We have them because we are, generally speaking, stinking liars and crooks.
Just to be clear: it is called a "pact" because it is an agreement. It is called the Warsaw Pact because it was signed in Warsaw.
The following started out as a letter to a good friend who gave me his mountain bike before absconding to the jungles of South America, but in the meantime has taken on wider significance for me.
After a week of undue media attention - and, yes, ok, I am part of it regrettably - Toma has come back to the dinner table, seeing that no one else was going to show up at the negotiating table. The spin seems to be that he has called attention to the need for Serbia to move forward. On to the main course, as it were...
There has long been an unwritten psychological boon which comes with this. We shop when we are feeling down. We shop when we are feeling good. We feel empowered even if we do not buy anything. The very idea that we COULD decide to exchange money for the good on display before us is a powerful notion.
Ten years ago, on 9/11, I was in Paris. I was sorting out lots of sportswear overstock and trying to place it enticingly in front of my client's eyes. My client's eyes, however, were glued to the television. I was annoyed. I had just arrived from Rome (he from Belgrade) the night before, we had one day to make this deal, and he was watching TV. I grumbled.
"Something happened in New York," he said.
As if this were not enough proof that PR and positioning preparation were not of vital importance, I also proved to myself the old adage that the doctor is always his own worst patient. In my case, the spin-doctor.
As much as the city is being held in the grip of Nature and the adamantine grip of her snow, so do I - after having resisted for several days - feel inexorably pulled into the Snow Trap. I have to write about the snow. I do not WANT to write about the snow! I rebel against its banality in subject matter! I push against its encroaching walls!
Yet here we are....