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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 26 | volume V | May-June, 2002



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SLOVOKULT.DE
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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 26May-June, 2002
Essays

My Balkans

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p. 1
Igor Isakovski

Bread and Salt

     I am not talking about the band; I am talking about the custom: guest should be welcomed with bread and salt and thereby greeted. When I look back I see how many welcomes the Balkan nations have already extended each other and how many times they have said goodbye. Socialism is departing (to those of you who keep nagging about Communism – it was never here!), a time of transition is arriving, a time of great change. However stupid it may sound: the Balkans have mutated. Here we must of course stress that mutation is similar to degradation. This is why certain “smart” foreign politicians have boldly begun to prepare a euthanasia for the Balkans. But these politicians would have been able to do nothing if we had (better, prettier and) smarter ones. I guess we fucked ourselves up by picking crooks and maniacs. The main trauma of the Balkans is the constant search for a leader and an ideal. The Balkan nations wish for a firm hand and a sound sleep, no question asked; and the beauty of this “guardian” is in that someone else always decides, someone else is responsible. We have nothing to do with it. We “just” voted. We were just “a little” swindled. And then they go and think up the term: “transition”. It is supposed to mean a passage, a change. And I guess we’ve almost all passed. Thirsty over water. If it weren’t tragic it would be funny. Lots of things changed, sure. For the better. And some people might have actually needed this catharsis. I just hope it’s over soon. Things are getting harder. And they make no more sense.

Take the Money and Run

     With transition came these terms: Pretension, Privatization, Nation. Nationalism was always only a mask: no one worried about their minorities in other countries – they were only an excuse for the pillage, plunder and slaughter, an excuse for the selling of the big and small (all the way to the smallest: give what you can) companies to “esteemed individuals”, an excuse for building up media walls around tiny pens, where sheep await the slaughter and the shepherds feast. They eat all – even the insides, even the bones, the noble eyes. The last (can I call it the “last”!?) of the Balkan wars took place for payment. Territories were one of the currencies. And all






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