WM's Letter to NYT...,
"City vs Country"...,
"Eternity" & "Noneness"...,
Here is my letter to the editor of the New York Times which, as far as I know, was not published. What would we do without the Internet!? WM
Date: April 7, 1997
Letter to the Editor
New York Times
I read the article "Hapsburgs visit Bosnia to remember 1914 killing" (Monday April 7, 1997).
In my opinion the visit of the Hapsburgs to the place where the Archduke was killed is no more honorable than would be a visit by a German delegation to the place where Gauleiter Heidrich was killed in occupied Czechoslovakia.
The Bosnian resistance to the Austrian occupation was equivalent to those anywhere and at any time against foreign invasions. In those times practically all the Bosnians were united in the fight against foreign occupation. The fact that the killer was Serb is irrelevant. One Bosnian Muslim who was in his nineties when I met him told me that he was part of this conspiracy that killed the Archduke. He told me: "We didn't care who was Orthodox, Catholic or Muslim. We were all brothers."
Otto Von Hapsburg "recalled the many other ethnic and ideological wars that have long scarred the region." War, he might have added, that the Austrians initiated through conquest of Bosnia.
I am indeed surprised at your level of knowledge (or lack thereof) re: Islam as a religion (not people who would merely call themselves muslims). You can not attack a religion because some seemingly followers do bad things. For a fair balance on your part, you should mention about the atrocities some Jews and some Christians did in history as well.
I must tell you that you are dead wrong. I feel so sad for your audience who knows nothing about Islam. It would be a tragedy if people would believe you. I wonder what qualifications do you posses to write something like that; or is it just pure hatred ! If freedom of speech were to survive and to be paid attention to, the speaker / writer must be honest and convey a scholarly work to his / her audience. Your writing - excuse me - is pathetic.Dr T Ackad email@example.com
I don't feel hatred toward Islam, as a matter of fact I was interested when a Muslim told me that Islam means a freedom for the soul. She didn't elaborate on it because she was "overpowered" by some protesting anti-Muslims and she did'nt want to come back to the topic. I know that Islam was very tolerant in its early stages; I like its notion of charity and of everybody's equality before God. I don't like the notion of Jihad and Mujahadeen which makes of Islam the only militaristic and militant religion in modern times. I don't like the easy way Islam applies the death penalty to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the cutting hand of the thief (and what if he was innocent? Would you sew the hand back!?) and the attitude to women. And you know well that my opinion and sentiments are shared by the immense majority of non-Muslims as well as by many tolerant Muslims who would like Islam to become part of our times. Many top-ranking Muslims are against the fundamentalism which kills -- why don't they express it publicly? As long as Jihad and the Mujahadeen persist unchallenged by fellow Muslims, the rest of the world will keep its fear and hostility. WM
I read your article - it's excellent. My parents were the first generation to move out of their villages and live in cities. Both my grandmothers were illiterate. As far as I know, all my ancestors were fighting and dying in wars for freedom (my father fought in WWII both my grandfathers in WWI, my great grand father died in WWI and so on) and whenever I hear all those hysterical accusations against the Serbs I think of my grandfathers who were pious Orthodox peasants, very honest and benevolent and I have an impression that they are on the bench for the accused.
Your question at the end of the article "who is next" is a very good one. This question I have been asking myself for a very long time.
i have no recollection of communicating with you before (correct me if i'm wrong). you appear to be a very knowledgeable and extremely reasonable man. lamentably, one does not meet too many people like yourself on the web.
i must say that i agree with almost every word you wrote, and it was much to my astonishment that i've found out that somebody had studied socio-cultural and political situation in my country in such a depth as you did. i don't know what is your source of information, and i'm keen to find out. i-direct is a torontonian internet provider, i think, and for all we know we could be first-door neighbours. in any event, i would like to keep the contact, and i'll keep visiting your page.
i suspect you've been reading my postings. i have spent many internet hours trying to send a message through to people much like yourself: young, educated, good people who for one reason or another look upon what happened in the former yugoslavia one-sidedly, who are biased for no valid reason other than the mere misjudgement of the situation, inundated with the media. i ceased wasting my time in futile and juvenile quarrels with the croats and muslims long time ago: in 1991, in sarajevo, i've realized that there is nothing i can do to change them, as well as their efforts to change me were in vain. to each their own, as they say. unfortunately, there was a war, and everything is now different, we cannot be what we were before, and that's the fact of life we all have to accept. i still communicate with my friends in sarajevo: good and bad is in and among all of us, but i shall never abandon people i love, and the ones who love and respect me, regardless of their faith, colour or political opinion. i have told the late prof. nikola koljevic one night in pale that i was born a serb, and i did not need radovan karadzic or slobodan milosevic to tell me who i am; also that my antagonism against the croats and muslims extremes is one thing, and my feelings towards my friends and people whom i've never met, but who unselfishly helped my family regardless of the fact that we were of different faith, is another. one splendidly great man prof. koljevic was, and i deeply regret his passing away, even though i'm sure he's now looking at the ship of fools he abandoned laughing his brains out of joy. he understood, as many of my friends in the trenches did: we all immensely missed the peaceful life, our jobs, friends, streets we grew up in, pubs we frequented, girls we loved, our past lives. but there was this man on the other side, shooting at us, possibly thinking the same as we did, but still shooting, like in that old jean renoir movie about this german and french soldier in the first world war, finally united in death.
ever since i came back from bosnia i feel like i'm dreaming, that this is not happening to me, but somebody else instead. somebody who lives a separate live, totally apart from my own. my own eyes have seen, and my brains recorded the images of an immeasurable suffering of my people in bosnia, surrounded by enemies and an unfriendly regime in serbia/montenegro, left totally to themselves. i have witnessed our army retreats from already taken cities and territories, because "those did not belong to us", our army keeping thousands of muslim POWs in a vain hope that they will be exchanged for our men, only to be exchanged for our men's dead bodies, muslim POWs who were fed while our children starved. at one point we provided shelter, food and transportation to over 10,000 croatian military and civilians, who fled the muslim offensive in central bosnia, only to suffer the offensive from those same military units we escorted to croatia three months ago. then i came to canada, and there is a completely different story, the story of serbian beasts. it took me a while to get used to the fact that my canada is refusing to see and tell the truth. in my three years there i spoke with three foreign journalists, one from australia and two from japan, and i've seen some russian and greek journalists as well. and that's it. and then you see all those horror stories about the war, and how only one side is suffering, while the beasts attack, and you ask yourself an inevitable question: am i sane? well, and i have to say: luckily, i'm still sane. i couldn't agree more with you when you say that you feel immensely sorry for the serbs. the most valiant peoples of the balkans are now reduced to mere beasts: like in the emir kusturica's movie "underground" (and if you speak french, or serbian, i'll be more than happy to mail you a copy of the movie), when a goose attacks a wounded tiger, we were attacked with no means to defend ourselves. however, my grandfather told me this story, and i remembered it many a time in my life, especially when i was afraid and felt miserable: it always had the same uplifting effect on me. in 1917, when the serbian army finally recuperated and undertook the final offensive to force the austrians out of serbia, in 12 days they advanced 800 miles, forcing the french general franche d'epere, the commander-in-chief of the allied forces in the balkans to telegraph his counterpart in the serbian army, gen. stepanovic: "general, please ask the serbian infantry to slow down, the french cavalry cannot keep up the pace!".
all the best to you, william, you're one fine man, and not only because you wrote one article in favour of serbs.
Your article that suggested that energy was simply another form of mass was interesting. This simplifies everything greatly. The only reason it doesn't border on pure genius, is that you have neglected to eliminate some other unpleasantness. Time is the most obnoxious quantity in the universe. And the older you get, the less you have of it. This makes time a doubly obnoxious quantity.
But time isn't real. I didn't realize this until you pointed out that energy was merely matter. But if this is so, then there are only two fundamental dimensions. Mass and space. Therefore, time is an artificially contrived dimension that is strictly dependent upon mass and space. In fact, I would hazard a guess that time is inversely proportional to the local derivative of mass with respect to space. This helps explain the apparent distance of the receding galaxies. The intervening intergalactic space has a very low M/V ratio. Therefore any corresponding dM/dVs will also be quite small. As light crosses this volume of little mass, time accelerates immensely and appears to have come from a longer distance than actually travelled.
Worried about falling into a black hole? Forget it. The dM/dV is so high that time practically stands still.
The apparent increase in the dimensions of interstellar space over and above this effect are a result of the original formation of the universe. The universe is still condensing. This causes higher and higher dM/dV gradients in the galaxies and increasing rarification of matter in intergalactic space. The combined effect of increasing time compression at the light source and the increasing time acceleration of intergalactic space causes an apparent expansion of the universe. But no such thing is taking place.
The universe was not formed by a big bang. Try to imagine a universe that was entirely uniform. At every meter, in every direction, there is a single proton (or crescent wrench, or heavy metal musician, or any other item incapable of self awareness). Can you imagine the uniformity? I can't. And neither can the universe. A minor perturbation here (or there) and the whole works starts to condense like the Florida atmosphere on a cold beer bottle.
In the beginning there is no time. dV/dM is zero. As the condensation proceeds, time is greatly accelerated in intergalactic space, and slowed in the galaxies. This gives the illusion of an expanding universe. In fact the universe is static with a fixed mass and a fixed volume. After the galaxies have finished condensing, the universe will consist of a uniformity in every direction of condensed galaxies (or belt buckles, or rappers, or any other item incapable of self awareness). Can you imagine the uniformity? I can't.
Yes, you are right Virginia. The universe is continually condensing forming bigger objects making the captains of industry cry for joy (for bigger is better!). You won't come this way again. There will be no repeat of a universe with this size planets and this size people. Tell your mother you love her now, for there won't be another time around. A few condensations down the road, and we will be smaller than the dust bunnies under Mr. Clean's toilet seat.
And since the universe is infinite, the condensation process will last forever. As the condensation "droplets" become bigger, time slows. Like, what is the limit of 1/x as x approaches zero? Obviously, the universe has no end. The objects are just getting bigger.
On the other hand if energy is not mass, and the burning of matter in the stars creates a strong negative dM/dV component, then time gets screwed up locally and things are no longer simple.
So, if you want to speculate on a world without energy, just remember that you may be creating spontaneous cranial flatulance in others. The result could change the universe. Tread carefully.
Region of the unfathomable
Silent sound, endogenous
Renewal of a cycle
Spring forth the Cosmic Blossom
Stirring the heart
Awakening the senses
Spring, ecstasy of creation
Your site has been reviewed in the upcoming issue of CLICKOZINE, an independent magazine devoted to the Internet, and related topics.
One inspired artist's life work, Vagabond is part online version of the zine, part art showcase for Markiewicz's visions. The current complete issue dares its readers with editorials on International Task Forces like those in Bosnia, lavishes sentimentality as only a perzine editor can, and attempts to come to terms with cybercommunications (though I'm not sure he does). Even though artsy, Vagabond points to the present online renaissance.
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my e-mail. As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed the Vagabond and hope that your site catches on with netizens everywhere. A few words about myself...
My name is Jason Love, and I'm a professional cartoonist (they do still exist, but just barely). I recently discovered The Vagabond by way of a search for my own site, which included the word "writer" (that person I thought I was going to be when I dropped out of college). I truly enjoyed my read here and would like to share a sample of my work with fellow Vagabonds. So here is Snapshots The Cartoon -- Because life is too important to take seriously.tm
Snapshots The Cartoon
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