The darkness of a black hole

By Marko Vidojković

“Yesterday it was two months since the massacre in Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School and today since the massacre in Mladenovac. Thanks to the reluctance of the regime to initiate any steps towards the normalization of society, violence has become a daily occurrence. The cost of living is getting higher and higher and news about barbaric murders and attempted murders in Serbia has become regularity.

Due to the lack of ideas of those who took it upon themselves to channel popular outrage over mass murder, we got to the point where, two months later, the most popular photo from anti-violence protests is one of two girls laughing, one of them holding a banner that says “Violence is what I don’t know! When’s the bus coming?”

Nothing says more about the state of society than that photo and the protesters’ enthusiasm. After two months, everything has been subdued, including that intense feeling of revolt after the mass murders in Ribnikar and Mladenovac. After two months, the weekend protests have achieved nothing, and by not achieving anything, they have actually managed to relativize their cause and fall into oblivion.

Two mass murders, no matter how much we convince ourselves otherwise, are slowly becoming a part of our past, which puts us in a terrible situation where potential crimes that could happen in the future are perceived as something not so abnormal for Serbia.

On the other side of this pitch darkness, the situation is even darker. Since I follow what the regime’s tabloids are reporting, I noticed that any news about the killer from Ribnikar is their daily breaking news.

A “well-informed source” is reporting regularly from the psychiatric facility where the killer is being held. They share in detail the killer’s current health condition, what he talks about, how he behaves, what precautions are taken so that he “does not harm himself or others” and so on, day after day. Of course, such news is followed by comments from readers, usually over a hundred of them, which are a great gauge of the mood of tabloid readers.

Ninety percent of them want the murderer to stay locked up forever and the few who try to oppose this point of view, get public slaps and dozens of minuses on their comment. On the other hand, there is no news about the murderer from Mladenovac, not counting the incident in which he beat up his cellmate. There is sporadic news about his family, but nothing about him. We can only guess why is this so and since the topic is extremely delicate, I would not like to speculate.

I just wanted to warn you. The regime’s tabloids publish nothing by accident. It’s all part of a campaign. The daily coverage of the killer from Ribnikar may be “only” a clickbait, but it may also be about feeling the pulse of the nation and then preparing the public for something that will happen. It’s anybody’s guess what that is.

We must not underestimate the darkness of the black hole that Serbia has turned into.”

(Danas, 04.07.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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