Monday, January 26, 2009

No, you are not!

"I view Islam not as a religion, but as a dangerous, totalitarian ideology - equal to communism and fascism. Aren't I allowed to say so? - Geert Wilders

Apparently not, since you get prosecuted for doing so. Brave new EU.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Now that Emperor Bokassa(*) is crowned, can we go back to our lives?

Does anybody's sun shine more brightly now that Obama is finally inaugurated? I can't say that it does here in Serbia, and not because it's raining.

Strange, based on what was being written in the mainstream media all around the world I was almost certain that the New Dawn is coming and that this planet has been stuck in pain and grief from it's inception and that it was finally pulled out (or put out) of it's misery by it's black knight in the shining armour. Now, I am not saying that our world hasn't had it's fair share of dark pages, but was it so bad to merit epithets such as "historical turnaround", "dawn of a new era for humanity" and Obama being described as the "light of the 21st century"(**)? I accpet that becoming the first black President of the US is a big achievement, but if it's going to be Obama's only one, it's all much ado about nothing.

Incidentally, nobody cared that it was the most expensive inauguration in history right in the middle of the biggest economic crisis since 1929, an "in your face" to the poorest citizens who voted Obama en masse, and which form a significant percentage of the population of Washington itself, nor do they care about the expensive tickets to the "greatest historical moment of all time". Everyone had to get a piece of "obamania", which unfortunately has partially affected some of the rightists as well, and that has long since crossed all boundaries of good taste among the usual suspects. Everybody had to be a part of history, whether they liked it or not.

Can we recommence with our everyday activities now? The Earth is still turning after January 20th, just like it did before that date, in spite of the media tryng to suggest otherwise, and so we must move along with it. Even staunchest Obama fans will eventually realize that, and once they do they will look on this period as the good old days, because from here the only way is down.

(*) Bokassa was the ruler of Central Africa. In 1977 he crowned himself Emperor. The old communist Yugoslavia kept close ties to his regime, and Yugoslav papers covered his coronation extensively. The public was so taken aback by the sheer lavishness of the ceremony, with 90% of the population of Central Africa lived in abject poverty, that a metaphor "the coronation of Emperor Bokassa" has ever since established itself in Serbian language as a description for all inapproprately and excessively luxurios ceremonies.

(**) The latter is actually taken from the North Corean media about Kim Jong Il. The question is: would you have suspected it if I hadn't told you? No, I didn't think so...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Time to apply the "prime directive"

As I already said once, American pop-culture is, generally speaking, shallow, but even in such a deluge of banality one can find a philosophy worthy of discussion.

I am going to speak about "Star trek" yet again. For those not acquainted with the series, in this fictional world the main characters, the crew of the starship "Enterprise", are in the service of the intergallactic entity called "United Federation of Planets" which explores space, colonizes uninhabited planets and makes contacts with new, previously unknown species. The main rule that the Federation has set for the contact with other worlds is the so-called "prime directive". Though never quoted in it's entirety, one can deduce some of it's basic points:

  1. prohibition of any kind of contact with a pre-warp civlization(one that has not mastered space travel beyond the speed of light). Even indirectly helping such societities acquire warp technology is strictly forbidden.
  2. prohibition of involvement in conflicts within a civilisation, except in case of a direct demand from all parties involved
  3. prohibition of interference in a civilisation's application of it's laws, customs and contracts or the impediment of those for whatever reason

The objective of the "prime directive" is to enable species and civilisations to develop in a "natural way", to achieve progress on their own merit. In addition to this, events in the past where the Federation, out of the best of intentions, did get involved into the development of other worlds which almost always had disastrous consequences on the planets involved, their population and way of life, influenced the inception of the "prime directive". Naturally, there were cases when the crew of the "Enterprise" were tempted to break this rule in order to do what they saw as a noble deed, as well as those where the literal application of the "prime directive" appeared cruel, even ruthless. The correctness of the "directive's" philosophy is never questioned, nor the will to uphold it to the highest extent possible.

Is it not time to start a similar philosophy on our planet in the 21st century? The past, recent as well as the distant one, shows us that implementation of values and cultural models from the outside and "the above", as well as attempts to forcefully uproot customs that allegedly "enlightened" foreigners consider "barbaric" results in chaos, disintegration and hopelessness in which the country subject to foreign models soon finds itself in. One need not go further then Iraq to see that in practice. Supporters of "democracy spreading" will, of course, quote anecdotal evidence in favour of their thesis how "all people naturally desire freedom and democracy" but the results of behaviour contrary to the "prime directive" are plain to see for all and can not be ignored.

It is necessary to allow the worlds different from ours to achieve our level of development on their own, providing they want to. This in no way precludes the defense of our civilisation, quite the opposite. A civilisation confident of itself and aware of it's achievemens and how it reached them , will as a natural reflex have it's self-preservation and will react to all potential threats without the political and ideological burdens in the form of it's supposed enlightening mission and alleged obligation to share it's achievements with everyone, one way or the other.

The creators of "Star trek" are of the opinion that humanity will evolve in a positive way, not just technologically, but spritually as well. The "prime directive" is an integral part of such an evolution. Supporters of "global democratization", which are inevitably included in the legions of fans of the series worldwide, should bear this in mind.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No gas? Big deal!

I see some in Serbia are frightened over this gas crisis, crying over the fact that they might freeze this winter. To that I say two things...

The first one is "complain to the so-called socially responsible governement" who just a week before the whole thing started claimed we have gas reserves for weeka, yet it turned out there was only enough for a couple of hours. Also, there is the small matter of stalling the negotiations with Russia over the "Southern stream". If that hadn't happened, maybe, just maybe, we would have had the appropriate gas warehouses now.

The second is "so what?". You think you've got it bad? Spare a thought for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija then who are without gas for almost 10 years now, as well as without electricity and running water for a good part of the day. You see, it can get worse. A lot worse...

So stop complaining. Or at least, complain to the right adress.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time to move on...

As is custom, we visited dad's grave on the 40th day since his passing. It still feels a bit odd without him, and already I miss some of his calming words he used to give in various situations. The night before we went to the cemetary I dreamt about him. I was a kid and we kicked the ball around our home...

Still, life goes on, as it should...As of today normal blogging service will resume.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009