Saturday, September 15, 2007
While in Cleveland last month, I read "Macedonia: What does it take to stop a war," a recent comic book by Cleveland's own Harvey Pekar. He co-wrote it with Heather Roberson, and Ed Piskor drew it. Unlike "American Splendor," it's not about Harvey. It's about this Berkeley peace studies student who goes to Macedonia to study peace. More precisely, Heather goes to Macedonia to collect evidence to support her thesis that war is not only not unpreventable, but that conflicted parties avoid wars all the time around the world. It's just that peace is not photogenic, while wars and genocides make the headlines. Which reminds me of an old Top Lista Nadealista (Bosnian Monty Python) fake-news skit in which breaking news is: "this just in: peace keeps breaking out all over Yugoslavia!" And the skit was funny and sad because it was filmed as armed conflicts were breaking out and Yugoslavia was sinking into horror. But, at the same time, the southernmost part of Yugoslavia, known as Macedonia, stayed peaceful, though rife with ethnically-based conflicts, which did escalate in 2001, but nevertheless the country has always managed to keep all-out war at bay.