I am Dead.
Did you hear about the story about a youth of 20 years that got his brain implanted (by the big bad government) with a microchip that tears dreams appart, and he has a year to solve the puzzle? If he fails, he dies. How cute. Made for post-Beavis and Butthead generation by MTV. Dead at 21. Cool, indeed.
Little they knew that there is no need for a complicated surgery and hardware development. The same thing may be done just by screwing up our software, the old-fashioned way, you know, like it was done in Orwell’s 1984. And it was done, it has continually been done with all its warped terminality to a lot of us in Eastern- Europe.
What would you say if there is a FBI dossier opened on your name just because you listen to punk music? Or just because your mother lives in Germany? Or just because your grandfather used to make a practical joke on current political situation which upset regime?
I am dead.
How would you feel if government takes your passport away for reasons of securing the public order and interests of the country’s defense? How would you tell your girlfriend? How would you explain your parents, friends, colleagues? What would you think? Remember: you are 21.
I died at 21.
I was just a little more than a week in Amsterdam attending European Nuclear Dissarmament Convention (meeting of harmless western leftists and liberals), mostly smoking pot. Yugoslavia actually sent an official delegation to the event – a backwash of retired spies and aspiring diplomats. Later I realized that they must have not liked me. However, I came there on the same plane in the same arrangement of the state run Yugoslav mockery of a peace- movement, and I shared the room in Amsterdam with some socialist youth apparatchik, that happened to be an ok guy, but I spent time mostly with my friends from Slovenian peace movement, the first real thing that happened in former Yugoslavia after president Tito’s death. As you may imagine, we viewed our foreign policy, our compulsory draft, our weapons proliferation practices, our inherently militarized and militaristic society in quite a different light than the members of the official group.
When we returned to Yugoslavia, my friends in Slovenia returned to their daily activities, while I, living in Croatia, learned that I am threatening public order and state’s security. Suddenly, nobody seemed to take this serious. I didn’t loose friends, but nobody would publish the story about that in any media for about four years, and it was probably expected that I understand very well what I have done. Police people were even more enigmatic defending themselves behind the discretionary right not to disclose reasons for their actions in matters of national security. I never got the straight answer from anyone. Everybody hinted on this and that, but nobody knew or was willing to tell me why.
I did not solve the fucking thing, either. I was damn close. I like to flatter myself that I intentionally gave up, escaping to the U.S. Now, I understand how naive I was. How everybody around me was naive, too. How naive I still am. And how everybody around me thought just of how to save his/hers own skin. But now I am dead, so it doesn’t really matter any more. Now I am impervious, like a tanned vampire. And I still believe that if we had made a generation of youth in entire former Yugoslavia, as we had in Slovenia, that listened to rock music and cared about environment and of how to best dodge draft, we would still have Yugoslavia, succesfully reformed, and we would never know of Milosevic, we would never have seen that ugly war on CNN, since there would be no one to fight it, and there would be no Tudjman or any other Milosevic’s political side-effects. Maybe that was the reason, but it is too late now. The answer is now irrelevant. Dead know all the answers, but they can’t put them to use, since dead cannot change the world of living. Living do not understand the language of dead.
Following the standard “salami” procedure of gradually shrinking life of a dissident (“salami” procedure is often described on the example of ’68 Czech president Dubcek), four months later I was kicked of my radio station. 101 radio was about everything I had at that time, anything I ever cared about. I put up good shows and earned good money, so, I dropped medical school for it. But it was more to it. 101 was the first radio station south of Slovenia in former Yugoslavia completely dedicated to modern rock, and, excused by its youthfull staff, given relative freedom of the press. I say relative, since I was given a boot because I reported on the student unrest on the campus. It was just ridiculous to me that we are a radio on the campus, and that we are banned (by the Party) to report on the events, while events occasionally screamed their way to our otherwise noise protected studio, and listeners called with the most obvious question: what’s going on?
Since then, I don’t dream any more, but I have recollections of the ancient dreams, and within this site I should try to explain some of them.
Since I am dead, the world lives on the other side of me, and I am watching it like through the window, or, closer to modern perceptions, like on TV. Like Pitagora’s philosopher in the market- place, I observe, take notes, combine and conspire of what may happen to each particular point of my interest, but I don’t take sides, since I have nothing to gain, regardless of which side wins in each particular battle. I don’t buy. I don’t sell. I do take notes. Always.
It is so convenient being dead: having no needs and no responsibilities. My “shell”, my body is alive, and I have to feed it and quench its thirst every day, but that’s like tending to the needs of a house-pet.
I am happily dead and I wish no evil to anyone. I have no use of that. If you come over here you’d see how easy it is not to hate anybody, and even laugh to those who hate. Life is so ignorant. Those living do not appreciate life. They don’t live life, they just posess life, and spend a lifetime trying to preserve their precious posession. They’d have no fun being dead, since one can’t have a death. They’d just be gone.