Aphorisms by and via Aleksander Cotric

Serbian aphorist Aleksander Cotric (see p. 30 of Geary’s Guide) sent me excerpts from Serbia’s Secret Weapon, a collection of Serbian anti-war aphorisms compiled by Slobodan Simi?. “These aphorisms are about the Balkan wars,” says Cotric, also a member of the Belgrade Aphoristic Circle portrayed in the film Goodbye, How Are you?, “wars that were happening in ex-Yugoslavia at the end of the 90s, but the consequences of those wars are still very present in this part of southeastern Europe.” Professor Zack Trebjesanin provides a kind of introduction to the volume, writing: “Aphorisms, just like the humorous, lucid slogans in the demonstrations against the dictatorial regime, were the best defence against the planned massive spread of madness through mythomania, exclusion and fervent hatred … I believe that short, meaningful aphorisms, mercilessly unmasking lies and stupidity, helped many people keep their spirit and a clear head.” Prepare to have your head cleared with a bracing dose of Serbian satire…

What kind of a patriot are you when you are not on the list of war criminals?! —Aleksandar Baljak (see p. 10 of Geary’s Guide)

Would you like the lesser of two evils? Let Serbs choose first. —Rade Jovanovi?

We did not die in vain. Our neighbours rejoiced. —Aleksandar Baljak

Every nation has a right to self-determination until self-destruction. —Slobodan Simic

I, too, would condemn the massacre of civilians, but I don’t want to take sides. —Vladan Soki?

These aphorisms are by Aleksandar ?otri?:

The crazy here are not imagining anything; they really are presidents, ministers, generals…

There was no wandering around. We started going the wrong way right from the beginning.

Sometimes they put people in front of tanks. That’s then called a parade.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. That’s our houses burning.