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  • Lazar wrote on November 15, 2012 report

    Mr. Conrad,

    after reading your intro about Belgrade and Serbia I immediately recognized that you've been brainwashed by the main stream media propaganda in the U.S. Well, you are not the only one, so I wasn't surprised at all.

    Then, I've read your impressions about music that happened in Belgrade and I really enjoyed it. Congrats, I think you have a great ear for jazz. It is also really well written.

    Your conclusion, however, almost made me die laughing. "This people that started one war after another, and lost them all." is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read. At least look up a little bit of history about Serbia and Serbs, especially WWI period, before you post such nonsense.

  • Michael Ricci wrote on November 16, 2012 report


    Mr. Conrad is quoting author Åsne Seierstad. The entire paragraph:

    Åsne Seierstad, best known for The Bookseller of Kabul (Little, Brown & Company, 2003) wrote a book about Serbia called With Their Backs to the World (Virago, 2005). It is about the Serbian "mythology of victimization." She calls Serbs "these outcasts of Europe. This people that started one war after another, and lost them all." It is because of Serbia's recent isolation from the community of nations, and its recent efforts to turn its face back to the world, that a jazz festival in Belgrade is especially important.

  • Lazar wrote on November 16, 2012 report


    what makes you think that you have the right to patronize me? My name? How dare you.

    Please point out where in my comment did I attribute the quote to Mr.Conrad.

    The fact that there is some "author" does not make a quote right. Mr.Conrad is responsible for posting utter nonsense. Why don't you try to question that Michael?

  • John Kelman wrote on November 17, 2012 report

    In case you didn't know this, Michael Ricci is the publisher of AAJ. I'm the Managing Editor. I saw nothing patronizing in his response to you. He simply pointed out that Thomas was quoting a book. I can see how your intro paragraph could be taken both ways, but my suggestion is to relax and stop being so confrontational. It's ok to disagree with a writer, that's what these comments are for; what's not ok is to attack a writer, which you have.

    Why not just disagree with him, and cite counterarguments, rather than just flaming against him (and Michael)? That would engender discussion, would it not? And would that not be a better thing, to lead to a better understanding if, indeed, he is mistaken in his understanding?

    I'm glad you liked his coverage of the jazz side, and appreciate your balance in pointing that out. But truly, doesn't understanding come from discussion and not simply attacks and insults?

    Best wishes,

  • Nenad Georgievski wrote on November 19, 2012 report

    I strongly disagree with the idea of Belgrade being the most improbable setting where a jazz festival can occur. If there is one place in the Balkans where it is highly probable to occur, then Belgrade is the place. Serbia has a long history when it comes to jazz that goes deep in the past - pre WWII. I remember what sort of standing the festival had in the 80s, when I was a kid. As an expatriate living in a place near Belgrade I was there when they resurrected this festival in 2005. But even prior to that there were other great festivals that had top jazz artists in its program. Not to mention that Serbia has plenty of local jazz festivals that outnumbers its neighbors', and is a regular stop for high profile artists of different genres.

  • VJ Sluško Kid wrote on November 22, 2012 report


    I seem to have read all of the reviews on BJF, and I wrote few of them myself, and don't see Thomas' sentences misleading in any way. Cause in the first place, he is addressing the American, and in the broader sense, Western European audience, where Balkan is not en vogue anymore. And as we may know, but Chris Hedges would've prolly told ya, the profile of an average Joe has rather changed in the past decade... and your copy of a "A House Much Divided", a late 1980s National Geographic's feature on Yugoslavia, probably won't help you much either.

    I don't see why does the Conrad's ambientation has to take such criticism, verging on an insult, as if we've all came here for a round of mental boxing??? A method by a pinch of history here, and a sip from the vine bar there, was intended to provide few elementary facts, it is not Scott Walker's epic of Slobodan Milosevic's trial or anything... I seem to think that the visiting American writer is always a target too easy.