insomnia on Wed, 31 Mar 1999 18:22:26 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> serbian diary, march 30

at the crack of dawn, two missiles fell on greater novi sad - civilian
targets, as usual. at noon, a first concert of protest against nato
intervention started. it gathered thousands of people, a lot of slogans. by
the way, this was the first day of nato bombardment i dared go down town -
and i did not regret it. the spirit resembles very much the days of the
student velvet revolution which happened in 1996: shiny, smiling faces,
people wearing paper targets on their clothes or foreheads. slogans, both in
english and serbian, are witty, ironic, condensed and striking like haiku
poetry - 'monica, clench your teeth' (i admit this is my favourite; serb
people mock clinton mostly for his fatal fondness of felatio, and monica
lewinsky becomes a funny simbol of opposition to clinton's policy), 'clinton,
fuck hillary for a change', 'nato wanted', 'wellcome to budjanovci' (the
village where f-117a was downed) and many, many others. shopwindows are full
of slogans and cartoons, grafitti with the obligatory word 'nato' are
everywhere. in the word 'nato', letter 't' is sometimes replaced by swastika.
that is very telling, since this nato agression is equalled to fascistic
agression in 1941 more often than not. later on, i visited a protest
gathering of writers' association of vojvodina, which took place in matica
srpska, the oldest serbian cultural institution. matica srpska publishes the
world's oldest literary periodical, 'letopis matice srpske', which is 175
years old. so much for serbian 'barbarism'. my friends and colleagues take
floor to express their protest, resentment and bitterness. my colleague jovan
popov, whose wife has been in labor for days, read his sonnet called 'mars
above the maternity ward'. he was inspired to write it on seeing a red spot
in the midnight sky from the hospital window. it was mars, the planet of war. 

 i was appalled when i saw the albanian demonstrations on euro news - they
shouted 'nato' and 'clinton', saying that nato;s strikes should be more
severe, even if that meant civilian victims among kosovars. have you ever
thought of supporting agression by sacrifying your own children? this seems a
bit barbarous to me. every life counts, don't you think so? or is it just an
oldfashioned belief? 

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