Prague castle
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In the summer of 2000, I packed up my trusty backpack and guitar and bought a one-way ticket to Europe with my travel buddy, Jesse. We spent our first leg of our European tour in Amsterdam and we were on our way to the architecturally laden city of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

We had no intention at all in going to Prague, but I had a college friend who lived there and we had also heard that it was dirt-cheap and an extraordinary city. At that time, Prague to me was as foreign as any other city in Europe, much less the world, and my hunger to experience new things was immense.

From the hustle and bustle of the tourist walkways to the Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings that blanketed the sixth-most visited European city, Praha enchanted us immediately. Prague is called the “City of a Thousand Spires,” with Art Nouveau, Baroque, Medieval Gothic, Roman Catholic Gothic and Cubist architecture spread throughout the sprawling city. It was one of the few Eastern European cities that did not get completely shelled by the Germans in World War II.

At the same time, this fair city still had an air of Communism about it, which fell with the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989, allowing Prague to adopt Western culture. One could still see remnants of the Iron Fist on some Czech faces as well as in the architecture (we later moved into a Communist housing complex called a panalack for $200 a month).

Coming from the quaint, soft-spoken country of Holland, we were taken back by the brasher, abstract Czech life. The language was especially uncanny – not that Dutch was any easier! For example, to say “yes” in Czech, you say “no.” Yes, that’s right, “no” means yes! And to say “really,” you say “fakt” (pronounced similarly to the profane word some people use in English). We heard Czechs saying, “No, fakt!” – yes, really!! Man, that was a trip!

The best thing about Czech Republic was that it touted the reign of being the country that drinks the most beer (pivo) per capita than any other country in the world! Pilsner beer was invented in Plzen, Czech Republic. Deep, caramel lagers and crisp pilsners cost 65 cents for 0.5 liters in a bar. That right there was an ingredient for true debauchery.

On top of that, the Czech Republic held the title of having the most supermodels per capita in the world as well. As you can imagine, we were enthralled; we had an undeniable urge to hang in Prague for a while.

The other intriguing thing in Prague was the infamous alcohol absinthe. This devilish beverage was given to French soldiers in WWI as an anesthesia, but was later banned in many countries due to its potency. In 2000, absinthe was illegal throughout the world except for a few countries because of a natural hallucinogenic ingredient, wormwood. We learned how to drink this paint stripper by taking a teaspoon full of sugar, dipping it into the absinthe shot, lighting it on fire until the sugar caramelized and then stirring the syrupy sugar into the shot and shooting it back. The reason behind all this is to sweeten the awful taste of the absinthe, but this cool blue-colored drink looked and tasted like antifreeze! As you can imagine, it got you undoubtedly inebriated.

In our first week in Prague, we managed to meet people from Czech Republic, Spain, Melba, Finland, Ethiopia, Portugal and England. I found it most interesting to introduce myself as Matt from the USA – I felt it really stripped me down to who I was a person, and I wanted to simply be me. I was starting to realize that life was too short to dwell on the materialistic things in the Western world that sometimes cloud our minds. My conscious thoughts of a new life and a new beginning expanded more than those with minds that weren’t open to other stimuli. I was completely immersed in what I could only call “The Feeling.”

I remembered dreams a lot more then. I was on my tiptoes at all times, hungry for what was around the corner. I would spring up from bed (depending on how many pivos I had the night before) quicker to see what the day would bring. Everything seemed to be right there in front of me, just by feeling a different culture. I was a new man, an honest man. I was sitting on the proverbial edge of my seat to see what would happen next in this scene of my life.

Prague was now our home base. We knew we could always go back to Prague while traveling throughout Europe. But we needed to do something while we were there, and after a month of arriving in Prague, Jesse started to tend bar and I started to teach English. I was teaching professionals who worked for banks and investment companies. They all wanted to just converse in English. It was the best way for me to learn about the Czech culture. My students and I traded stories about our respective cultural traditions and families, and I felt like I had my very own cultural liaisons for which I could ask any questions.

I later became a bartender myself at an expatriate bar named Jama. I was the only non-Czech-speaking person working there. I learned to speak “bar Czech” there pretty well, with the clientele being mostly Czech.

Jama also attracted many expatriate Americans, English and travelers alike. I loved to introduce Prague newbies to absinthe and watch their faces cringe like they just ate fifty lemons at once!

The Czech people are steadfast, stubborn, but becoming more flexible as time goes on. The younger generations were just toddlers when Communism held power in the C.R.; they’re embracing a freer Western society while some older generations want to bring back the socialist, classless society. This divide is apparent, but from what I hear about the Czech Republic these days, it’s an ever-growing Western country with great potential.

However, with this rapid change, the Czechs are still Czechs. They love their country devotedly, with great passion. From the free-flowing beer to the cobblestone niches of its capital city, the Czech Republic has made a 21st century name for itself.

Prague is the type of city where, if you visit without knowing anything about her, you’ll come away with a new best friend. I stayed in Prague for the next two years while Jesse married a beautiful Czech girl and they moved to Colorado to start a family. I haven’t been back since 2003, but I still think about the gorgeous city constantly. Will I ever go back? Fakt no!

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Derek Ray June 23, 2010 @ 8:57 a.m.

I love reading your stories. Have you thought about writing a book?


Fred Williams June 24, 2010 @ 6:54 a.m.

I'm in Prague right now.

There is so much in this article that is either outdated or superficial, that I have to comment.

The Czech word for "Yes" is "Ano". Sometimes this is shortened in colloquial speech to "no". But I have never heard a Czech say "Fakt, no". Instead they say, "fakt, jo" or "to je fakt".

Ten years ago, Prague was still moderately priced, but today it's a relatively expensive city. With the exceptions of beer and tobacco, almost everything costs MORE than what it would in America....and it's spelled "panelak" because the buildings are made of tilt-up panels.

Absynth was made with wormwood a hundred years ago. Today's versions have no wormwood and no halucinogenic properties - they're just strong alcohol. Only tourists drink it. The locals prefer Slivovice, Fernet, or Becherovka.

Yet these are all trifles. What annoys me is reading yet another self-congratulatory "Amik", who lived here for two years and didn't even bother to learn the basics of the language, blathering about his alleged enlightenment found in Prague.

Please consider:

  • "The Czech Republic has made a 21st century name for itself".

What does that even mean? Could they have made a 17th century name for themselves instead?

  • "Czechs are still Czechs."

Uh huh. Yes. Good thing they didn't turn into Siberian Huskies, or werewolves...

  • "Prague is the type of city where, if you visit without knowing anything about her, you’ll come away with a new best friend."

Hmmm. What happens if you visit WITH knowing something first? You end up with enemies?

  • "My conscious thoughts of a new life and a new beginning expanded more than those with minds that weren’t open to other stimuli. I was completely immersed in what I aptly called 'The Feeling.'"

I'd aptly call that "The Smugness". I don't think you experienced much here beyond the very superficial life of the party-boy expat on an extended a bit of English conversation, drink a lot of beer, screw some local girls, and go home pretending to be an authority on the culture.

Matt, you mean well...I can see that. But you didn't have your eyes open while you were here, or you might have noticed a lot more interesting things than the architecture and alcohol, and you'd never write such trite and cliche-ridden prose.


MsGrant June 24, 2010 @ 10:29 a.m.

Fred! I was just thinking about you the other day and wondered what became of you. Nice to see your voice!! Are you ever coming home or have you washed your hands of San Diego?


a2zresource June 24, 2010 @ 10:42 a.m.

Off-topic triumphant note to Fred:

Prop. 16 failed at the ballot box! We won!!


Fred Williams June 24, 2010 @ 10:39 p.m.

Hi MsGrant and A2Z,

I haven't fallen off the edge of the world, just busy with a lot of work lately.

San Diego is always my home, but I'm not happy with what it has become. You know I've put my money and time where my mouth is, actively campaigning to change things, but so far there's been precious little to show for it. The same corrupt clowns are still running the place.

Here in Prague there's plenty of corruption too...but I'm not a citizen here, and I don't feel the moral compulsion to get involved. I do my business then enjoy the culture and time with my friends. (And when I see the party-boy expats like the author of the above piece, I pretend I don't speak English so they'll leave me alone.)

John, I'm glad you helped defeat the SDGE power grab. Unfortunately, I didn't see much else positive come out of the last election, and lots of negatives. It also looks like CCDC and the Mayor are going to cram a football stadium downtown no matter what it does to our economy.

If I were in San Diego, I couldn't work...I'd have to be campaigning full time to try to defeat these bad ideas.

So I'm glad to be here, a place where lots of people do odd things like reading books, discussing world events, and actively making culture instead of just consuming it...

Even when I'm not commenting here, I'm keeping up with San Diego news and events, and that includes reading the Reader religiously.

If you ever want to see what a world class city is like, come on over for a visit. When you do, let me know and I'll show you around.


Fred "Frajer" Williams


Matthew Hudson June 25, 2010 @ 12:59 p.m.

Take it easy Fred. No need to get all upset over an article! Jeez. You sound like you are Mr. Prague! Who the hell do you think you are to say these things? How long have you been there? Honestly, I don't care, I was there for two years and I lived with my Czech girlfriend so yes, I probably know more about Czechs and the Czech culture than you do.

A Czech friend just emailed me and told me they say Fakt, no.

You obviously didn't drink the absinth with the little pieces of wormwood in the bottle. Sorry Fred Van Gogh!

Prague is a 21st Century in it's own right cause these days more and more people are going to the wonderful city IN THE 21ST Century!

I never said Prague wasn't cheap now. It was cheap when I was there! I have no idea how expensive it is now.

Czechs are Czechs- it's an expression knucklehead- they are always going to be the great people they are even while their city changes.

Sounds like you will end with some enemies from the looks of it. I was saying that Prague is freakin awesome city no matter how much you know before you go there. Man, you are really reaching on that one!

I am not pretending to be an authority on the Czech culture- you seem to be Mr. Czech. I lived with a Czech girl, traveled to her little town in Novy Jicin SEVERAL times, took part in more Czech traditions than most people do- I was lucky enough to have had that experience. I did party yes but I learned more about the city/country than you think by traveling to dozens of towns and cities while I was there learning about the culture like going to pig roasts in the middle of the countryside with a whole Czech family or going out with Czech friends to their homes to learn about their life.

It's a FUN writing piece pal and thanks for taking the fun out of it.
Take it easy brother. You make it sound like I am making fun of your mother or something!

Fred, you don't mean well and your Mr. Know It All attitude proves that you're the one who has THE SMUGNESS. I think you should go out a little more and enjoy yourself while you are there and not reading the Reader online. There's more of the city for you to see.


mamabear June 27, 2010 @ 9:04 a.m.

Fred you sound like an angry old man! Wow, I read the article thinking the author had a great time and was sharing his experience of what it was like FOR HIM!!! It is not your article so it is not going to be your experience of Prague. I have never been to Prague but have a few Czech friends and they are some of the biggest drinkers I have ever met! This guy didn't sound like he was telling you about his drunken romps he was having, he was summarizing his travels there into a short piece in the Reader. And from what my Czech friends tell me, Czech Republic has changed so much in the past decade becoming much more of a modern city, I think that was what the author was saying at the end. I don't know you but you come across as very bitter and over analytical. I agree with the above person who said you are the one who sounds smug!!


Grasca June 27, 2010 @ 10:34 a.m.

Angry old man disease. I think it is catching and viral on some threads. My Google MD advice is to take your lipitor and walk for improved moods. No mention of the V meds here. This is a family thread.


a2zresource June 27, 2010 @ 10:52 a.m.

"John, I'm glad you helped defeat the SDGE power grab. Unfortunately, I didn't see much else positive come out of the last election, and lots of negatives. It also looks like CCDC and the Mayor are going to cram a football stadium downtown no matter what it does to our economy.

If I were in San Diego, I couldn't work...I'd have to be campaigning full time to try to defeat these bad ideas."

And that's the way it is... at least for me.


Derek Ray June 27, 2010 @ 3:55 p.m.

I´m with mamabear on this. Matt is describing the exuberance of youth. Can you remember that, Fred? -when the world was open at your feet and anything seemed possible? How many people his age have the guts to go overseas and experience several other cultures for a few years? Frankly, I think we´d have a more understanding and wise populace if this were more common. I know Matt and he told me how it profoundly affected him. He is much more than a party boy. He is an extremely talented and culturally aware person. If he was a party boy then, so what? People learn, grow and change. Even Gandhi started out as a party boy. Have you grown wiser? Obviously your experience is different than Matt´s so why don´t you write your own story?

I mentioned, somewhat jokingly, that Matt should write a book. But I know that there´s a book in him, that his experienced is much deeper and multi layered than can be revealed in these articles.

As far as his appreciation of Czech culture, did you read his first story about his experience in the Spanish jail? Would you not call that Kakaesque? What a nod to Franz!

Have fun in Prague, Fred.


Derek Ray June 27, 2010 @ 4:11 p.m.

Sorry, typo alert. ¨Kakaesque¨should of course be Kafkaesque
¨experienced¨ (third paragraph) should be experience

I wanted to correct the record on this, because I know Fred never makes typos.


the_kid June 27, 2010 @ 6:51 p.m.

to my man, frajer - you went from posting a comment to launching an attack within 25 syllables. bad day in prague, bro? had to massage your ego by irrationally demeaning someone half way around the world? someone who is obviously a casual contributor to THE READER and definitely not posing as a czech linguist or an expert on the current financial trends in prague. he provided an informal, yet well written, account of a trip that occurred 10 years ago! to pick this piece apart sentence by sentence goes beyond smugness and easily screams of behavior that we still call REPUGNANT, here in san diego. stick with trying to defeat your SDGE power grab and leave the article and contribution critiques to people less susceptible to low self esteem. also, please enjoy prague...for as long as they allow you to stay there. seriously.


Fred Williams June 28, 2010 @ 1:14 a.m.

Wow, I must have touched a nerve.

Matt, you seem to have a real problem with being corrected...the answer is to do better research next time. Looking up the proper spelling of panelak, for example, would have taken no more than a minute (go to and use the slovnik).

Then get an editor, or at least do a proper re-write before submitting your piece for publication. Try reading it aloud to hear the cliches and non-sequitors, and delete them. (Review what George Orwell had to say about tired similes and metaphors.)

As to the anonymous cowards accusing me of bitterness, anger, over-analysis, ignorance, repugnance, and so on...well, what can I say're right: Everyone hates me. I have no friends. They're gonna kick me out of the country. I don't know how to write. I'm a fool. I over-analyze everything too much, and no one loves me.

Plus, I have bad breath and my mother dresses me funny.

Other than that, please, "polib mi prdel".


Fred "Who always uses his real name" Williams


mamabear June 28, 2010 @ 7:37 a.m.

Fred, you obviously still 'don't get it'. Your ignorance is strongly apparent. Or should I say, you are as dumb as Fred Williams. (My editor helped me with that simile.) I don't care about being corrected for spelling a foreign word wrong. I just don't have the patience for jack asses who want to criticize experiences of others- that's the part you don't stupidly get. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back from Prague.

Matthew Veseskis


Grasca June 28, 2010 @ 8:16 a.m.

Isn't it within the realm of possibility that 2 individuals have unique experiences and write about them ? Why the fight over picky details ? The only Prague I recall from RCC days is a fancy dressed small statue called The Infant of Prague. I suppose the little Jesus figure had its beginnings in this beautiful city.


goldsborscht June 28, 2010 @ 10:29 a.m.

Fred Williams... an obvious true-blooded Bohemian surname, no doubt. Trolling an SD paper from a continent away. Thinks he's somehow more "authentic" because he's better versed at the superficial trivialities of gluttony and slang. At least the article's writer went to Prague when it took some adventurous ingenuity to navigate the newly opened society. Given the power of the dollar at the time, it was also affordable for students and those of humble means. With the Czech Republic's 25% economic growth in the last three years, only the bourgeois have the means to go to recently sanitized Prague. Your tsk-tsking cultural fascism makes you appear like an elitist snob. Are you a scholar of Vaclav Havel or Kafka? Were you on the front lines of the Prague Spring uprising? Did you witness the Velvet Revolution somewhere other than on your wide-screen TV? Or are you just there to shop like any other post-colonial tourist? Your soliloquy reeks of typical ugly Americanism. Except you're worse. You believe your own lies about your delusional counterfeit refinement. So condescendingly go back to slurping your slivovitz and engorging yourself with dumplings while using globalized Telefonica internet service to self-indulgently boost your own consumerist ego. Hypocrite.

Jan Golka


Fred Williams June 28, 2010 @ 11:18 p.m.

I suspected you were using multiple IDs to post your angry reactions to criticism, Matt. Thanks for proving it, "mamabear".

As to "Jan Golka", please let me put the record straight.

I first came to Prague in the summer of 90, less than a year after the revolution.

I wouldn't call myself a "scholar" of Havel or Kafka, but I've read most of their works, and briefly met the President while volunteering with the Helsinki Citizens Assembly.

During the so-called Velvet Revolution, I was serving on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District. I represented the students of City, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and vocational campuses including students of the Educational Cultural Complex.

I was inspired by what the civil society of then Czechoslovakia achieved. From 84-88 I served in the US Navy, based at Miramar and deployed overseas twice. I am against oppression, and in favor of freedom, and put myself on the line during the cold war. I sure was glad it ended, and wanted to see for myself.

So I sold everything I owned and came here, giving up a UC scholarship to do so. I ended up studying international law here in Prague.

I haven't been here in Prague non-stop. In between, I lived and worked in Sweden for two years, a year and a half in Laos, a summer in Korea, and of course for several years I worked with leading San Diego software companies when I wasn't helping with political campaigns.

So, "Mr. Golka", (whose writing is surprisingly similar to Matt's writing), I hope I have dispelled your false notions about my having recently arrived here, or having no experience.

Matt, I haven't criticized your experiences. As Grasca says, we all have our own. I am correcting your misstatements and faktual errors, and suggesting how you could improve your writing. If you cannot take this kind of feedback, you should really find another line of work.

Creating multiple online pseudonyms to attack your critics isn't something that's going to get you more work from the Reader in the future.




McDade June 29, 2010 @ 8:49 a.m.

To Fred,

People are responding to what you wrote because it definitely touched a nerve. You said you were just correcting a few factual errors but we both know that was not your true intent. I don't care if you use your real name or not, I guarantee that knocking people down on a message board makes you feel good about yourself.

I'm willing to bet you look down upon any other Americans you come across in your travels.. Looking down your piggish snout with disdain and prejudging people you don't know and have never spoken with. Deep inside you somehow think you're better than others. I'm going to take a stab here and say it's probably a defense mechanism forged from a lifetime spent isolated from the world at large because of a lack of personality and inability to connect on a meaningful level with others.

I can only imagine the apologist crap you spew to foreigners, constantly putting down other Americans as stupid and stereotyping your fellow countrymen are "party boys" with no concern for history or culture and just looking for a place to stick their dick. All in an attempt to paint yourself in a better light. You are a small man.

You exemplify a typical elitist douche who thinks he/she knows better about the world and living in it, be it abroad or domestic. Sure you may have a couple friends but I'm willing to bet the people you cross paths with can never really connect with you... because you're self-important prick.

I'm going to change just a couple words from one of your very own comments, so that it is more appropriate for someone such as yourself:

"I'd aptly call that 'The Smugness'. I don't think you have experienced much beyond the very superficial life of a 'psuedo-intellectual' expat on an 'ego' holiday"

Ok, bye now Fred.. I've already wasted too much valuable time telling you what you already know in your shriveled.. and blackened heart.

Regards, Mike


Matthew Hudson June 29, 2010 @ 9:35 a.m.

Hey Fred, mamabear is my wife and she feels the same way I do along with others.I accidently used her account to post a comment. Don't get your panties in a bunch Knucklestick. I have my own account. Man, you are quick to criticize people! The Reader knows who I am. As I can see, you still don't get it do you?- Czechs have told me that they say Fakt, jo. You are still acting like you are a Know It All! That's the kicker, you are so far into yourself to make other's feel below you by 'helping them improve their writing' and 'correcting'. You don't 'help others improve their writing' by calling then names and putting them down. I am surprised The Reader allows you to be as insulting as you are. I got an idea for ya pal, keep your 'corrections' to yourself and don't read my stories nor anyone else's that you feel you need to exude your Mr. Know-It-All attitude. It seems like I'm not the only person who feels this way. Go enjoy Prague! Mr. Golka is right, you go trolling around a small San Diego publication while you live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world?! What's the matter with you?


goldsborscht June 29, 2010 @ 10:45 a.m.

Oh, now it's become so clear, comrade Frajer. You are one of those willfully naive Americans who believe in peace through war. Through your feigned love of the oppressed, you are complicit in the growth of American militarism and the garrisoning of the planet. Not just the Czech Republic... Laos, Korea, Sweden, and so on and so on. A real mujahadeen for the supposed good guys. You are just a little distant cog in our dependence on a permanent war economy, pillaging cultures in the name of self-betterment. You have become the perfect embodiment of the American military credo of deception: a huge discrepancy between what America professes to be and what you actually are. Your ignorant empire building indoctrination will slowly matriculate, and the blinders will be pulled from your eyes. So keep building your over 700 covert miltary bases in every world outpost while fooling yourself into believing you're an open-minded American using the world as your personal buffet. All on the taxpayer's buck. Keep fooling yourself into believing that your violence-sponsored military controlled global exploit is really just traipsing the world to find the essence of "Fred Williams." Your bought-and-sold, partner. Your simpleton arrogance is beyond trasparent. So go back to your well-pronounced consumption while forcefully projecting your military hegemony. Like I said, you're the hypcrite, not the students who innocently are exploring.


CuddleFish June 29, 2010 @ 11:13 a.m.

What a tempest in a teapot.

The author posted a nice little piece according to his memories of a place he visited ten years ago. Fred Williams comes in and blasts him since he apparently is the greater expert in all things Prague not to mention the grammar police.

As Grasca said, two different people, two different experiences. Reading the article with a generous eye and spirit, most of us got the gist. If Fred wished to rebut and stun the world with his greater knowledge and writing ability, he should have posted his own article instead of starting a thread war.

Really, do you people have nothing better to do?


McDade June 29, 2010 @ 11:22 a.m.

"During the so-called Velvet Revolution, I was serving on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District. I represented the students of City, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and vocational campuses including students of the Educational Cultural Complex."

Ooh look at me.. I'm an intellectual dammit ! I serve on the board of trustees at a.... a community college.

I'm very impressed Freddy.. tell me more.


goldsborscht June 29, 2010 @ 2:03 p.m.

Cuddlefish, you are absolutely right. However, the Reader has a kiosk outside my office. To pass the time during breaks, I occasionally flip through this rag. But Mr. Veseskis's breezy and life-affirming travel memoirs caught my eye. I began to pay attention because he either wrote about places I have wandered through or spent a great deal of time in. I could feel his enthusiasm for these locales. However, when stumbling upon these comments online from Mr. Williams, I was perplexed dismayed. Why would anyone bother to shoot down a non-offensive fun travel piece tucked in the corners of a local alt mag? We all have our opinions. But what bothered me were the immediate PERSONAL attacks leveled against an aspiring local writer, from his writing style to his traveling agenda. It's easy to lob extraneous and inflammatory remarks from a half a world away. This "Frajer" fraud describes himself as someone who is "against oppression, and in favor of freedom." Yet what was an ex-Naval low-level paper pushing apparachnik doing in obvious places of military covert operations like Laos (for over a year!) and Korea? Next thing you know, he'll pop up in East Timor or Nicaragua. Something's fishy about this military tool/lawyer who takes an inordinate amount of time to shoot down a lighthearted travel journal. Support local writers!


CuddleFish June 29, 2010 @ 3:03 p.m.

The author's piece was charming. It could have used some editing help, sure. No need to overreact, that's all.


SDaniels June 30, 2010 @ 8:15 a.m.

What I have learned from this experience? Hmmm, well, besides the fact that Prague is apparently Fred's beotch, and not allowed to go out with other guys? Or that Fred suffers a creative form of dyspepsia?

...Certainly what it looks like when one attempts to juggle too many identities and accounts at once, and while royally pissed (take your pick of definitions).

Fred, admit that you have finally received a well-deserved dressing down for your overquick tendency to bite; sure it was wincingly clumsy as dressings down go, but well-deserved, sir.

Consider yourself cleansed and reborn at the hands of...ok, hold on here:


Whew! SurfPuppy! Hey, Puppy! Someone has beaten your score! ;)


dynomite101 June 30, 2010 @ 8:43 a.m.

Best thread ever! When I stumbled upon this I never thought it would be so entertaining.
Fred's comments were dead on. And I'm pretty sure everybody backing up Mr. Veseskis are his friends defending him as a person as opposed to his work. It's painfully obvious, he probably reached out in a mass email to his college buddies for support in an attempt to engage in some kind of childish counter attack instead of simply being a grown up and taking the criticism. However, if the participants in this childish exorcise could put aside the fact they know this guy and look at the story, I think they'd agree it's kind of silly. I don't know anything about Prague so I wouldn't notice any factual inaccuracy but I found the article extremely self-serving. "Ooh, look at me, I went to Prague and banged some locals and drank absinthe." "I'm so fancy and worldly." The whole thing sounded like some spoiled kid's half wit attempt to justify a few more years of avoiding responsibility after school. Come on people, "The Feeling?". Is this guy for real? "Ooh, I experienced The Feeling so I'm on another plane now."
My advice to Mr. Veseskis is to man up and deal with some bad reviews when they come. It seems he could use some criticism. And if he can't take it maybe he shouldn't be posting his stories. Time to grow up.


Matthew Hudson June 30, 2010 @ 10:22 a.m.

I don't mind criticism! I like pointers from other writers but if they are constructive, professional and not personal attacks on a fun story I experienced 10 years ago on while living on a budget of $1500 in a foreign country. At least I had the balls to go out and experience travel and live abroad for 4 years instead of sitting on a computer roaming around local San Diego journals. I love this thread too. Fred is being pulled out of his closet (in so many ways) of being a tool and finding out what kind of people (dynomite101) advocate Fred the Great. Fred your existence is quite entertaining! It's as entertaining as going to Prague, 'banging locals and drinkin absinthe'.


McDade June 30, 2010 @ 10:45 a.m.

Actually dynomite101, if that is your real name, I'm just a random reader who's sick of a**hole comments from people who would read a few paragraphs of somebody else's thoughts and then feel justified/comfortable making snap judgements on people they've never met regarding everything from intellectual curiosity and social closemindedness (Fred) to socio-economic upbringing and immaturity(that's your comment tough guy)... So annoyed with people who say things online that they wouldn't have the courage to voice in person, that I actually took the trouble to sign up for an account just so that I could tell Freddy what a jerkoff I think he is.

You want to pretend you're an editor? Fine... no need to be a prick in the process though. THAT is the point here. That was what set me off, and obviously a few other people as well whether they are friend with this Matt fellow or not.

Dynamite101 and Freddy, at the very least give us the link to the literary gifts you've bestowed on the world.

I don't like commenting in online forums and this is exactly why.. because the comment sections are full of nitwits and know-it-all's... frauds and cowards.

Good day sir.
Mike McDade


goldsborscht June 30, 2010 @ 10:57 a.m.

Wow! Looks like the globetrotting Frajer has a cretinous alter ego named "dynomite." So original. What ego-driven ethically fraudulent "rational" arguments his Frajer persona limply attempted to construct, his pathetic Jimmy Walker-wannabe id tries to piggyback on with pathetic pseudo-psychological self-help bon mots. Dynomite Frajer Williams, or whatever you are, publish something and then talk. A bad masturbatory review from a flaccid putz like you, "dynomite," would just make me feel stronger and give me confidence to know that I'm on the right path as an up-and-coming young writer. Go to a politically motivated web site and argue for the treasonous military acts that have given you a free pass to travel the world as a delusional liberator. Leave behind the pooh-poohing of people who actually want to have a good time in life. Just because the only way you can get laid in a foreign country is to exploit your military costume shouldn't be Mr. Veseskis's problem. Don't explode your inhibited internalized repression onto others you subconsciously deem more unshackled by social hangups. Phony, fraud, fake onanist. Keep playing yourself, both literally and metaphorically.


Duhbya June 30, 2010 @ 11:30 a.m.

"Mr. Holmanchev, tear down this wall!"


McDade June 30, 2010 @ 11:32 a.m.

Actually I just read several of Dynomite Frajer's blogs, the links to which are under his "pen name" profile.

It's a bunch of blandly written, self-serving political gossip written for chatty cathy's... not to mention mind numbingly boring.

Good grief Herr Frajer, now I need a coffee.


dynomite101 June 30, 2010 @ 12:05 p.m.

Yes, my parents named me Dynomite. And apparently there are 100 others. I'm sure Mike McDade is real too. It sounds like a super hero's secret identity.

Perhaps I am missing the point of the comment section. Maybe it should be called the "pointers and praise section".

I wasn't making any "snap judgments", I'm just a person who read an article, read the comments, and found it an absolute riot. I decided to call foul because there is something fishy about the attacks on this Fred guy that's all. I admit I found his comments a bit much but he had many good points and I agreed with them all. I would have never taken the time to chime in based on the article alone, it was the comments that followed that made it impossible to resist. People seem to be taking this really personally. Including you Mike. You've taken quite an interest in defending this unknown author and his article, you sure you don't know him? Or maybe you are a superhero selflessly defending random authors.
Whatever, one person's Charles Dickens is another persons firewood. If you enjoyed this article and found it entertaining I'm happy for you. I enjoyed it too, I said it was silly, silly isn't necessarily bad. You don't have to attack people with differing opinions, just voice your own and leave it at that there superman.

Dynomite out.

By the way, it's good day Mam tough guy.


Fred Williams July 1, 2010 @ 7:24 a.m.

I was forwarded this email written by Mr. Veseskis:

Well some knucklehead ripped my article and I am pissed! I am asking you guys to go to the above link and comment on how much of an idiot Fred is. I already did. You need to make a quick account but it takes a minute.


This dude Fred has no idea what he's in store for! This guy's a PUNK!!

So now we know why a few of Matt's buddies are logging in to talk a lot of trash.

In addition, it's pretty clear that Matt is using multiple IDs to least two we're positive of, three more we all suspect.

Pretty pathetic...and amateurishly done.

Even sadder, Matt, is that at least one of the guys who you think is your friend doesn't actually like you very much...and sent me what you wrote. ought to know better. This kind of stuff is frowned on at the Reader. You might be putting your job in jeopardy.




McDade July 1, 2010 @ 9:51 a.m.

Fred this account is my own.. and for what it's worth I still think your initial friendly critique reeked of pretentious douchiness.


HudsonHawk93 July 1, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

I feel like I'm in High School again... Goooooooo Hawks!


SurfPuppy619 July 1, 2010 @ 11:32 a.m.

I WISH I was in High School again!

Those were some fun times ..........Go Wolves!!!


Matthew Hudson July 2, 2010 @ 5:33 a.m.

I don't care if people know that I wrote to my friends saying that I think Fred is an pretentious knucklehead! Nor do I care that people to I am an beginner writer. My writing is for FUN! And so is this thread!


TheJimMorrison July 2, 2010 @ 6:05 a.m.

Matt, Jim here, I've come to tell you that if you don't stop being a pretentious douche that I won't be able to jam with you in the afterlife. Got to go now, I've got a warm bath and a ton of heroin waiting for me.


DHasek July 2, 2010 @ 7:28 a.m.

Mr. Veseskis should write his own blog for the newspaper. His writing is so polarizing.


MsGrant July 2, 2010 @ 8:59 a.m.

OMG, TheJimMorrison!! Now that's funny.


Fred Williams July 2, 2010 @ 12:54 p.m.

So, with everything settled did Jim Morrison get into this thread?

(Wish it was Zappa instead...he's much more interesting.

Have a great weekend everybody!




Fred Williams July 2, 2010 @ 1:04 p.m.

Oh, hey...look at this. Frank Zappa hanging with Michal Kocab back when:

If you want to understand Czechs, understand Frank Zappa first.





Fred Williams July 2, 2010 @ 1:16 p.m.

And here is Kocab's "Frank Zappa is our Pappa":

Kocab, by the way, is fascinating:

I've enjoyed his music for a long time. Glad to have an excuse to spread it around.

From the stuff that the commies banned:

To his farcical anti-authoritarian stuff:

And Pavlicek's (Kocab's bandmate) symphonic version of Zubata:

I hope you all enjoy it.




goldsborscht July 3, 2010 @ 8 a.m.

What? No more bloodletting? Detente with Frajer Dynomite Williams? Very disappointing. I need a new hobby.

This seems apt right about now: "The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."—- Frank Zappa.

Peace to all the Czechs, Laotians, Koreans, and most of all Swedes caught up in the struggle against Frajer. Keep your head up, exploited. And keep your azz off the slivovitz.



TheJimMorrison July 3, 2010 @ 5:57 p.m.

Zappa? I don't see Zappa showing his face here do you? Zappa has nothing on me, for I am the Lizard King! Haven't you heard that I can do anything? Well, with the exception of living longer than 27 years. That small issue was a huge letdown. Got to go now, Janis is pretty wasted right now and looking for some snuggle time.


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