The Really Important Stuff

The late president Drnovšek (source)

Today marks the second anniversary of death of President Janez Drnovšek. If a year ago pengovsky asked whether we had learned anything from him (and went with “no”), the situation today makes even the question itself sound naive. If last year the political right wing was up in arms over the question of The Erased, this year the topic-du-jour are equal rights for same-sex couples. Actually, strike that. The topic-du-jour were equal rights for same-sex couples. Today, most of the nation is on the prowl against any sort of deviation from “normality”, be this deviation actual or imagined, personal or political.

Two years ago it was considered deviant to support the plight of the Roma population. A year ago it was considered deviant and unpatriotic to support the plight of The Erased. Some months ago it was considered to be deviant, unpatriotic and amoral to support the rights of same-sex couples. Today, it is considered sick and perverted just to be left-wing or to now the “wrong kind of people”. Or both. President Drnovšek rarely passed judgement. Even less so while he was still Prime Minister. But when he spoke, his words had merit. Today, a lot of what is being said is judgemental to start with and is fluff to boot. God’s name is being taken in vain and big words are being used to describe small achievements.

And yet, this is the hand we were dealt. Pengovsky has no idea what President Drnovšek thought would become of Slovenia in 2010. He may have even envisaged the very thing were are going through today. But it doesn’t really matter. The future is what lies ahead and it is in our name that we should be creating it. It would not hurt, however, to look up to the late president for inspiration from time to time. He was dealt quite a rotten hand and still played a brilliant game. But he knew to tell the really important stuff from the whole sort of general mish-mash.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

8 thoughts on “The Really Important Stuff”

  1. And yet, most people will probably always remember him as the ‘New Age’ president with his ‘out there’ antics, which, if I recall correctly, was looked at derisively during his life and frequently mocked by his political opponents as well as the media in general.

    But what I remember from the man is that, in spite of his illness and the new age quirks, he had his head screwed on right. So much so that, even being a foreigner, I contemplated writing him to ask him to stay in the political game in spite of his very vocal misgivings about the trade and his worsening illness, because to me, politics was in dire need of a man with such an outlook on life and such ideas. Granted, not all of them were good, but then, who has brilliant ideas all the time (Chuck Norris aside, of course, P 😉 )?

    What you are describing, though, is not exclusive to Slovenian politics and media, P. Sadly, there are countries that do even worse. I can see it in my country, and needless to say it’s happening in the U.K. and especially the U.S.A. Last night I was privy to a more in depth report on the Tea Party and saw Ron Paul (R), say that the worst enemy of society is… ‘progressionism'(sic). Basically, this means that anyone who is willing and able to think ahead and wants to change and evolve (no surprises who he’s attacking) society by acting for the benefit of everyone and not just a privileged few who have made selfishness and greed their political agenda and are advocating misinformation in order to get their way, is bad. Progress, my friends, is a sin these days in the so- called ‘Land Of Opportunity’. If it was up to such people, we’d still live in the Dark Ages…

    I am by no means saying that president Obama (why do the media always speak of ‘Barack Obama’, when they even called Dubya ‘President Bush’ when he was consistently the worst U.S. head of state ever? Familiarity? Derision?) is a saint. But at least his policies have a modicum of political vision and moral decency, something which his opponents claim to have the exclusive rights to but so fare are displaying none of. Clientelism is not morally decent, nor are greed and selfishness…

    Janez Drnovšek, too, had a humanitarian and a political vision and he wasn’t afraid to stand by his words, even in the face of adversity (remember the mob he singlehandedly scolded in the Roma affair?) or derision. You can disagree with what he stood for, but to me he was a man after my liking. Slovenija, both politically and socially, are a poorer country without him, warts and all…

  2. @dr. Arf: Progressionism, huh? Next they’ll be saying that the Sun circles the Earth…

    And I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. Just a teaser: Grosuplje municipality (next to Ambrus, where Drnovšek had this run-in with the mob) was forced by the constitutional court to hold a special election for a Roma councilor. They refused to do so and the state electoral commission descended upon Grosuplje and held the election form them.

    Yesterday the municipal council was suppose to ratify the election results (a mere formality), but – refused to do.

  3. Arf, wait, wasn’t the “progressionism” quip uttered by Glenn Beck (of mild insanity and fondness for blackboards fame)? At least that’s what I got from Monday’s The Daily Show. Of course, it’s possible that Beck and Paul borrowed from each other.

  4. @ P : Well, now we know what Grosuplje is made of…

    @Cornelius : I wouldn’t know, as I’m not privy to watching The Daily Show. Going by what I found on him at Wikipedia, he and Paul are both nut jobs in my book. Anyone who wholeheartedly believes and advocates that there is no sufficient evidence that climate change was brought on by humankind is wilfully ignorant and most likely has their pockets lined with lobbyist money. Neither of which is a sign of mental sanity, seeing as they put profit before the greater good i.e. the long term future of mankind in a healthy environment…

  5. @dr. Arf: You may have a point since our former PM is from Grosuplje as well 😈 But seriously, the good people of Grosuplje are quite alright. Most of them, anyway 🙂 However, as always, it is very easy to stir up fear and hatred, which seems to be a favourite past-time of a certain brand of politicians.

  6. @ P : Agreed!
    @ Cornelius : Indeed, a lovely human being by anyone’s standard (note the sarcasm).

    By the way, I’m getting the feeling that once again, across the world, it’s Us vs. Them again, much like the social upheavals of the ’60’s. However, this time around the consequences could – but shouldn’t necessarily have to – have a much more dire and a much more lasting impact on the future than back then…

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