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09 December 2008

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Dimitrios

The words of Euripides:

"Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

How I loathe Greek anarchists, ridiculous and disgusting practitioners of boutique violence. I'll bet a fortune they couldn't care less about the kid who was shot. It's an excuse to break windows and get their puny stones off on wallowing in hatred and destruction in the presence of a like-minded mob...which makes it OK!

They call themselves anarchists, but just try cutting off their welfare benefits in the name of getting the State off their backs, and see what happens.

They occupy their fervid imaginations with plots on the part of traditionalists, authoritarians and fascists (ie. "grownups") and ignore the fact that Greece, the same Greece that fought for its independence against Turks, Austrians, Bulgarians, Italians, and Germans had made itself into a province of another empire...Oh! So sorry! I mean that Greece is now a "constituent republic" of the Union of European Socialist Republics.

I watch this chaos unfolding on the nightly news (Yup, this madness has become the second or third item on the national news IN CANADA)and I keep thinking of a poem by Kipling. Yes, oh SuperGreeks, THAT Kipling, an evil British imperialist and oppressor of Greece like Churchill (note the irony). I think of his poem "The Gods of the Copybook Headings". Look it up: www.kipling.org.uk/poems_copybook.htm

(a copybook was a sort of school exercise book, where children would practice writing by copying out old-time wise sayings printed at the top of the page.)

Stavros

Dimitrios,

It is a sad state of affairs and frankly I never thought that things would come to a head so soon.

I always had a fondness for Kipling because he understood soldiers. This is my favorite verse of his:

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

maria

i am being ostracised from my colleagues because i hold similar views such as yours expressed her - allow me to copy them:

"summoned by text message and the Internet" - when i first came to greece, i was shocked by the sight of the cigarette-in-one-hand, cellphone-in-the-other, frappe-on-the-table culture. i couldnt relate to these greeks, which left me feeling un-greek

"many of us sensed it coming sooner or later... [we] can remember a different country, one who's people, although poor, had a richness of spirit"
now, it's all a case of who you know and how much money you have got. i never knew the right people, and because i dont show off my welath, i have never felt a part of the society i chose to live among

"It is parents who never understood the nature of discipline... Today many children are totally unraveled by too much freedom and no discipline...how can they end up later destroying everything"
this whole paragraph sounds like me ranting to my own family: i have made it clear to my children (they are not very much younger than alexis was) that the "rules" they pick up at school may not be applied in our home. our house is NOT a hotel, and our possessions CANNOT be renewed.

"Give them money and cars....that's what matters"
and labelled clothing, cellphones, ipods, frontistiria lessons where they learn nothing, pocket money, a motorbike before they can even hold a drivers licence in their name... that's the Ellina of today - but no one can understand me when i tell them that i am greek, have lived in greece for 17 years, and yet, have no greek-born friends

i have wriiten my own little version of the events of 6th december 2008: http://haniadailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/12/y-r-they-riotg.html
please forgive me for posting this link here, but i hope you will understand why i did so

Dimitrios

Maria, what you says is so scary, because it's true.

For much of my childhood my beloved yiayia would discipline me, my brother and my cousins by referring to the fabled discipline, high morals and obedience of the "kids back in Greece". She would explain that our generation is far too spoiled, we had it too easy, were lazy compared to the kids back home.

A few years ago she made her first trip back to Greece in a long time. After she came back, she gathered us all together and told us that she will never compare us to the kids back in Greece again.

The kids in Greece, it turned out were uniformly terrible...lazy, apathetic, shockingly disrespectful to their elders ("tous vrizoune tous megalous, kai ei megali GELANE!!!"). They were a bunch of alhites, lazy bodia, amorphota zoa. Turns out the generation raised in Canada was more like the fabled "kids back in Greece" than the actual kids back in Greece were.

Dimitrios

Oh, and I nearly forgot, Stavro: We here in Toronto were just shown a great example of the generation of Greeks raised in Canada: One of the last 3 members of the Canadian Army killed in Afghanistan was Private Demetrios Diplaros, of the 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment.

Here's the article, with pictures: www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/550585

Please remember that the Canadian Army is entirely a volunteer force. What surprises me about my country is the groundswell of support and gratitude among the Canadian people for those who serve.

maria

thanks dimitrios for reminding me that there is nothing wrong with me, and a whole bunch of my non-greece born friends who also pounced on the fact that a child was allowed to roam the streets of a large city freely, with the mistaken belief that he was safe.

Stavros

Maria,

You have a clarity that many of your co-workers lack, partly because they are looking for someone else to blame other than themselves. Don't deprive them of your opinions. The truth is seldom popular. When our parents or grandparents left their homeland, it was as if things froze in place. Many of us were raised according to the Greek rules in effect at the time they left. We were dragged kicking and screaming to church, to Greek school, to family events. We couldn't do everything the other kids were doing in our host countries. God help us if we brought shame upon our families.

Some of us rejected our past, who we were. Others embraced it. There were varying degrees of assimilation and conformity but I think most of us tried to adopt the good aspects of our new societies while trying to retain some semblance of what is worthwhile about our heritage. I find it rather ironic that the level of assimilation and conformity seems to be much higher in Greece than it is in the Diaspora.

I am glad you posted your link, I read it, thought it was quite good and should have linked to it earlier. I apologize for this oversight. Luckily Margaret had the foresight to link to other related and important posts on the subject from my friends, Kat and John which are also well worth reading. She provides some of her own insights in a post on her very fine blog:

http://adifferentvoice.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/on-the-ground-and-from-the-heart/

Dimitrios,

Private Diplaros, if memory serves me right, is not the first Canadian of Greek descent to die in the line of duty. May his memory be eternal.

The Canadians along with the British, Dutch and Americans have shouldered most of the combat in Afghanistan. Canada's contributions are rarely recognized, especially by those of us who live in the US. Now that Iraq has been pacified, it's time the focus shifts back to Afghanistan. Allowing it to slide back into the hands of the Taliban would be a travesty.


at

on the fate of the arrested police officers accused of shooting the kid see
http://www.landomiracles.com/2008/12/guilty-until-proven-innocent.html

Greek "rule of law" in all its glory.

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