Oblivion on Display
All I see is chaos
in the faux news coverage
of divide and conquer tactics
that steadily pours forth
from low frequency broadcast systems
Damaging every neuron synapses
in society’s so-called sanity
as the static noise
of Balkanized black and white
games of deceit
muddies the waters of truth
and keeps the human species
groping in the darkness
for a light
as the voice of reason
is muted silent
while flicker rate advertisements
and melt gray matter
into a puddle of idol worship
The Balkans is a cultural area in Southeast Europe, named for the Balkan Mountains, lying between the Adriatic, Ionian, Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas. However, it is not a precise term and generaly is used to describe the political rather than geographical borders of the countries there, thus encompassing territory beyond the peninsula itself while excluding the section that is part of Italy. The Balkans, therefore, are: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Greece, and Turkey. Although it is the poorest, least developed part of Europe, it was the first areo on the continent where farming cultures plantedthemselves (during the Neolithic era, in the 7th millennium BCE), and the Starčevo (ca. 6200-5200 BCE), the similar Criş (or Körös) (ca. 5800-5300 BCE), and Vinča (Turdaș or Turdaș-Vinča) (ca. 5700-4500 BCE) cultures were among the world's earliest civilizations -- the latter developing a form of proto-writing even before the Sumerians and Minoans, from as early as 5300 BC. "Balkanization" is a geopolitical term describing the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller units that are often hostile to or uncooperative with one another. It has strongly negative connotations, though some have tried to use it in a positive sense, equating it with the need for decentralization and sustainability of some particular, distinctive group within a larger society. The term was coined in the early 19th century to describe the situation on the Balkan peninsula as new nations broke off from the Osmanli (Ottoman) Empire (invariably as the result of particularly bloody revolts and suppressions), beginning in 1817 and lasting until 1912, but it came into common usage just after World War I as other countries in the area emerged from the further breakup of that empire as well as the Austro-Hungarian one. The Balkans fragnebted even further wuth the breakup of Yigoslavia in the 1990s.ReplyDelete
The Balkans used to be known as "Haemus," perhaps named after a Thracian king who was vindictively turned into a mountain by Zeus or from the Greek word "haema" ('blood') describing the blood shed on the mountains by the monster/titan Typhon in a battle with Zeus. By the 14th century, after the Ottoman conquest of the area, the Muslims began calling the area "Balkan" (mountain) instead, and the practice was formalized for Europeans by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808. Balkanization, in addition to its application to geographical break-ups around the world, has also been used metaphorically to describe other forms of disintegration, such as the subdivision of the internet into separate enclaves or, in American urban planning, the process of creating gated communities.
George Gordon (Lord) Byron was recruited to promote the Greek war of independence against the Turks in April 1823, but in typically extrvgant fashion he decided to take a much larger role, spending £4,000 of his own money to refit the Greek fleet, then sailed for Missolonghi in western Greece to join Alexandros Mavrokordatos, a politician who commanded the local Greek forces, arriving on 29 December, less than a month before his 37th birthday on 22 January. They prepared to attack the fortress of Lepanto at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth. Byron employed a fire-master to prepare artillery and, despite a complete lack of military experience, he took command of the Souliotes, Greco-Albanian soldiers who had established an autonomous confederacy in the remote mountains of Epirus by 1660 and were reputedly the bravest of the Greek forces. Byron fell seriously ill in February, possibly suffering two epileptic fits within a fortnight, and the Soulites demanded more money from hims and revolted. Though recuperating he continued to perform his duties but was caught in a rainstorm in early April and contracted a violent cold in April. Therapeutic bleeding weakened him in both cases, and weakened him and probably the use of unsterilized instruments gave him sepsis. He developed a raging fever and slipped into a coma before dying around 6 PM on 19 April. The Greeks embalmed him, but removed his heart and buried it at Missolonghi before shipping the rest of his remains home. Huge crowds gathered to view his body as it lay in state in London, but Westminster Abbey, the traditional burial site for the great literary figures of England, refused to take him due to his well-deserved reputation for "questionable morality." This is the last poem Byron wrote, on 22 January 1824, "On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year":ReplyDelete
‘Tis time the heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!
My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze–
A funeral pile.
The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.
But ’tis not thus–and ’tis not here–
Such thoughts should shake my soul nor now,
Where glory decks the hero’s bier,
Or binds his brow.
The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.