Preview: Goodbye Klaus
An era ends, a party starts
Posted: March 6, 2013
"Goodbye Klaus" is an event scheduled for Thursday, March 7, at Lucerna Music Bar to celebrate the departure of President Václav Klaus, seen above at a 2002 parliamentary election rally on Old Town Square, from the castle. Bands will include Airfare, Volant, Five O'clock Tea and Covers for Lovers.
As Václav Klaus packs up the palace, many not going to the official sendoff may be toasting the man at home - "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal," etc. - or skipping from bar to bar because, hey, it's Thursday and as good an excuse as any. Others might mourn the man's skepticism on all things to do with Continental politics and science's warnings about the climate.
Judging from the split electorate and a strong anti-Zeman vote in Prague, Friday won't mean so much toasting the new as nursing the hangover. We haven't heard the last of the president, for sure. We can always read Blue Planet in Green Shackles, about the dangers of not doing our all to change the planet, or fondly recall how that book got him a ticket to testify in front of the U.S. House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce, which is how we learned the Congress had a Czech Caucus.
"Václav Klaus was a very bold president," Jan Haubert, the singer of the punk band Visací zámek, has said. "I believe his departure from office will be celebrated by the whole world."
The band's name translates to "Hanging Castle," and over 31 years the group has certainly seen the official residence change hands plenty. Visací zámek will headline a low-budget night of rock and punk at Lucerna Thursday, March 7, to join that celebration, supported by Airfare, Volant, Five O'clock Tea and Covers for Lovers.
When: Thursday, March 7, at 7
Where: Lucerna Music Bar
Tickets: 100 Kč
"The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism or communism," Klaus wrote, setting up the quality of the air and water as our greatest menace. "It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism. This ideological stream has recently become a dominant alternative to those ideologies that are consistently and primarily oriented toward freedom. It is a movement that intends to change the world radically regardless of the consequences (at the cost of human lives and severe restrictions on individual freedom). It intends to change humankind, human behavior, the structure of society, the system of values - simply everything."
Time will tell whether weather wins out over free rein, but this week's disenthrallment, whatever it brings, does offer a new climate, and that's a change you could choose to spend your Thursday celebrating.
Milan Gagnon can be reached at
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