Aug 9, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

I have had a slight obsession with the Republic of Georgia, stemming initially from an enthusiasm for old-style Georgian semi-sweet wines (Kindzmarauli, Saperavi, etc.) beginning with having been served some by Fulcrum editors Philip Nikolayev and Katia Kapovitch, which are best drunk with the Georgian dish of Chicken Tabaka, a simple, sort of savage preparation of a small chicken fried under a heavy weight, giving the bird the appearance of having been stepped on by a Transformer or something. Later on, I encountered, completely unrelated to anything to do with the wine, a piece on Georgian polyphonic choral music on the Naxos podcast and fell in love with that as well. After seeing a performance by the State Ballet of Georgia in the fall at BAM, I started looking at what is entailed in flying to the region (not cheap) and any famous Georgian poets in translation, or which could be translated at the behest of a Fullbright or something like that. Perhaps I still will someday, if there is anything left of the country following recent developments.

While it is unclear who actually started the conflict, far be it from a citizen of the United States in these times to pass judgment on the actions of any nations. Most importantly, nations start wars, but people fight them, and a war is a tragedy for the people on either side. Hopefully the situation will end quickly, and escalate into something scarily larger. It is always worrisome when the old Cold War adversaries find themselves on the wrong side of any issue; particularly with the adenoidal lunatic in charge of the country at this time (there's still 4 months to *really* fuck things up), though so far our imperious leader seems to be stifling himself.

I must say that it is alarming how the former superpowers of late behave as though they are kindergarten playground bullies desperately clinging to their sovereignty as the rest of the world moves on to the third grade and becomes to smart for them and they unleash their wrath upon the littlest kids in the class. They level entire countries to chide the actions of dubious, relatively powerless governments as though military might itself were the only moral prerogative in the world.

Anyway, too much in regard to a situation I probably know too little about. But here is a Muxtape of Georgian in honor of Georgians on both sides of the mess.

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