Feb 24th 2011 By: Andy Khouri
An avant garde anthology of comics about Frederic Chopin
has created controversy in Poland and Germany
for its bizarre use of anachronistic profanity
. Specifically, one story depicts the legendary, long-dead Polish composer visiting a modern day prison, where a skinhead character uses the phrase "f@#%ing fag-holocaust."
While the offensive and bizarre scene may not seem too shocking in something like a mature readers Vertigo book circa 1993, the Chopin New Romantic
anthology was commissioned by the Polish Foreign Ministry for distribution in German schools
. As such, the book has been scheduled for destruction.
Chopin New Romantic is described thusly by its publisher Kultura Gniewu (translation courtesy of Google):
It is unorthodox, and sometimes even reaching into the current and provocative approach to the character of Frederic Chopin not only creates a completely different picture of the famous Pole, but it also demonstrates the freedom and power of the comic medium. Starting from the Chopin, but follow your heart, imagination and artistic sensitivity of young designers have created an original, an original album, which is a perfect way to end the Chopin Year.
The vaguely experimental narrative seems to be an unwise approach to teach young children about a famous historical figure, but the swearing is particularly puzzling. Besides the "fag-holocaust" remark, other colorful phrases included in this children's comic about a beloved composer include "Why the f@#% is he standing there?", "why the f@#% did you bring them anyway?" and "where is that p*&%y?"
The 148-page anthology was commissioned by the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Polish Embassy in Berlin, Germany, for the cost of about $37 thousand. As such, you'd better believe the Polish authorities are pretty pissed off with how the project turned out. In an interview given to Warsaw Business Journal
, Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Borkowski confirmed the anthology is slated for destruction and that vengeance will be his.
"We will take disciplinary action against those who could have, at the appropriate stage, held up the publication."
"In reality it was a mistake made by an employee at the Embassy in Berlin," Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski told Radio Zet mid-week.
"And the one thing that I regret is that I can't fire that person for making such a scandalous decision, because [he or she] no longer works for the Foreign Ministry."
The lesson here, everybody, in case you are confused, is to please try not to say "fag-holocaust" in your children's comics.