It is no secret that the President of Serbia starts his mornings by checking the ratings and shares of television shows, in order to prevent any possible indication of deviation from the controlled and anesthetized state of the public.

Zoran Kesic

My stomach turns at human rights defenders crying out against states, governments and their security services that eavesdrop, monitor and control conversations, movement, and daily habits of their citizens.

Though, I am somewhat comforted by the knowledge that one of my guardian angels (and guardian listeners) heard my upset stomach and meticulously noted it down in the daily record of my activities:

‘Sunday, 1:40 p.m. Unusual, slightly annoying sounds from the subject’s abdomen. Suspicious. It could be Morse code or a coded message. Check with the code department’.

A free, democratic society is not an indisputable fact, it is not a permanent and unchangeable state.

It’s more like a running fireplace – if it is not monitored and one doesn’t react on time, the fire will extinguish.

How could the state thwart my plans to cause chaos and overthrow the legally elected government, if it doesn’t listen to what I’m saying.

And farting, of course.

How could (then Army Minister) Aleksandar Vulin know what, say, the Nedeljnik magazine intended to publish (so Vulin publicly commented as if it had already been published), if he had not been given transcripts of private email correspondence between the interviewee and the Nedeljnik editor.

Anticipating moves (and interviews), nipping dark plans in the bud, and – why not – collecting private dirty laundry (that of romantic nature works best), is something that is necessary for maintaining the stability of any society.

It’s simple – the more monitored and wiretapped society is, the less likely it is to do something stupid, and we all know that society is like an unreasonable child.

If it feels free and alone, it will do something stupid.

It will break taboos, it will defile the clear conscience of the government, it will tear reforms… we can only expect mischief from a free society.

And this is the moment we shoot ourselves in the foot, because only a few lines above we were talking about a free society.

Sorry, we lied.

We shouldn’t have said free, but a controlled society.

And not a democratic, but an autocratic one.

So, let’s try again.

A controlled autocratic society (and for the needs of the public and the foreign market – a free democratic society) can be kept under control precisely by controlling everything.

It is no secret that the President of Serbia starts his mornings by checking the ratings and shares of television shows, in order to prevent any possible indication of deviation from the controlled and anesthetized state of the public.

It is also no secret that any step out of line by any member of the ruling party is punished by opening the archives and publishing their dirty laundry in the tabloids.

In the Alan Ford comics, the Number 1 has a booklet filled with sins, to be used as soon as someone steps on his toes.

The Number 1 in Serbia has the same thing.

Every little screw of the complex mechanism of power (about which many, like Donald Duck in that old Disney cartoon, wonder: ‘what does this do, and it doesn’t even work?’), needs to be well oiled and screwed in.

Any loose screw, any hole in the pipe, any valve that would start to leak, could mark the beginning of the collapse and lead to a shitstorm within the complete mechanism.

And that is why twenty-four-hour supervision is necessary!

But this brings us to another (unexpected) question:

As the legendary comic book author Alan Moore would say: ‘WHO IS OVERSEEING THE OVERSEERS’?

A few months ago, we learned that the President of our state was wiretapped, and that this was hours and hours of wiretapped conversations.

Authorities claim that he was wiretapped illegally – so that unnamed chaos provokers (whom the ruling party will never directly call ‘Nebojsa Stefanovic, then Minister of Police’) would find something unsuitable about the President and people close to him, and use it to destroy him personally and dismantle the cluttered mechanism (‘what does it do, and it doesn’t even work’).

Insiders from the police, however, claim that the president was wiretapped indirectly – he ‘barged in’, so to speak, talking to 26 people for whom wiretapping was court approved.

We will probably only find out what the president has to say to ‘persons of interest’ and the content of those conversations after the collapse of the mechanism, and I’ll bet you anything that those who reveal this are his current most ardent supporters and ‘clappers’.

Until then, the huge mechanical ear of this monstrous mechanism continues to listen.

So let us be at peace, because someone above sees it all.

And if we don’t like the idea of being eavesdropped on so much, then we better shut up and not give the eavesdroppers and overseers the material they will certainly use against us someday.

After all, we have proven countless times that we are extremely good in the discipline of silence.

We just need to calm our stomachs.