Showing posts from February, 2012

Time to fight

I recently saw the much-talked about Super Bowl commercial starring Clint Eastwood. The one where he urges the American people (using a very “American” way of encouragement) to never give up the fight because in every game there’s always a second half. In Greece and in all of Europe we are acting as if the game has been entirely lost. So, the only thing left to do is to unclog the remains of a “happy” world which is sinking. Recently at a posh mall in the northern suburbs of Athens, I saw this “happy world.” The people there shopped in a carefree manner, buying very expensive goods. Five kilometers away from this mall, people with angry faces were walking past empty shops, forced to shut down because of the economic crisis. This is the future – if we want to accept that the game is over. This is why Greece and all of Europe has the need for a second half. For a new Great Idea, like the Industrial Revolution. Back then, like now, the people found themselves at a crossroads. New social

The corruption of words

I “hang out” on the metro more than I do at cafés. I feel as if it is my retreat - especially these days. Every time I descend into the station, it’s as if I am in a shelter which protects me from the prevailing feeling of melancholy which persists above ground. The people waiting on the clean platforms have more relaxed expressions on their faces. But at the same time, their expressions are more vacant. It’s as if they’ve put on a temporary mask. Once you ascend to the surface, the mask falls. You walk along the streets of Athens, “collecting” various images – broken storefronts, glum faces, burnt buildings and nearby the scorched remains, homeless people. We are living in a vicious cycle – with our nerves on edge, with conspiracy theories, with the homeless, beggars and unemployment, rage and fear, with the constant threat of catastrophe, loads of teargas and disastrous mania. Distortions usually begin with the corruption of words:  when, in the name of “Citizens’ Protection,” you

Athens burning

Last night in Athens, a “neo-barbarian party” was born. Its members were not at all charmed by the old revolutionary idea that the end justifies the means, simply because their only aim is hatred. Above all, hatred for the police. Hatred for everything that symbolizes the city.  They do not really participate in any ideological tradition.  They are “children” of an “eternal present” – with no recollection, without a past and without a vision for the future; their only slogan: “a burning city is a blossoming flower.” This “slogan” unites people of the extreme left and the extreme right – hooligans of the football pitch and people of the underworld – mixing numerous “romantic” authoritarian myths and urban guerrilla warfare tactics. The neo-barbarian party is the mirror image of the main ideas and practices which are embodied (systemically and anti-systemically) by the Greek political parties and entities: animosity towards the common good. It is the flip side of the looting of the st