Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Serbie et Montenegro: null points

Last week was big. I lost my right to various “up to 26 years of age” discounts and changed my country of residence without even moving.
On a lighter note (or harder, in this case… note, that is), a group of people in monster outfits complete with bad skin, battleaxes and batwings got flowers and kisses from a gay Greek in a golden suit, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
Are these events even related?
In what I guess was a form of protest against a contest that is so bad that it became trashy cool, a Europe oversaturated with sequence overwhelmingly voted for a bunch of freaks. I guess it’s ok. Anyone’s dream can come true. These guys are not sinister, they’re just ugly. No self-respecting satan-worshiper would ever enter Eurovision, let alone blow kisses to the audience. In the end it’s just show-business.
And as interesting litmus test of society, that it is, it was Eurovision that recently brought to the surface everything that was rotten in my country. The scandal in the national final between Serbian and Montenegrin representatives resulted in withdrawal from the competition.
Serbia and Montenegro did not compete this year, and it never will, as it does not exist any more.
I believe both countries will eventually turn out right, but I am sad. Emotions fueled by unconstructive politicians have once again got the better of us. Instead of trying to resolve our problems, in an ever uniting world, we keep disintegrating. Politicians on both sides keep saying this changes nothing, so why then was it necessary to spend millions of euros on organizing the referendum? I heard on Croatian TV that Yugoslavia had no chance of surviving because such a union did not make sense, so why are all its former members in such a hurry to unite again with each other and everyone else in Europe. I saw a report about some illiterate people from a Cetinje slum saying they will vote for independence because their community might get a shower and toilet, perhaps a bus line to the center.
Excuse me? Am I the only one who thinks there’s been a mix-up?
As so many times before, politicians on both sides have manipulated people into believing that, once again, someone else is to blame, and that, once again, we need to take care of just one more outside problem so we can finally get to work on important internal matters. Once again their laziness and incompetence to produce results has been covered up by stories of patriotism and historic events. It is waste. Fortunately, this time, unlike other recent senseless brake-ups in the region, it will not include a waste of life.
Serbia and Montenegro have only themselves to blame. With or without each other both countries need to WORK - on their economies, on facing up to their pasts, on fighting corruption, on changing their frame of mind…
OK, people, there you have it - a clean slate. What now? Is anyone going to do anything, or are we on to the next excuse?
I wish us all - all the best.
The bottom line is, living in Belgrade for 27 years now, I have so far lived in 4 countries.
The vote in Montenegro was, despite of official shock, predictable. Voting in Eurovision was just as unsurprising.
In the years to come I expect Montenegro will give Serbia douze points (and vice versa). Who knows, maybe it’s that extra boost that we need to win.
And then, my friends and I can watch the event live in Belgrade Arena. Hopefully this year’s upset is not a trend, I expect Eurovision to go back to its roots. Next year it will be as gay as usual, I’ll be a year older again, living in Serbia, going on holiday in Montenegro.

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