Who Does She Think She Is?

Culture

Blog Post

Why Patriotism? Why Today?

Posted by Joni in Culture, Current Events, General, Rants N Raves

Unless you live at the bottom of a well, if you are a U.S. citizen, you know that today marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks of “9/11.” There’s been so much hyperbole leading up to this anniversary, with local events, television specials, etc., all serving to remind everyone in earshot, “We will not forget.” Well, we seem to forget quite a bit where this country is concerned. And this blog post probably won’t be very popular, today of all days. But this blog isn’t all that popular to begin with so it’s not like I’m shooting myself in the foot here.

We forget the crimes against humanity that the U.S. has visited upon the peoples — often innocents — of other nations. The media has everyone whipped into a frenzy over this Tenth Anniversary. Personally, I believe what happened on September 11, 2001, was an atrocity. I’ve always believed that. But it is no more, or no less, an atrocity than anything we’ve done to, for example, the people of Viet Nam, Africa, Iraq, Japan, Yuguslavia, Central America, etc., etc., etc. It is a cause for remembrance, to be sure. But not of the things being remembered. What we should remember, and not forget, is that this country is imperfect, but dangerously so, because it believes itself to be invincible. And patriotism of this kind is dangerous because it isn’t really patriotism. It’s nationalism disguised as patriotism.

And I am acutely aware that it this accident of my birth that allows me to sit here in the comfort of my nice home, with a solid and fast internet connection and a very nice computer system, and post this article, an article which some might label as “anti-American.” It is “anti-imperialist” if it is anything. I’ll leave you with a few choice quotes on the topic of patriotism.

[V]oice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

~~ Hermann Goering, in an interview with Nuremberg prison psychologist G.M. Gilbert, 1947.

Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.

~~ Emma Goldberg

If people would but understand that they are not the sons of some fatherland or other, nor of Governments, but are sons of God, and can therefore neither be slaves nor enemies one to another — those insane, unnecessary, worn-out, pernicious organizations called Governments, and all the sufferings, violations, humiliations, and crimes which they occasion, would cease.

~~ Leo Tolstoy, May 1900

But American Labor Leader Eugene Debs said it best:

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

~~ Eugene Debs

Further Reading

Blog Post

Moribund Poetry

Posted by Joni in Culture, General, Media

,

Barren Woman

Empty, I echo to the least footfall,
Museum without statues, grand with pillars, porticoes, rotundas.
In my courtyard a fountain leaps and sinks back into itself,
Nun-hearted and blind to the world. Marble lilies
Exhale their pallor like scent.

I imagine myself with a great public,
Mother of a white Nike and several bald-eyed Apollos.
Instead, the dead injure me attentions, and nothing can happen.
Blank-faced and mum as a nurse.



Blog Post

Save the Date (or Dating Site)

Posted by Joni in Culture, General, Online Life

After reading another blogger’s post recently and her mention of the Europe-based lonelyhearts site Meetic (don’t bother to click; it’s merged with Match.com now and if you are on a U.S. server, you won’t be able to access it), I decided to do some poking around on it. It’s actually pretty amazing (and often quite comical) what you’ll find.

For example, apparently, most men (or at least most American men, or at least the ones posting on this site and others like it) do not think there is a thing in the world wrong with having a beer gut “out to here”! Interestingly enough, the bigger the gut, the smaller these same men want their mates to be.

The number of seemingly college educated men whose profiles are filled with grammatical inconsistencies and misspellings is mind-boggling.

The site asks you to rate your appearance. I think this is a two-edged sword. If you answer that you think you are good looking, people will think you are conceited. On the other hand, if you don’t think you are attractive, you can hardly expect anyone else to. What’s the right answer?

“Unspecified” in terms of describing the number of children one has is alarming to say the least.

If you are too lazy to completely fill out a profile, it’s quite possible this trait spills over into other areas of your life. Don’t think that most women won’t pick up on this fact. (And hence, they won’t be picking up YOU!)

While surfing your results, you have the option of “teasing” the person. (I shudder to think what this means and did not dare clicky on the linky.) Or you can add them to what I can only assume is the online dating equivalent of a shopping cart? Rowwrrr!

One man, in a desperate, last-ditch bid, decided to come clean and had the temerity to proclaim in his personal profile that “brains aren’t necessary, but a nice bank account is.” Another warned he was tired of 10-year old Nigerians with parents and would henceforth not be talking to any of these types in the future. (Sorry, girls!)

God, I’m glad I have Robert! Otherwise, I guess I’d have to go out there and do some “field work.”

Quote

A Book Review and a History Lesson

Posted by Joni in Bookish, Culture, Current Events, Serbia

,

I went Googling for a good book review of Diana Johnstone’s Fool’s Crusade, because it is my most-recommended book to anyone wishing to learn what really happened during the NATO bombings of the 1990s without the spin and cover-up by mainstream media, paticularly U.S. media. I found this great review by Louis Proyect.

Video

Serbian Wedding Song

Posted by Joni in Culture, Music, Serbia

From the description in the video:

A popular serbian wedding song from Kosovo and Metohia. Although it is performed on festive occasions, the song begins with sad verses: “A dense fog has fallen… not a thing can be seen.” A large number of songs from Kosovo begin with the same verses. These words are a metaphor for the suffering and pain of the Kosovo Serbs in slavery under the Turks. Dense fog symbolizes the burden of life, under the pressure of which freedom cannot be glimpsed (“not a thing can be seen”). In the very next verse, like light shining through the darkness of slavery, the song places a tall tree in sight. Beneath it sits a tailor, sewing a wedding waistcoat upon which silver adornments shine like stars in the sky. These verses testify to the existence of faith, hope and joy even in slavery.

Blog Post

No Apologies

Posted by Joni in Culture, Music, Serbia, Video

,

Gibonni is still one of my all time favorite singers. My best friend introduced me to his music about two years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Since that time, I’ve also discovered artists such as Legende, Leb I Sol, Eros Ramazzotti, Madame Piano, Zdravko Colic, and many more. Hey, it’s the gift that keeps giving!

This particular song is interesting because in Croatian, oprosti means I’m sorry. Gibonni had been approached in 2004 to sing this very song at the opening ceremonies of the rebuilt and very historically significant Stari Most, the Mostar Bridge ((The Mostar Bridge incident)), in Bosnia & Herzegovina. However, Croat officials protested the choice of music, and particularly, the song’s chorus, which reads: Say to each other ‘I am sorry’. Even though the song is actually a love song, Croat politicians didn’t want the Bosniaks to misconstrue the song as an apology on their part [for having destroyed the bridge during the conflicts of the 1990s]. Outraged, Gibonni backed out of the ceremony, saying he would not allow his music to be politicized. That makes me admire him even more.


Status

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words?

Posted by Joni in Culture, Current Events, Pixtures

,

Not if it’s a photo of a beheading or other war atrocity. I just don’t buy into the theory that you MUST VIEW such an image to comprehend its savagery. Anyone with a fundamental sense of decency knows that it’s just plain wrong.

I do not need to see photos of bodies piled sky high awaiting their turn in the ovens at Dachau, et al. or the unblinking eyes of Cambodian or Viet Namese children, bodies ravaged by effects of napalm, to comprehend that what happened to them is wrong. I don’t need to see photos of twisted metal and flesh to know that to get behind the wheel of a car impaired in ANY way is to ask for just such a disaster.

Is it just me?