Few Americans — intelligentsia, politicians, pundits and historians included — understand the real story behind the violent break-up of the Former Yugoslavia. All they know is, “The Serbs Dunnit.”
So it’s all the more impressive when an artist, a celebrity, a rock legend has a deeper historical sense of the regional conflicts than the Western leaders who escalated the wars there.
Almost without meaning to, in a Rolling Stoneinterview published last week, Bob Dylan called out Croatia, underscoring the perversity of its being in the final stages of becoming the EU’s newest member.
Exposure is something Croatia isn’t used to. And so Dylan got a quick lesson in the consequences of calling out those Balkans belligerents who are accustomed to not being called out, settled comfortably as they are in the official, mainstream, ‘correct’ Balkans war script that they successfully sold to the entire world.
Rock legend Bob Dylan has been banned from Croatian radio after comparing Croats to Ku Klux Klan slave masters and Nazis during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. The singer - talking about the roots of racism - had said black people could sense “Klan blood” and Jews could “sense Nazi blood” adding: “And the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”
Now the country’s radio station - Radio Split - has removed Dylan’s new single ‘Duquesne Whistle’ from their hit of the week playlist, news website Index reports.
The legendary US singer and songwriter has ruffled feathers in Croatia by comparing Croats to American Whites and German Nazis in the course of a discourse on American politics.
Commenting on still tense relations between African Americans and Whites, Dylan said: “If you’ve got a slave master or the [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that … Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood”.
Dylan made the remarks in an interview with the music magazine Rolling Stone. Speaking on the occasion of the release of his 35th album “Tempest”, ahead of the November presidential elections, Dylan went on to describe America as a country formed on the backs of slaves.
“If slavery had been given up in a more peaceful way, America would be far ahead today,” he concluded.
The comment about Croats has caused numerous comments on websites that published the interview, prompting some to accuse the musician of not knowing much about history and politics in the Balkans.
By which they mean not knowing the version he was supposed to have bought along with the rest of the world.
Serbs have learned to sense Croatian blood for the sake of survival, but it was always the Croats who had the finest-tuned sniffer for Serb blood, looking for the slightest whiff of Serbness in someone who might otherwise pass for Croatian. Indeed, the justice system of this soon-to-be EU member is still based on it.
The Vatican will surely regret its timing of the following, once it hears from its ruffled Croatian flock — whose back the Vatican has had even through their WWII genocide of Serbs, Jews and Roma, and their 1990s revival of Nazism:
Bob Dylan — who will be hitting the stage of the Saddledome on Oct. 10 — has the blessing of the Vatican, with a reviewer from its official newspaper comparing the singer’s voice to “the finest pastry.”
ROME — The Vatican’s official newspaper has given a glowing review to Bob Dylan’s new album, in the latest attempt to broaden its appeal beyond the rarefied confines of the Holy See.
Listening to the tracks on Tempest was like “biting into a cake made from the finest pastry,” L’Osservatore Romano said.
The newspaper, which counts cardinals and clerics among its readers, devoted two articles to the album, which was released earlier this month. It added that Dylan’s voice remains “unmistakable”, despite the fact that his career spans nearly half a century and he turned 71 in May. […]
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