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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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30 June 2009


maria v

greek people are not sitting around lethargically, pretending that nothing is wrong with thier country. they are alert, and they do fight wherever they can, and with whatever means they have.

just look at what happened in one year with the price of milk. the price of milk?, you ask me. what's that got to do with the price of fish?
find out more:

by the way, some people in this beautiful island where i live have a life, and actually live it.
i want to share this with you because it's so unbelievable. i work part time, sharing my 3-day job with another person. we see each other once a week (the day our work coincides). to catch up on the week's events, i asked her on tuesday where she was when she heard the news about michael jackson. she answered 'what news?' i then told her that he had died a few hours after farrah fawcett. "what?" said my friend. they'd been dead for nearly a week by that point.

isnt it amazing when people remain unaffected by the mass media? my friend was out and about, enjoying the sea, the summer, socialising, and she 'missed' this - i admire her for that


Here's something to lift your mood, Stavros,

which ends with my favourite word.

All you need is a little spark to light a fire.

Filmed in Edinburgh, btw, a favourite place for Ismini and DD, I gather, and my husband's birthplace.



All of us continue to live our lives as best we can under the circumstances we find ourselves in. Perhaps living a life of philotimo, surrounded by family and friends, while trying to eke out some enjoyment in its simple pleasures is enough.

Unfortunately the events of the world around us sometimes make it difficult if not impossible to live life in isolation even if it is on a beautiful island. Grim reality often intrudes as it did in 1941 and we are forced to go out and meet what comes.

I don't think the great mass of people are alert at all. They are in a self-induced slumber, trying to go about there lives, shaking there heads now and then but nevertheless feeling quite helpless. Some have even given up voting as if it is a waste of time. Please forgive me if I am not heartened by people refusing to pay outrageous prices for over priced commodities, especially when they keep voting and electing the same people responsible for the current state of affairs, again and again.

I am not singling Greeks out for criticism, we Americans do the same thing. In fact, I think the level of ignorance and apathy in my country is appalling. This post was written as a personal exercise. I wanted to get some things off my chest and put my thoughts on paper. It is probably more for my benefit than anyone else's.

I write letters, contribute money, volunteer, vote. I try to teach my sons the importance of citizenship and philotimo. All of that seems less than adequate.


Pretty amazing stuff. There is always hope and absent that, there is honor in guarding our respective Thermopylaes, even if the Medes are destined to break through after all.


I do appreciate your comments.

maria v

here's a story you will also appreciate:


The "global Greek." I like the sound of it.


As a Greek who has been born and lives in Greece, I'd like to add some more reasons for today's mess:

1. Lack of civil consciousness. The modern greek society gives the impression of a civil one but it's not. People's mentality is one of a villager who has come to town.

2. Lack of vision. In order to achieve goals, you got to make a thorough assessment of your objective capabilities, needs and desires. In other words, you got to know who you are, what you can do and what you want to do. Nobody knows where the country is heading to and nobody seems to care much about it. Nobody is ready to seriously discuss about and confront the real problems. Moreover, nobody seems willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of the public good.

3. Curtailment of spontaneity and entrepreneurial endeavor. The economic and social environment is discouraging for people who might wish to start up innovative bussinesses. There's a hostile attitude in the community for people who are involved in bussiness.

4. The prevalence of extreme left wing and right wing ideas in the masses. Irrationality in all aspects of life.

5. The corrupt political, economic and social elite. Most of those who make up the leadership of the nation (politicians, bussinessmen, hierachs, high rank police officers, etc.) only care about maintaining office and power and their high positions do not reflect their true moral value.

6. Lack of meritocracy. Qualifications are of no importance when it comes for someone to be hired in the public sector. What counts most of the times is which politician one is affiliated with and the number of potential votes one can offer.

7. People, although they recognise the morbidity of the whole thing, they tend to watch the present situation in apathy rather than try to change it.

Excuse my poor english.
I really appreciate what you do.




A clear, cogent and well written comment that hits the nail squarely on the head.

Thank for taking the time and effort to write it. I will attempt to use it as basis for a response in a future post.

There is nothing wrong with your English, it is much better than my Greek.

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