O brave new world,

Propaganda

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.

William Shakespeare

 

When I look around Bansko the irony of Miranda’s words are not lost on me,  the hope and wonder that Bulgaria would be opening a new chapter in 2007 brought similar thoughts and emotions to Bulgarians as they did to Miranda when she saw the drunken sailors staggering off their wrecked ship.
The poverty of Bulgaria both financial and political, the naivety, lack of world or business experience all added up to a wave of euphoria that has carried us through the last 10 years. The building of Bansko as a ski resort  and the huge wealth that generated, our entry into that exclusive club of European nations, added to the massive up swell of optimism, a crashing tsunami of blind hope. As the wave pulls back we start to see the detritus that has been left on the beach, the flotsam and jetsam of a flawed society.
Bulgaria has never had a revolution, the clans that ran the country under Stalin are still around their children are still in power, influencing Bulgaria’s journey. Now that Putin is invading the Crimea and his propaganda machine is churning out the lies, smoke and mirrors that all dictators live by it is easier to see the same lies and propaganda being churned out in Bansko.

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Snow forecast .com and Banskoski.com are two such propaganda machines, 145cm of snow is supposedly on the top of the mountain at the moment. 135cm at the bottom! Avalanche risk? It’s not very dangerous.  The reality is far from this, there is no chance I would go into the back country today, I am pretty certain I would die! But the propaganda machine rolls out the same lies that had the children of Belarus manifesting their loyalty to the party with out door parades under a shower of atomic fallout.  145cm have these idiots even seen a ruler, 145cm is over my moobs the (generous) reality is snow up to my crotch(75cm) at the deepest point and more like to the top of my boot on average (40cm) o.k in some wind blown gully you might just about see 145cm of snow built up but really….!

Ulen AD recently published a press release of such a magnificent nature that it is hard to believe that it was written by anyone other than Goebbels himself. A fountain of tripe would be the best description, deviations from the truth that would be considered delusional if you were feeling kind, mad if you were feeling honest. So why in the 21st century in Europe  would anyone bother to employ people like this, why would anyone bother to spout such rubbish?

Well the sad truth is that these guys were brought up in a world where the power of the party was so absolute that it was impossible to doubt it. If the party said day was night people would stumble around at night trying to work. Putin’s guff about there being no russian troops in the Crimea is the same as Ulens guff about there being no avalanche risk. Conditions today were “fair” according to Ulen, you couldn’t see your feet but conditions were fair!

This childish approach might have worked 60 years ago when loyal party members would have stood in a grassy field skis and goggles on chatting about how great it was to ski under communism but I would like to think our average tourist would not be so stupid.