Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bronze Bruce Lee

The world's first statue of Bruce Lee has been built -- in Bosnia. It seems the town of Mostar, still reeling from the conflict and hatred that erupted between the Muslims and the Croats, has been able to agree on one thing: that they adore the martial arts superstar who (under suspicious circumstances) died 32 years ago. "This does not mean that Bruce Lee will unite us, because people are different," says Veselin Gatalo, one of the statues backers, "but one thing we all have in common is Bruce Lee." Um, I guess this is a start, though if the majority of the population thinks as Mr. Gatalo does, that region has long way to go before they even come close to their Tito-era conviviality. Can Bruce Lee save the day? Entertainment icons do have a way of bringing people together -- you know all those conversations that start off with your disagreeing with absolutely everything someone says but all-out physical conflict is avoided once the mere mention of the genius of Tommy Boy creeps in? Perhaps that's what we have here, a concept I like to call "superficial mediated hatred delay", a post-post-modern peacemaking tool.