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June 28, 2010




I believe I am the best columnist in the world. However, I also enjoy your work. I would like to extend friendship to you in the style of various ultras firms, i.e., like Lazio has with Real Madrid.
P.S. You can find my columns when you look at google under klaus gregorsson. I only receive 30 euros for column and am sure you receive more. If you can help me with my financial situation it would be greatly appreciated. If you wish to contact me please write me through the e-mail address eschatologija@gmail.com, and not through the internet website I write for, as I do not want to draw attention to my comments here and lose my job. Please note: I understand there may be mistakes in my work, but it is 1) because I can only work a few hours on each column according to the amount of my honorarium, and 2) because of my youth.

Justin Smith

Klaus, I'm still trying to figure out whether your message is spam or not. On the assumption that it's not, I will say it's one of the strangest I've received in a good while. Naturally, I cannot help you with your financial situation, even if you are the best columnist in the world. I wish you luck however, and I do hope you'll drop the football similes.

Stephen Menn

"The US and Russia were the two powers to rise over the course of the 19th century whose growth involved expansion across and settling of their own frontiers, and establishing sovereignty across the extent of these frontiers." Hm--Brazil? Hasn't led them to think they have a natural right to rule the world, although it helps to explain why they're a bit touchy when foreigners start talking about the internationalization of the Amazon. (China might be another example.) Sorry about the Russian misadventure though. I agree that the "Mitteleuropa" talk can be disturbing and is often racist--"the people immediately east of us, whichever those are, have part Mongol/Turkish/etc. blood and are therefore incapable of democracy, whereas we have been mistakenly confused with such people by our neighbors to the west." I remember reading of Ignaz Goldziher, a proud Hungarian Jew, that he referred to any Jew he disliked as a "Polish Jew," whatever the person's actual background. On the other hand, we've probably talked about all this before.


"In the Balkans, as in 'Central Europe', something they call air-conditioning certainly exists, but not in the same way it does in the finely chilled banks and supermarkets of my Central Californian youth." -- I hope that in the meantime the word about the effects air conditioners have on the ozone layer has spread around, at least in your part of the world. Besides, I am rather surprised that it seems to have escaped your attention that there is a Balkans-wide fashion now of chilling the rooms down to 18 or 19 C in the middle of the summer. Nice for having a walk, but for goodness' sake, why sit in a sweater inside when it is 37 C outside?

"My spouse issues from the Balkans, and I probably need not mention that most of our quarrels are centered around the thermostat. In my imagination, the temperature I come forth to defend is so much more than a temperature: it is a way of life, ..." -- Condolences to my ex-compatriot, then. Tell me, slatka, does he sleep by the open window even in mid-winter, as my Scandinavian-schooled Northern German cohabitant does? And has a scientific Weltanschauungs-explanation for his idiosyncracies? Uh...

Justin Smith

Stephen-- Perhaps if Brazil had had a plain to settle rather than a rainforest, and its prospects for reaching all the way to the Pacific were not blocked by other equally developed states, then it might have had a trajectory similar to that of the US and Russia. (This is just pure speculation, of course, the kind that probably makes historians wince.)

Namcor-- I was hoping it would be clear that I was not defending air-conditioning so much as trying to describe the way one's habitus makes something such as AC feel right... even if it's indefensible. Anyway, in the Ponto-Balkanic region that I know best, the craze you mention has certainly not caught on. I am more familiar with this borderline-non-Balkanic part of the Balkans, where a dear girl is 'draga' rather than 'slatka', than I am with the core Balkan countries. Where exactly these latter are, and why this is such a difficult question to answer, must be the subject for another essay.


Dear Mr. Smith,

If it is possible if you could edit my previous comment here (comment 1) and remove my surname from the above post, as it already appears on google.


[...] "Ah, so like Budapest" [...]



Before a/c there was the Ice Cube. When one has a whiskey (or whisky), one would like an ice cube. Please. Uncivilizations couldn't comply, it's as clear (and as simple) as that.


Fuck you Justin W.E.H. smith for not having the graciousness to accept my request and the multiple iniitials you have to insert in your name to hide its generic fucking essence.


I had a dream to begin my company, but I did not have got enough of money to do this. Thank God my mate said to use the business loans. So I received the term loan and made real my dream.

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