On Milosevic

On MilosevicTen months later (this was posted first on March 22, 2006), he has a tenure-track position there. Not a bad idea to give a good talk at various places….


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I have to brag about my famous brother and at the same time provide you with some quality reading about Milosevic and Serbia. Feel free to tranfer the ideas to the USA, the victimhood of the fundamentalist Christians etc.
First, here is an article about a talk my brother gave in Alberta the other day:
Lecturer examines ‘poisonous zombie swamp’ of Serb politics
and here is a little bit older, but excellent and still relevant paper (PDF):
KOSOVO IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE SERBIAN WORD: POLITICAL ENCHANTMENT AND MILOSEVIC’S RISE TO POWER
As usual…no, as always, journalists get some things wrong. So, in the first article above, there are a couple of mistakes (you may also have noticed a typo on one of the copies of his last name).
First, he has no mixed feelings about Milosevic – his feelings are entirely negative. He said:

“I don’t recall my exact words, it could be that I said something like “I haven’t yet sorted out my emotions,” but I definitely did not mean that my feelings were “mixed” – for “mixed feelings” could be interpreted as if I could also entertain some positive feelings towards Milosevic, or sadness over his death – and in that respect my feelings are not mixed at all – all my “feelings” toward Milosevic are decidedly, and quite unmixedly negative! “

Second, it says there that “….conspiracy theories make up a founding characteristic of the Serbian people…”. He never said that. Conspiracy theories are universal – Serbs did not buy any exclusive rights to them. Also, no self-respecting anthropologist will ever utter the phrase “founding characteristic of X” as the anthropological police would immediately come to take him away (insert a winking smiley-face). Something like thet would belong in the genre of “national character”, something he writes about only from a distance, mostly ironically, and he is in no way involved in studying “national characteristics of the Serbian people”.

2 responses to “On Milosevic

  1. “Conspiracy theories are universal – Serbs did not buy any exclusive rights to them. … he is in no way involved in studying “national characteristics of the Serbian people”.”
    I’ve differed with you on the Serbia/Kosovo issue recently so let me be more agreeable. I recall well how Serbs were unfairly collectively vilified in the 1990s in regard to the tragic and complex Balkans situation. It was forgotten how Serbs had suffered in past decades due to organizations like the Ustasha and Hanjar, and the KLA was simplistically valorized. (It’s a complicated world.) This anti-Serb vilification even led to a Hollywood tradition.
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/32803.html

  2. Thanks for that link – a very interesting article.
    Sometimes people find it difficult to understand how I can be ferociously anti-Milosevic and at the same time so pro-Serb, pro-Yugoslav, pro-Bosnian, anti-Bosnian-pyramid, anti-Clark, pro-Clinton (domestic policy), anti-Clinton (foreign policy), pro-Edwards, super-liberal, anti-Iraq-war, Democrat Jewish atheist. It boggles one’s mind, especially if one’s mind is used to a black&white world.