Nataša Velikonja: CATCH THE THIEF! (the thief cries out)
“We ceased to invite Jelinčič on TV, except in matters of Croatia,” a woman editor of the informative programme of the most popular TV channel in Slovenia said at the round table On Journalism, held in the Ljubljana lesbian bar, which is attacked by the neo-Nazis on a yearly basis. Jelinčič is the president of the Slovenian National Party.
Another round table followed. On Poverty. The speeches were delivered by tree chubby and nicely dressed women professors from the university and one governmental woman bureaucrat. Three female students and one male were inside the bar, and a bunch of people in front of it. I asked the lesbians what was going on and got the answer “ah, inside the rich are talking about poverty, while we, the poor, are staying outside.”
One just needs to look at Ljubljana’s galleries and at its streets to see who is to live and who should die. You are to live and I should die – let’s cut it short. Étienne Balibar is also to live, not to mention the audience of scientific symposia. Even of round tables.
But not me, for I don’t have literary awards, this is what your friend’s opinion is, the member of the selection jury of the Slovenian Book Agency, philosopher by profession. The awards, on the other hand, have been given to the poet who, among other things, wrote a picture book on miscarried embryos. So much as for what concerns the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis.
Furthermore: This year, the City Municipality of Ljubljana used a bureaucratic trick to abolish financial support for the Lesbian Library. The municipality woman bureaucrat’s opinion being that the Lesbian Library – one of the two remaining in the whole of Europe – is not eligible to receive financial aid. Also in the current city selection jury is one of your friends. Perfect conjugation. All of you, ethnologists, from the United Union of the Congo.
Don’t you hear? Should I continue? Are you familiar with the lesbian publishing house Naiad? No, you are not, because it was abolished as soon as Jeanette Winterson – the writer of two lesbian books, one untranslatable and the other about Christians, while now she is into cybernetics – stepped foot into the generic publishing house. The straights have had your say. You are to have lesbians in chains, and take multiple award winners of the generic publishing houses to Indian restaurants to have them rub the dirty dishes to glitter.
Are you familiar with the gay publishing house Gay Sunshine? No, you are not, because it was abolished as soon as gay Miki Mouse stepped foot in the generic publishing house. Are you familiar with the gay and lesbian organisations in Slovenia? No, you are not, because the advocates of legal interests for homosexual rights in the national parliament are the Catholic Church, the civil initiative for family and the rights of children, as well as four occasional homosexuals. Who is responsible for all this? You are.
You think you are innocent. If you have at least one lesbian in your generic publishing house, then you are innocent. If you have at least one gay in your generic institute, then you are innocent. With the passing decades of the gay and lesbian movement, you have created a new kind of homosexual, segregating him from his kind, elevating him into your rank, having him consulting you on matters of homosexuality, having him thinking that homosexuality is a family issue because you say so, since to you your whole life is a family issue and he does not even have a clue about his wrongs, he breached the wall and found himself shooting propaganda films for the army in the fashion of Spike Lee.
The other day, the homocons cried promiscuously “Catch the homocons!” They partook in all the round tables, crying “Stop the violence, we want marriages!” No feminists were present, which was another stumbling block. The homocons demand recognition, but would not get it from the feminists. Not even from lesbians. Maybe they will get it from women who sleep with women. Again, the homocons cried, “Let’s show the cultural difference of the homosexual community!” Two hundred straights of the Slovenian world of stars were present at this year’s Pride Parade. One of them was found guilty last year of a violent attack on a woman in a disco club. Another one recorded the anthem for Slovenian patriots. The speeches were delivered by four men, alternately straight and gay. And so goes the story with this cultural difference.
Don’t you hear? A thunderstorm is raving above my head as I wonder if what I’m writing will be saved or destroyed by a stroke of lighting. “If I have an interview with a homosexual, then for the sake of the dynamics I myself take a right stance,” said a journalist of a daily at one of your round tables, “I myself become Ljudmila Novak a little,” she said. And continued: “The Archbishop Stres is right: Catholicism is against homosexuality and he has the right to such an opinion.” Just as the Catholic Church will soon get the right “in this title,” as they say nowadays, to send her back in time, from the public sphere, from the intellectual profession into the past, to the goats on the pasture – to her fifth year of age and then to slavery in a town bureaucrat’s or a chosen philosopher’s home. But for now, at least for a day or a year, she doesn’t want to have her name on the list equipped with the postscript bang! She will live as well.
Everywhere there are nations that demand the lynching of them all: lesbians, gays, the libertines, anarchists, communists, lawyers, politicians, and the lefties. Everywhere there are neo-Nazis, in every pub and garden, they cry out “Tomorrow belongs to me!” And the other front of this war is represented by you, the city women bureaucrats, the homocons and philosophers from the selection juries. Out of those various flowers and diversity and difference and otherness of yours, you have drawn a child’s drawing, the ones having yellow shirts, the others green ones and the rest blue ones and, of course, the three ever-present caro shirts could not be missed either. Go ahead, analyse your own doing yourself! You have all the time, money and possibilities.
“The Lesbian Library hasn’t been granted funds,” I said, and a colleague, a gay activist, replied, “Well, I guess more lobbying will be needed.” He might have thought of how well he said that, how smart and cunning his chatter was, as he repeated once again, “Well, I guess more lobbying will be needed,” and none of these new homosexuals – whose elder brothers and sisters were, decades ago, brought out of the closet, from prison, from under the gallows and so on, by public politics – have any clue about what they are doing wrong.
And this year again, the neo-Nazis were throwing the Molotov cocktails into the lesbian bar for three consecutive days – before, during and after Slovenian Statehood Day – just as they did last year and just as they will do in the year to come, up until the moment when all homosexuals and lesbians will be well married and when everyone of you will be on the pasture, and the streets will be empty or there will be no more, and war will stop and Peace will prevail.
Urška, Tanja, Brane and I went to the Kinoteka Cinema to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Seated in the last row, as it should be, we were wondering whether the audience would be collaborating. While we were waiting, the film started, and still waiting, listening in the dark, I asked Urška “Is anybody singing,” “I don’t think so, nobody is,” she replied. There were no Transylvanians, no vampires, no freaks, no woman Goths, no Goths at all, only spectators in yellow, green and blue shirts and, of course, caro shirts, watching the film. Tanja whispered to me, “I’m right at the point of having an attack of shoplifting.” People were sitting and TRULY watching the film. Then, we started having fun ourselves, singing, cracking jokes, waving with lighted mobile phones, Urška with a lighter, all this in the first five minutes of the film, and there came the hostess, “Turn off the lighters, will you.” Brane’s laughter spread across the room right over the seats, “hee hee,” as he leaned towards Urška, saying, “Have you experienced a generational abyss?” When the film was over, we went out into the street for a cigarette, Atila and Ana Marija joined us. Standing in front of the Kinoteka Cinema, Ana Marija was harassed by a guy, “Were you one of those who yelled in the back?” Ana Marija answered, “But that’s the whole point of the film,” and he replied “O, no, no, I came to see the film in tranquillity and I don’t like people TALKING at the cinema.”
I recall the concert of the Pomaranča band. Must have been in my elementary school days when I was a metal girl. The concert was in the Nova Gorica House of Culture, seats were set up. The band started rocking, us teenagers jumping on our feet, banging, and there came the security guard, yelling and finger-pointing at us to sit down. And so we listened to the concert of a heavy metal band seated. It was around the turn of the Seventies into the Eighties and now with the passing of decades of alternative cultures and lives, the same projection machinery governs, the same institutions are still existent which fail to know either what’s going on or who the target audiences the events are organized for, events that they deprive of meaning and context, leaving nothing but empty markers and zombies. Enough.
Who is responsible for this? You are, too. This is your closed circle.
However, people want to be surrounded by beautiful flowers. We were sitting at a table in front of a bar, you, sitting opposite to me, all moody, saying out loud in anger, “We must do away with this mentality once and for all!!!” Almost pounding the table, you cried, will there ever be peace?! I thanked you for coming. This is where you notice the distance from. It’s obvious it drives you mad. That’s why I’m doing it.
Nataša Velikonja is a sociologist, poetess and lesbian activist. She lives and works in Ljubljana.
Translated from Slovenian by Tanja Passoni.