Monday, 21 January 2008

Breaking Into Politics (with a Sledgehammer)

Well, it’s just my luck that I should decide to make a stand for this poor, ill-updated blog and my PC decides to go haywire for a few stressful days; hopefully, the problem has been solved for now. Anyhow, computers possessed by malign and demonic intelligence NOT being our subject today, let us carry on.

I hate politics and that’s a fact: I have never bothered with it, not even in school. Whenever I found myself I some sort of “committee” or “council”, it was by accident and I was either bored with the self-absorbed people trying to get over the fact they had acne or were chubby or whatever, by “promoting big things”, those who were the cool kids and just loved the attention and further exposure to their “fans” or finally, those who had somehow gotten hold of a copy of Das Kapital from their grandpa’s bookcase (or, more usually, the basement), thought they had read it (an impossible feat for a modern, hormone-crazed teenager, seeing as the damn thing is around 8 volumes thick and all but simple reading) and just HAD to be the people’s voice in a private school for the rich, the very rich and the oddballs (most of my friends – including Ergo Proxy – and I were the oddballs, since past graduates’ kids do not pay tuition fees or at least, they are considerately cut down). The only “presiding council” I ever took to heart (and of which I ended up being, in effect, President, Vice-President, Secretary and Cashier, since only I bothered), was that of the RPG Club. Yes, THOSE were good years but it felt more like shepherding my fellow weirdoes and geeks toward some things I knew (not imagined) we were capable of and that was the end of it: only those people who had love for the game and fun out of it ever cared about what I said; the rest had no love for “the long-haired, bearded RPG guy” but they were afraid of me and eventually, of us, enough to leave us to our own designs and that was enough.

Given my Cypriot nationality (though it was my grandparents on my father’s side who came to Athens, all those decades ago and I am sad to say, I have visited Cyprus very few times), I do not have the right of vote during Parliament Elections in Greece and I am fine with it: not bothering with politics does not mean I do not watch the news or that I put a blindfold around my head, oh no. It means I support no party in the elections, save being against the one that has ruled for too long (and hence, has an easy time out of being corrupt), because I have no political lenses through which to “justify to myself” things such as embezzlement, bogus laws and retarded social conduct. On the other hand, voting has been mandatory in Greece for the longest time, among the countries of the EU (excluding the new entrees), which means my mother (and her mother, until she got too sick to move around and finally died – God rest her soul) has had to drop everything for a whole day, suffer through clogged roads to go to Piraeus and all to vote for some party that would never make it to power (since she has enough of a conscience not to vote for one of the practically hereditary governing parties, ΠΑΣΟΚ or ΝΔ).

Also, politics incite into people (at least in University students) a mentality akin to that of soccer “enthusiasts” (there are of course true enthusiasts, some who just love to see people kick a ball, hence the quotation marks): that of a stampede of sex-crazed apes with no females around, who can vent their frustration only by cracking each other’s skulls. I have seen (and heard it, me being in the amphitheater and the others bashing each other outside) it in my verdammt Physics Department and the neighboring Mathematicians and things get even worse elsewhere, I’m told. Besides, when expressing opinions like my own, you are liable (and it has happened) to be the target of idiotic commentary and verbal attacks (or worse), which has led me to simply keep to myself and have such discussions only with close friends, all the while declining voting incentives by friends with adamant political views. However, Greek reality had reared its ugly head again and a series of unrelated events, involving drugs, soccer, sex, politics, DVDs and journalism, has led me to write this article, the first possessed of political references – so bear with me.

This past Summer, a young photographer is viciously beaten up in Exarchia, downtown, while doing a piece on the face of Athens at night. Anarchists take him for a police agent (who, conveniently enough, does not carry a gun, right?), beat the shit out of him and steal his camera. Meanwhile, a heavily armed police force and prison bus are waiting out the night merrily, just a block away, staring at empty streets where everything is under control. The story makes the papers but no one seems to fret over it.

A month ago, a young woman who had, after much effort, gotten away from the vicious cycle of drug abuse, is abducted by her former “providers” and killed. The media bother with it for a couple of days and that’s it.

March 29th 2007, a 22 (or 25, couldn’t confirm myself)-year-old kid is murdered by “soccer enthusiasts” of the Greek team Olympiakos in Paiania; many others were severely wounded. 4 days ago, another young man (age, 24) is murdered in Loutsa, while his friend is sent to the hospital in critical condition, both knifed by “soccer enthusiasts” again, this time of the Greek team Panathinaikos. The police find out that “it was probably a premeditated hit, since the murdered young man had testified against one of the killers’ brother”. The media (except for the radio, which covered it quite a bit) bother all of 1 day or two (as a backup story to other stuff).

A month ago, started a roller-coaster which seems to take the “all-encompassing” media’s time: the secretary general of the Ministry of Culture, threw himself off of the 4th floor window, trying to commit suicide, after being extorted by “unknown elements”. These elements turn out to be a 35-year-old woman, of who further details are unknown (friend, fuck buddy, call-girl, someone’s sister?), another woman who went to deliver the info to some TV stations and a lawyer. You see, (the married) Mr. Zachopoulos (the secretary in question) had a thing for S & M (and his wife didn’t) and this kind lady indulged him, all the while having set up the proper machinery to record the fun for posterity. With the secretary out of the window but strangely, still alive, all hell breaks loose about who saw the DVD with the “hot stuff”, who delivered it, who filmed it, who got paid for it, who was on top (during the fun) and who, in the end, is to blame and who the fuck cares.

This is one of the videos from a Greek newscast, its end on a loop showing the idiocy of this whole affair. I am sorry to say, only our Greek readers (or those of you who know Greek, of course) will be able to appreciate this fully.

The names of two “journalists” (lowlifes who like to dig dirt on people and either make brainless fun of it or “seek funds” out of them, all the while “revealing the skeletons in the closets”, but for simplicity’s sake I will use quotation marks only here) came to the surface, one being Themos Anastasiades and the other Makis Triantafyllopoulos. The case seems to be (a) that Anastasiades delivered the DVD to Maximou Manor, the current residence of the Prime Minister and (b) has received the sum of 5000000 euros somehow in relation to this case. Seeing as the two golden boys had created a seedy paper together, called “ΤΟ ΠΡΩΤΟ ΘΕΜΑ” (the equivalent of “Breaking News”), Triantafyllopoulos has been cracking his moral whip at his former partner, taking the high ground (since Anastasiades’s fat ass has taken the entire available low one). Now they are called to testify in front of the DA, Anastasiades changing statement after statement (“the money was from a loan”, “the money came from selling the paper’s stock”, “the money came from other, personal sources in order to save the paper from being sold in stock by Triantafyllopoulos” and who knows what next?) and Triantafyllopoulos digging his former partner’s grave deep. All the while, the media are in a frenzy and the government wonders what to do and no one seems to bother with murdered youngsters, the trials of their killers, the “cannibal tribes of downtown Athens” who attack civilians with all manner of excuses or no excuse at all and the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer and pensions are plummeting, for a tomorrow filled with endless, black void and red tape.

Meanwhile, the party of opposition, which chose AGAIN for a leader nothing but a name on an old headstone, instead of someone who could at least argue intelligently, tries to find its ass with a map, for no other reason than to sit on it and spout weakly “they are corrupt, we told you so, see, see?”.

I, for one, do not care what anyone does in his or her bed, if they are gay, straight, S & M, seme or uke or if an idiot journalist with good connections is an informer, a snitch or a plain old peeping tom. Can someone clear the streets of the trash, human or otherwise, can they give the people work and mayhap an illusion of safety? And can they make this poor, little country anything else than the butt of a joke? I say unto thee: “Nay” and so they can fuck off and shove politics up their fat, well-fed asses. If you want to break into politics (but not use it as an excuse to thrash the car of the poor sod living next to you, minding their own business), take my advice and use a sledgehammer. Spider Jerusalem would and did, God bless his filthy soul.

“I hate it here”



RosenRed said...

Wow... Never seen such a condenced description of the greek reality...

But alas you're right, at most points at least.

Has it ever occured to you that BEACUSE nobody sane (ethically) is willing to participate in politics, the road stays open for those who are in it for the $$?


Speedgrapher said...

You have a point there but I am afraid even the sanes ones would go ionsane rapidly...