And dad got a chance to snap two photos!
She is a little wonder! Thank you!
They can really grab our hearts, our children:)
Yes, this is wonderful!
They are flowers waiting to bloom!
Yes, I see that. Very beautiful.
everything in Greece looks so damn beautiful…even the tiled sidewalk!
The tiled sidewalk is in fact part of the yard of my daughter’s school!
But we can’t enjoy it:
It is the fact that we know that something so beautiful is taken away from us.
It is the every day worries, that have become very pressing.
It is the bitter feeling that some of us never had the chance to enjoy it and yet are asked to pay as if they have.
It is the love for our country regardless of the beauty.
It is the bloody politicians that studied in the abroad, most of them in the US and think like US businessmen, that destroy everything so that they can later sell it for peanuts to their fellow “investors”.
And it is the lack of hope for earthly things, which no matter how meaningless they seem, believing in an other better life, we are attached to them.
And, in reply to your post today, all people wear masks. Some to hide their shallowness, some because they really think that their problems, ideas and personal life is exactly that: their own. But they have to communicate somehow with the rest of the world. In fact if you think of it, savoir vivre, was invented as a way to learn common rules of ecumenically socially acceptable behavior, maybe typified or in a typical fashion, but always better than no rules at all. So Savoir vivre is a mask itself, if you don’t mean it and don’t believe it?
Vassilis, what do you think is gonna happen in Greece? A revolution? rebellion? I mean…everything ive been reading about the government and economy there sounds like it can’t get much worse
It can get much worse, i’m afraid, without it ever getting any better. The laws that have passed the last decade, clearly point to a totalitarian state, much like the patriot act in the US. You can be accused of being a terrorist just by congregating with more than 4 people downtown… They have taken “preventive” steps to fight the oncoming justified protests. But they still going to take away people’s homes, their savings, by cutting the national health people will die much sooner, even before their pension. By using old statistics they have raised the pension age to 67, while the average for men was 73 and women 76. They have passed laws that regulate the salary (minimum wage) in the private sector! With 1.5 millions unemployed and 3.5 millions total in search of a job to increase their income, you can understand that nobody is in the position to negotiate a better salary. All Greece is like a big Wal-Mart, with under payed workers. The minimum wage is 460 Euros per month, but the rents are still high, electricity is higher than even (EU has much to do with it) gas is at a record high, mainly due to the tax (which is 50% of the price!) food is going through the roof (300-400% since Greece joined the Euro) and with the new taxes even home owners pay a “rent ” for their home, without tax reliefs from loans-mortgages etc. They milk us dry, of time, and money. I was offered a job for 460 Euros. It would cost me more to go to that work instead of staying home with the kids. I think that they will figure something out to keep us subdued. Since the revolution or rebellion or whatever we might call it has to have some sort of organizing, usually found in political parties, a spontaneous one is difficult to imagine, unless there is another situation that goes out of control (like the riots in December 2008). Of course with so many shops out of business (one out of 2 in many districts) , the damages and looting would be minimal. I fear that the rival left party is going to be an equal nightmare for us in the middle. They don’t like religion, they don’t believe in the meaning of country and they have a peculiar idea about ownership. Anyway, they might be the next government out of desperation, and maybe even this can be a part of an elaborate plan to keep people quite and desperate, because the last resort-solution without violence will not do any good. Then the entropy would get smaller…
If you haven’t seen “it’s a wonderful life” lately, please do. The situation Frank Capra describes in the first hour of his film is what is going on in Greece right now. I know that in the US this has been a reality for more than a century, and maybe it is even in the genes of Americans. For Greeks that have been fighting for their country and small plot of land, without pause for almost 2 centuries, it is a new kind of war.
Yup, I’ve seen the film lots of times. Maybe I’m wrong but it seems like the situation your describing is somewhat similar to when the puritans and pilgrims left Europe for the new world; many of them were on the low end of the totem pole and had to work crummy jobs, there was no freedom of religion, and they wanted a better life in which they had more control over the government…..obviously there was a lot wrong with the puritans and pilgrims, but in some ways their hearts were in the right place
It is very hard to see the bigger picture when you live in it. And even if you do, it is little consolation when the big picture is a scorched ground in the future. Anyway, I believe that it is very strange that these maggots we have for politicians, are still elected when all they do is favoring the big businesses and not the interests of the many that elect them . But it is no surprise that the first thing they give the masses are ways to kill time (TV, internet, cheap and easy laughs…) while taking away education that lightens up the mind and frees the spirit so it can see beyond their lies. They create a vicious cycle, which unfortunately will be our future if we don’t resist somehow. I don’t really know about pilgrims or puritans, but I guess such balances exist in every part of the world. The bitter part is when you have to convince people of what is good for them, simply because they can’t understand. And what is even bitter, is that there is no easy solution to give them at the same time.
Vassilis, Thank you for sharing a powerful perspective on what has been occurring in Greece. It makes your photos and stories about your children even more wondrous and beautiful. I also share your concerns about the future for the sake of all our children.
Thank you for your kind words. All I am trying to say, is that it is spreading to the whole wide world and people in countries that are considered strong or safe, should be aware and careful with even the tiniest changes. They do it little by little, some times it takes decades, but they get there, because we allow them these little changes. And then you realize that you have to fight 3000 small changes and it is a vast front to fight on your own. Whats more, one of the first things they take back (in exchange of more money) is your time and relations with people. Because without time and relations you just can’t fight back. You are on your own. Even if Greece is lost it doesn’t matter, but it will be a sign that more will follow, because they’ve let it happen. Divide and conquer, is their game. They say it is Greeks’ fault, but then they will say the same thing for every country.
Problems in the U.S. have not yet as advanced or as visible as they are in Greece, but media tends to be silent on the extent of desperation that is developing for all but the elite. During recent years, corporate control of politicians and the media has led to an obsession with meaningless entertainment and increasingly repressive and mean-spirited policies. And yes, countries now compete with each other for corporations that enslave citizens and pollute the environment under the guise of development and progress…
I guess that in some cases ignorance is bliss. Especially if there is little you can do, you might as well enjoy it while it lasts. That is how many people thought when I tried to convince them about the trap we are in, from early 2000. I was unfortunate enough to see and understand the changes from early on in 1998, and couldn’t enjoy the “flight” of the Greek economy, that turn out to be a leap in the abyss. I wonder if we will be dead already when the body hits the ground. It has already been 4 long years of uncertainty, austerity and draining all wealth from people, while diminishing the values of objects, jobs and lives. In Cyprus, without a trial or court decision, they just tapped in the all bank accounts and took 50-70% of all savings! You are guilty until proven innocent and meanwhile we will destroy your life and force you to either lay down and die, or steal. In Greece they did the same with Greek bond holders (they lost 80% of the money they invested and can’t take the remaining 20%, before 2040!) plus they take all savings by heavy taxation and no tax reliefs for families, or other categories. And we are only 10 million people. The money will run out eventually, only the ones that have been stealing all this time will survive. All the rest hard working men, will drawn in debt and be mocked for either trying or accused of being the reason of this down fall. It is happening already.
I really think that knowing that this is global helps people come together to fight it off together. On the other hand, once it reaches a peak, all known communications will cease. It is in their hands and we have little alternative. And yes, the big brother is watching.
I am grateful to learn about events in other countries, and to see the many ways people are resisting and reaching out to others on a global level. It helps give me a reason to continue trying to open the eyes of my students, to help them think critically, and to hopefully inspire them to work together to create alternatives. Thank you for your creativity and courage.
I am grateful as well. Thank you for being here with me today!
Thank you very much! I really like your posts. Malin introduced me to your blog!
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