- “JUST BECAUSE,” SAYS MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY ABOUT HIS NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK
- Septemvriana: A Night of Terror for Greeks in Constantinople
- THE DARK DAY OF THE DISTOMO MASSACRE BY THE NAZIS
- The Hellenic Initiative’s 11th Annual Gala to Honor Ted Leonsis
- Full Circle: Indie Film Reconnects a Filmmaker with His Former Teacher-Turned Screenwriter
Kalo Pascha and ¡Viva Mexico!
Our Pascha may be more than a month apart from the Western Easter – to the dismay of my Roman Catholic and thus fundamentally heretical wife – but nobody can accuse us of not been inclusive! This year Pascha coincides with Cinco de Mayo, the quintessential American holiday and I can, as in a vision, see Corona flowing in abundance along with ouzo and “Greek” wine (mostly made by Chilean must, imported to Greece in the form of icy columns and then blended and bottled in order to be re-exported as Greek throughout the world. But let’s not point fingers at the Greeks: the French have been doing this for decades!), as Mexican gardeners and domestic workers in upper Long Island areas coexist with their patrons in celebration of our holiest of holidays (while serving them)! It’s a beautiful and moving image (provided you are not the Mexican in the equation), one that brings us closer as people, promoting harmony, love for thy (distant, thank God) neighbor, with educational value as well, because it is a great opportunity to realize how similar the Mexican is to the Italian flag (almost the same), even to think for a moment that the descendants of the Aztecs are …Orthodox after all (if not how come they celebrate the same day with us?); not to mention that for those Super Hellenes who see the stamp of Hellenism everywhere, will wisely conclude that Mexicans are Greeks after all, another lost tribe which forms the second part of today’s …diatribe!
So, this year, along with Christos Anesti (Christ is Risen – Христос воскрес in the ever-mysterious and captivating Russian) let us exclaim with all our hearts ¡Viva Zapata!, Mexico lindo y querido, Univision, and let us drink to the memory of our quintessential Greek character, the Mexican-born Anthony Quinn, who late in his life told Archbishop Spyridon that he wanted to become Orthodox, as well, to fully immerse himself in the culture that mostly defined him as an artist! And after the clarinet and bouzouki dances, in order to burn some of the thousands of calories taken during the feast, let us all fade with the sunset, enjoying our thoroughly Hellenized Scotch, our Dominican (forget about Cuban, most of them circulating “illegally” are fake just like the …feta cheese) cigars and Mario Frangoulis singing with Vicente Fernandez some Mexican serenatas. Optional is the “Never on Sunday” song with a Mariachi band. If it’s true that Hadjidakis was inspired by a Brazilian tune in composing it, then again it proves that culture finds a way back to its origins, much as Greeks in the decadent Greece of our days are passionately embracing …Turkish TV serials (and Turkish Airlines)!
But no more philosophy, let us all exalt and rejoice in our huge dancing circles while listening to the unrelenting rhythm of “Gangnam Style” …
a) One of the collateral damages of the crisis facing Greece, now Cyprus, Italy, Spain, France, even the US, is people’s…faith (“trust” in the original Christian Greek). Consumers (it used to be citizens) tend to embrace fear as a “salvation” (soteriological) tool and are prone to fall pray to “apocalyptic” tendencies and interpretations that can lead to their and other’s sentimental neutralization and ultimately destruction. There are many predators out there ready to cash on people’s desperation, offering various kinds of “salvation” and “hope” in exchange of what’s left of their souls. Now more than ever we must be vigilant of our own dignity as human beings…
b) Whoever knowingly supports crooks, financially or abetting them in any other way, is himself a crook! Although I hate generalizing, there is no middle ground when it comes to this. As we say in Greek, you can’t be partly …pregnant or homosexual (or can you?): either you are or you are not!
c) The other day I saw a Prius-limo and I thought this is the end of the world as we know it!