Janez D. In the House

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the President of Slovenia, Janez Drnovsek:


Yep, that’s him all right. As long-time readers of GJ know, I have a soft spot in my heart for the tiny, plucky nation of Slovenia. I think you’re probably beginning to see why.

I read a profile of President Drnovsek, in the French magazine Courrier International, which I picked up in the airport. Here’s the link, but you need to be a subscriber to read it. The article’s called "A Mutant at the Head of Slovenia", and features a picture of Drnovsek with his head wrapped in a garland of flowers [UPDATE: thanks to Falk for the photo link].

After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, Drnovsek has become, in the Guardian’s words, "the only new-age Vegan mystic who is also a head of state." He’s acknowledged a 20-something year old daughter from a previous relationship (according to the French piece), welcomed the Dalai Lama to Slovenia, and lives alone in a mountain village with his dog. He writes books containing his idealistic musings, and has provoked conflicts with Slovenia’s Prime Minister and Parliament over various issues like Darfur, agricultural subsidies, and NATO, which Slovenia recently joined, but which Drnovsek called "the armed wing of international capital." He calls himself just plain Janez D. on his blog (Warning — it’s in Slovenian! Prolonged attempts to understand this language may lead to confusion).

You can read his "Open Letter to Humanity" in English here: "Selfishness and greed prevail in our times as never before. The consciousness of most people has become sublimated to these characteristics. Countless others are intoxicated by such delusions as television and football. They are not really ‘alive’ – nor are they conscious."

Whatever you think of my homey Janez D. (and I gather that many Slovenians are less than happy with his latest transformation), you’ve got to admire the courage of a European politician who insults football.

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