Thought for the day

"I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." -- Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine



Some good things come out of war, and the image of this young couple embracing lifeless bodies for days on the road strikes a chord in even the toughest observers of all sides of the conflict. Killed by sniper bullets, the bodies of childhood sweethearts lay in their final embrace for seven days. By the time they were eventually removed from Sarajevo's Vrbanja Bridge – still embroiled in them – they had become symbols of enduring love caught in a senseless war. This is the story of Romeo and Juliet of Bosnia. The Siege of Sarajevo (1992–1996), part of the Wars of Yugoslavia, was responsible for destroying the lives, families and futures of many residents. Nothing is more tragic than the story of childhood sweethearts Bosco Brikic and his girlfriend of nine years, Admira Ismic. What's different about this love story is that she was a Bosnian Serb or Orthodox Christian, and she was a Bosniak Muslim. There was an unexpected love between two 25-year-olds in the midst of an ethnic conflict. As the siege got progressively worse, those who could have survived did so. Bosco's father died, and the rest of his family lived in Serbia. He could have survived alone. He did not do so and decided to stay with Admira in Sarajevo until life became too difficult. After a year under siege, the couple decide to flee to Bosco's family.