Friday, July 01, 2005

Hourglass Hypocrisy

I've long intended to address the activities and existence of the Jacobins in Serbia: the militant, Empire-worshipping, media-dominating "non-governmental" and "civic" faction that is small in numbers, but loud enough to drown any reasoned debate in that beleaguered society.

Recently, political commentator Marinko M. Vučinić took to task the editors of "The Hourglass," a popular show on the Jacobin B92 television, on the site of Nova Srpska Politička Misao (see original here). I've taken the liberty of translating just one passage from his commentary, which in my opinion describes extraordinarily well the main discourse of the Jacobins - their hatred, frustration and alien relationship with ethics:

"What are the main positions of these passionate zealots for truth in Serbia? Without even trying to appear objective, they treat their opinions as absolute. For them, Serbia today is a place of horror, a bandit state, a black hole of Europe where it is impossible to live or think in a civilized manner. National mentality dooms the Serbs to be manipulated slaves; our history and traditions are nothing but illusions and myths; we are prisoners of the past, unable to embrace Europe and modernity. We are steeped in chauvinism and clericalism, unable to face the past; politics is dominated by thugs, liars and swindlers.
The exception, of course, are representatives of the so-called civic intelligentsia, who always merit approval. So what if no one ever explained to Biljana Srbljanović how the "terribly interesting, competent and fascinating" Čeda Jovanović came to own a house with a pool in Ripanj, multiple apartments, horses...? It matters not. Such things are trivial compared to the importance of this ideological stormtrooper's modernization efforts. So you see, the relentless criticism of the "Hourglass" editors does know some limits, if only when it concerns the like-minded."

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