Posts from the “Uncategorized” Category

Fear: A Style Guide

Posted on February 2, 2014

I always enjoy it when Google News goes democratic and features, right below something from the BBC or New York Times, blog entries from the sort of sites that allege (in green Comic Sans) that the Queen of England is a reptilian shape-shifter. Today’s example greeted me when I loaded the “Kosovo” section of my newsreader. Though (unfortunately) offering no paranormal speculations, Julia Gorin’s “Our Muslim Kosovo: Throw Mormons From The Stairs” column — published at a U.S. outfit called “Right Side News” (get it?) — was a treasure in its own right, as charmingly mid-2000s as a white studded belt. Written from a “War on Terror” perspective for a U.S. Mormon/Evangelical audience, Gorin’s column connects a 2013 incident in which two Mormon missionaries…

Kosovo 1.0

Posted on December 19, 2012

Last Friday, a remarkable thing happened in Pristina. I mean that in the original sense, of course: a thing worthy of remark, or perhaps created solely to prompt remark, occurred here, and now everybody is talking about it. As all of my local readers are already aware, I am referring to the violent cancellation of Kosovo 2.0’s “Sex” issue party, which was shut down by a mob of club-wielding thugs whilst police – according to eyewitness reports, if not official record – did noticeably less than they may have been expected to do, or less than they may have done in another jurisdiction. People got hurt. Things were destroyed. Luckily, it did not go any further than that. Because sometimes these things do. What…

Cycling In Germia Park

Posted on October 10, 2012

Cycling gets the monsters out. It really does. It works. Now, I can see why, say, Trek Bicycles (“come out and play”) might not want to use that as their marketing slogan, or why cycling advocacy groups might choose to emphasize the environmental benefits of cycling (“What carbon emissions?”) over the “personal demons”-related ones – but between you and me, I’m onto something. There is just something about the combination of balance, of speed, of covering distance, and of capital-S Suffering that does the trick. It really gets them out. When I was much younger — a million years ago, you know, back in the era of land lines and Archers of Loaf concerts – cycling was something I spent a lot of time…

Premature Exasperation

Posted on September 30, 2012

“That’s the trouble with everybody – you’re all so bored. You’ve had nature explained to you and you’re bored with it, you’ve had the living body explained to you and you’re bored with it, you’ve had the universe explained to you and you’re bored with it, so now you want cheap thrills and, like, plenty of them, and it doesn’t matter how tawdry or vacuous they are as long as it’s new as long as it’s new as long as it flashes and fuckin’ bleeps in forty fuckin’ different colors. So whatever else you can say about me, I’m not fuckin’ bored.” – Naked (1993)   I feel like I sort of fucked up a little. I was off by a day or two.…

On The Road: Montenegro

Posted on September 2, 2012

I was worried that the car might break down. OK, no, back up: I was worried, having pushed our rented, lime-green subcompact up a half-paved, near-vertical goat path in the middle of the wilderness that something would go terribly quiet; that we would lose all forward momentum; that I would pull over, pop the hood, and find a fly-encrusted grapefruit in place of an engine. I was worried that my girlfriend would realize I was lost. In the Balkans, I have come to realize, there are no shortcuts. Isn’t that nice and aphoristic? There are no direct routes. If you wish to go to Montenegro, say, or to Macedonia, or to modernity, you have to just accept that the circuitous, meandering path is probably…

The Lion King: Balkans Edition

Posted on July 21, 2012

So last night I was persuaded to watch Disney’s The Lion King for the first time ever. I know it’s meant to be a classic, you know, a modern myth and a watershed moment as far as big-budget animation goes… but it came out in 1994. I was 16 then, and at that age you tend to be reflexively scornful of mass-market blockbusters, and intent instead on making sure the record-store clerk is aware that you knew who the Smithereens were before Kurt Cobain started talking about them (untrue in my case, and yes, it’s consumerism all the way down). In any case, I watched it a bit too late in life, I guess, or maybe I’m just in a Kosovo state of mind.…