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Monthly Archives: June 2012

I was digging up some old files tonight, and I found something I wrote some time ago as an experiment of sorts. With tensions mounting in Syria and Iran, I was thinking again if we will ever manage to have peace on this planet. Or, perhaps, the planet will know peace when we are no more?

When people no longer think for themselves,
But blindly stick to their beliefs,
Frozen in time, forgotten by Reason,
Disconnected from Truth, forming a reality of their own.

We own nothing.
Nothing is endless.
Endless waves in a churning sea of knowledge? No, information.
Information is not power.
Power is choice.

Choice not guided by knowledge is random and erratic, possibly erroneous.
Erroneous decisions and misguided principles lead to conformity.
Conform with the norm is what they tell you to do.
Do. Not think.

Never think.
Thought is an overrated process, holding hands with Reason.
My reason to be is my ability to reason.
Without it, I am nothing.

Nothing, no reason to be, but consume: air, water, wealth, souls.
Commercial commodities in a stock market of self-destruction.
Self-destruction is what we call civilization these days.
Days numbering in the billions have brought us no closer.

No closer to the Truth than apes are we. Or less so.
So blindly we stumble to the precipice of time.
And time will bring our oblivion.
And with it, peace.

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Sadly, it seems that Greece is making front page news again for the wrong reasons. This time it was about the spokesman of the extreme right-wing party of “Chryssi Avgi”, Ilias Kassidiaris, who  threw a glass of water at a left-wing party representative and physically assaulted another during a live TV talkshow.

I’m sorry to say that this is not much of a surprise. That is who the members of “Chryssi Avgi” are, even if a large part of their 400.000 voters had not realized this until now. And that is because they received minimal TV coverage before the last elections of May 6th. The error of that exclusion is now plain for all to see.

“Chryssi Avgi” is, in essence, a paramilitary, neo-Nazi group posing as a political party. A small army of thugs and common criminals who have hidden their swastikas in their closets, but are clear about their views on white male superiority.

According to them, the role of a woman is to “produce” children for the benefit of the nation, not argue with men. So, Mrs. Liana Kanelli, a veteran journalist who is possibly the most widely respected member of Parliament of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and is also known to express her informed views strongly, often to the point of rudeness, was too much for Mr. Kassidiaris to stomach.

So was Mrs. Dourou, representative of the now prominent left-wing party of SYRIZA, who was openly sarcastic and contemptuous before the chauvinist Kassidiaris. In the end, Mr. Kassidiaris emptied a glass of water towards Mrs. Dourou and when Mrs. Kanelli stood up in outrage and swatted Kassidiaris with a newspaper, he proceeded to strike her repeatedly on the face.

I might sound “old-fashioned” to some, but in my mind it is unacceptable for any real man to strike a woman. Violence in general is a sign of weakness, even more so when it is applied against someone who is clearly weaker, such as a child, an elderly person or a woman.

Even more so in the case of a 60-year old woman. There were some who claimed that Kassidiaris was provoked. No matter what either of the two women said to him, his actions were simply unacceptable. Mrs. Dourou’s loud comment that “Chryssi Avgi will take Greece 500 years back in the past”, which caused the attack,  was soundly confirmed by the reaction of their spokesperson.

If he was “verbally assaulted” as others argued then he should have countered in the same manner. Unfortunately, verbal communication is clearly not the strong suit of Mr. Kassidiaris or of almost everyone belonging to his party.

For anyone not familiar with TV debates in Greece, the volume of the confrontation might seem extreme. In truth, along with the boom of Greek commercial television at the end of the 1980s came a new culture of televised debates between politicians, which most of the time erupts into loud, heated arguments. But until now, violent outbursts were almost unheard of.

Even worse than the incident itself, there were many who think that Kassidiaris’ reaction was not only justified, but that Mrs. Kanelli actually deserved this attack. How can such a thing be justified within a democracy is simply beyond me. This man is not an “outraged citizen” as some said, but a former and future member of Parliament and his role is not to physically attack his peers, but to represent his voters. With words, actions falling within the boundary of the law, and dignity.

But even if he was indeed an outraged citizen, even if we think that violence will solve our problems, how can the primary target of the patriotic, anti-memorandum Mr. Kassidiaris be two representatives of anti-memorandum parties? How come he did not argue or attack Mr. Pavlopoulos belonging to the “traitorous”, according to the leader of Chryssi Avgi, New Democracy party?

Strange, isn’t it?

But I will admit for the sake of argument that Mr. Kassidiaris made a mistake, that his patriotic fervor got the best of him and his alpha male sensitivies were insulted. However, his subsequent escape, after the crew of the TV studio tried to contain him in a room, in order to avoid arrest proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is a coward who shirks responsibilty for his actions. Just like the rotten politicians which he claims that he aims to replace.

All this from the man who said that journalists must learn discipline and politicians must obey the law.

However, despite all these disappointing events and statements there is a genuinely farsical side to this:

– Kassidiaris pleaded self defense (via a statement to the radio). The poster-boy of Chryssi Avgi who prominently poses with bad-ass attitude before Nazi paraphernalia, and in demonstrations of martial arts techniques claimed self defense because he was struck by a 60 year-old woman. With a newspaper.

– The leader of the extreme right, Christian Orthodox LA.O.S. party, Giorgos Katatzaferis, boldy stated “Fascism has no place in Greece”. Perhaps his party’s most prominent member is a former mentor of the leader of Chryssi Avgi.

– Mr. Datseris, a representative of PASOK also blamed this incident on SYRIZA, claiming that they have cultivated this culture of violence. Funny that when 90-year old Manolis Glezos, WW2 Resistance hero and member of SYRIZA was gassed by riot police there was not a shred of a statement of condemnation from the ruling coalition.

– But the statement that really topped them all was the one by Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who was present during the incident but never even moved. “I did not rise from my chair when Kassidiaris punched Liana Kanelli, because I can’t control my strength and I was afraid that if I rose I would kill him”. This seriously made my day. An otherwise disappointing day.

Intermission #13

We’re sick and tired of your ism and skism game
Die and go to heaven in Jesus’ name, Lord
We know when we understand
Almighty God is a living man
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can’t fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our right