Sally Jane Norman on Fri, 18 Jun 1999 23:20:53 +0200

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Re: Syndicate: moral responsibility

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Slobodan Markovic <twiddle@eunet.yu>
Ã? : syndicate-l <>
Date : vendredi 18 juin 1999 21:51
Objet : Re: Syndicate: moral responsibility

>> If you want to make the statement "I belong to X", surely one has
>> to take some responsibility for X.
>    Some people think that if you always (in good or bad) support
>    your government or national sports team, you are a true XXX.
>    I take it differently. I don't feel like a part of a nation
>    which must be surrounded with state borders. I feel like an
>    inhabitant of the Planet, but... I don't think that all the
>    Earthlings should speak one language, enjoy one drink, have
>    one flag and the same customs.
>    I feel like a part of the cultural landscape in which I live.
>    I like to eat stuffed cabbage leafs ("sarma od kis'o kupus")
>    more than fifteen BigMacs on a pile. I like to drink Boza (a
>    traditional Balkan fizzy drink), but Americans usually drink
>    Coke. Serbs drink slivovitz and Russians drink vodka. Europeans
>    like soccer, but Americans are more into football. American
>    folk music does not resemble traditional Turkish melodies...
>    ...and you don't need to take ANY responsibilities, just to
>    be able to FEEL like you belong to a distinct cultural
>    landscape... Oh, you (personally) have to take one: you must
>    allow all the other people to feel the same.
>> This is the debate that's going on in Australia now: can we
>> accept responsibility for a genocide that started 200 years
>> ago? If not, then who are we?
>    You cannot take any responsibility for something YOU haven't
>    done. There is no collective responsibility. Simple as that.
OK. I didn't do it. I didn't do anything to prevent it. I didn't do anything
to forestall it. I didn't do anything to remedy it (one might substitute
"could" for "did" in the above phrases, as a function of how guilty one
wants/ accepts to feel). In short, I did fuck all. What about individual
responsibility? How many responsible individuals form a collective

I think I know where McKenzie's coming from. In my native country, as in
his, we are acutely aware of the impact of recent colonisation and bear the
brunt of just a few generations of guilt. When that guilt first hit me, I
remember bitterly resenting my parents' being/looking so "pakeha" (white,
European), and wishing to hell that they'd been or looked more Maori. I
guess it would have made things easier, at least in terms of my conscience.
Even though I knew about inter-tribal maori wars. Current claims for
particular social rights and exceptions and exemptions that some Maori
people are putting to the people of Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White
Cloud (aka New Zealand) continue to foster, aggravate this same guilt,
rightly or wrongly (and to make the latter judgement - r/w - strikes me as
impossible, Slobodan). For me, it's not as cut-and-dried, as simple as that.
The sense of collective responsibility is immensely present in my homeland.
I thought that situation was just a Commonwealth-type colonial syndrome till
I came to live in France and discovered how far the French revolution had
failed to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, between
land-owners and serfs, albeit in more modern guise. Although here the sense
of the guilt is probably blunted by 1789 which is the alibi, the catharsis,
the purge. As blunt as the venerable Docteur Guillotine's blade.

Thanks, Michael, for the "safe-as-milk" streaming out of the Ljubljana
udder. Worth rumination and a loud "moo". Wondering how the vaporetto feels
today. The artists' carnival. Who really wears the masks? Safe as milk
French and Belgian kids freaked out by Coke with devious bubbles in it.
Crazy cow to crazy coke, in all its obscenity; while the have-nots starve
corrupt foodstuffs betray the haves. Just a wee scare. Gotta keep that
adrenalin going. Collective anxiety, collective guilt, collective happiness.
I'm a collective affect collector. Makes me feel social. There's a great
song by Jacques Dutronc "Dix mille millions de Chinois, et moi et moi et
moi...". Yip. Collective individuals.

Feel as though I'm crawling out of the cracks in the floorboard like a
cockroach. The carapace that saved me is a deadweight. Cockroaches are
ignoble survivors that people walk on out of sheer disgust.

As Kosovars crawl tortuously out of the hills, as Serbs just as "collabos"
tortured in France the instant "victory" was proclaimed, the carapace is
also a shield. Cockroaches are lowly survivors. Just like all those months
ago that feel like centuries, I wish I had the white wings of Te Kotuku, the
white heron winging through now summer skies. No shit. Instead of this black
shiny carapace. You know the sound it makes when you step on it? The sound
of a survivor cockroach going down? The sound of a breaking body? Mind a
mess. Sorry.

You're/we're just a pack of cards, just a list of people, just another
planel. Love to all survivors, because/ even though I know it's just a
question of luck. Hope blue skies are seeable, whatever, wherever. Ipurangi,
vessel of the heavens, carries these crazy fucking messages.

Kia Ora

Sally Jane Norman

>    :-)
>    Greetings,
>           Slobodan Markovic   | http://solair.eunet.yu/~twiddle
>           Internodium Project |
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