From my own experience, I remember the way that the old infamous Yugoslav People’s Army was homophobic in the extreme – when someone was discovered as having homosexual inclinations, he was instantly turned into a pariah, before being formally dismissed from the army – and yet, at the same time, everyday army life was excessively permeated by an atmosphere of homosexual innuendo. For instance, while soldiers were standing in line for their meal, a common vulgar joke was to stick a finger into the arse of the person ahead of you and then to withdraw it quickly, so that when the surprised victim turned around, he did not know who among the soldiers sharing a stupid obscene smile had done it. A predominant way of greeting a fellow soldier in my unit, instead of simply saying ‘Hello!’, was to say ‘Smoke my prick!’ (‘Pusi kurac!’ in Serbo-Croat); this formula was so standardized that it had completely lost any obscene connotation and was pronounced in a totally neutral way, as a pure act of politeness.
There is a well-known anecdote about Picasso: during World War II, a German officer visited his studio and, upon seeing Guernica, was shocked by the modernist confusion of the painting. He then asked: ‘Did you do this?’ Picasso calmly replied: ‘No, you did this!’ Today, many liberals, when faced with violent outbursts like the riots in Paris, ask us, the few remaining Leftists who still count on a radical social transformation: ‘Didn’t you do this? Isn’t this what you want?’ And we should reply, like Picasso: ‘No, you did this! This is the result of your politics!’