Tuesday, November 25, 2008

existential journalist mannifesto

I met a journalist today from Bosnia. He drives an old white Thunderbird and wears a Seattle Supersonics jacket.

In his country, he worked in radio. His job was to navigate the corruption of a shattered nation. He left in 1993, when was war was beginning to get ugly.

In this country, he used to work an online news source. He compiled news articles for people like himself, former Yugoslavians who want to keep in touch with the old country. He was trying to draw connections and maintain relationships between people, scattered around the world. They are connected by their past lives.

He recently decided that he does not want to write about Bosnia anymore. He will never forget Bosnia, but his relationship to it has changed.

Now, I want to talk about existential journalism.

In my life, I have a collection of characters. Strippers, war veterans, authors of cabalist meditation, drug addicts, professional sailors, homeless orphans, wealthy successful artisans, members of the fattened proletariat, all sorts of people. And I want to share them with you.

These are people who have at some point in their life, lost their minds. The universe, as it presents itself to them no longer makes sense. They must deconstruct it and put it back together. Something happened which they do not understand.

They dwell upon that moment of survival. It is that time in their life which they came face to face with their mortality. They got in touch with the part of their human nature that produces both great acts of goodness and acts of great evil.

Am I interested in any specific culture? No. Am I interested in any specific world event? No. I am interested in people who look at the character rolls that the global theatre makes available for us, as humans. I am interested in the people who reject the rolls that the casting director is looking for.

Talk to everybody. There is no single place where these people may be hiding. The key to finding these people is exposing your self to as many people as possible. Be vulnerable.

I am able to relate to these people because I am one of them. And this course has given me opportunity to reflect upon my identity as a writer. What do I want to write about? I want to write about the things I love to read about. I want to write about the things I love to experience.

My mind is very simple. Do not be fooled by my unorganized appearance. I look this way because I am having difficulty fitting the world into my mind. It doesn’t fit in there. In turn, I look at the world as a very surreal and mysterious thing. My world view is that of an 8-bit computer generated graphic.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

two developments

two developments in kosovo:

first, america wants to send assistance to developing kosovo. the serbs continue to reject the notion of kosovo as an independent nation. the bush administration managed to put together an assistance proposal for kosovo which serbia could agree with. funny how kosovo rejected this proposal. what were the conditions of this proposal?

second, serbia accuses separatists of terrorism. as an american, i am always skeptical of such accusations. as an american, i am double skeptical because, despite the persistent claims of terrorism, the us wants to help kosovo's separatist movement.

what is the point of following a new story, when all information is subject to question? Balkan sources are dubious and American sources are incomplete.

a kosovan article here describes the story. again, there seems to be something missing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

how to build a country

i would imagine that the process of developing a fully functional country is similar to the development of a fully functional adult. the difference is this: countries are vaguely composed of thousands of adults. therefore, developing a country is 1000 times more complicated. right? and we all know that developing an adult is a task of quantum absurdity.

the concept of this article is interesting. it is about kosovo.

as you read the artilce, you should be thinking of iraq.

clothes for revolutionaries

what can i say about this article?

i'll outline it:
1) republicans in ohio
2) gather 14 bags of clothes
3) send them to kosovo

those poor defenseless impoverished kosovians will be so grateful for the generosity from the powerful nation of america!

i think we should bake ourselves a cake and congradulate ourselves on a job well done. we are so progressive!

obama wins the heart of bosnia and kosovo

the triple door was packed and there were only two servers tending the bar. there was a band on stage, awkwardly holding their instruments. the audience was looking at the television set above their head.

"this is the best day of my life," a girl told me. her boyfriend was standing in the corner, unable to do anything about his deliriously drunken lover.

downtown seattle was erupting with a sense of community that has never been expressed before. high fives and hugs between strangers and people happily honking their horns. everybody was filled with so much joy.

i saw a parade of ten cars, filled with young black teenagers, armed with video cameras, poised to capture the spectacle that they had created.

this feeling is apparently shared around the world. bulgarian newspaper printed this article today about bosnia and a balkan newspaper printed this article about kosovo. the titles of the articles are more important than the content.

then i found this article. skip ahead to the last paragraph where it talks about the non-partisanship of the public news media. there are a number of different reasons why this paragraph may have been written.

america is very polarized. you must not confuse the polarization for passion because the feelings are fleeting. i will wait until valentines day, when president obama opens all of his seasonal greeting cards. will we still love him six months from now? from my experiences, the american people love to set themselves up for disappointment.