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Srbija 2020

Andrew Beaumont

How May I Help You? I’ll do what I can….

I’m getting increasingly worried about the moderate credentials of the prosperous Anglo-Saxon protestant society that nurtured, educated and employed me. For example, it seems to me that many ‘mature’ communities of the ‘advantaged’ world, not least the community of the news media, are diminished by widespread cynicism, by the almost universal absence of trust of anybody for anything, a phenomenon which manifests itself in all sorts of unpleasant ways. And then there are the big things. Things that rich and / or powerful nations do not because it’s right but because they can, like the probably illegal attack by a powerful and unscrupulous nation on another sovereign country, at the behest of a head of state whose IQ is about equal to his shoe size. (Please make your choice of a sovereign nation and a head of state as appropriate).


Death Drives a Flame Red Yugo (with blacked-out windows!)

 

Death Dives a Flame Red YugoDeath Dives a Flame Red Yugo

I’ve no idea what I’ve done, but apparently I’ve upset a lot of people.   For a while I thought that maybe I’d acquired a late-onset paranoid personality disorder, a surprisingly common condition apparently, in men of a certain age that’ve been around a bit.  But it can’t be that; I’ve looked in the reference books and it’s clear that I don’t meet any (well, not enough) of the important diagnostic criteria. No, my paranoia it seems is probably just a natural by-product of living in the first decade of the 21st century, aggravated by a foolhardy readiness occasionally to venture out with my car onto Serbian roads.  It’s there that I’m confronted with irrefutable evidence that hundreds of angry people I don’t know and I’ve never met, are all trying to kill me.   And I’m not the only one. 


Smoking is Bad For You (…but maybe not for the rest of us)

smokingsmokingBravo! A hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign to persuade us to eschew the weed and to be fitter, happier, more productive people. Excellent - but is it though? Some might feel that a fragile economy like ours cannot afford to pay the price if too many people stop smoking.

Ok, the link between smoking and all sorts of horrible diseases is well established (cf Doll and Peto et al) and we can reasonably expect that most smokers will die about ten years before the end of their allotted span - to say nothing of the victims of passive smoking.

But is that such a bad thing? Of course for the smoker and their family and friends it is a very bad thing, but what about the rest of us? Consider the relatively low cost of the victim's medical treatment. Victims of smoking related diseases don't normally last very long once they've been diagnosed.


WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

“…No, I’m not American – I’m British!”

“…No, not English – British!”

“…I come from Serbia…”

“…Yes, that’s right, Serbia – from Zemun actually…”


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