bad moon rising

Kosovo, a province in Serbia, declared independence yesterday.

I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin.
I see bad times today.

This is the district that in 1999 gave rise to NATO bombing, as Serbs attemped to hold on to part of their ancestral homeland. The problem being, of course, the native Albanians in the province predate the Serbs, going all the way back to the Ilrians. Don’t try to figure it out. Let’s just say a grudge in the Balkans less than 500 years old is a tiff.

dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad moon on the rise.

So the question is whether Serbia will bow to the inevitable and allow Kosovo’s independence, or whether they’ll fight. Since the announcement of Kosovo’s independence was greeted with hand grenades tossed at the U.S. embassy and U.N.’s mission, I have my suspicions.

I hear hurricanes a-blowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

On the other hand, Slobodan Milosovic is out of the picture, so the pols in Belgrade may decide it’s the better part of valour to accept the motion of history. They still must deal with nationalistic factions that have never seen justice after the Bosnian War, and the Russians are backing the Serbs, fearing the situation in Kosovo could lead to uprisings in their own restive republics.

Dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad moon on the rise.
All right!

I wrote about this evil, crazy shit in a play called “Liberation” (recently published by Original Works Publishing), born of my fury regarding NATO’s inaction as Sarajevo, a great city, died a shabby death. I’m afraid I have even less faith in the current administration’s will to do right. I fear for the future. Ironically, “Liberation” opened the week NATO began bombing the Serbs in the Kosovo conflict. It was eerie. In 2003, another production coincided with our invasion of Iraq.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like were in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Any play honest about war is an anti-war play. Any play honest about what modern weapons do to people has to oppose those weapons. It’s inherent in looking at conflict unflinchingly. My heroes are Robert Capa, Ernie Pyle, Tim Page, James Natchwey–reporters who risked their life to bring back pictures you don’t want to see. In my writing about war, I’ve tried to live up to their example. I don’t know if I’ve managed, but that’s been the intention.

Dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad moon on the rise.

So I’m hoping, with all my soul, that cool heads prevail in Kosovo. But I have my doubts.

Dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad moon on the rise.

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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