Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Please Leave The Big Brother House

Two Croatian Big Brother housemates, Matko and Ivan, are on a 'yellow card' and may face eviction following a 3am drunken chorus of a notorious Second World War-era song, Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara, referring to Ustaša concentration camps. To make matters even worse, Roma housemate Hamdija overheard the whole thing, which was shown live on national television to however many nosey insomniacs were actually watching the broadcast then.

Draxblog, true to form, seems to have had the story first. The press are lagging behind, but a trawl of online mag Index (that noted purveyor of Severina videos and the first source to break last year's JGS scandal) reveals that Matko has previous, non-broadcast form in this respect: ten days ago he took advantage of a daily task to send a message of support to fugitive general Ante Gotovina. (Explanation from the TV channel responsible, RTL: they chose not to broadcast the Gotovina incident because it didn't take place during a live transmission.)

JGS was given added infamy last year when a recording of Marko Perković Thompson performing it leaked out on to the net and provoked a month-long showbiz/political scandal. Thompson trades on political sentiment - of the same kind which took his colleague Miroslav Škoro to victory at this year's Hrvatski Radijski Festival with yet another song about betrayed heroes - but also on notoriety, one of the most reliable fuels of the Croatian music biz. As bishop-troubling Marilyn Manson, who this summer played a controversial concert in the Pula Arena, would undoubtedly tell Thompson, if Mr Perković could be persuaded to share a few drinks with him.

The root of the problem, as noted and level-headed Croatian columnist Jelena Lovrić wrote, probably lies with an education system which hasn't prepared young people to critically question sentiments like those. (Indeed, some would say it's done quite the reverse.) The vortex of scandal that surrounded JGS last year seems to have given it a life of its own.

In the same vein, whenever the proud father's next CD shows up, the prurient media can be guaranteed to treat it as if it were an album-of-the-year crossed with a party conference...

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