Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Random acts of senseless violence

No, this is not about the book, although I recommend it.

I was out of town for a few days, on a little vacation over on the west coast. After a lovely journey back home yesterday that lasted slightly longer than expected, with an overnight stay in Omaha, NE, we finally got home with about 18 hour delay. My dad's been trying to get in touch with me, so being a good daughter that I am, I im-ed him as soon as I got back home. After a perfunctory chat, he asks me about news. Well, I haven't heard any in about 5 days, and I was little at a loss as to why he'd be asking. Turns out a Bosnian kid went on a shooting spree in a mall in Salt Lake City. Why am I writing about this, apart from all the obvious reasons? There are two that may not be known: I am a Bosnian and I lived in Salt Lake City for five years. My first reaction is as everybody else's (I assume that it is) of disbelief and sorrow for all the lives that are lost. My second reaction is anger: what on earth could have made this kid do what he did? And I am even more mad because this kid lived through a war! He should know better than to take other people's lives. I read everything I could find in various papers, and then ran into comments that some people are leaving on various blog and news sites (I am sorry, but I'm not putting these links here, you can google kid's name and find them if you are so inclined). And then I got mad at these people, too. And then I got sad for those people.


Pinar said...

Isn't it sad that in most of the news he was described as Bosnian Muslim (they had to say he was Muslim, like if he were born American they'd have to affix the religion there?), and in some I've read, they took it as far as calling him an islamic jihadist although there's no clear evidence that what he did had religious reasons. He was probably too affected by the war some time back. Man, I really hate the media and how they can contort everything. This is why I say there's a big "media hype" that causes unnecessary reaction.

In one of my comments I left on Eric's blog, I was saying the Kosovo War was not fought primarily for religious reasons, and it was more "ethnic" and had to do with Milosevic's cruel communist oppression of people, and getting them raged in the end. I hope I didn't get anything wrong there, but I'd like to know more about it, if it's not hard for you to talk about. I mean not really about the war itself per se, but what really caused the war...Let me know if you'd be interested.

I am from Turkey by the way...

e said...

Oof, that would be a long comment. I will try to find some time this weekend to write little about it, but let me just say that communism had nothing to do with it (and I am not trying to make you feel bad about what you said; lot of people would like us to believe that). I am not really sure that many people have a good answer to "What really caused the war?", although many are willing to give one, or few. I am little reluctant to offer my view because I've become aware of how fragile people's (mine, too) memories are, and how subject to personal interpretation the facts are. But, as I said, if you are interested, I will try to write about it.

Pinar said...

hey it's ok, on a second thought, maybe it's better if I don't get my answer now. Besides, you provided a semi-answer for me by saying communism had nothing to do with it. :) I should be able to find some credible resource and do some research.

I wish I'd get off my lazy ass and start blogging. Sometimes I think I have something to write, like during the day I get this funny thought, or have "eureka!" moments, and think they'd be cool to blog...When I sit down at my desk, it's all gone...I can pretty much say that's how it's going for my dissertation right now, too...Writer's blog, finding it hard to get motivated, etc etc, yikes! I'll never graduate :S

Hope you have a good weekend, and please don't blog about the war :) I don't want to ruin your weekend!That was very thoughtless of me...

I saw that you're reading (or read?) Orhan Pamuk's "My Name is Red"...How did you like it?

e said...


Theses have a way of fiddling with us, but they come around eventually :)

Thinking about the war doesn't ruin my days anymore. It certainly isn't an enjoyable memory, but it doesn't depress me (angers would probably be more appropriate description).

I am reading My name is red. There is Snow on my shelf as well, waiting. I am actually pretty bad about reading multiple books at the same time, one of them inevitably becomes privileged while the other suffer temporary neglect. I am renewing my relationship with this one, thanks to your question :) So far, I really like it. It reminds me a lot of Bosnian writer Mesa Selimovic's writing both in style and time in which the story is happening. I bet reading it in Turkish would be much more picturesque (as was reading Selimovic in Bosnian).