Photo: Michael Grant Wildlife/Alamy
Photo: Michael Grant Wildlife/Alamy

When a certain Atlagic mentioned me in Parliament and declared me a traitor to Serbdom (supported by quotes from an interview where I insulted Aleksandar Vucic, who is apparently “Serbdom” itself, according to Atlagic) he used the nickname “bumblebee” to refer to me several times.

I’ve been interested in nicknames for so long that I even tried to write something of a “Nickname dictionary”. I’ve spent years collecting nicknames from friends, acquaintances, and strangers, convinced that those funny nicknames, as true one-word sublimations of a character, are one of our nation’s greatest achievements. I gave up on this idea when I realized it was a project that would require serious research, and not just some silly hobby.

This time, I was the one who had been graced with a nickname. Interestingly, before Atlagic’s three-day (?) tirade on traitors among University professors, I’ve never heard anyone call me that. At first, I thought that he had confused me with the actor Branko Cvejic, whose character Bane “Bumblebee” from the famous TV show “Grlom u jagode” is well-known and beloved. Actors, directors, artists, they are all the same anyway, Atlagic thought.

When I gave up on this idea as too stupid even for Atlagic, I thought that it refers to my appearance. He was trying to point to the fact that I’m overweight. He took my physical deficiency and used it as an argument to support his thesis on the deficiency of my spirit. I’m not pretty enough to be good. This conclusion didn’t seem right, either, if you think about the appearance of his party colleagues, his fellow accusers of treason. Martinovic, Risticevic, Gojkovic, am I uglier than them? No, this couldn’t be the reason he used that nickname.

Finally, I thought that maybe this nickname wasn’t invented by the SNS brigade. Maybe it’s the codename used by the State security service for me. When I was doing research for my play “Pandora’s box”, I had an opportunity to review many documents of the State security service and found that many persons of interest from those documents had nicknames like “Professor”, “Neo”, “Blondie”, etc. Maybe someone from the Service gave me this nickname? If this is true, it means that all the ruling party MPs are in some kind of collusion with the Service, whose data on their political and ideological opponents are constantly at their disposal. Maybe Atlagic, while preparing for his three-day solo aria in the Parliament, asked the Service for data on me and used their nickname automatically.

At that moment, I remembered my conversation with Vasilije Popovic, who used the pseudonym Pavle Ugrinov as a writer and was known as Vasa “The Beard” as a theater director. I was a young man, a student, and he was a man who directed the mythical “Waiting for Godo”. He told me: “You know, the only true heroes of our time are members of the Service. They are the only constant in the state. This is because they are at the source of information, they are the first to know everything”. Ever since that conversation, I’ve realized on many occasions how right Vasa “The Beard” was. The only thing I don’t know is who gave him that nickname – the actors at the theater bar, or his true heroes?

Translated by Marijana Simic

Pešč, 27.09.2019.