I follow rivers

Did I write about tragedy in my last post? Please excuse me. In Greece we’ve moved away from tragedy, comedy or even farce. It’s the theatre of the absurd outright.

I’m not at all sure that “we’re still bold and beautiful in Greece” as our communist MP Liana Kanelli put it in the British Channel 4; in fact, I strongly doubt it. After four consecutive years of recession and waves of austerity and more austerity coming constantly our way, I think we feel rather disheartened and raged.

But Kanelli was right in that: Just because our MP suffers from paranoia, just because he is in total confusion, refusing to quit even after he has lost Parliament majority, it doesn’t mean that we, the people, go along. We also don’t go along with Europe’s all-purpose costume that its leaders are trying to wear on any country that finds itself in distress. Don’t they know that best-fit costumes are always tailor-made? Apparently not, but honestly they’ll kill us in the process of making us look smart enough for Europe’s mirrors.

Jesus! I should be preoccupying myself with Adele, who is cancelling all her concerts for the rest of the year because of a problem in her vocal cords. Thank God, I can still feel mesmerized by the opening scene in Lykke Li’s official video of “I follow rivers”, despite everything. I’ve always had an obsession with Northern countries, but I never thought I’d have such a strong urge to move to Lapland or perhaps Alaska to in fact stay there. Of course, there is a strong possibility that not even snow and ice are white enough and not even the almost-constant winter night is dark enough to cleanse the Greek paranoia away from one’s skin.


Beware of Greeks bearing referendums

At least three of the five continents, Europe holding the predominant role, have finally come to understand first hand the tragedy that the Greek people are living the last couple of years. Headed by a PM who just can't keep his word, we were first bedazzled spectators and then protagonists in our very own, home-made modern drama. Revisiting the genre, our PM continues to write one after another various scenes of “The annihilation of modern Greeks”, a play which still hasn't reached its climax, let alone its catharsis. Will there be a Deus ex machina? Scarcely. After all, it was a German that said it: “God is dead”.

So we live in a swirl of uncertainty. Every three or four months our PM or another prominent government official make it to the telly to assure people that there will be no more measures, only to belie themselves in less than a week. Meanwhile the standard of living is deteriorating fast. We are witnessing unimagined phenomena. There are people in Greece nowadays who are searching in the garbage for food, there are children who faint at school because they are starved, pregnant women queuing up for church meals, old folks who can't afford their medicine and houses where heating won't turn on at all this winter. Hospitals are closing down, followed by schools and universities.

And you know what? We could endure the situation, if only there was hope that things will normalise eventually. But there isn't. Either way (default or haircut) we have more to lose. And on top of everything, after our PM's intelligent choices, we will forever be ashamed to say we are Greek. I sincerely wish that no other country will have to see first hand how all this feels.


Look who's back

First, it was the translation of a book. Then, another project: the issue of a literary magazine. Both took up way too much of my scarce spare time – it was a time well spent, however. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would, no matter if it took too many sacrifices; if I spent too many sleepless nights; if I had to put a lot of money from my pocket in times of hardship.

What brought me all the way through was my commitment. If a commitment is strong, it’s fuel enough. Mine was strong: it was the obligation I felt to a friend of mine who died from cancer last October. He was the editor of this literary magazine. I had to see thelast issue, featuring him, through. Now it’s done and I’m (hopefully) back to normal.

I thought I might migrate this blog to Opera, since most of my international friends are already there. But I’m fond of Blogger too. So, in the next couple of days I’ll run an evaluation and we’ll see what comes out. In the meantime, hello, friends, I’m back!