FW: an ex-Yugoslavian's view of USA

From: denis bider (denis.bider@globera.com)
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 10:47:47 MST

Ivo maintains an interesting website at http://www.balkansnet.org, which is
how I found him. I enjoy the way he communicates his views of the world, and
I thought some of you might enjoy that too. If you browse through
www.balkansnet.org, you will find more writing like this. Be sure to click
in unlikely places though. [For instance, the "Ivo's rants" icon with the
man banging away at the keyboard at the bottom of the page]

According to my scarce knowledge, Ivo used to be a journalist in Yugoslavia;
he came to US as a political refugee. He is now a snowboarding instructor in
Vermont during the winter, and lives in New York during the summer.

The interesting message is the second one below.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ivo Skoric [mailto:ivo@reporters.net]
Sent: 1. februar 2001 18:07
To: denis bider
Subject: RE: music

I have no objections to you posting my message to the Extropy list
as is. Remember, I wrote for Mladina in times when guys who sold
Mladina were beaten up in the streets of Belgrade. I just don't give
a damn. Besides, "extropy" seems to be a relatively cool new-
agean post-modernist concept. Transhumanism? Challenging aging
and death? Hell, yeah. That's why I snowboard. So, I am an
extropian in a sense, too.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ivo Skoric [mailto:ivo@reporters.net]
> Sent: 30. januar 2001 19:03
> To: denis bider
> Subject: RE: music
> Eh, when you live long enough in the US, the CNN is transparent to
> you as Delo, Vjesnik or Politika. In Europe (both the post-
> communist East and the West), media are generally politically
> colored. Opinionated one way or another. In the US, the
> mainstream media are trying to portray themselves as politically
> unbiased, objective reporters of events. But, of course, they are
> not. CNN depends on advertising. Advertising depends on ratings.
> Ratings depend on "hot" stories. "Hot" stories are wars,
> earthquakes, presidents that were serviced by their interns orally,
> black ex-football stars that possibly killed their spouses, etc. CNN
> does financially better when the peace talks fail than when the
> peace talks succeed. Therefore, it should be pretty obvious where
> their bias lies. The other influence is the bias of individual
> journalists. American journalists are intellectual whores, just as
> ours are. They like socializing with the rich and powerful. So, they
> are careful how they approach topics that can hurt the 'special'
> relationship they are trying to build with the VIP crowd. Self-
> censorship is as adamantly practiced as it was in Yugoslavia. They
> all like to be invited for dinners to the White House. The third thing
> is the instinct to go with the herd. This instinct is extremely strong
> in the US. You'll see people patiently waiting in line to enter the
> bus. You'll see people orderly organized in rows of two marching
> into the movie theater. You'll see drivers milling at the same slow
> speed one after another at equidistance in the same lane. The
> cozy, warm feeling of being a part of some larger unquestioned
> structure is eerily welcomed in the land of the free. Everybody eats
> turkey for Thanksgivings and all college bound teenage males wear
> baggy kakis and polo shirts. That is also re-enforced by their
> college education that emphasizes participation in uniformity. The
> better you are at being mediocre, the more succesfull you will be at
> being whatever you want to be. Thus, the top journalists are usually
> neither the most talented writers, nor the most enthusiastic muck-
> rackers. This is how the US preserves its cherished status-quo, so
> the rich can sleep soundly at night.
> ivo

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