Everything you do will be used against you…
Small worlds mirror big ones. This old wisdom never dies. The past cannot be killed or deleted. In fact, these days people are experimenting with how to destroy their hard disc so that the information is truly gone. We saw it in Yugoslavia in the 80’s: the politicians were corrupt, the factory directors were corrupt, and the small bosses of small departments became corrupt. The ordinary guy had no other choice but to do the same, rather than being a loser, literally and figuratively.
Just a piece from the newspaper this week: “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan, was the United States,” according to one American official. Insiders say that the CIA operations are actually undermining the work of other American government agencies, in their desperate efforts to roll up criminal networks in Afghanistan. Payments were made through the country’s office of national security. The council’s administrative chief, Mohammed Zia Salehi, was arrested in 2010 on corruption charges, but was released after just a few hours thanks to the Afghan president’s intervention. After his arrest, Salehi began telling colleagues he was “an enemy of the F.B.I., and a hero to the C.I.A.”
My Sarajevo lesson. So, I came to this city at a time when about 20,000 professional Western aid workers were working in the country and students could earn more money translating for these NGOs than their father did working as a doctor in the hospital. I went to see some friends in a bar, and this guy came up to me and asked, “So, what are you doing here?” I said I was there because I wanted to finally learn the language. “No,” he replied, “What is your job here?” I wanted to explain that my job is to stimulate global consciousness, but halfway through he said, “Ah, well, actually I do not care. I don’t care how many good things you come and do here. I do not care if you do 5 or 50 or 5,000 good things. It does not matter. What matters is if you do this much wrong (he indicates a small space between his fingers) or this much (now there is no space between his fingers).”
This week the public internet has been in existence 20 years, and it is celebrated on the First of May, the international day of labor. For us, members and friends of the old autonomous cultural garage 2B, the First of May is a day to celebrate anyway. It was the first day of the fiscal year for that club. It was also the day it got evicted and destroyed more than 10 years ago now. I am very curious how many people I know celebrated the First of May. I definitely know more people who were dancing and drinking because of the new king.
Continuing imperturbably: doing good, life is good, people are nice, we are lucky we weren’t born in Calcutta, let it happen, enjoy the gift, the work is good, it makes sense, it has fans, people are interested and appreciate what I do. And it is so easy. The audience realizes more and more that the fun is inside the content.