A Death In Syria

Serb in Ukraine 2In the summer of 2017 a young Serbian man died in Syria. He was the first Serb to die fighting Islamic State. The international news didn’t notice. His fellow supporters of football team Vojvodina Novi Sad put up a tribute on Facebook.

Dimitrije Sasa Karan (Димитрије Саша Каран) was 24-years-old when he stepped on a landmine. He had a wife and a young son.

His path to the battlefield started in the terraces of Novi Sad. Born in the Bosnian town of FočaKaran moved to Serbia as a child to avoid the civil war that wrecked Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He got involved in the Novi Sad football scene as a teenager.

The team had a fanatical fan group called the Firma (Фирма). Chanting, flares billowing smoke, drinking, expensive casual clothes, nationalism, the occasional fight. A Serb version of Italian ultras and British hooligans.

Karan loved the life. He became a Firma leader.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Woody Allen Fights a Kangaroo

Kangaroo_Boxing_sideshow_posterWe know Woody Allen as a neurotic Jewish-American comic who married his girlfriend’s adopted daughter and made many classic films along with some terrible ones. Everyone loves Annie Hall, a warm and funny comedy about relationships. Everyone hates Hollywood Ending, where the main character is blind and the audience wish they were too. And deaf. And watching something else.

But British audiences in 1966 knew him as the man who boxed a kangaroo at the Hippodrome. Sure, why not?

Continue reading