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All the Bad and Ugly Things About Macedonia

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:50 am    Post subject: All the Bad and Ugly Things About Macedonia Reply with quote

TOPIC: All the Bad Things About Macedonia

Every country has its unsavory and grim points. No country is immune. So now it is Macedonia's turn to face the truth. Very Happy

On the other thread, I weeded out the one real negative I have read here about Macedonia so I could start a thread devoted to just that one issue - The Bad and The Ugly things about living and working in Macedonia.

Now here it is, uncensored....

Alex Shulgin - Posted: Dec 09, 2003

A magazine editor I know and another journalist (very experienced journalist who kicked off his career reporting on the Vietnam war and since then has been to pretty much every trouble spot in the world) went there to do a story about 6 months ago. The editor said he was constantly *beep* himself, and the other guy said it was the most unpleasant country he had ever been too. Sounds like it is best avoided for a few years yet.


(and, No, I don't know what *beep* means. Shocked )

Okay, now it is your turn. And if you haven't heard any horror stories from people who have vacationed or worked in Macedonia, then you really need to read some articles I will soon post here in this thread.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:58 am    Post subject: The Magla Vocables Reply with quote

The Magla Vocables By: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Written: December 8, 1999

The Macedonians have a word for it - "Magla", fog. It signifies the twin arts of duplicity and ambiguity. In the mental asylum that the swathe of socialist countries was, even language was pathologized. It mutated into a weapon of self defence, a verbal fortification, a medium without a message, replacing words with vocables. Easterners (in this text, the unfortunate residents of the Kafkaesque landscape which stretches between Russia and Albania) don't talk or communicate. They fend off. They hide and evade and avoid and disguise. In the planet of capricious and arbitrary unpredictability, of shifting semiotic and semantic dunes, that they inhabited for so many decades (or centuries) - they perfected the ability to say nothing in lengthy, Castro-like speeches. The ensuing convoluted sentences are Arabesques of meaninglessness, acrobatics of evasion, lack of commitment elevated to an ideology. The Easterner prefers to wait and see and see what waiting brings. It is the postponement of the inevitable that leads to the inevitability of postponement as a strategy of survival.

It is impossible to really understand an Easterner. The syntax fast deteriorates into ever more labyrinthine structures. The grammar tortured to produce the verbal Doppler shifts essential to disguise the source of the information, its distance from reality, the speed of its degeneration into rigid official versions. Buried under the lush flora and fauna of idioms without an end, the language erupts, like some exotic rash, an autoimmune reaction to its infection and contamination. And this newspeak, this malignant form of political correctness is not the exclusive domain of politicians or "intellectuals". Like vile weeds it spread throughout, strangling with absent minded persistence the ability to understand, to agree, to disagree and to debate, to present arguments, to compare notes, to learn and to teach. Easterners, therefore, never talk to each other - rather, they talk at each other. They exchange subtexts, camouflage-wrapped by elaborate, florid, texts. They read between the lines, spawning a multitude of private languages, prejudices, superstitions, conspiracy theories, rumours, phobias and mass hysterias. Theirs is a solipsistic world - where communication is permitted only with oneself and the aim of language is to throw others off the scent.

This has profound implications. Communication through unequivocal, unambiguous, information-rich symbol systems is such an integral and crucial part of our world - that its absence is not postulated even in the remotest galaxies which grace the skies of science fiction. In this sense, Easterners are nothing short of aliens. It is not that they employ a different language, a code to be deciphered by a new Champollion. The Cyrillic alphabet is not the obstacle. It is also not the outcome of cultural differences. It is the fact that language is put by Easterners to a different use - not to communicate but to obscure, not to share but to abstain, not to learn but to defend and resist, not to teach but to preserve ever less tenable monopolies, to disagree without incurring wrath, to criticize without commitment, to agree without appearing to do so. Thus, Eastern contracts are vague expressions of intentions at a given moment - rather than the clear listing of long term, iron-cast and mutual commitments. Eastern laws are loopholed incomprehensibles, open to an exegesis so wide and so self-contradictory that it renders them meaningless. Eastern politicians and Eastern intellectuals often hang themselves by their own verbose Gordic knots, having stumbled through a minefield of logical fallacies and endured self inflicted inconsistencies. Unfinished sentences hover in the air, like vapour above a semantic swamp.

In some countries (the poorer ones, which were suppressed for centuries by foreign occupiers), there is the strong urge not to offend. Still at the tribal-village stage of social development, intimacy and inter-dependence are great. Peer pressure is irresistible and it results in conformity and mental homogeneity. Aggressive tendencies, strongly repressed in this social pressure cooker, are close under the veneer of forced civility and violent politeness. Constructive ambiguity, a non-committal "everyone is good and right", an atavistic variant of moral relativism and tolerance bred of fear and of contempt - are all at the service of this eternal vigilance against aggressive drives, at the disposal of a never ending peacekeeping mission.

In other countries, language is used cruelly and ruthlessly to ensnare one's enemies, to saw confusion and panic, to move the masses, to leave the listeners in doubt, in hesitation, in paralysis, to gain control, or to punish. There, symbols are death sentences in both the literal and the figurative senses. Poets, authors and journalists still vanish regularly and newspapers and books are compiled into black lists with dreadful consequences. In these countries, language is enslaved and forced to lie. There are no news - only views, no interest - only interests, no facts - only propaganda, no communication - only ex-communication. The language is appropriated and expropriated. It is considered to be a weapon, an asset, a piece of lethal property, a traitorous mistress to be gang raped into submission.

And yet in other places in the East, the language is a lover. The infatuation with its very sound leads to a pyrotechnic type of speech which sacrifices its meaning to its music. Its speakers pay more attention to the composition than to the content. They are swept by it, intoxicated by its perfection, inebriated by the spiralling complexity of its forms. Here, language is an inflammatory process. It attacks the social tissues with artistic fierceness. It invades the healthy cells of reason and logic, of cool headed argumentation and level headed debate. It raises the temperature of the body politic. It often kills. It moves masses. Submerged in and lured by the notes issued forth by the pied piper of the moment - nations go to war, or to civil war, resonating with the echoes of their language.

Language is a leading indicator of the psychological and institutional health of social units. Social capital can often be measured in cognitive (hence, verbal-lingual) terms. To monitor the level of comprehensibility and lucidity of texts is to study the degree of sanity of nations (think about the rambling "Mein Kampf"). There can exist no hale society without unambiguous speech, without clear communications, without the traffic of idioms and content that is an inseparable part of every social contract. Our language determines how we perceive our world. It IS our mind and our consciousness. The much touted transition starts in the mind and consciousness determines reality. Marx would have approved.

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This material is copyrighted. Free, unrestricted use is allowed on a non commercial basis.
The author's name and a link to this Website must be incorporated in any reproduction of the material for any use and by any means.

Sam Vaknin, PhD -
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:24 am    Post subject: Revealing Insights into Macedonia Reply with quote

Revealing Insights into the Politics, History & Culture of Macedonia

Homo Balkanus

The Elders of Zion

Herzl's Butlers

The Dance of Jael

The Rip van Winkle Institutions

The Eureka Connection

The Author of these Articles is a Racist

The Poets and the Eclipse

The Honorary Academic
on higher education & Macedonia's Brain Drain

The Caveman and the Alien
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egad, Blimey..what wonderful use of language
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But what does it MEAN ? What are all these words FOR ?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to bed and woke up, and i was still readin it.

My local is run by macedonians. i hear they cheat the taxman thru certain ruses such as buying their stock from retail outlets, thus avoiding a record of their purchases.

does that help/? Laughing
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