Friday, March 14, 2008


Damn capitalism. So much to say, and with all the work and classes I didn’t have time to write event the shortest of posts.

First of all I was quite annoyed and upset when “just a Serb” threatened to poke out my eyes, but unfortunately that is once again the state of Serbian society - violence against anyone with a different opinion. Sarcasm is all I have left to confront it. It is dangerous when one reduces his identity to only one ethnic definition. It is dangerous when a state reduces its policy to one issue – Kosovo is Serbia. It seems in that case the opposite is also true - Serbia is reduced to being just Kosovo. And because we’ve lost Kosovo, we’re definitely loosing everything else. Quickly.

I was thrilled, therefore, with the news of elections. I am, at the same time, very scared about their potential outcome, but it seems this time, more than ever before, we have a referendum. Who has the majority? Which direction will the country take? After the elections we will see whether we will join the EU or Belarus. After the elections many of us will be forced to reexamine future ties with the motherland.

Another type of election which I always see as a test of society’s inclinations took place. It wasn’t too big a surprise that Oro will represent Serbia at the Eurovision in May. Hopefully this victory does not have a deeper meaning with regard to the elections. I hope it’s just a result of the fact that most performances, especially the one by my favorites, were kind of weak, and not a definite transition into romanticized nationalism. The song itself is not even bad, just a bit passé.

Despite my sincere wishes, it is now clear that it will be utterly impossible for me to attend Eurovision in Belgrade in person. What makes me feel a bit better is that the songs this year are quite bad, even for Eurovision standards. Serbia might actually do well again. But looks like it’s going to be quite a borring show.

Due to mislabeled videos on Youtube, it turned out my absolute favorite for Eurovision isn’t even representing his country. The lack of taste Icelanders showed in not picking Haffi Haff’s Wiggle Wiggle Song cost Western Europe their best chance to send next year’s event as west as it goes. My prediction, having listened to all the remaining contenders, is that all the Eurovision Eastern-Europo-phobes will be screaming again as the contest in 2009 moves to Asia, with Armenia winning. That is if the Armenians manage to beat turkey. The animal, not the country.

By the time we know where Eurovision is going, we’ll also know Serbia’s path. Safe trip everyone!

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Patriotic Youth of Serbia Wears Prada

Many of us, Serbs, stranded, here on hostile territory, have spent many a sleepless night wondering how best to contribute to the dignified struggle that our fellow countrymen and women have begun. Fortunately, our magnificent and considerate government has through its consular representatives granted us just such an opportunity. Although the ambassador has been withdrawn to solemnly pray for Kosovo in St. Sava Cathedral, the beheaded consulate still manages to perform its duties splendidly and has sent every Serbian man, woman and child in the US an open e-mail containing an invitation to a protest gathering as well as the e-mail addresses of every other man, woman and child in the US. It may be spam, but it’s our spam.

The location of this glorious gathering is a bit unclear to me. Not much to burn and pillage around the UN building. The UN itself is our friend and guardian of international law. Still, this is New York, so I’m sure there is a Starbucks, that sworn enemy of Serbhood, not more than a corner away. Nevertheless I should go beforehand and check out the shops in the vicinity, so that like my compatriots in Belgrade, I can express my affinity to law, justice and freedom and outrage over the policy of force by looting me some new goodies. It’s a shame they didn’t organize the protest in Soho, much nicer stores there. Still I hope I’ll find at least an Urban Outfitters somewhere.

The only remaining dilemma, both for me and other patriots at home is how do we then live with ourselves for wearing these imperialistic brands? In fact, how do I live here at all if I am to boycott enemy products? Oh, never mind, it’s all made in friendly China anyway.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Probably inspired by my bad premonitions about the events taking place back home I went to see the film with the ominous title. And just as I expected, the film is visually stunning, the music is discomforting but brilliant and Daniel Day Lewis is unpleasantly good.

The film is tense and intense and it tells us the dark and dirty background of the wealth and prosperity of America. The squabbling communities faced with the sudden prospect of getting rich with money from oil extracted from their dusty backyards also give some clues of how and why our oil obsessed world is such a mess. At the same time it is a wonderful insight into the greed-stricken human mind, the obsession with power that can never be satisfied. It speaks of people who hate people and perhaps life itself, people who bear grudges, cannot stand to be humble or humbled, people who can never be content but keep pushing their intentions at any cost. As a result there’s misery, violence and, as the name says, blood. Kind of reminds me of people on a stage in front of the Serbian Parliament the other day. I still hope, there was enough blood there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The End

The dream is finally over. I have always been critical of the state in which Serbia is today, but what is happening exceeds my darkest fears. The revolution of October 5th 2000 has been overturned by another revolution, or better yet – coup. That is exactly what happened - the final steps of the coup which started on March 12th with the assassination of Zoran Djindjic. Now 5 years later it is complete. Vojislav Kostunica and Tomislav Nikolic, who inspired and participated in this murder have now taken absolute control of the country bringing their violent supporters from all over Serbia to deal with their opponents and destroy any hope of Serbia joining the civilized world. I am afraid of what this crystal night will bring. I am afraid for the lives of people who are still voices of reason. I expect that the aforementioned villains will use the chaos to introduce a state of emergency and take control officially as a government of “national unity”. This is the end.

Here We Go Again

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sad, Very Sad

If all this independence stuff is false, illegal and invalid, shouldn’t it be business as usual? We still have as much control over Kosovo as we did last week? If it weren’t for McDonalds’s restaurants, LDP and Albanian pastry shops we would have no problems whatsoever.

But hey, since we’re losing, let’s lose everything. We’re allowing the demolition of our own cities, cutting diplomatic ties with countries on which we heavily depend, we shouldn’t even sing anymore and choose our Eurovision representative. That’s how sad we are. We are so busy mourning the loss of our past that we don’t care we’re losing our future.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go out…

As the police are once again ordered to let fascist thugs use Belgrade as target practice to vent their frustrations, the main parties plan to show the world some good old Serbian national unity, dashing all my naïve hopes expressed a few posts ago that change could be on the way.

On the other hand, the hysterical happiness of Kosovo’s Albanians makes me sad, as the country formally proclaims independence from an entity that for years has had no control over it, only to remain deeply dependent on various international organizations, desperately poor, divided and lawless.

There are so many things that are wrong with what happened yesterday in both Belgrade and Pristina. There is the story of international law and all the consequences this will have on conflicts around the world. I understand the difficulties in which Serbia as a country has been placed with its allies and partners supporting the partition of the country. Nevertheless, at this point in time I guess this was inevitable and unavoidable. How can you force a united population to accept something they are not ready to accept at any cost. Still, unilateral acts lead to frustration and aggression. Kosovo has its new symbols, but, indicatively, I did not see them anywhere in the celebrations. Neither side was willing to compromise, neither side was willing to talk, and now the problem remains only in a slightly different form. The international community was nonconstructive and biased and once again, there is a crisis, a long-term and potentially far-reaching crisis, and we are at the heart f of it. What worries me is that conflicts are not resolved they are cultivated and preserved to be reactivated at the next convenient moment.

What I wish for people of Serbia and Kosovo, whether in one, two or seventeen states, is independence from corrupt ill-meaning politicians, from religious inflammation, from false or exaggerated nationalistic mythologies. I wish us all personal fulfillment and peace of mind.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Museum

With the clouds moving quickly, as they seem to do so often in New York, across the blue sky in the background, the stacked up boxes of the New Museum building seem as if they are swaying, as if they are going to fall over. Does this building work? Hell, Yes, says a rainbow striped sign on the wireframe façade. On the outside it does look like piled silver containers, implanted among the old buildings of the lower East Side, but on the inside it feels like a proper building, simple, and white, pure, spacious and functional gallery space with natural light pouring in from skylights and rare windows. The “Unmonumental” exhibition is a mishmash of a whole lot of things. Some fun video work, excellent collages and interesting installations. Worth a visit? Hell, Yes.

Picture stolen. I actually forgot my camera