Saturday, June 29, 2013

As A Wise Bird Once Said...

The Sky is Falling! 

But we all know better than to listen to Chicken Little.  And over in Greece, poor Kotopoulaki is about as welcome as Cassandra.  Okay, enough with the bold literary illusions.  It’s time to move on to reality.  Hmmm, that last line should be re-read at least three times by every soul in Greece officially charged with making sure that gorgeous Greek sky stays up there.

Frankly, anything that gets the Greek bureaucracy to look up from the tops of their shoes would be welcome.  Far too many still spend their time lurking around the dark edges of their land, hoping to find whatever pots of gold remain from those bright rainbow times of the past.

The Coalition Partners, Nea Demokratia & PASOK

Greece’s current government is now a two-party coalition instead of three, and its razor-thin majority margin has gone from electric to blade.  The likely largest vote getting party if new elections were called today is grooming its leader to be the next king.  Excuse me, I shouldn’t say “king” for his party (SYRIZA) is an amalgam of five…or is it four…or is it three…socialist parties (with views ranging from North Korean to Swedish).  Yet, from the way his professional image makers are out there packaging him and his party to the world, I think they’re secretly planning a coronation.

SYRIZA’s leader made his mark saying “no” to whatever the other guy said in trying to deal with the crisis.  If the IMF, EU, the ruling coalition, or any of the demon financiers of the West were for it, he was against it.  That makes it easy to say, “I told you so” now.  Smart politics, especially if one conveniently forgets that he refused an offer to form his own government and lead Greece through its crisis.

The Contender

My guess is he thinks it’s time to take his shot, and I come to that conclusion from such things as the op-ed piece placed in this week’s The New York Times titled, “Only Syriza Can Save Greece” bearing a central message of comfort to the west: “SYRIZA would be a good thing for America and the European Union.”  I wonder how that will play at home, where bashing America has been a political staple of the left since the fall of Greece’s Junta dictatorship in 1974—one of the last Greek governments publicly hailing itself as “good for America.”

Frankly, I don’t care who governs Greece as long as the new government’s very first act is to tear down that plaque which must exist somewhere in the secret recesses of the Parliament bearing this inscription: “All ye who enter here make as much as possible of the situation while you have the chance.”

The Parliament

Yes, there are selfless, dedicated public servants working hard to drive their country through its time of direst need.  But far too often they’re compromised or cutoff by colleagues driven only to help themselves.

The Reporter
The Greek people are not fools, no matter how some of their leaders might regard them.  Word is out, more so everyday.  Bankers who drove the country into its horrid corner are reported as being lavishly rewarded by friends in government (inspired possibly by bankers in the US), and the reporter who exposed a list of highly influential Greeks possibly owing taxes on Swiss bank accounts, suppressed for years by Greece’s Ministry of Finance, led to the prosecution of only one person: the reporter.  That he was found innocent didn’t matter to the prosecutor who has gone after him again.  He has his priorities. (Here’s the reporter’s side of the story.)   

Hello out there, the sky is falling! 

If this government fails, and SYRIZA steps in but things remain the same—frustrating the millions who believed its leader’s rhetoric—waiting in the wings is the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi party aka Golden Dawn, currently with 18 members in Parliament (of 300—not of the Thermopylae sort).  It, too, has packaged itself snappily.  Marketing specialists converted its unvarnished message of hate into nationalistic jingo rhetoric, and PR consultants cower those who dare challenge the parties brutal physical attacks upon “enemies of Greece.”

The Chrysi Avgi Party Symbol
The Party in Parliament
The Party in the streets
All that is necessary for Chrysi Avgi to prevail is for good, fair-minded Greeks to do nothing to demand better of their country.  And should Chrysi Avgi’s day come, Greece will know that the sky has fallen…for the Devil shall be ruling its land.



  1. I propose a movie: The guy at the top, who looks as if he buys his suits from Omar the tent maker, will be played by New Jersey's governor Governor Christie, an actor if I ever saw one. The contender will be portrayed by Xavier Bardem. The reporter, of course, will be George Clooney. The reporter will win and be on the verge of leading Greece in the end of the film. The movie will not tell us what happens after that.
    This is why a prefer to write historical mysteries. Awful, bad things happen in my fictional past, justice (sort of) triumphs, and no matter what goes on in my story, we all know the world survived. Greece forever!

  2. Your casting is right on the money in more ways than you can imagine, Annamaria. The Contender's handlers have already equated him to Clooney, the fat guy heads up the likely soon to be extinct PASOK party, and the one left stranded on the couch without anyone to play his role is the current prime minister. As for the reporter...hmmm, perhaps Edward Snowdon is available?

  3. I want Peter sellers back to play all except big Ben who should be digitally embodied as a muppet version of a star wars villain (but not cuddly )

  4. Aha, Shrew, now we're getting somewhere!

  5. We live in divisive times, where everyone wants things THEIR way or NO way, and in those kinds of times, not much good will happen. Unfortunately, history seems to indicate that the only way OUT of divisive times is to go THROUGH truly horrible times, which acts as a "washing machine" to clean out the old hatreds and re-unite (sort of) the divided masses. (The last instance of this cycle was, of course, the Great Depression and World War II.)

    I fear we have much worse times still coming in the next 10-15 years, before we'll once again catch a glimpse of the Yellow Brick Road. I'm not forecasting WW III, as each cycle is different in the details, but looking back through history, the same cycle repeats itself (at least for the past 300-400 years) every 80-120 years. It seems to be driven by the life-span of humans, and shows that we, no matter the usual advice, never really learn from history.

    On the other hand, it's a beautiful day, and I plan to enjoy the hell out of it!

  6. Never has "enjoy the moment" seemed so necessary.
    I fear that I have had some of those "sky is falling" moments this week. This Supreme Court is not able to do anything to move us along as a country. Boehner and his are pretty fascistic if you think about it. Gay marriage is the one exception; they are celebrating in San Francisco.

    1. I, too, agree with you and Everett, Lil, on enjoying the long we don't let the bastards steal away the future.

  7. I have to agree with you, Everett (my God did I actually write those words?), that such horrors seems the inevitable fate of those who do not heed philosopher George Santayana's most famous quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    Or even some of Carlos Santana's.