Good morning, America.
I woke up this morning not to any kind of “New America” but to an America that has finally allowed its baser instincts to chew through the leash on which they have been held for many years and take charge.
Nor did he cure tuberculosis, invent the wheel, pave the Information Superhighway, or single-handedly create the heavens and the earth in six days. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong), Mr. Djokovic was not responsible for the breaking down of Apartheid, the lifting of the Iron Curtain, or the forging of lasting peace in the Middle East.
He may, of course, have assassinated Bin Laden. No one knows quite WHAT happened there...
What happens when we are ALL in?
I think that the Great Military Minds sitting in the hallowed halls of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels clearly owe a debt of gratitude to our illustrious Prime Minister for his steadfast refusal to sign up.
Kostunica, in telling the world that he is against Serbia’s joining NATO, is actually positing himself as a safeguard of the alliance’s continuity. If we were ALL members, then who would we oppose? Who would the alliance bully into submission? From whom would NATO protect us? If we were all members in this heretofore rather exclusive club, how could we be the envy of the rest of the world – if the rest of the world also carries the club card?
There was a time, though, when the White City on the Danube woke up at midnight. It was perfectly normal for people to make arrangements to meet at and around midnight when the movable feast of clubbing and cafes and bars and even restaurants would bestir itself, singing and playing into the wee small hours of the morning.
We mourn the sad tragedy of the passing of Michael Jackson at ago 50. We celebrate the man who was a star from early childhood, an icon in the 1980s, the King of Pop, and we kindly and gently pass over the child molester, the depraved sociopath, the one who dangled his child out of a London hotel window, the one who attempted to surgically alter his skin color making him look like more like a live-action cartoon character than a human being.
In my continuing quest to learn the Serbian language (a quest which is often interrupted and curtailed by intervening events, obligations, and Tuesdays), I have come to realize that I have overlooked an essential part of learning this language that has nothing to do with my six-word vocabulary, my mastery of one tense and one grammatical case, or my inability to deal with multiple declensions.
And then along comes the Tourist Organization of Serbia.
All around Belgrade this summer, billboards and posters have sprung up. They have pictures of enticing foods, they have catchy slogans luring the idle passer by to dream about voyages to exotic places. When you look closer, you see that (Hey!) it is the food you had for lunch, and (Wait!) this is advertising for Serbia!
I do not mean to downplay the significance of this "FC" (abbreviated to save my repetition). The ramifications and long term effects of the FC could be very deep and very far reaching. There is reason to be cautious. There is reason to be concerned. But we humans, sadly, are unable to measure our reactions. It is never enough to take in the news and think rationally about it. We see a splendid opportunity to panic. And we avail ourselves of it fully.
He began to speak to other cavemen about his discovery. He began to extol the virtues of making as many cavelings as possible with as many cave women as could be found. And he also began to warn everyone against lying with their fellow cavemen. He told them it was Wrong. He told them it was Unnatural. He said it would affect their ability to hunt mammoths and make fire.
And now, we have formalized our decision by swearing him in as the forty-fourth president of the US. We got our change we think. But he has not changed much yet - except the words.
The words are important. The words of the past administration had been words about fear, security, and about threats - everywhere there were threats. The words made us feel safe at first. We thought that someone else was worried about our safety.
But then we wanted change from these words. Those words made us act out of worry. They divided us. They sullied the reputation of the country abroad.