Saturday, November 13, 2004

Deeper Than Skin

Sometimes I have a uncomfortable feeling of becoming conservative and less and less in tune with modern times, but at least in some cases I can find arguments for my dislike of certain cultural trends of today. One of those trends is need of today's celebrities to cover their bodies with tattoos. There is nothing particularly wrong about tattooing per se, since this is the practice inherited from the most ancient times and employed by many different cultures. However, unlike people who used to tattoo themselves for some deeper spiritual reasons, most of today's people, especially young, tattoo simply because media establishment tells them do so. And, unlike their ancestors, most of today's people show incredible lack of taste and proper judgment in choosing the way to decorate/scar their bodies.

One of the freshest example is Milan Gurović (Milan Gurovic), basketball player of Partizan Belgrade, Serbian-Montenegrin club that is going to have a Goodyear League match with Cibona Zagreb tomorrow. Gurović was denied entry to Croatia because of his tattoo. He had used his body as a mean to express his admiration for Dragoljub "Draža" Mihailović (Dragoljub "Draza" Mihailovic), leader of Chetniks - WW2 Royalist Serb paramilitaries - who was captured and executed by victorious Tito's Partisans in 1946. For some people in Serbia, Draža Mihailović, as staunch Royalist, anti-Communist and nominal leader of "proper" resistance, is seen as hero and martyr. For most people in other parts of former Yugoslavia, Draža Mihailović is seen as Nazi collaborator and ultimately responsible for massacres and other atrocities Chetniks and other forces under his nominal command have committed against Croats and Muslims in 1941-45.

In order to stop Gurović from appearing at the basketball court and thus re-enflame nationalist passions, Croatian Ministry of Interiors has applied laws against "totalitarian propaganda", recently adopted in order to prevent extreme Croatian nationalists from embarrassing Sanader with their glorifying of Ustasha movement.


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