May 21st 2008 01:18:16 AM
Just a folow-up on this blog post, which mentioned that a Kosovo film crew would be coming to Pittsburgh to take some lessons on a successful litter-removal program that has come to the State Department’s attention as it sweats for its demon child in the Balkans:
Majlinda Bregasi was amazed: Volunteers on a Saturday morning gathered to weed, rake and clean up a small parklet in Pittsburgh’s Mexican War Streets neighborhood.
“In Kosovo, under communism, we had people to do this — but they had no choice,” said Bregasi, a producer and videojournalist for Public Television in her European homeland.
“Here, it’s amazing to see all these people, many young people, volunteering to do this, and they enjoy doing it,” she said.
Bregasi and her film crew picked the best day of the year to see volunteers in the city, Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania come together in neighborhoods, along rivers and streams to pick up, clean up and redd up, all part of the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup program.
On the Allegheny River, John Kelly, owner of Kelly Art Glass in Millvale, said the goal yesterday was to put a dent in the accumulated trash in Millvale and to get younger residents involved in the cleanup.
“Millvale’s charisma seems to happen only when it rains, then all the TV cameras are here,” said Kelly. “But we’re out here busting our butts trying to turn things around.”
Turning things around is the goal of Bregasi of Kosovo. Her film crew will be putting together a one- two- or three-hour documentary showing her homeland what can be done with some initiative.
“I really want to show that if the people want to do something, they can do it,” Bregasi said. “People now let the municipality do it. But to do this, you don’t need money to buy some plastic bags and work gloves.”
Just a comment on this comment by Bregasi:
“In Kosovo, under communism, we had people to do this — but they had no choice.”
What she’s saying here is that communism — a system that is premised on zero faith in humanity’s volition to do what is needed, and on the notion that people must be forced to do what is right — was the only thing keeping Kosovo even minimally functional. Indeed, without communism, Kosovo and Albania today resemble twin trash cans, soon to merge into a single dumpster. Could it be that the iron fist of communism is the best system that can be hoped for, for Greater Albania? That’s what we’re in the deadly, and smelly, process of finding out.