New wave of air pollution in Pancevo

From B92 I learned that it was a bad day for pollution in Pancevo,a town just outside Belgrade:

“Air pollutants in Pančevo reached high levels of concentration yesterday, but have receded since midnight.

Yesterday at 11:30, Pančevo municipal president Srđan Miković turned on the sirens signalling a chemical hazard, after the concentration of benzene in the air reached 117.5 micrograms/m .

Why do people continue to live there? Pancevo was an industrial park created east of Belgrade for heavy industry. Over the years people started moving to the area to be closer to their factories and a town of 100,000 has sprung up. Now its residents regularly protest about the pollution problem and they live with the threat of mass poisoning and chemical sirens!

The Visa Abolition Campaign

One of the most pernicious retardants of development in Serbia and other Balkan countries is the near impossibility of travel for young people.

This is caused by the ludicrous visa restrictions these Balkan countries are subject to.

The system is slow, expensive and utterly corrupt.

Now there is a figh back led by a trans-Balkan coalition called the Visa Abolishment Campaign.

Please visit their site and read about the damage this unfair via system is wreaking in the region.

Israel Bombs Anti-Semitism Out Of Lebanon

From The Onion comes this classic:

After decades of periodic conflict with Lebanon that cost thousands of lives, Israel successfully eradicated all traces of anti-Semitism from its northern neighbor with a series of heavy bombing attacks in July.

“Israel really turned us around on the whole Jew-hating thing,” said Hezbollah leader Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, shortly after a U.N.‚Äìbrokered ceasefire was declared on Aug. 14. “After destroying much of our infrastructure and displacing nearly 1 million civilians, we’ve come to respect Israel as a legitimate power and a beacon of democracy, and not a pack of lying, usurping, hook-nosed dogs.”


Raped in Oslo

Brussels Journal:

“The number of rapes in the Norwegian capital Oslo is six times as high as in New York City. I‚Äôve written about the issue of rape and Muslim immigration so many times that I am, quite frankly, a bit tired of the subject. But as we all know, problems don‚Äôt disappear just because you are tired of talking about them, so here goes.

There has been an explosive increase in the number of rape charges in the city of Oslo, but both the media and the authorities consistently refuse to tell us why. They did do so, however, in 2001, when two out of Norway’s three largest newspapers, Aftenposten and Dagbladet, reported that most of these rape charges involve an immigrant perp, which again mostly means Muslims. Both newspapers have since then conveniently ‚Äòforgotten‚Äô about this, and have never connected the issue to Muslim immigration although the number of rape charges has continued to rise to historic levels. They are thus at best guilty of extreme incompetence, since their former articles about this issue are still available online.”

(Via The Brussels Journal – English)

Rochegrosse (1859–1938)

Rochegrosse (1859–1938):

The Booty (pre-1893) – Georges Rochegrosse
Etched by Eugene-Andre Champollion, sourced here

Rochegrosse (1859-1938) is above all else the painter of Flaubert‚Äôs Salammb√¥, which he illustrated in great detail with absolute accuracy but a complete lack of understanding. The antique pictures which the artists of the fin de si√®cle offer us are more often than not laborious reconstructions and pretexts to depict nudes. Dreamers of Decadence, Philippe Jullian, page 140.”

(Via Jahsonic)

Low, middle and high culture

From Jahsonic:

With all this talk on nobrow, low and high culture, maybe it’s time to define the concepts of these cultures a little better. The best effort so far defining low and high culture is the following schema by American sociologist Herbert J. Gans from his 1974 book Popular Culture and High Culture: an Analysis and Evaluation of Taste.

High culture

  • Interest in creative process and symbolism
  • Preference for experimentation
  • Introspection preferred to action
  • Accepts different levels of meaning
  • Expects consideration of philosophical, psychological and social issues

Upper middle culture

  • A less literary verbal culture
  • Figurative and narrative art preferred, especially if illustrative of individual achievement or upward mobility
  • Enjoys nineteenth-century art and opera, but not early music or contemporary art

Lower middle culture

  • Form must unambiguously express meaning
  • Demands conclusions
  • Unresolvable conflicts not made explicit
  • Interested in performers, not writers or directors
  • Influenced by word-of-mouth judgement

Low culture

  • No concern with abstract ideas: form must be entirely subservient to content
  • Demands crude morality with dramatic demarcations, but usually limited to family or individual problems
  • Performer is paramount: enjoys vicarious contact with ‚Äôstars‚Äô
  • Considers ornateness attractive

-Schema adapted from Herbert J. Gans (1974) by Stephen Bayley (1991)

(Via Jahsonic)