Izadji i osramoti se

Yesterday after playing a concert (which visitors say was excellent), the musician Darko Rundek was walking with friends down Knez Mihailova in Beograd when he was first insulted and then attacked by a group of young men.

Darko Rundek is an outstanding musician and, by all accounts, a most decent person. This was a stupid act by stupid people. Although he was slightly injured, he intends to play the remaining concerts he has scheduled.

Update: The image that keeps coming back to me is the conversation I had with a friend (a celebrated Serbian poet) after we had the pleasure of being shouted at and tear gassed by a group of young men no doubt quite similar to the ones who attacked Darko Rundek. He told me, "their goal is not to hurt you physically, but to force you to spend the next several days looking at everybody you see in the street with fear." This is where the anonynimity of the violence (yesterday's attackers have not been caught, and most likely never will be) comes in. It would be possible to look at every young man with a short haircut and wonder whether that person is a violent fascist. But the potential margin of error is huge (I have a short haircut myself, even if I am no longer young), and eventually you feel sick with yourself for thinking that way. Which is why normal people need Darko Rundek and his charming music, and why so much violence is directed at removing the foundations of normality.

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