The good people of Prague awoke today to the sight of a 10-meter-high purple middle finger on the Vltava River. The height is not as important as the direction it's facing. The artist behind it, David Cerny, is quoted (in Czech, obviously) describing his latest work of art this way: "It's a normal f--king finger to those Communist f--king bastards at the castle."
If Cerny wanted attention, he got it. A BBC story on his sculpture has been in the top 10 most read stories as I've been writing this. I got emails from friends in Pardubice and Massachusetts about this. And expats and Czech friends alike are sharing stories on their Facebook pages.
The unveiling is timed with this weekend's Parliamentary elections, which are needed after Parliament was dissolved in August. The Communist party has held anywhere from 22 to 42 of the 200 Lower House seats even after the Velvet Revolution, and some recent polls (which may or may not be trusted) show they may (or may not) get more power after these elections. But there's definitely a group of voters, particularly in the industrial northwest, who miss the days when they were guaranteed a job.
Special thanks to the Special Assistant to the Blogger for her translation skills.