Saturday, July 29, 2023

My Take On What's Happening On Mykonos




I’m honored for a fifteenth time to have been asked to contribute an article to Mykonos Confidential, the classic summertime luxury magazine voice of the island’s storied past, and chronicler of its nonpareil hedonistic present. 


For this summer’s issue I was asked to write an article that presented me with the opportunity of expressing my views on the recent mass of critical attention Mykonos has received from the international press.


How could I pass up such an opportunity?


The text of my article, titled
An S&M Dilemma, is set out below, and appears on pages 48-49 of this link to the magazine.  It kicks off a series of other essays in a section titled, “The Talk: Memories, Opinions & Insights––Conversations, memoirs, visions for the next day of Mykonos.”


All exploring a place unlike any other.


Enjoy—or better yet, think.


An S&M Dilemma.


For many years now I’ve been honored by Mykonos Confidential with an annual invitation to write an article reflecting my thoughts on topics tossed my way by its Editor. It’s a fun challenge I’ve always looked forward to meeting. This year I found the topic particularly knotty (or naughty) because it asked me to focus on the concept “Mykonos: success story or Succession (inspired by the TV series!)”


What gave me pause was that I’d never watched an episode of Succession. Not because the American satirical comedy-drama TV series isn’t great work—for it is rated by some critics as among the best TV series of all time—but because it’s just that. I did not need another addictive series sucking away at my writing time. Nor was I up to conducting the research necessary to make informed mentions of Succession’s fictional plot lines and characters, let alone compare them to Mykonos’ real-life ones.


But, alas, being the decades-long lover of our island that I am, and in appreciation for all that Mykonos Confidential has done over the years to burnish the island’s image through good times and not-so-good times, I accepted. After all, there’s much to be learned from comparing impressions created solely through word of mouth, social media, and commercial hype with those formed by on the ground, first-hand, real-life experience. 


Which brings us to S&M.  Succession and Mykonos.


Let’s start with my clean slate view of Succession. Based upon what I’ve absorbed through simply living in a world driven by media hype and hucksterism, here’s what instinctively comes to mind when I hear mention of Succession: Ruthless Greed, Rampant Hedonism, Incessant Pretention, Unfettered Ambition, Widespread Corruption, Ubiquitous Temptation, Insidious Betrayal, Cold-hearted Revenge, Annoying Hypocrisy, and Ultimate Storybook Comeuppance. 


I’m not suggesting that my impressions are correct or complete, but simply offering what I perceive in admitted ignorance to be The Ten Commandments of the Succession universe.


Now on to Mykonos. I think it’s fair to say that being as familiar as I am with our island’s ways and history disqualifies me from offering up blank slate perceptions of the sort that may be held by those unfamiliar with what has brought Mykonos its undeniable widespread fame and financial success.


So, let’s approach this from a different perspective–with that of those of you familiar with both Mykonos and Succession. How do you compare/contrast the two, and what guidance do you draw from that exercise?  Take some time to honestly reflect upon the question, because no one is asking you to publicly declare your conclusions any more so than you would your vote. 


Putting political correctness and past positions aside, what do you feel in your heart when the subject of Mykonos comes up today? What opinions come to mind at that moment, and how do they differ from those you held in earlier times, back when we all were admittedly younger and undoubtedly driven by different passions and priorities. Do the many changes you have witnessed to the island alarm you, entice you, or not matter to you?


Assuming you have been honest with yourself–something we all need to work on at times–I think we’d agree that things are very different now from “back in the day.” But change is inevitable in our world, and what takes our measure as human beings is how we integrate those changes into our communities in a fair and reasonable manner for all concerned. That is far from a simple task, but an inescapable one for any entity intent on continuing to thrive.


If at this point you’re expecting me to set out The Ten Commandments of Mykonos, I’m sorry to say I’m all out of tablets.  Besides, considering how rapidly things occur around here, I’d likely end up spending more time chiseling away in marble than basking in our Aegean Sea and sun.


In deference to my suntanning efforts, let’s skip to the ultimate question only you can answer for yourself: Does life today on Mykonos resemble a reality-show version of fictional Succession?


And if the answer is yes, should those responsible for making it so receive a BAFTA, Emmy, Golden Globe … or something else?




Jeff’s Upcoming Events:




  1. I love both this post and your approach to it, Jeff!

    1. Thanks, Wendall, that’s great praise coming from you!!! —Jeff

  2. Beautiful piece of writing this.

  3. From AA: Wow, Bro. My guess is that this blog is going to get a huge number of hits, given Mykonos's worldwide reputation for orgies and kinky sex linked with the search term S&M. I myself was reluctant to open it, but then Wendall's comment clued me in that it was safe.
    Fess up! Did you do it on purpose?

    1. I only report on what I know first hand, Sis, so "I'm shocked" that you could possibly think I might have purposefully sought attention by associating Mykonos with "orgies and kinky sex linked to the search term S&M." Shocked! --- Jeff

    2. I'm relieved, Bro, and totally accept your claim of innocence. Forgive me, but understand--we older sisters of brothers always have tot try to keep our younger bothers in line. It isn't easy, especially with a canny one like you.

    3. Moi? Sis, I'm as innocent not sure there's a believable analogy out there these days what with all the spurious denials circulating these days.-- Jeff aka Louis Renault.