Every nation has its own Mexicans. And as the Christendom celebrates the birth of the most famous Mexican of all, I’d like to wish everyone, regardless of their faith or belief, peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. We’re going to need a lot of both in the coming year.
As you can see, this festive season is taking its toll on this blog as well. One of the drawbacks of a three-week workday is that one has until Wednesday what one would normally struggle to do until Friday. But we deal with the pain by consuming copious amounts of mulled wine and honey brandy.
Father Christmas under protection in Zagreb
But you’re wrong to think the world stopped. Only yesterday did Slovenia remember the 18th anniversary of the referendum of independence, which was held on 23 december 1990. The results were declared three days later (hence the Day of Statehood is celebrated on the 26th) and all this set the stage for Slovenian declaration of independence six months later, on 25 June 1991.
One of the more lasting side-effects of disintegration of Yugoslavia was the Slovene-Croat border dispute. As you probably know, Slovenia vetoed contiunation of Croatian negotiations on EU accession, citing documents which either directly claim that the maritime border between the countries lies in the middle of the Bay of Piran, or cite Croatian legislation which states the same.
Apparently no-one saw it coming and what was suppose to be a nice Christmas present from EU to Croatia is now turning into a major political disaster. Slovenia wants Croatia to sign a legaly binding document which would state that a) these documents do not prejudge the border between two countries and b) that Croatia will not use them in a possible mediation procedure. In plain-speak: after years of pussyfooting around Croatia which happily used every and all Slovenian concessions, starting in 1991 when Slovenia erected it border check-point two hundred metres to the north of the River Dragonja, Slovenia suddenly got tough. As a result, noone is taking it serioulsly. Except Croatia, which realised too late that Slovenia will indeed veto the negotiation process. Consequently the Croatian government is up to its old trick, accusing Slovenia of having teritorial aspirations and PM Ivo Sanader sounded very tough when he said that Croatia will not buy its EU membership with land.
Who’s to blame? Fuck knows. I’ll have the skinny on this some time early next year. But as of Friday noone seems to remember that we are in deep economic shit or that Croatian capital Zagreb was under siege only a month or so ago. All that matters now is that fucking little speck of land which somehow cast a spell on evey government on every government Slovenia and Croatia ever had.
So instead of a Christmas family huddle, where everyone looks smart and wears tie, we are faced with a storm in a teacup where Slovenia and Croatia are again at each other’s throats. One would think that we never shared a country. But I guess everyone needs an enemy. Even on Christmas.
OK, OK… Enough is enough. It’s been raining for two weeks straight here. A month, if you don’t count brief intermissions. I mean, this is seriously starting to get on my nerves. I feel like a fucking goldfish in a bowl. All that’s missing is someome throwing fish food at me. There’s more water in the air around me than on the ground and it’s freaking damp. You know the dampness that seeps right to your bones no matter what you wear? Well, this is it.
I’m getting cranky from all the water around me and you don’t want to be near me when I’m cranky. A couple more days of this and I’ll start violating other people’s human rights and there won’t be a thing anyone will be able to do about it. I mean, if it were up to me I’d pass a law limiting bad weather to two, three days in a month. But who am I kidding? Even if it passed we all know the state of the rule of law in this country. Fuck!.
An umbrella? It don’t matter if you have one or not, because it’s raining from all sides. Even upwards. I mean, seriously, people! If I wanted to go for a swim I’d board a plane for the Maldives. But the way things are now, I’m actually thinking of joinig the Jehova’s witnesses and dragging a raft on top of Šmarna gora (livecam), a hill near Ljubljana. Yes, it’s that bad.
You don’t believe me? Go see for yourselves. Visit The Firm’s website and click “Poslušajte v živo” (center page). There’s a panoramic view of Ljubljana after noon local time. And it ain’t pretty.
Branko “Gizmo” Grims, Janez Janša‘s top attack dog, Goebbels-wannabe and SDS‘s expert on media manipulation, human rights abuse and creative economy analysis received an envelope which contained white powder. At first he didn’t even want to comment on it, but then he did call a press coference and called it “an act bordering on terrorism” and claimed that he received the powder because of his positions on the Erased issue.
Whatever it was, it sure wasn’t anthrax. Because if it were, Blasting Branko here would already be pushing up daisies. My bet is that he mailed it to himself because there was a long period of two days that he wasn’t on prime-time television.
But I must admit I like the coke angle. It reminds me of this particular epidose of The New Statesman:
OK, so by now the Curious Incident Of the Shoe In The Air Time was covered from every aspect. A particuraly pissed off Iraqi journalist took off his footwear and hurled it towards Dubya who proved that a lame-duck president can still… well… duck.
However, I’m puzzled by the laxed security. I mean, there you have a roundly hated president in a clearly hostile enviroment and his Secret Service detail is in the next room?!? Not only that, it took them ages to enter the press room. Muntadar al-Zaidi, the shoe-throwing journalist had time to take of one shoe, hurl it at George W., then bend down, take off the other shoe and go for strike two, before he was wrestled to the floor and neutralised.
Not that this was a first faux pas by Bush’s bodyguards. First, there was the Pretzel Incident, which might have saved the world a lot of grief. Then there was his defiance of the laws of physics (but OK, he never studied law, plus there’s little the Secret Service could have done there) which was followed by his very own bicycle ride. But all of this was chicken-feed compared to a major security fuck-up during his visit in Georgia, when a live greade was thrown within 30 metres of him. It didn’t stop there, though. During his visit to Albania his watch was stolen from him while he was doing the ropes. And now people are hurling footwear at him during press conferences.
And these are the people who will protect the Big O. from 20 January.