Facts and science have no more place in our lives since “the people” cast their votes and democracy and moral integrity got trumped, and I think it is high time that we embraced the world of ‘trumphacts’ [n. plur.,ˈtrʌmp-fækts’].
THANKSGIVING DAY, November 24, 2016 – As Americans gather around the Thanksgiving tables this afternoon to make the traditional Thanksgiving duck lips and peace signs in front of our cameras, I think we should take time out to have a look at what we should be thankful for this year.
Especially from an Instagram point of view.
The Thanksgiving selfie (what I am hoping that we will begin to call the “turkie”) shows us how much we have progressed since 1653. We have much about which to be proud and thankful.
Today we take our selfies seriously. Making sure that the Thanksgiving meal is in the background, maybe part of granny’s nose and a couple of cousins (and their smartphones too), we digitize and share a wealth of photos of ourselves. The original Plymouth pilgrims could only dream of such bounty. Continue reading →
I woke up this morning not to any kind of “New America” but to an America that has finally allowed its baser instincts to chew through the leash on which they have been held for many years and take charge.
While my memory is not the sharpest or the best in the world, I think I can manage to remember where I am. Most of the time anyway.
Still, it never ceases to amaze me at how many times, in the course of a normal month, week, day, and (on bad days) hour, people will invoke this sentence as a definitive argument and statement of fact. People will constantly tell me THIS IS SERBIA when I wonder why I cannot figure out the city bus schedule. Why does every official act require a mile-high stack of signed and stamped papers? THIS IS SERBIA! Where is the waiter with my change? THIS IS SERBIA! Why do we repair all the roads at once when the traffic is highest? THIS IS SERBIA!
We usually think we don’t have enough of it, as if it would suddenly run out. And sometimes time seems to stand still. We set ourselves appointments in time, deadlines in time, and sometimes allow ourselves a timeout.
The whole world has agreed to this arbitrary standard, as a means of segmenting our finite human sojourn on this planet. We have divided it up into a certain amount of months, weeks, days, and hours and we agree to allow it to reign supreme over all our activities. Time is a cruel master – it never bends to our needs and we are forever chasing after it.
While America is reeling and holding its head at the thought of Donald Trump as a possible 45th President of the United States, so too is Serbia biting its nails to see who will come out on top of the extraordinary one-party elections coming soon to this country.
BELGRADE – In a phenomenon that people are calling “Grumpymania”, the streets of the Serbian capital are abuzz with spirited grumbling and complaining. The weather, for many is too cold. The shopkeepers, for others, are too rude. Slow waiters, idiot drivers, and robotic postal workers are under siege in Belgrade as #Grumpymania sweeps the nation.
Having slept quite well, I woke up one fine morning refreshed and in an excellent mood. People who know me will note that this is exceptional behavior and perhaps even cause for alarm.
My routine had all the usual morning hiccups associated with my as yet decaffeinated state: I dropped the spoon while making my coffee; I found a dark thread on my white bathrobe, which it seemed I had inadvertently put on inside out; the butter knife slipped from my hand mid-toast; reaching for it, I hit the bread and overturned it; I took a new piece of bread (and new knife) and re-booted. Thus reconfigured, I proceeded to my breakfast.
It’s a mystery. Wrapped inside a pickle. On a ham sandwich.
On sale in Aisle 7.
The mystery is that I no longer know where I am when I go to the supermarket in Belgrade. Today, for example, I started out list-in-handed on a journey to IDEA in New Belgrade. I had received in the post a special Happy Birthday coupon for a 10% discount (on almost everything except what I wanted to buy I found in the fine print).
When I arrived, I found a large empty shell where IDEA used to be. It has been “in renovation” for several months now, so one supposes that this is a euphemism for “it’s probably ok for you never to try here again.” Resourcefully, I decided to pull out of the empty parking lot and dog-leg it into Roda next door.