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eXile Classic / October 2, 2002

Balkans

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Balkans

Have village, will burn.” That’s the ancient motto of the Balkans, where old habits die hard, and so do neighboring ethnic groups.

While the actual tally of dead in the innumerable Balkan wars pales in comparison to the rest of Europe, the per capita slaughter is unparalleled. The Serbs, for example, lost a quarter of their population in both world wars. The sheer savagery of the massacres, which tend to be “hand-made” rather than “factory-made” as in the rest of Europe, charm and delight with their primeval European authenticity.

Thanks to the Balkans, the rest of Europe feels itself to be pretty damned civilized, no matter how many tens of millions it’s slaughtered.

The Balkan people, on the other hand, can take pride in the fact that they’re the last Europeans to put their Kalashnikovs where their mouths are. While the rest of Europe’s hatreds rarely result in anything more than drunken shouting matches, the Balkans still kill, rape and burn each other’s villages every time a “lazy, stupid Bosnian” or a “thieving Albanina monkey” dares to accuse a Slav of being a “bloodthirsty Neanderthal.” The only thing that has ever worked in the Balkans is stationing outside forces — once the Turks, today NATO. But that’s like putting a band-aid on a severed artery.

With conflicts still smoldering in Macedonia, Albania and Southern Serbia, we’re willing to bet that there’ll be village bonfires a-burnin in the Balkans until extermination do them part.

The Evolution of the Eurofag

It’s easy to recoil in disgust at the sight of Eurofags (EF’s) drifting like discarded restaurant coupons through the streets of once-great cities. But like the vulture and the liver fluke, the Eurofag has a place in Nature’s great scheme. As a wise philosophe once said, “To understand is to forgive, within reason.”

The next time you see a EF wavering along, remember that his strange habits and markings are only an attempt to mimic the vanished European upper class. Above all it is the slow, bored gait of the EF which ape the motions of the lost aristocracy. Aristocrats could afford to dawdle; peasants spurred by starvation and the knout, moved at a shambling trot. Thus the EF moves like a sloth through molasses and does his best to hide all emotions except a faked ennui — unless the topic of beer and the merits of various national brands comes up, in whichcase the proletarian gene-base of the EF can become startlingly, even dangerously, clear. Observers are advised to leave the area if EF males begin discussing beer.

The faux ennui also vanishes when the EF reaches his preferred habitat, the cheesy disco, which according to some anthropologists summons racial memories: peasant ancestors gazing in awe at the bright, candle-filled ballrooms of their betters.

The odd wardrobe favored by EFs also evokes the vanished elite. Before plastic was invented, shiny objects such as gold sunglasses, polished shoes and silk shirts were the exclusive privilege of the wealthy. The peasant’s garb came in only one shade: mud. Thus the EF feels an instinctive link between gleaming objects and high status and will often “hoard” flotsam such as kruggerands, dacron and hair mousse.

The white cocaine-moustache often seen on EFs at their mating rituals is also an attempt to mimic the vanished Lordlings. The most irksome traits of the drug — its absurdly high price per dose and short duration — is a form of tribal display, or Potlatch. Often the EF will choose to forego food, shelter or Evian to maintain the precious moustache.

So although it’s easy to dismiss the EF’s gaudy displays, remember that they are only a sincere and perhaps rather sad attempt to evoke a grandeur the EF never really possessed and only dimly imagines. So rather than swerving into the next EF who drifts across your path, let the creature live out its time in a hostile, bewildering world.

This article was first published in Issue #151 of The eXile in October, 2002.

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2 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Salak  |  January 20th, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Reading this I’ve realized how funny is to live in the intersection of the Balkan and the BBE.

  • 2. Vendetta  |  December 13th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    This is gold.


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