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Hello boyz and girls! Back to the future as the season starts and reluctantly we unfold the sails for another trip into known and unknown waters, hoping to be there soon enough, whatever that means. As sailors of world history, we, the Greeks, have always had the luxury to embark on whatever trip, even the tiniest and the most unpretentious, and convert it into one of epic dimensions, as if it came straight out of the world annals! And the longer and hardest the trip is, less the preparation, because what is there for real travelers if everything falls right in place and things work the way they should? Another boring expenditure of time without the emotion of being caught off hand and have the situation turned when it looked as if the vessel would capsize in the middle of the ocean (or your bathtub)! Either we do it or we don’t (and most of us don’t, sometimes for entirely different reasons, seasickness being just one of them).
From what I understand a great number of Greek-Americans visited Greece this summer – thanks partly but not exclusively to our “Visit Greece & Cyprus this Summer” campaign back in June that led to a crusade-like avalanche of people towards the fatherland. We basically told them that everything there is for sale (including the Acropolis – actually the Germans said that) and cheap and whoever goes first gets the best for less. And it worked. You should see their overstuffed duty free bags coming back that gave me the goose bumps, while I was trying to wipe my tears of happiness imperceptibly as not to look soft in front of those sunburned worriers who just days ago they would roam relentlessly the local tavernas and grills like invaders from other times and places reassuring with their spear/souvlaki, sheathed as it should be in a crispy pita, to the fact that very little has changed since the Homeric times even if it’s now called Homeric Tours!
When you are young, you are expected to make some mistakes. When you are old you can only make mistakes if you are wise enough! Greece for sure is old, although not necessarily wise, so mistakes and more mistakes while they offer the only realistic way out don’t seem to happen or happen enough. A mistake is something that comes naturally as a result of an action or series of actions not something that can be planned. That would be a farce or even sabotage and this is exactly what’s going on in Greece right now. They are not making genuine mistakes, they stage and execute them, that’s why it’s almost impossible to learn and take measures to correct things based on real failures. For the same reason no real risks are taken and no consequences exist for those who want to make mistakes in order to move out of the impasse. Sometimes even punishment can be a motive, but in today’s Greece nobody is punished for nothing, spare a few exceptions that prove the rule, acting as unwilling collaborators.
It seems the only way for Greece to get out of her mess would be to start immediately not to do the “right” thing, to begin in earnest looking for answers off the beaten path and adjust her expectations to real facts on the ground. The same goes for our Greek-American community that in terms of real evolving when it comes to her institutions, it looks more and more like the …Amish (without the organic products)! And in our case, both in Greece and here, the yoke of mediocrity hasn’t been imposed by some foreign entity, but by our own indifference and scandalous tolerance to stupidity! And if this inaction isn’t the quintessence of anti-Hellenism, then what is?