diumenge, de desembre 31, 2006

Nou bloc

Començaré el 2007 publicant un altre bloc, Aprendiendo Bosnio-Croata-Serbio, el qual utilitzará el mateix espai i la mateixa adreça que havia tingut un projecte anterior, Marc & la Colla, que servia com a eina de comunicació entre els meus alumnes de català i jo. Malauradament, ja no faig tantes classes de català, i per tant la necessitat de tenir un bloc exclusiu del tema ja no sembla relevant. Tot i això, deixaré tot el vell contingut que encara hi és, però ara el tema que tractarà la bitàcora serà el meu aprenentatge de la llengua abans coneguda com a serbocroat i que avui es troba dividida en tres idiomes de denominació legal: croat, bosnià i serbi. Escriuré, és clar, en B-C-S, i les explicacions seran fetes en castellà, tenint en compte que per a mi és molt més fàcil, per ser aquella la meva llengua materna. El bloc també podria servir per a altres castellano- o catalanoparlants que vulguin aprendre l'esmentada llengua, i que en cerquin explicacions o exercicis o el que sigui. Aleshores, animeu-vos-hi, a veure la meva nova pagineta, començant amb el nou any!
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Aprendiendo Bosnio-Croata-Serbio..... marccatala.blogspot.com

dijous, de desembre 28, 2006

Chalga, turbo folk and adriatic pop to close the year

Firstly, the erotically exotic duet of Bulgaria's Malina and Azis, Chernite Ochi...



Or if you're too keen on original versions, the greek one by Nikos Vertis, Pes to mou ksana



I can give you yet another one, this time in Hebrew, with Moshik Afia and Shlomi Saranga, Pa'am Bachaim. This song was truly a huge hit in the Eastern Mediterranean.



And finally, Severina in a kind of lesbo-pop stance with groovy Adam i Seva



dimecres, de desembre 27, 2006

Adéu, que estigueu bé, que sigueu feliços

Metta als meus germans i germanes de l'ordre que ja no hi són més. Aryashraddha, Shraddhi, Anomavira.
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Gràcies per la vostra anada a refugi.

diumenge, de desembre 24, 2006

Notas en un retiro de ordenación 3

DIA 11 - lunes 23
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¡Qué día! No ha estado mal, pero de cualquier manera me encuentro más bien descolocado. Aunque claro, nada más que yo y solo yo soy el culpable de mis estados mentales. Entre tanta buena onda y sensación de morar en un ambiente de bonhomía, tuve la brillantísima idea de encender el celular para ver qué onda. Y bueno, me encontré con que había problemas en casa. Situaciones que corresponden únicamente al ámbito familiar. Pero si hace años que sé que en un retiro mejor dejar los aparatitos lejos, pero ¡oh estulticia! Āryaprabha no podía hacer las cosas como debe. ¿Callaré? ¿Se lo contaré a mi preceptor? No sé. Ciertamente no comunicaré gran cosa. Es que no me lo puedo creer, yo aquí pasándomelo increíble y mi gente por allá viviendo asuntos que en verdad no tendrían porqué padecerlas. Está de locos la cosa. El shock gratuito que me compré del mundo exterior me ha servido para únicamente entrar en contacto con todo tipo de emociones raras. No sé bien bien cómo quiero reaccionar. No sé si llorar, callar, gritar, lanzarme a una cabina telefónica, o qué. En otro orden de ideas, Nandavajra es tan buen amigo, bien gentil, agradable. Es una joya preciosísima y además me acaba de dar un nombre buenísimo. Espero que algún pueda reciprocar con la misma intensidad todo lo que ha hecho por mí....
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Es medianoche ahora. Perdí el sueño, a ver si mañana me puedo levantar para la meditación. Tengo ganas de reír. Quiero llorar, quiero gritar, quiero hacer un escándalo.
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Una y venticinco. No era para tanto. Āryaprabha tiene que aprender que no tiene ni una ínfima parte de las respuestas a los retos de las demás personas. Tampoco tiene ni las soluciones ni el modo de desapasionar a los obsesionados. No puedo arreglarle la vida a nadie, lo único que puedo hacer es estar ahí, pendiente, generosamente. Esto es la vida. Un poquito de alegría, un trago amargo, medias soluciones, mucha angustia, y de nuevo. Bueno, a dormir, que la noche es corta.
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DÍA 12 - martes 24
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Ya falta menosssss... Tengo dos temas ya casi completamente asimilados, el primero, el asunto de la ordenación pública, y en siguiente término, lo de mi casa. Ahora mismo me preocuparé por no preocuparme demasiado, y volver a la forma firme y robusta de días anteriores. He de permanecer tranquilito y disfrutando mi retiro, bueno, si es que existe tal cosa como "disfrutar" un retiro, hihi, bueno, al menos en mi caso. La práctica de visualización me está costando muchísimo trabajo. A ver, no experimento ninguna resistencia per se a aquélla, mas me cuesta harto involucrarme con todo la cosa. Todo el día he estado pensando en sexo. Digo, tampoco soy un practicante particularmente asiduo a lo antedicho, sin embargo, los pensamientos con alto contenido de lascivia los tengo cada dos por tres.
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Son como las diez y media, hora de que el retiro se vaya a dormir en masse. ¡Cómo tengo ganas de escuchar un poquitito de turbo folk! Hihihi. Hoy he percibido mucha armonía a lo largo y a lo ancho del retiro, desgraciadamente, a la hora del grupo de ir a refugio con los chicos, alguna fibra sensible he tocado y uno de los chicos, mi favorito, por cierto, se ha puesto un poquito pesado. Tal vez es mi culpa. No lo sé. Con los peninsulares nunca se sabe, un día pueden ser fríos y calculadores, pero con unos arrebatos, ardides y desplantes para venirse de espaldas. Millor evitar entrar-hi, en situacions semblants....
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DÍA 13 - miércoles 25
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Qué rápido pasa el tiempo cuándo te lo estás pasando más o menos bien. 24 horas más, y capúm, mi corona, digo ordenación, será una realidad, y habrá una apoteosis digna del Olimpo, y después a divertirse like it's 1999! Ay, creo que no va por ahí la cosa, haha, pero qué divertido es soñarrr... Hace un frío que pela, y las constantes insinuaciones a mi venidera ordenación ya me están cayendo goooordas. Qué mal rollo y qué mala leche me da esto de los fríos. Razón suficiente por la que nunca vine a vivir al Reino Unido. Alto, alto, tengo que ir mi dress rehearsal, ay no, perdón, ya estoy alucinando, wrong gig, giggles, giggles.
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DÍA 14 - jueves 26
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Estoy al borde de la histeria, me han tenido tooooodo el santo día guardado en el dormitorio cual vil novia de rancho. Ya ha llegado el gran día de la movida ordenable, el día O! A lo que nos cruje, Chencha! A por el título, el nombre, y la responsabilidad, claro, también. Ya estoy bien enterado de los diferentes pasos a tomar en la ceremonia. Allá afuera están haciendo quién sabe cuántos arreglos para el acontecimiento. Públicamente me apena tener a tanta gente trabajando para moi, para decirlo de alguna manera, pero internamente, querido diario,. ¡yeah! ¡qué coool! tener a todos a mi mercedddd.
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Intenté comer mi lunch en paz, mas llegaron el Saddhayu y Sonia de Cambridge, y pues me dio mucho gusto saludarlos, qué lástima que la rigidez de una cierta persona haya creado más tensión que gusto en mi. De regreso a mi cuarto antes de que Miss Thing se ponga pesada....
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De noche.... yaaaa estufas nicanor. Āryaprabha ha nacido a los cuatro vientos. La ceremonia estuvo muy bonita, con todo el retiro muy en actitud de expectación, y espero que deseándome lo mejor. Hubieron poquísimos invitados externos, lo cual tampoco fue una mala onda, así son las cosas. Mi actitud de cara a la ceremonia fue de serenidad y atención conciente. Creo que Moksananda hizo un trabajo maravilloso, y por haberme depositado la confianza suficiente, le estaré agradecido a perpetuidad. Nandavajra también estuvo muy emocionado, y pues, tras años de incertidumbre, pues ya estoy akí. Sinceramente, ante mis maestros, mi linaje, Bhante y toda la comunidad me comprometo a hacerlo lo mejor posible. Vinga, Aryaprabha! Saddhu! :-)
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DÍA 15 - viernes 27
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I'm outta here!!! Aryaprabha - Brussels-bound! Cheers!

divendres, de desembre 22, 2006

Let Us Turbo Folk !

Who do you like best, original Despina from Greece...?



Or the Serbian cover by Jelena...?



If I could I'd post the Bulgarian cover by Malina, Obicham ludo, but I can't find the video anywhere...

dijous, de desembre 21, 2006

Drag Queen Name Generator

Your Drag Queen Name Is:
Ophelia Cox

dimecres, de desembre 20, 2006

Notas en un retiro de ordenación 2

DIA 6 – miércoles 18

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Llevo una semana de viaje, y hay horas en las que siento como si llevase una eternidad. Hoy por la mañana cruzó por mi mente el pensamiento de que me gustaría que más amigos estuvieran aquí. Incluso me hubiera gustado que viniese mi mami. Pero bueno, no hay que fomentar ni alimentar sueños imposibles, así que a lo siguiente. Lo más interesante que hemos hecho fue la dedicación del kuti, o casilla de ordenación, para llamarle de alguna manera. Al terminar la ceremonia pensé que sería bueno agradecer a toda la gente involucrada por lo que ha hecho a mi favor. Mi práctica de meditación está como que rara, muy concentrada para después salirse de orden, y de regreso, lo cual no está tan mal. Hoy me dio también un ataque de no-sé-qué y me empecé a emocionar, empero, pronto recuperé la calma, la compostura y, ante todo, la serenidad.

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DIA 7 – jueves 19

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Hoy ha estado bien. Ya se acerca cada vez más el primer paso de toda la cosa. Me he imaginado la ceremonia de ordenación privada, la cual es muy seria y muy formal. Este día también he dicho no sé cuántas frivolidades, hasta he dicho que las ceremonias de ordenación han de ser como cuando salía la Jurado a cantar “…como una oooolaaa”. También me puse a reflexionar que a lo mejor convendría que me pusiese a pensar más en Shakyamuni y menos en las divas, a lo mejor habría mejores resultados. Ay, pobre Marc, ya le queda poco tiempo de vida, espiritual, claro. Era tan agradable, simpático, lindo, tierno, mono, acomedido, bien avenido, dispuesto, educado, inteligente, buena gente...

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DIA 8 – viernes 20
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Día extraño, bueno, regular y malo, o sea, hay de todo. No lo sé, la víspera de lo mío no me viene muy bien. Como que siento algún tipo de presión, no hacia mí en particular, pero como que en el ambiente, que ha estado muy tranquilo, a pesar de todo. Las charlas con Nandavajra han ido muy bien y en un tono serio pero no tomándoselo a pecho. Bueno, también he pensado un poco sobre mi ordenación y las implicaciones de todo el asunto. Claro que estoy contento (¿o aliviado?) con respecto a la venidera ordenación… Bueno, es de noche y ya ha tenido lugar la puya, y el aparatito este dónde se supone leería no ha servido. Pero chico, que no conoces las impresoras, ash. ¿Cuándo fue la última vez, que en viernes, me fui a la cama antes de las 23 horas?

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DIA 9 – sábado 21

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Primera parte. Día de silencio, y hasta ahora lo voy sobreviviendo holgadamente. Ciertamente ha mejorado bastante mi práctica de la meditación. Estoy un poco ansioso, pero no mucho. Por la noche será la ceremonia privada de ordenación. Lo que me preocupa es que los chicos se van a quedar todo el rato meditando, ay pobres, espero que no lo sufran demasiado, digo, por el culo, la espalda o las rodillas. Me gusta que en este ambiente tan afectado por la quietud, se haya dejado de lado, por lo menos un ratito, el tema de señalarme como el chico de moda. En Inglaterra, todo de repente se vuelve rígido y más bien antipático, la comida sabe a displacer y la oscuridad pesa, y mucho. El clima no está mal, a ver dónde nos lleva esta noche.

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Segunda parte. Bueno ya está. Soy Āryaprabha. “El que brilla con el esplendor de los nobles”. La noche fue sencillamente magnífica. Generalmente soy indiferente a los climas, arbolitos o montes, pero esta vez sí que fije en ello. Había un espléndido cielo estrellado. Siendo de la ciudad de México, generalmente no veo estrellas, toda vez que la nata de contaminación no lo permite. Pues me ha tocado un maravilloso cielo a todo dar. La oscuridad, que tanto temor me ha provocado en otras ocasiones, ahora fue un marco perfecto para la ordenación, ya que la comunidad de Padmaloka amablemente se prestó a crear un camino de veladoras, el cual me guiaba hacia el kuti. Me hubiese encantado quedarme horas y horas caminando lentamente dicho andador, pero no era posible, había que llegar a la cita con Nandavajra. Me presenté ante mi preceptor con humildad, pero convencido y en paz con la decisión a la que habíamos llegado. Súper, fue increíble, ay, de verdad maravilloso. No les puedo decir que pasa en la mentada ceremonia, únicamente les diré que fue muy especial. Regresamos después a continuar la puya, con medio retiro ya medio cansado de tanta meditación, y ya está. Tengo que decir que nunca había vivido una noche tan mágica, tan llena de cosas bonitas. Me he quedado muy contento, emocionado, pero con serenidad. Quién hubieses pensado tan solo hace un par de meses que llegaría aquí y que sería tan especial. Me siento muy afortunado y agradecido por haber vivido lo de esta noche, y madre mía, ¡todavía falta!

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DIA 10 – domingo 22

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Bueno, dormí razonablemente bien, con todo y las emociones del día. Es domingo, y me viene rico, puesto que he pasado un sabadito muy movido. Y todavía falta toda la semana, pero, ay, ¿cuánto tiempo llevo aquí? Los años de la vida, me parece. Hoy la meditación estuvo correcta, aunque encuentro que la gente del retiro parece estar un tanto cuanto cansada por lo de ayer, y no los culpo, cuando no eres la estrella de la peli, extrear tampoco es así como para venirse de espaldas. Estoy cansado, emocionalmente. Pero no queda de otra, hay que retomar fuerzas y seguir. Vinga Ary, fes-ho bé, fes-ho bé.

dilluns, de desembre 18, 2006

Notas en un retiro de ordenación 1

Dharmachari Aryaprabha – Padmaloka, 13-27 de octubre, 2006
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DIA 1 – viernes 13

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¡Qué día! Estresante. Medio deshidratado y ahora en camino al retiro. Moverse en Londres es relativamente sencillo, excepto cuando portas un montón de equipaje, no eres lugareño o tienes que subirte en transportes desconocidos. De cualquier manera, ya estoy en camino a mi retiro, sin mayor pretención que pasármelo de p**a madre, o al menos así querría que saliese. Habrá amigos en el retiro, la cual cosa lo hará un tanto cuanto más llevadero, espero. Hace un montón de tiempo que no voy a un evento como el que se me avecina, y pues a ver de a cómo nos toca. 3 horas después. Ya llegué, y para la memoria, están en retiro de los “Spanish-speakers” están Pau y Rafael de México; Alexis, Juan y Vayira, de Valencia, Manuel, de Granada, además de Moksananda y Samamati. Me pone bien ver a Nandavajra, simplemente no puede evitar ser agradable.

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DIA 2 – sábado 14

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La meditación, bueno, como simpre, entre nada y todo. Hace unas semanas me lastimé el muslo izquierdo, con resonancias en la rodilla, y todavía me duele, empero, no tuve mayor problema en enfrentar la 1 ½ hora de meditación, por lo menos desde el punto de vista físico. El clima no está tan desgraciado como pensaría que estuviese. Al acabar la práctica de la mañanita pensé, “ostras, ora si que es de a devis”. Me haré miembro de la orden. Qué expectación, porque va en serio. Qué susto. ¿Me lo merezco? Pero claaaaaro. Mi preceptor privado ha decidido mudarse de habitación, aborrece mis sonidos nocturnos. Bueno, tampoco pasa nada, es más, mejor, hihi, más espacio para mí.

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DIA 3 – domingo 15

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Mon dieu. Los espacios semi rurales, por las noches, me dan muuucho miedo, hay tanta oscuridad por todos lados. Todo oscuro. Con todo y mis atávicos miedos parece que por fin he aterrizado del todo a la cosa. Al mismo tiempo encuentro que tampoco tengo demasiado tiempo para mi, por increíble que parezca, y aunque esté recibiendo un trato digno de la mismísima Pantoja. No está mal, pero tampoco tan guay.

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Hoy entré en cinco minutos de pánico, las fuerzas que son se han esmerado en hacer saber a toda la concurrencia que me ordeno. A ver, pongámos las cosas en claro. Me encaaaanta la atención, me excita, me emociona, me fascina, pero, no la atención así nomás, sino cuando estoy cantando, cuando dicto conferencias o en el momento que organizo cosas, y eso de ser señalado como la bonita de la telenovela lo llevo muy mal. Además, hoy desapareció el sol y entró en acción un otoño inglés, como de película pesada de la BBC, vivible muy a penas. Me ha sorprendido lo aliviado que estoy cuando Samamati está cerca, el chico parece capaz de resolverlo todo en el mundillo de la F/WBO!... ¿Me atreveré a decirlo? Ay pues sí. Odio, aborrezco, detesto los washing-up ingleses. Pero por dieu, ¿quién les dijo que lo hacen bien???? Bueno, ya, me callo, ¿qué se yo de cualquier manera?

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Ya recibí las fechas de los grandes acontecimientos: 21 de octubre, ordenación privada, 26, la pública. Ay, a ver si llego completo. Hihi. Durante la casi semana en el entrecot de las cosas viviré un periodo de limboooo. De muerte, espiritual, claro. Espero que no se me revuelvan los nervios hasta entonces, que en tres días mi performance ha sido impecable.

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DIA 4 – lunes 16

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No me levanté lo suficientemente temprano para la primera meditación. Creo que todavía estoy algo cansado del viaje y la expectación. No pasa nada (espero...) El resto del día no ha estado mal, he escrito como loco, y en catalán, muchas cosas. Parece que dicha lengua se ha convertido en mi lengua de diálogo interno. Discuto, converso y me peleo conmigo mismo en catalá. Supongo que el día en que me pelee conmigo mismo en catalán y castellano, al mismo tiempo, habrán de llevarme al psiquiatra, hihi.

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Qué diferencia hacen los años y la práctica. Recordaba de cómo me lo había pasado la última vez que estuve en Padmaloka, y pues nada que ver. Hacia principios de la década me obligaba prácticamente a ir a los retiros, puesto que tal cosa era lo que hacían los budistas de verdad. Me lo pasaba a veces muy mal, ante todo, experimentaba miedos y temores, sobretodo por las noches, al irse todo mundo a dormir tan temprano. Ahora, me da un poco de temor la oscuridad, pero no pasa nada, voy, vengo y hago a mis anchas, y con el tratamiento VIP al cual, francamente, ya me acostumbré, hihi. Además, no deja de sorprenderme la capacidad de Nandavajra de ser maravilloso en todo momento, es que es alucinante.

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DIA 5 – martes 17

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Ha sido un buen día, no puedo quejarme de nada. Hoy la meditación, en general, estuvo fatalérrima, todo el tiempo tuve la cabeza revuelta y no hubo manera de remediarlo. Ayuda el sencillo esfuerzo de quedarme tranquilito en mi asiento. Estoy también muy relajado, a pesar de la seriedad de mi evento, mi preceptor se ha preocupado en hacerlo alegremente llevadero, y lo está logrando. Ya se acerca el día-d, y espero que la cosa salga a pedir de boca. Estoy teniendo sueños muuuy disparados, no se si es mi psique oscura resistiendo los embates de un retiro feliz, la comida, la falta de sexo (que siempre me falta, así que no debería ser tema), las meditaciones y prácticas de contemplación de los seis elementos, o todo. Ya veremos....

dijous, de desembre 14, 2006

Somnis estranys

Ahir vaig somniar que era al segle XIX, i que havia de marxar cap a l'escola. Arribant-hi, una companya ens deia que era important anar ràpidament a mirar la televisió, per què el president de la República hi donaria un discurs relevant. Clar, la tele al segle XIX! Aleshores, vam sentir a Antonio López de Santa Anna, trist dictador mexicà, que es fotia un discurs a la tele dient-nos que havíem de canviar les nostres maneres de cuinar, les quals eren horribles i sense cap tipus de civilització. Vaig despertar-me'n sense saber ben bé què hi havia passat. Haig de dir que el somni no em va molestar, l'he trobat més aviat divertit, una fantasia històricament sincrònica i anacrònica. Ara vull somniar amb els temps del dictador Díaz, això sí que seria divertit!

dimecres, de desembre 13, 2006

La gent que no se n'adona, de la seva condició

Avui estic una mica més que irritat. D'una banda, m'ha arribat aquesta setmana un CD que suposadament portava imatges del meu darrer viatge. Imatges importants i que han necessitat tres setmanes per arribar aquí. Doncs bueno, el disc, comtat i debatut, no té res de res. La persona que l'hagi cremat no se'n va adonar, de què només en va enregistrar els petits icons de cada foto i no pas la fotografia en sí mateixa. Tres setmanes d'espera per a què després no hi hagués res de contingut. Quina tabarra! I se suposa que l'autor practica atenció concient! Imagineu-vos-en si no! En fi. De vegades la mala llet em guanya. Segur que aviat me n'oblidaré i tornaré a passar-m'ho bé. Sense fotos ni pendeixades.
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D'altra banda, hi ha un personatge, l'actitud del qual em deixa perplex. Suposo que hi ha gent que de debò vol quedar-se sola en la vida! Doncs resulta que un quasi-amic em va prestar una petita quantitat de diners, hi havíem acordat que li pagaria aquesta setmana, després es va posar pessat i em va dir que li pagués ja. El molt cabron. Em deu coses, tot i això es posa pessadísim. Com si de debó li hagués d'aguantar les seves coses. Ugh. Quines coses que fa la gent, no? Però ara mateix hi posaré solució.

dimarts, de desembre 12, 2006

Ja comença el feixisme blau

Ja som al desembre, la ignorant majoria dels mexicans, o al menys la tercera part que va votar per Fecal i l'odi i la por ja té nou "president". Els mitjans de comunicació mexicans, acostumats a donar suport a qui "guanyi" les eleccions, ja fan les hagiografies corresponents de l'equip més ultra-dretà que mai s'hagi vist a Mèxic. Una tragèdia sense precedents. El senyoret president ja ha començat a castigar a aquells va no li van donar el seu suport: la cultura i l'educació. Li redueix el presupost a l'única universitat mexicana reconeguda mondialment, la UNAM i castiga severament a tot el gremi que mai li va mostrar gens ni mica de simpatia: la cultura. Sis anys de res. Sis anys de govern cruel, frívol i desculturitzat. Ai de mi. Em consta recordar que sóc l'Aryaprabha i que he establert un compromís fort per fer l'esforç de tenir els millors estats mentals possibles. Miro als ultradretans, mig per decisió, mig per por, mig per ignorància, de la meva oficina i dic, mare meva, com és que han caigut en tal error. Que n'és, d'increïble, de debó. Ja veurem, però ha començat tan però tan malament aquest sexeni.

dissabte, de desembre 09, 2006

La nit abans de la funció

Estic mig nerviós, mig emocionat, mic ansiós i mig content de què demà ja serà el nostre famós concert d'aniversari. 100 anys fa la coral de l'Orfeó i això significa molt, al menys pels cantaires. Portem un any amb assaigs de vegades molt durs i ara s'ha de veure que tal surt. Hi haurà moltíssima gent a l'escenari i no sé quantes coses més. Encara no estic tan bé de la gola com caldria, pero ja veurem demà. A més a més, som més de cinquanta, o sigui, hi haurà de tot! Tant de bo que surti bonic, tant de bo que el teatre estigui ple.

dimarts, de desembre 05, 2006

Concert Orfeó Català de Mèxic


Concert de l'Orfeó Català de Mèxic, aquest diumenge a les 6 de la tarda.

divendres, de desembre 01, 2006

Intervenciones feministas 2










And darkness fell upon Earth


Mexicans and citizens of the rest of the world, welcome to the new land of the free-cynic and the brave corrupt: FECALIA !

dimecres, de novembre 29, 2006

dimarts, de novembre 28, 2006

dilluns, de novembre 27, 2006

What's Your Expression Number?

Your Expression Number is 8

Driven and ambitious, you have the potential to reach great things.You're both good with money and good at getting things done quickly.You are an excellent leader and a great judge of character.
Full of energy and confidence, you undertake projects that seem impossible.Dependable and determined, you are able to understand the bigger picture.Even if you are not in a position of power right now, it will fall to you.
At times, you can be very materialistic - and obsessed with status and power.While this isn't always a bad thing, you sometimes take it to the extreme.In order to be truly happy, you must balance the material and spiritual in your life.

dissabte, de novembre 25, 2006

Lift me up

Hi ha cançons que serveixen per animar-me. Aquest any el meu país ha sofert una amarga mort moral. Una mort que col.loca el pragmatisme més brutal al cap de tot una nació, a més a més, sembla que molts mexicans han escollit el camí de la frivolitat, pensant-ne com si fos un valor universal. Aleshores, aquest any tan dolent, tan ple de coses horribles, que ja acabi. De qualsevol manera, aquí us presento uns vídeos que ajuden quan la cosa va malament.

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Indira Radić ens presenta Rodni Kraj, una peça exquisitament efectiva, que pren d’algun fred tema dance la idea de convocar diferents ciutats i ambients. Ella ho fa amb gairebé tot l’ex Iugoslàvia. Jugostalgija total. Els cínics dirien que ho fa només per agradar als nostàlgics, tot i això, penso que és bonic i refrescant trobar una cantant que fa referències multi nacionals i positives del seu ex país, en lloc del càustic híper nacionalisme de molts personatges balcànics

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Plain talking…. Serves us so well… Travel to hell. Una de les poques coses que em va posar més o menys de bones al juliol d'aquest any va ser Lift Me Up, d’en Moby. En recordar el suicidi moral del meu país, sembla que no sabia on ficar-me, afortunadament Moby em porta a un bon lloc, moral i espiritualment.

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Paraules fortes. This is where I heal my hurts. Enemies become friends when bitterness ends. For tonight, God is a DJ. Tristísim he estat, i en recordar-me d’aquesta cançó, el seu missatge, la música i l’ambient alhora d’eufòria i intimitat que produeix, em trobo millor. Molt millor. Tant de bo que hi hagués dance tan bo i tan significatiu com aquest.

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divendres, de novembre 24, 2006

dijous, de novembre 23, 2006

Gusto, circulación, institución



Pichon òme

Des de què vaig entrar a la coral de l'Orfeó Català de Mèxic, hem tingut al repertori una adorable cançò occitana, Pichon òme, la qual sempre cantem malament, o millor dit, portem cantant-la de manera desafortunada d'ençà la fundació de la coral ("Pitchou home"). El que fem normalment és remanar les grafies franceses, occitana i catalana. Fa uns anys vaig demanar a l'Institut d'Estudis Occitans, si hi havia alguna versió ben escrita o al menys no tan dolenta com la que es canta a Mèxic. Afortunadament em van enviar la lletra de la peça ben escrita en occità, com cal, i com que m'agrada molt, doncs no tinc cap problema en compartir-la amb vosaltres.
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PICHON ÒME arr. de Samper
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Io n'ai un ome que es pichon
Pòdi ben dire, pòdi ben dire
Io n'ai un ome que es pichon
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Amb un palm de tela grisa
Io n'i ai fait una camisa
E del reston un camiason
Pòdi ben que es pichon!
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De la pèl d'una murgueta
Io n'i ai fait una camisa
E del reston un capeiron
Pòdi ben que es pichon!
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Amb un clesque d'avelana
Io n'i ai fait una cabana
E del reston un cabanon,
Pòdi ben que es pichon!
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D'una agulha despuntada
Io n'i ai fait una gulhada
E del reston un agoulhon
Pòdi ben que es pichon!
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Un limauc sur son esquina,
Lo pòrta sus sa mairina,
E lo tòrna a la maison,
Pòdi ben que es pichon!

dimecres, de novembre 22, 2006

Slavoj Žižek: Against the Double Blackmail

An article that circulated a few years ago, still very elocuent...

Slavoj Zizek: AGAINST THE DOUBLE BLACKMAIL

The top winner in the contest for the greatest blunder of 1998 was a Latin-American patriotic terrorist who sent a bomb letter to a US consulate in order to protest against the American interfering into the local politics. As a conscientious citizen, he wrote on the envelope his return address; however, he did not put enough stamps on it, so that the post returned the letter to him. Forgetting what he put in it, he opened it and blew himself to death - a perfect example of how, ultimately, a letter always arrives at its destination. And is not something quite similar happening to the Slobodan Milosevic regime with the recent NATO bombing? It is interesting to watch in the last days the Serbian satellite state TV which targets foreign public: no reports on atrocities in Kosovo, refugees are mentioned only as people fleeing NATO bombing, so that the overall idea is that Serbia, the island of peace, the only place in ex-Yugoslavia that was not touched by the war raging all around it, is not irrationally attacked by the NATO madmen destroying bridges and hospitals... For years, Milosevic was sending bomb letters to his neighbors, from the Albanians to Croatia and Bosnia, keeping himself out of the conflict while igniting fire all around Serbia - finally, his last letter returned to him. Let us hope that the result of the NATO intervention will be that Milosevic will be proclaimed the political blunderer of the year.
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And there is a kind of poetic justice in the fact that the West finally intervened apropos of Kosovo - let us not forget that it was there that it all began with the ascension to power of Milosevic: this ascension was legitimized by the promise to amend the underprivileged situation of Serbia within the Yugoslav federation, especially with regard to the Albanian "separatism." Albanians were Milosevic's first target; afterwards, he shifted his wrath onto other Yugoslav republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia), until, finally, the focus of the conflict returned to Kosovo - as in a closed loop of Destiny, the arrow returned to the one who lanced it by way of setting free the spectre of ethnic passions. This is the key point worth remembering: Yugoslavia did not start to disintegrate when the Slovene "secession" triggered the domino-effect (first Croatia, then Bosnia, Macedonia...); it was already at the moment of Milosevic's constitutional reforms in 1987, depriving Kosovo and Vojvodina of their limited autonomy, that the fragile balance on which Yugoslavia rested was irretrievably disturbed. From that moment onwards, Yugoslavia continued to live only because it didn't yet notice it was already dead - it was like the proverbial cat in the cartoons walking over the precipice, floating in the air, and falling down only when it becomes aware that it has no ground under its feet... From Milosevic's seizure of power in Serbia onwards, the only actual chance for Yugoslavia to survive was to reinvent its formula: either Yugoslavia under Serb domination or some form of radical decentralization, from a loose confederacy to the full sovereignty of its units.
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It is thus easy to praise the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia as the first case of an intervention - not into the confused situation of a civil war, but - into a country with full sovereign power. Is it not comforting to see the NATO forces intervene not for any specific economico-strategic interests, but simply because a country is cruelly violating the elementary human rights of an ethnic group? Is not this the only hope in our global era - to see some internationally acknowledged force as a guarantee that all countries will respect a certain minimum of ethical (and, hopefully, also health, social, ecological) standards? However, the situation is more complex, and this complexity is indicated already in the way NATO justifies its intervention: the violation of human rights is always accompanied by the vague, but ominous reference to "strategic interests." The story of NATO as the enforcer of the respect for human rights is thus only one of the two coherent stories that can be told about the recent bombings of Yugoslavia, and the problem is that each story has its own rationale. The second story concerns the other side of the much-praised new global ethical politics in which one is allowed to violate the state sovereignty on behalf of the violation of human rights. The first glimpse into this other side is provided by the way the big Western media selectively elevate some local "warlord" or dictator into the embodiment of Evil: Sadam Hussein, Milosevic, up to the unfortunate (now forgotten) Aidid in Somalia - at every point, it is or was "the community of civilized nations against...". And on what criteria does this selection rely? Why Albanians in Serbia and not also Palestinians in Israel, Kurds in Turkey, etc.etc? Here, of course, we enter the shady world of international capital and its strategic interests.
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According to the "Project CENSORED," the top censored story of 1998 was that of a half-secret international agreement in working, called MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment). The primary goal of MAI will be to protect the foreign interests of multinational companies. The agreement will basically undermine the sovereignty of nations by assigning power to the corporations almost equal to those of the countries in which these corporations are located. Governments will no longer be able to treat their domestic firms more favorably than foreign firms. Furthermore, countries that do not relax their environmental, land-use and health and labor standards to meet the demands of foreign firms may be accused of acting illegally. Corporations will be able to sue sovereign state if they will impose too severe ecological or other standards - under NAFTA (whic is the main model for MAI), Ethyl Corporation is already suing Canada for banning the use of its gasoline additive MMT. The greatest threat is, of course, to the developing nations which will be pressured into depleting their natural resources for commercial exploitation. Renato Ruggerio, director of the World Trade Organization, the sponsor of MAI, is already hailing this project, elaborated and discussed in a clandestine manner, with almost no public discussion and media attention, as the "constitution for a new global economy." And, in the same way in which, already for Marx, market relations provided the true foundation for the notion of individual freedoms and rights, THIS is also the obverse of the much-praised new global morality celebrated even by some neoliberal philosophers as signalling the beginning of the new era in which international community will establish and enforce some minimal code preventing sovereign state to engage in crimes against humanity even within its own territory. And the recent catastrophic economic situation in Russia, far from being the heritage of old Socialist mismanagement, is a direct result of this global capitalist logic embodied in MAI.
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This other story also has its ominous military side. The ultimate lesson of the last American military interventions, from the Operation Desert Fox against Iraq at the end of 1998 to the present bombing of Yugoslavia, is that they signal a new era in military history - battles in which the attacking force operates under the constraint that it can sustain no casualties. When the first stealth-fighter fell down in Serbia, the emphasis of the American media was that there were no casualties - the pilot was SAVED! (This concept of "war without casualties" was elaborated by General Collin Powell.) And was not the counterpoint to it the almost surreal way CNN reported on the war: not only was it presented as a TV event, but the Iraqi themselves seem to treat it this way - during the day, Bagdad was a "normal" city, with people going around and following their business, as if war and bombardment was an irreal nightmarish spectre that occurred only during the night and did not take place in effective reality?
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Let us recall what went on in the final American assault on the Iraqi lines during the Gulf War: no photos, no reports, just rumours that tanks with bulldozer like shields in front of them rolled over Iraqi trenches, simply burying thousands of troops in earth and sand - what went on was allegedly considered too cruel in its shere mechanical efficiency, too different from the standard notion of a heroic face to face combat, so that images would perturb too much the public opinion and a total censorship black-out was stritly imposed. Here we have the two aspects joined together: the new notion of war as a purely technological event, taking place behind radar and computer screens, with no casualties, AND the extreme physical cruelty too unbearable for the gaze of the media - not the crippled children and raped women, victims of caricaturized local ethnic "fundamentalist warlords," but thousands of nameless soldiers, victims of nameless efficient technological warfare. When Jean Baudrillard made the claim that the Gulf War did not take place, this statement could also be read in the sense that such traumatic pictures that stand for the Real of this war were totally censured...
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How, then, are we to think these two stories together, without sacrificing the truth of each of them? What we have here is a political example of the famous drawing in which we recognize the contours either of a rabbit head or of a goose head, depending on our mental focus. If we look at the situation in a certain way, we see the international community enforcing minimal human rights standards on a nationalist neo-Communist leader engaged in ethnic cleansing, ready to ruin his own nation just to retain power. If we shift the focus, we see NATO, the armed hand of the new capitalist global order, defending the strategic interests of the capital in the guise of a disgusting travesty, posing as a disinterested enforcer of human rights, attacking a sovereign country which, in spite of the problematic nature of its regime, nonetheless acts as an obstacle to the unbriddled assertion of the New World Order.
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However, what if one should reject this double blackmail (if you are against NATO strikes, you are for Milosevic's proto-Fascist regime of ethnic cleansing, and if you are against Milosevic, you support the global capitalist New World Order)? What if this very opposition between enlightened international intervention against ethnic fundamentalists, and the heroic last pockets of resistance against the New World Order, is a false one? What if phenomena like the Milosevic regime are not the opposite to the New World Order, but rather its SYMPTOM, the place at which the hidden TRUTH of the New World Order emerges? Recently, one of the American negotiators said that Milosevic is not only part of the problem, but rather THE problem itself. However, was this not clear FROM THE VERY BEGINNING? Why, then, the interminable procrastination of the Western powers, playing for years into Milosevic's hands, acknowledging him as a key factor of stability in the region, misreading clear cases of Serb aggression as civil or even tribal warfare, initially putting the blame on those who immediately saw what Milosevic stands for and, for that reason, desperately wanted to escape his grasp (see James Baker's public endorsement of a "limited military intervention" against Slovene secession), supporting the last Yugoslav prime minister Ante Markovic, whose program was, in an incredible case of political blindness, seriously considered as the last chance for a democratic market-oriented unified Yugoslavia, etc.etc.? When the West fights Milosevic, it is NOT fighting its enemy, one of the last points of resistance against the liberal-democratic New World Order; it is rather fighting its own creature, a monster that grew as the result of the compromises and inconsistencies of the Western politics itself. (And, incidentally, it is the same as with Iraq: its strong position is also the result of the American strategy of containing Iran.)
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In the last decade, the West followed a Hamlet-like procrastination towards Balkan, and the present bombardment has effectively all the signs of Hamlet's final murderous outburst in which a lot of people unnecessarily die (not only the King, his true target, but also his mother, Laertius, Hamlet himelf...), because Hamlet acted too late, when the proper moment was already missed. We are clearly dealing with a hysterical acting out, with an escape into activity, with a gesture that, instead of trying to achieve a well-defined goal, rather bears witness to the fact that there is no such goal, that the agent is caught in a web of conflicting goals. So the West, in the present intervention which displays all the signs of a violent outburst of impotent aggressivity without a clear political goal, is now paying the price for the years of entertaining illusions that one can make a deal with Milosevic: with the recent hesitations about the ground intervention in Kosovo, the Serbian regime is, under the pretext of war, launching the final assault on Kosovo and purge it of most of the Albanians, cynically accepting bombardments as the price to be paid.
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When the Western powers repeat all the time that they are not fighting the Serb people, but only their corrupted leaders, they rely on the (typically liberal) wrong premise that Serbs are victims of their evil leadership personified in Milosevic, manipulated by him. The painful fact is that the Serb aggressive nationalism enjoys the support of the large majority of the population - no, Serbs are not passive victims of nationalist manipulation, they are not Americans in disguise, just waiting to be delivered from the nationalist spell. On the other hand, this misperception is accompanied by the apparently contradictory notion according to which, Balkan people are living in the past, fighting again and again old battles, perceiving recent situation through old myths... One is tempted to say that these two cliches should be precisely TURNED AROUND: not only are people not "good," since they let themselves be manipulated with obscene pleasure; there are also no "old myths" which we need to study if we are really to understand the complex situation, just the PRESENT outburst of racist nationalism which, according to its needs, opportunistically resuscitates old myths. To paraphrase the old Clintonian motto: no, it's not the old myths and ethnic hatreds, it's the POLITICAL POWER STRUGGLE, stupid!
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So, on the one hand, we have the obscenities of the Serb state propaganda: they regularily refer to Clinton not as "the American president," but as "the American Fuehrer"; two of the transparents on their state-organized anti-Nato demonstrations were "Clinton, come here and be our Monica!" (i.e. suck our...), and "Monica, did you suck out also his brain?". This is where the NATO planners got it wrong, caught in their schemes of strategic reasoning, unable to forecast that the Serb reaction to bombardment will be a recourse to a collective Bakhtinian carnivalization of the social life... And the Western counterpoint to this obscenity is the more and more openly racist tone of its reporting: when the three American soldiers were taken prisoners, CNN dedicated the first 10 minutes of the News to their predicament (although everyone knew that NOTHING will happen to them!), and only then reported on the tens of thousands of refugees, burned villages and Pristina turning into a ghost town. Where is the so-much-praised Serb "democratic opposition" to protest THIS horror taking place in their own backyard, not only the - till now, at least, bombardments with relatively very low casualties?
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The atmosphere in Belgrade is, at least for the time being, carnivalesque in a faked way - when they are not in shelters, people dance to rock or ethnic music on the streets, under the motto "With music against bombs!", playing the role of the defying heroes (since they know that NATO does not really bomb civilian targets). Although it may fascinate some confused pseudo-Leftists, this obscene carnivalization of the social life is effectively the other, public, face of ethnic cleansing: while in Belgrade people defiantly dance on the streets, three hundred kilometers to the South, a genocide of African proportions is taking place.
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It is interesting to watch in the last days the Serb satellite state TV which targets foreign public: no reports on atrocities in Kosovo, refugees are mentioned only as people fleeing the NATO bombing; the overall idea is that Serbia, the island of peace, the only place in ex-Yugoslavia that was not touched by the war raging all around it, is attacked by the NATO madmen destroying bridges and hospitals... So when, in the nightime, crowds are camping out on the Belgrade bridges, participating in pop and ethnic music concerts held there in a defiantly festive mood, offering their bodies as the live shield to prevent the bridges from being bombed, the answer to this faked pathetic gesture should be a very simple one: why don't you go to Kosovo and make a rock carnival in the Albanian parts of Pristina?
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In the recent struggle of the so-called "democratic opposition" in Serbia against the Milosevic's regime, the truly touchy topic is the stance towards Kosovo: as to this topic, the large majority of the "democratic opposition" unconditionally endorses Milosevic's anti-Albanian nationalist agenda, even accusing him of making compromises with the West and "betraying" Serb national interests in Kosovo. In the course of the student demonstrations against the Milosevic's Socialist Party falsification of the election results in the Winter of 1996, the Western media who closely followed the events and praised the revived democratic spirit in Serbia, rarely mentioned the fact that one of the regular slogans of the demonstrators against the special police forces was "Instead of kicking us, go to Kosovo and kick out the Albanians!". In today's Serbia, the absolute sine qua non of an authentic political act would thus be to unconditionally reject the ideological topos of the "Albanian threat to Serbia."
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In the last years, the Serb propaganda is promoting the identification of Serbia as the second Israel, with Serbs as the chosen nation, and Kosovo as their West Bank where they fight, in the guise of "Albanian terrorists," their own intifada. Thew went as far as repeating the old Israeli complaint against the Arabs: "We will pardon you for what you did to us, but we will never pardon you for forcing us to do to YOU the horrible things we had to do in order to defend ourselves!" The hilariously-mocking Serb apology for shooting down the stealth bomber was: "Sorry, we didn't know you are invisible!" One is tempted to say that the answer to Serb complaints about the "irrational barbaric bombing" of their country should be: "Sorry, we didn't know you are a chosen nation!" One thing is for sure: the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia will change the global geopolitic coordinates. The unwritten pact of peaceful coexistence (the respect of each state's full sovereignty, i.e. non-interference in internal affairs, even in the case of the grave violation of human rights) is over. However, the very first act of the new global police force usurping the right to punish sovereign states for their wrongdoings already signals its end, its own undermining, since it immediately became clear that this universality of human rights as its legitimization is false, i.e. that the attacks on selective targets protect particular interests. The NATO bombardments of Yugoslavia also signal the end of any serious role of UN and Security Council: it is NATO under US guidance that effectively pulls the strings.
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Furthermore, the silent pact with Russia that held till now is broken: in the terms of this pact, Russia was publicly treated as a superpower, allowed to maintain the appearance of being one, on condition that it did not effectively act as one. Now Russia's humiliation is open, any pretense of dignity is unmasked: Russia can only openly resist or openly comply with Western pressure. The further logical result of this new situation will be, of course, the renewed rise of anti-Western resistance from Eastern Europe to the Third World, with the sad consequence that criminal figures like Milosevic will be elevated into the model fighters against the New World Order.
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So the lesson is that the alternative between the New World Order and the neoracist nationalists opposing it is a false one: these are the two sides of the same coin - the New World Order itself breeds monstrosities that it fights. Which is why the protests against bombing from the reformed Communist parties all around Europe, inclusive of PDS, are totally misdirected: these false protesters against the NATO bombardment of Serbia are like the caricaturized pseudo-Leftists who oppose the trial against a drug dealer, claiming that his crime is the result of social pathology of the capitalist system. The way to fight the capitalist New World Order is not by supporting local proto-Fascist resistances to it, but to focus on the only serious question today: how to build TRANSNATIONAL political movements and institutions strong enough to seriously constraint the unlimited rule of the capital, and to render visible and politically relevant the fact that the local fundamentalist resistances against the New World Order, from Milosevic to le Pen and the extreme Right in Europe, are part of it?
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What all this means is that the impasse of the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia is not simply the result of some particular failure of strategic reasoning, but depends on the fundamental inconsistency of the very notion of which this intervention relies. The problem with NATO acting in Yugoslavia as an agent of "militaristic humanism" or even "militaristic pacifism" (Ulrich Beck) is not that this term is an Orwellian oxymorom (reminding us of "Peace is war" slogans from his 1984) which, as such, directly belies the truth of its position (against this obvious pacifist-liberal criticism, I rather think that it is the pacifist position - "more bombs and killing never brings piece" - which is a fake, and that one should heroically ENDORSE the paradox of militaristic pacifism); it is neither that, obviously, the targets of bombardment are not chosen out of pure moral consideration, but selectively, depending on unadmitted geopolitic and economic strategic interests (the obvious Marxist-style criticism). The problem is rather that this purely humanitarian-ethic legitimization (again) thoroughly DEPOLITICIZES the military intervention, changing it into an intervention into humanitarian catastrophy, grounded in purely moral reasons, not an intervention into a well-defined political struggle.
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Furthermore, what we are witnessing today is the strange phenomenon of the blurred line of separation between private and public in the political discourse: say, when the German defense minister Rudolph Scharping tried to justify the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, he did not present his stance as something grounded in a clear cold decision, but went deep into rendering public his inner turmoil, openly evoking his doubts, his moral dilemmas apropos of this difficult decision, etc. So, if this tendency will catch on, we shall no longer have politicians who, in public, will speak the cold impersonal official language, following the ritual of public declarations, but will share with the public their inner turmoils and doubts in a unique display of "sincerity." Here, however, the mystery begins: one would expect this "sincere" sharing of private dilemmas to act as a counter-measure to the predominant cynicism of those in power: is not the ultimate cynicist a politician who, in his public discourse, speaks in a cold dignified language about the high politics, while privately, he entertains a distance towards his statements, well aware of particular pragmatic considerations that lay behind these high principled public statements? It thus may seem that the natural counterpoint to cynicism is the "dignified" public discourse - however, a closer look soon reveals that the "sincere" revealing of inner turmoils is the ultimate, highest form of cynicism. The impersonal "dignified" public speech counts on the gap between public and private - we are well aware that, when a politician speaks in the official dignified tone, he speaks as the stand-in for the Institution, not as a psychological individual (i.e. the Institution speaks THROUGH him), and therefore nobody expects him to be "sincere," since that is simply NOT THE POINT (in the same way a judge who passses a sentence is not expected to be "sincere," but simply to follow and apply the law, whatever his sentiments). On the other hand, the public sharing of the inner turmoils, the coincidence between public and private, even and especially when it is psychologically "sincere," is cynical - not because such a public display of private doubts and uncertainties is faked, concealing the true privacy: what this display conceals is the OBJECTIVE socio-political and ideological dimension of the decisions, so the more this display is psychologicaly "sincere," the more it is "objectively" cynical in that it mystifies the true social meaning and effect of these decisions.
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The crucial feature of the postmodern ethnic fundamentalism is thus double: on the one hand, it is "reflexive" nationalism, a reflexively CHOSEN one, no longer the immediate relating to a national substance; on the other hand, it does designate the return to absolute immediacy - but, as Hegel would have put it, as the result of a long process of mediation - say, the stupid skinhead who beats up foreigners just for the fun of it IS the restored immediacy, the result of the total reflexivization of our daily lives.
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The ultimate paradox of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia is thus not the one about which Western pacifists complain (by bombing Yugoslavia in order to prevent ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, NATO effectively triggered a large-scale cleansing and thus created the very humanitarian catastrophy it wanted to prevent), but a deeper paradox involved in the ideology of victimization: the key aspect to take note of if NATO's privileging of the now discredited "moderate" Kosovar faction of Ibrahim Rugova against the "radical" Kosovo Liberation Army (not only does KLA get no help, but even its financial assets are blocked, so that they cannot buy the arms and are thus exposed to the onslaught of much better equipped Serb army and slowly decimated). What this means is that NATO is actively blocking the only and obvious alternative to the ground intervention of Western military forces: the full-scale armed resistance of the Albanians themselves. (The moment this option is mentioned, fears start to circulate: KLA is not really an army, just a bunch of untrained fighters; we should not trust KLA, since it is involved in drug trafficking and/or is a Maoist group whose victory would led to a Khmer Rouge or Taliban regime in Kosovo...) In short, while NATO is intervening in order to protect the Kosovar victims, it is at the same time well taking care that THEY WILL REMAIN VICTIMS, not an active politico-military force capable of defending itself: even if NATO will eventually occupy the entire Kosovo, it will be a devastated country with victimized population, not a strong political subject. What we encounter here is again the paradox of victimization: the Other to be protected is good INSOFAR AS IT REMAINS A VICTIM (which is why we are bombarded with pictures of helpless Kosovar mothers, children and elder people, telling moving stories of their suffering); the moment it no longer behaves as a victim, but wants to strike back on its own, it all of a sudden magically turns into a terrorist/fundamentalist/drug-trafficking Other...
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A report by Steven Erlanger on the suffering of the Kosovo Albanians in The New York Times (May 12 1999, page A 13) renders perfectly this logic of victimization. Already its title is tell-taling: "In One Kosovo Woman, An Emblem of Suffering" - the subject to be protected (by the NATO intervention) is from the outset identified as a powerless victim of circumstances, deprived of all political identity, reduced to the bare suffering. Her basic stance is that of excessive suffering, of traumatic experience that blurs all differences: "She's seen too much, Meli said. She wants a rest. She wants it to be over." As such, she is beyond any political recrimination - an independent Kosovo is not on her agenda, she just wants the horror over: "Does she favor an independent Kosovo? 'You know, I don't care if it's this or that,' Meli said. 'I just want all this to end, and to feel good again, to feel good in my place and my house with my friends and family.'" Her support of the foreign (NATO) intervention is grounded in her wish for all this horror to be over: "She wants a settlement that brings foreigners here 'with some force behind them.' She is indifferent about who the foreigners are." Consequently, she sympathizes with all the sides in an all-embracing humanist stance: "There is tragedy enough for everyone, she says. 'I feel sorry for the Serbs who've been bombed and died, and I feel sorry for my own people. But maybe now there will be a conclusion, a settlement for good. That would be great." - Here we have the ideological construction of the ideal subject-victim to whose aid NATO intervenes: not a political subject with a clear agenda, but a subject of helpless suffering, sympathizing with all suffering sides in the conflict, caught in the madness of a local clash that can only be pacified by the intervention of a benevolent foreign power, a subject whose innermost desire is reduced to the almost animal craving to "feel good again"...
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Therein resides the falsity of the otherwise admirable Tariq Ali's essay on the NATO interventionin Yugoslavia: "The claim that it is all Milosevic's fault is one-sided and erroneous, indulging those Slovenian, Croatian and Western politicians who allowed him to succeed. It could be argued, for instance, that it was Slovene egoism, throwing the Bosnians and Albanians, as well as non-nationalist Serbs and Croats, to the wolves, that was a decisive factor in triggering the whole disaster of disintegration." The correct insight and the incredible naivety are here closely intermingled. It certainly is true that the main responsibility of others for Milosevic's success resides in their "allowing him to succeed," in their readiness to accept him as a "factor of stability" and tolerate his "excesses" with the hope of striking a deal with him; and it is true that such a stance was clearly discernible among Slovene, Croat and Western politicians (for example, there certainly are grounds to suspect that the relatively smooth path to Slovene independence involved a silent informal pact between Slovene leadership and Milosevic, whose project of a "greater Serbia" had no need for Slovenia). However, two things are to be added here. First, this argument itself asserts that the responsibility of others is of a fundamentally different nature than that of Milosevic: the point is not that "they were all equally guilty, participating in nationalist madness," but that others were guilty of not being harsh enough towards Milosevic, of not unconditionally opposing him at any price. Secondly, what this argument overlooks is how the same reproach of "egoism" can be applied to ALL actors, inclusive of Muslims, the greatest victims of the (first phase of the) war: when Slovenia proclaimed independence, the Bosnisn leadership OPENLY SUPPORTED the Yugoslav intervention in Slovenia instead of risking confrontation at that early date, and thus contributed to their later sad fate. So the Muslim strategy in the first year of the conflict was also not without opportunism: its hidden reasoning was "let the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs bleed each other to exhaustion, so that, in the aftermath of their conflict, we shall gain for no great price an independent Bosnia"... (It is one of the ironies of the Yugoslav-Croat war that the legendary Bosnian commander who successfully defended the besieged Bihac region against the Yugoslav army, commanded two years ago the Yugoslav army units which were laying a siege to the Croat coast city Zadar!).
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There is, however, a more crucial problem that one should confront here: the uncanny detail that cannot but strike the eye in the quote from Tariq Ali is the unexpected recourse, in the midst of a political analysis, to a psychological category: "Slovene egoism" - why the need for this reference that clearly sticks out? On what ground can one claim that Serbs, Muslims and Croats acted LESS "egotistically" in the course of Yugoslavia's disintegration? The underlying premise is here that Slovenes, when they saw the (Yugoslav) house falling apart, "egotistically" seized the opportunity and fled away, instead of - what? Heroically throwing THEMSELVES ALSO to the wolves? Slovenes are thus imputed to start it all, to set in motion the process of disintegration (by being the first to leave Yugoslavia) and, on the top of it, being allowed to escape without proper penalty, suffering no serious damage. Hidden beneath this perception is a whole nest of pseudo-Leftist prejudices and dogmas: the secret belief in the viability of Yugoslav self-management socialism, the notion that small nations like Slovenia cannot effectively function like modern democracies, but necessarily regress to a proto-Fascist "closed" community...
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So what should the Serb "democratic opposition" do? Let us recall Freud's late book on Moses and Monotheism: how did he react to the Nazi anti-Semitic threat? Not by joining the ranks of the beleaguered Jews in the defense of their legacy, but by targetting its own people, the most precious part of the Jewish legacy, the founding figure of Moses, i.e. by endeavouring to deprive Jews of this figure, proving that Moses was not a Jew at all - this way, he effectively undermined the very unconscious foundation of the anti-Semitism. And is it not that Serbs should today risk a similar act with regard to Kosovo as their precious object-treasure, the craddle of their civilization, that which matters to them more than everything else and which they are never able to renounce? Therein resides the final limit of the large majority of the so-called "democratic opposition" to the Milosevic regime: they unconditionally endorse Milosevic's anti-Albanian nationalist agenda, even accusing him of making compromises with the West and "betraying" Serb national interests in Kosovo. For this very reason, the sine qua non of an authentic act in Serbia today would be precisely to RENOUNCE the claim to Kosovo, to sacrifice the substantial attachment to the privileged object. (What we have here is thus a nice case of the political dialectic of democracy: although democracy is the ultimate goal, in today's Serbia, any direct advocacy of democracy which leaves uncontested nationalistic claims about Kosovo is doomed to fail - THE issue apropos of which the struggle for democracy will be decided is that of Kosovo.)
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In NATO-Yugoslav war, we thus have a double Realitaetsverleugnung: on the one hand, NATO fantasy of war without casualties, surgical operation; on the other hand, the faked carnivalization totally disconnected from the reality of what goes on down in Kosovo.
When the Western powers repeat all the time that they are not fighting the Serb people, but only their corrupted regime, they rely on the typically liberal wrong premise that the Serbian people are just victims of their evil leadership personified in Milosevic, manipulated by him. The painful fact is that Serb aggressive nationalism enjoys the support of the large majority of the population - no, Serbs are not passive victims of nationalist manipulation, they are not Americans in disguise, just waiting to be delivered from the bad nationalist spell.
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More precisely, the misperception of the West is double: this notion of the bad leadership manipulating the good people is accompanied by the apparently contradictory notion according to which, Balkan people are living in the past, fighting again old battles, perceiving recent situation through old myths... One is tempted to say that these two notions should be precisely TURNED AROUND: not only are people not "good," since they let themselves be manipulated with obscene pleasure; there are also no "old myths" which we need to study if we are really to understand the situation, just the PRESENT outburst of racist nationalism which, according to its needs, opportunistically resuscitates old myths...
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So, on the one hand, we have the obscenities of the Serb state propaganda: they regularily refer to Clinton not as "the American president," but as "the American Fuehrer"; two of the transparents on their state-organized anti-Nato demonstrations were "Clinton, come here and be our Monica!" (i.e. suck our...), and "Monica, did you suck out also his brain?". The atmosphere in Belgrade is, at least for the time being, carnavalesque in a faked way - when they are not in shelters, people dance to rock or ethnic music on the streets, under the motto "With poetry and music against bombs!", playing the role of the defying heroes (since they know that NATO does not really bomb civilian targets and that, consequently, they are safe!). This is where the NATO planners got it wrong, caught in their schemes of strategic reasoning, unable to forecast that the Serb reaction to bombardment will be a recourse to a collective Bakhtinian carnivalization of the social life... This pseudo-authentic spectacle, although it may fascinate some confused Leftists, is effectively the other, public, face of ethnic cleansing: in Belgrade people are defiantly dancing on the streets while, three hundred kilometers to the South, a genocide of African proportions is taking place... And the Western counterpoint to this obscenity is the more and more openly racist tone of its reporting: when the three American soldiers were taken prisoners, CNN dedicated the first 10 minutes of the News to their predicament (although everyone knew that NOTHING will happen to them!), and only then reported on the tens of thousands of refugees, burned villages and Pristina turning into a ghost town. Where is the so-much-praised Serb "democratic opposition" to protest THIS horror taking place in their own backyard, not only the - till now, at least, bombardments with relatively very low casualties?
In the recent struggle of the so-called "democratic opposition" in Serbia against the Milosevic's regime, the truly touchy topic is the stance towards Kosovo: as to this topic, the large majority of the "democratic opposition" unconditionally endorses Milosevic's anti-Albanian nationalist agenda, even accusing him of making compromises with the West and "betraying" Serb national interests in Kosovo. In the course of the student demonstrations against the Milosevic's Socialist Party falsification of the election results in the Winter of 1996, the Western media who closely followed the events and praised the revived democratic spirit in Serbia, rarely mentioned the fact that one of the regular slogans of the demonstrators against the special police forces was "Instead of kicking us, go to Kosovo and kick out the Albanians!". In today's Serbia, the absolute sine qua non of an authentic political act would thus be to unconditionally reject the ideological topos of the "Albanian threat to Serbia."
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One thing is for sure: the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia will change the global geopolitic coordinates. The unwritten pact of peaceful coexistence (the respect of each state's full sovereignty, i.e. non-interference in internal affairs, even in the case of the grave violation of human rights) is over. However, the very first act of the new global police force usurping the right to punish sovereign states for their wrongdoings already signals its end, its own undermining, since it immediately became clear that this universality of human rights as its legitimization is false, i.e. that the attacks on selective targets protect particular interests. The NATO bombardments of Yugoslavia also signal the end of any serious role of UN and Security Council: it is NATO under US guidance that effectively pulls the strings. Furthermore, the silent pact with Russia that held till now is broken: in the terms of this pact, Russia was publicly treated as a superpower, allowed to maintain the appearance of being one, on condition that it did not effectively act as one. Now Russia's humiliation is open, any pretense of dignity is unmasked: Russia can only openly resist or openly comply with Western pressure. The further logical result of this new situation will be, of course, the renewed rise of anti-Western resistance from Eastern Europe to the Third World, with the sad consequence that criminal figures like Milosevic will be elevated into the model fighters against the New World Order.
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So the lesson is that the alternative between the New World Order and the neoracist nationalists opposing it is a false one: these are the two sides of the same coin - the New World Order itself breeds monstrosities that it fights. Which is why the protests against bombing from the reformed Communist parties all around Europe, inclusive of PDS, are totally misdirected: these false protesters against the NATO bombardment of Serbia are like the caricaturized pseudo-Leftists who oppose the trial against a drug dealer, claiming that his crime is the result of social pathology of the capitalist system. The way to fight the capitalist New World Order is not by supporting local proto-Fascist resistances to it, but to focus on the only serious question today: how to build TRANSNATIONAL political movements and institutions strong enough to seriously constraint the unlimited rule of the capital, and to render visible and politically relevant the fact that the local fundamentalist resistances against the New World Order, from Milosevic to le Pen and the extreme Right in Europe, are part of it?
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SORRY, WE DID NOT KNOW YOU ARE THE CHOSEN NATION! CARNIVAL IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
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The standard topic of critical psychiatry is that a "madman" is not in himself mad, but rather functions as a kind of focal point in which the pathological tension which permeates the entire group (family) to which he belongs finds its outlet. The "madman" is the product of the group pathology, the symptomatic point in which the global pathology becomes visible - one can say that all other members of the group succeed in retaining (the appearance of) their sanity by condensing their patholoogy in (or by projecting it onto) the sacrificial figure of the madman, this exception who grounds the global order of group sanity. However, more interesting that this is the opposite case, exemplified by the life of Bertrand Russell: he lived till his death in his late 90s a long normal life, full of creativity and "healthy" sexual satisfactions, yet all people around him, all members of his larger family, seemed to be afflicted with some kind of madness - he had love affairs with most of the wives of his sons, and most of his sons and other close relatives committed suicide. It is thus as if, in a kind of inversion of the standard logic of group sanity guaranteed by the exclusion of the "madman," here, we have the central figure who retained (the appearance of) his sanity by way of spreading his madness all around him, onto all his close relatives. The task of a critical analysis is here, of course, to demonstrate how the TRUE point of madness of this social network is precisely the only point which appears "sane," its central paternal figure who perceives madness everywhere around himself, but is unable to recognize IN HIMSELF its true source.
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And does the same not hold for the predominant way the Serbs perceive their role today? On the one hand, one can argue that, for the West, Serbia is a symptomal point in which the repressed truth of a more global situation violently breaks out. On the other hand, within ex-Yugoslavia, Serbs behaves as an island of sanity in the sea of nationalist/secessionist madness all around them, refusing to acknowledge even a part of responsibility. It is eye-opening to watch in the last days the Serb satellite state TV which targets foreign public: no reports on atrocities in Kosovo, refugees are mentioned only as people fleeing the NATO bombing; the overall idea is that Serbia, the island of peace, the only place in ex-Yugoslavia that was not touched by the war raging all around it, is attacked by the NATO madmen destroying bridges and hospitals...
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No wonder, then, that the atmosphere in Belgrade is, at least for the time being, carnivalesque in a faked way - when they are not in shelters, people dance to rock or ethnic music on the streets, under the motto "With music against bombs!", playing the role of the defying victims (since they know that NATO does not really bomb civilian targets). Although it may fascinate some confused pseudo-Leftists, this obscene carnivalization of the social life is effectively the other, public, face of ethnic cleansing: while in Belgrade people defiantly dance on the streets, three hundred kilometers to the South, a genocide of African proportions is taking place. So when, in the nightime, crowds are camping out on the Belgrade bridges, participating in pop and ethnic music concerts held there in a defiantly festive mood, offering their bodies as the live shield to prevent the bridges from being bombed, the answer to this faked pathetic gesture should be a very simple one: why don't you go to Kosovo and make a rock carnival in the Albanian parts of Pristina? And when people are wearing papers with a "target" sign printed on them, the obscene falsity of this gesture cannot but strike the eye: can one imagine the REAL targets years ago in Sarajevo or now in Kosovo wearing such signs?
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In what is this almost psychotic refusal to perceive one's responsibility grounded? During a recent visit to Israel, a friend told me a hilarious joke about Clinton visiting Bibi Netanyahu: when, in Bibi's office, Clinton saw a mysterious blue phone, he asked Bibi what this phone is, and Bibi answered that it allows him to dial Him up there in the sky. Upon his return to the States, the envious Clinton demanded of his secret service to provide him such a phone at any cost. In two weeks, they deliver it and it works, but the phone bill is exorbitant - two million dollars for a one minute talk with Him up there. So Clinton furiously calls Bibi and complains: "How can you afford such a phone, if even we, who support you financially, cannot? Is this how you spend our money?" Bibi calmly answers: "No, it's not that - you see, for us, Jews, that call counts as a local call!" The problem with Serbs is that, in their self-perception, they tend more and more to imitate Jews and identify themselves as the people for whom the phone call to God counts as a local call...
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When the Western powers repeat all the time that they are not fighting the Serb people, but only their corrupted leaders, they rely on the (typically liberal) wrong premise that Serbs are victims of their evil leadership personified in Milosevic, manipulated by him. The painful fact is that the Serb aggressive nationalism enjoys the support of the large majority of the population - no, Serbs are not passive victims of nationalist manipulation, they are not Americans in disguise, just waiting to be delivered from the nationalist spell. On the other hand, this misperception is accompanied by the apparently contradictory notion according to which, Balkan people are living in the past, fighting again and again old battles, perceiving recent situation through old myths... I am tempted to say that these two cliches should be precisely TURNED AROUND: not only are people not "good," since they let themselves be manipulated with obscene pleasure; there are also no "old myths" which we need to study if we are really to understand the complex situation, just the PRESENT outburst of racist nationalism which, according to its needs, opportunistically resuscitates old myths. To paraphrase the old Clintonian motto: no, it's not the old myths and ethnic hatreds, it's the POLITICAL POWER STRUGGLE, stupid!
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So where, in all this, is the much praised Serb "democratic opposition"? One shouldn't be too harsh of them: in the present situation of Serbia, of course, any attempt at public disagreement would probably trigger direct death threats. On the other hand, one should nonetheless notice that there was a certain limit that, as far as I know, even the most radical Serb democratic opposition was never able to trespass: the farthest they can go is to admit the monstrous nature of Serb nationalism and ethnic cleansing, but nonetheless to insist that Milosevic is ultimately just on in the series of the nationalist leaders who are to be blamed for the violence of the last decade: Milosevic, Tudjman, Izetbegovic, Kucan, they are ultimately all the same... I am not claiming, agains such a vision, that one should put all the blame on Serbs - my point is just that, instead of such pathetic-apolitical generalizations ("they are all mad, all to blame"), one should, more than ever, insist on a CONCRETE POLITICAL ANALYSIS of the power struggles that triggered the catastrophe. And it is the rejection of such an analysis that accounts for the ultimate hypocrisy of the pacifist attitude towards the Kosovo war: "the true victims are women and children on all sides, so stop the bombing, more violence never helped to end violence, it just pushes us deeper into the vortex..."
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There is nonetheless another, more disturbing aspect to be discerned in this false carnivalization of the war in the Serb media. The usual Serb complaint is that, instead of confronting them face to face, as it befits brave soldiers, NATO are cowardly bombing them from distant ships and planes. And, effectively, the lesson here is that it is thoroughly false to claim that war is made less traumatic if it is no longer experienced by the soldiers (or presented) as an actual encounter with another human being to be killed, but as an abstract activity in fron of a screen or behind a gun far from the explosion, like guiding a missile on a war ship hundreds of miles away from where it will hit its target. While such a procedure makes the soldier less guilty, it is open to question if it effectively causes less anxiety - one way to explain the strange fact that soldiers often fantasize about killing the enemy in a face to face confrontation, looking him into the eyes before stabbing him with a bayonet (in a kind of military version of the sexual False Memory Syndrome, they even often "remember" such encounters when they never took place). There is a long literary tradition of elevating such face to face encounters as an authentic war experience (see the writings of Ernst Juenger, who praised them in his memoirs of the trench attacks in World War I). So what if the truly traumatic feature is NOT the awareness that I am killing another human being (to be obliterated through the "dehumanization" and "objectivization" of war into a technical procedure), but, on the contrary, this very "objectivization," which then generates the need to supplement it by the fantasies of authentic personal encounters with the enemy? It is thus not the fantasy of a purely aseptic war run as a video game behind computer screens that protects us from the reality of the face to face killing of another person; it is, on the opposite, this fantasy of a face to face encounter with an enemy killed in a bloody confrontation that we construct in order to escape the trauma of the depersonalized war turned into an anonymous technological apparatus. So is not the Serb carnivalization of the daily life also ein Abwehr-Mechanismus gegen die Kriegsmachinerie?
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Tariq Ali, "Springtime for NATO," New Left Review 234 (March-April 1999), p. 70.