suck and alternative don’t exist. I have informed a few of slovak journalists I know about what happened but haven’t got any feedback at all.

  6. By Stephanie on 4 December 2009

    It seems like more harm (for you) than good (for you or others) can come of attempting number 3. Perhaps that’s just caution speaking, but given that some friends from the region seem to think the same and that you’d like to return to SK one day I’d err on the side of caution this time.

  7. By winston smith on 4 December 2009

    I agree with Peter, too. you could do something that wouldn’t get pointed at yourself. a number of anarchist stickers on the police windshields will get them annoyed. that will make you feel better, but that’s about all.

  8. By P.M.Lawrence on 5 December 2009

    You’ve omitted the fourth and fifth possibilities, nobody touches it but (because you made the attempt) it yields some good or your life gets even more difficult.

  9. By Big Mistake on 5 December 2009

    Do as the Buddhist Priest did in a Saigon, Vietnam Street on October 5, 1963- works every time.

  10. By Martin on 6 December 2009

    I´ve sent your case to my friend in one of the largest slovak daily newspaper, but no response. I suppose they don´t care when someone is not supported by some fucking political opposition party (see Hedviga Malinova). That´s a sad reality.

  11. By Sky Captain on 6 December 2009

    There is an old saying: Don’t shit on your own doorstep.
    If you were finished with Bratislava I’d say go for it.
    But you are not. So either you try and write it off to experience and find a new way of working with that particular society, or you try and make the ‘system’ work for you by complaining.
    Then there are the wackout versions; such as getting hit up by the bugger so many times that nobody raises a stink when you finally gun him down in a dark alley.
    Fact is, life is too short to hold grudges like that.
    If you must, go and learn a martial art.

  12. By Sky Captain on 6 December 2009

    I forgot to say: if it was me I’d take Spain any day. Home is where the self is, and sentiment for places can be a killer.

  13. By Sunni on 7 December 2009

    Mike, I’ve thought about your request for a few days now, and here’s my response, for whatever it’s worth.

    What do you hope to gain by pursuing publicity? I know you listed possible outcomes, but they don’t exactly answer my question. The fact that you’re considering paths suggests to me that you may be seeking something that will provide closure for you … and if so, it occurs to me that you can accomplish that yourself, without media attention. (In fact, I think media attention could make closure harder to achieve, and/or take longer to accomplish.)

    From what you’ve recounted of the event, it appears that at least some of your actions went against the culture of the locales—by which I mean that particular establishment as well as Slovakia in general. As I recall, your American heritage was an issue with the police; if you pursue media attention, that will likely be played up … and not necessarily in a positive way. (Other cultures may express approval of American ideals from a distance, but not when their social systems are expected to uphold them.) Media attention could cost you not just general goodwill, but also in employment prospects and even extant friendships.

    Perhaps a more productive course at this time would be to reflect back on the situation with the intention of learning all you can from it—about the culture there, and more importantly about yourself. It appeared to me that you expected some level of American justice from a very different country and social system … and that is a little naïve, don’t you think? Examining these and related issues is vitally important in general, but especially so if you want to return there.

    Hope my rambles help … you’re welcome to follow up in email if you wish. Namaste.

  14. By Mike Gogulski on 11 December 2009

    Thank you to everyone who provided input, here, on Facebook, and privately. I’m closing out the comments here now, since I’ve made a decision that I’ll announce shortly.

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