Living In An Interesting Country

Fall 1995, a year from presidential elections: probable candidates are tied at thirty something percents. Nobody trusts any politician any more. Both as a result of traditional allegiances and more recent political events black voters tend to favor Democrat Clinton in polls (68%) even if he runs against Powell, who is kind of black (and even if he runs as independent).
  • after Sam Nuns retirement there is no white Democrat from the South, except Clinton, in Washington DC any more
  • Newt Republicans crusade against Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Medicare and almost any social program in the country
  • that programs do benefit blacks because they still earn on average 60% less than whites),
But so many blacks do not vote: 8 millions of eligible black voters are unregistered. So, suddenly, minister Louis Farrakhan, who just up to recently forbade blacks to vote and to participate in evil white empire in any other way, riding on the wave of increased popularity after the O.J. trial ( Farrakhan's Nation of Islam guys were bodyguards for Simpson's attorney Cochran), organizes a million people march on Washington DC with the idea to register more blacks to vote.
Dr Lee, forensic doctor from O.J.'s defense team, after the case went to work for War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. Are we ready to watch Ratko Mladic pull the "gloves don't fit" knack?
While Clinton shies away from endorsement after O.J.'s acquittal - not to alienate his still more numerous white voters, particularly the "blood-sucking" Jews, he is obviously ecstatic about the March's purpose. Dole, Gingrich and other Republicans are of course raising hell about Clinton's electorate increasing. As a godfather of white American populism, Gingrich takes it personally that Farrakhan was brought to the stairs of "his" Congress. I mean that guy was pissed by gettin a wrong seat on the plane - can you imagine how much this pissed him off? Amusement never ends: Farrakhan threatens to sue "white supremacist" Washington DC police for estimating his million men crowd on around 400,000 - 1.1 million shy of his and Chavis estimate. Some students from Boston University analyzed pictures digitally and came up with a number of 870,000. A perfect conflict resolution number. I'd come up with the same without digitalizing pictures. As if it was so important if there was half a million or two millions of people there.

The message is clear: Congress wants to cut programs, that helped 30% blacks in past 30 years to reach some equal status in this society, while it is quite logical that another few decades are necessary for those programs to complete their job - and 60% of blacks, who still live in poverty, are obviously against such a Congressional intent. Farrakhan and Clinton are just politicians who use that anger to their own benefit at the moment. Particularly astonishing is that in the land of the free one in three young black males is under police supervision. This is a worse rate than for soccer punks in former communist Yugoslavia.

British UNPROFOR commander Rose, who was so friendly with Serbian military types from Pale, that Bosnian prime minister asked the UN to take him off his duty, now shoves the last wedge in the International Community effort to finally do something in Bosnia: telling to Americans that they will have more casualties in Bosnia than they had in Iraq if they send in ground forces. This created the desired effect and put Shalikashvili in pains before Congress trying to explain how he can't set a threshold on war casualties. Heh, but then the British government will have (and not only in theory, as it accepted today) to abandon it's desire to disarm IRA before the peace talks. Rose and his likes better take care of their own backyard before messing up other people's backyards.

I hope that he remembers the feast Serbian commanders did for UNPROFOR - slaughtering a pig, doomed to be feasted, right in front of them with a sly comment: "this is what we intend to do to those whom you want to protect.."

Halloween was almost banned as a satanic holiday in a Californian high school. This becomes an interesting country, too.

The study showed that tobacco industry ads influence teens smoking twice as much as peer pressure, which means that it makes them four times more likely to start smoking. Yet, tobacco industry types say that in 16 countries where tobacco ads have been banned, there was no significant decrease in teen smoking. They are probably both right. There is no other country in the world where ads play such a significant role in a teenager's life, as it is here in the U.S. Any ads - not just tobacco ads. In those other 16 countries teens probably do not feel compelled to imitate the false glamour of ads. Or maybe the industry in those countries just don't have the resources to create glitzy enough ads.

Yesterday I was at Extremely Refrigerated in meatspace at 61 Gansevoort street (New York). My friends (two Serbs and a Bosnian) formed a well rehearsed hard core band Shining Skull and made a performance "Radio Sarajevo and Other Dreams" for their friends. I can't avoid commenting what Vlasta did this time. No, he is not from the band. He is the guy who rented a refrigerator and turned it to an art gallery and a concert place. Because Extremely Refrigerated is in a meat freezer. Vlasta's peculiar taste for ugly, gross and eerily disgusting in art didn't disappoint. It evolved. It was kind of non-invasive earlier during raves in Williamsburg area or during a brief resuscitation of Save the Robots. But last time he almost suffocated us inside of giant vinyl balloons for a New Years techno rave, and now he reached beyond what we use to see in Trent Raznor's videos. I always wonder how did an all-Yugoslav boy from Serbian heartland (Vlasta is from Pec) develop such love for urban decadence and anti-aesthetics, which in former Yugoslavia was usually associated with Slovenian hard-core industrial scene, Irwin Theater and Cosmokinethic Theater. But he is definitely there: spectators are trembling.

Extremely Refrigerated is a bare-bones place with sticky, moist walls, a concrete floor and a keg of beer right on the entrance. The smells of its original purpose are still there, which makes weaker stomachs uneasy. The basement suffers from several leaks and very low ceilings. Floor is covered with water. The place is chilly and damp (it is a meat locker after all). It is arranged Halloweenish with a lot of chic garbage. Huh, it looks almost like my apartment. Doesn't smell as bad, though.

Of the all installations displayed in the gallery, two are particularly reminding of the original purpose of this carcass repository place. In the "V.I.P. room" (well, even the refrigerators are built with VIP rooms in New York; I guess that's where the juiciest tenderloins go to) is a single piece of artwork: a skull split in half. Halves, placed on the concrete floor, are connected with a thick chain. Skull is sculpted out of ground meat (it is still bleeding). Vlasta is not pleased. He says that the piece is not ready yet: it has to start rotting and smelling really foul. Cool.

Second is a transparent plexiglass coffin full of little white mice busy burrowing the Styrofoam plate scavenging for food underneath. On a closer look a curious observer will see that the Styrofoam is carved out in a shape of human body. Vlasta explained that a guy actually strips naked and lies down in that coffin, and another person ties him up with little ropes like Gulliver in the Land of Lilliputians was tied up, an then the coffin is closed and mice crawl all over his body and perhaps nibble on him here and there. He does this only on Thursdays.

One mouse escaped. I caught him (I became prety good mouse hunter sharing apartment with a few of them) and then run around scaring women like Beavis in search of Butthead. I forgot to ask Vlasta if my nickle-bag packed live roaches collection qualifies, too. You know, when somebody asks you for a roach, you give him, well, a roach or el rocho'.