Saturday, July 30, 2016
He was born to be a leader of men; his chiseled jaw and stern brow, coupled with shoulders of a breadth that would be the envy of Atlas, left no doubt that this was so, especially among the coterie of fifty-something Greek-Australian women that surrounded him. He twisted his tapered torso like a discobolus and a muscular forearm, emerging from a shirt, cling-wrapped around his body, extended in my direction. Sections later, he was enveloping my hand in a crushing, vice-like grip, one replete with its own developing contradictions as he went on to caress his latte glass with the tender, loving affection that can only derive from the sensitivity of the true connoisseur.
“I’m going to be gentle with you,” he pronounced with the self-confidence of an Old Testament prophet, “because you are both ignorant and uninformed. You are laboring under a delusion of self-hate with regard to your Hellenism. In one respect, you are to be forgiven for this because you were born here and know nothing about what true Hellenism is. Being born in a colony of an imperialist power that is the puppet of evil forces, you are kept in the dark and made to feel inferior. The secret is to understand that you are part of the superior race. Even Hitler acknowledged this when he said: “For the sake of historical truth I must verify that only the Greeks, of all the adversaries who confronted us, fought with bold courage and highest disregard of death.”
Now, I have a problem when it comes to using Hitler as a form of endorsement for things Hellenic. For one, I believe it says much about our own sense of insecurity when it comes to our identity that we need the affirmation of a genocidal maniac in order to feel good about ourselves, and I lost no time in informing my interlocutor of this. In fact gratuitous praise of any kind, whatever the source, leaves me cold, even if it comes from Einstein, who stated: “The more I read the Greeks, the more I realize that nothing like them has ever appeared in the world since.” In fact, I mused, as the leader fixed me with his steely gaze, is not our obsession with garnering praise a symptom of the deep-seated inferiority complex he had just described?
“Not from Jews,” he snarled, pushing up his sleeve to reveal a strange tattoo, comprised of a Janus-paired epsilon. “We don’t need their praise, or anyone’s praise. We are the oldest race in the world and you should be proud of that. 50,000 years ago, the first King Minos ruled in Crete. 25,000 years ago, the Greek King Magias ruled in South America…”
“And in 20,000 BC, the Greek King Mangas set off from Piraeus to set up a kingdom in Japan, whence came the song: Μάγκας βγήκε για σεργιάνι, and manga comics,” I interjected.
The leader’s brow furrowed. “You make jokes because you are so mired in Jewish anti-Hellenic propaganda designed to keep our people down and disunited, that you are incapable of feeling pride for your people’s achievements. Divide and rule, that’s their strategy. There were 100 million Greeks, 10,000 years ago. Where did they all go? Remember, before the Jewish religion destroyed ancient Greek civilisation, the Greek race was strong and united. No one speaks about the Jewish genocide of the Greeks.”
“Which Greek race was united?” I asked. «The Macedonians and the Asia Minor Dorians who made alliances with the Persians? Or the Spartans and the Athenians who almost destroyed each other during the Peloponnesian War? And let’s not forget how the Epigonoi of Alexander fought each other for centuries, paving the way for Roman domination,” I riposted.
“Exactly!” muscle-man pounded his fist on the table, sending his admirers into a swoon. “They ruled over the Middle East where the people were Semitic. What does Semitic mean? It means Jewish. These people made the Greeks fight with each other, because they could see the greatness of Alexander and they knew that they had to destroy the Greeks if they were to dominate the world. We were the only people standing in their way. So they destroyed our unity.”
“Seriously?” I spluttered, incredulous at what I had just heard. “It does not take much to rupture any illusory unity of the Greeks. Look at Attalus III of Pergamon, who preferred to bequeath his kingdom to Rome, rather than to any other Greek ruler. What do you have to say about that? So much for ancient Greek unity.”
“Who is this Attalus?”
“The ruler of Pergamon, one of the most vibrant Hellenistic kingdoms.”
“And who told you he gave his kingdom to the Romans?”
“It’s well attested in the works of the ancient historians.”
“Garbage, there is no concrete evidence. How do you know their words haven’t been twisted? These are all lies intended to destroy Hellenism. Look at how they have made you their mouthpiece. You are a stooge and you don’t even know it, you and all the other Αυστραλογεννημένα κωλόπαιδα, who worship a Jewish God and hate your own kind. No wonder the Greek Australian community is such a joke. You are not Greeks, you are graeculoi. A man with no pride, is no man at all.” He grunted masculinely as if to drive his point home.
Silence reigned for a short time, as I mused silently about the viability of a rendering of the above listed pejorative as ‘Australian-born arse-children,’ further wondering if this could be the appropriate title to an award-winning independent Australian film. Then, I asked: “What exactly am I supposed to feel proud of?”
“Are you that ignorant?” the fearless leader exclaimed, as his companions tittered mirthfully. “Be proud of the superiority of your race. The fact that nothing good in this world has not come from the Greeks. That ours is the mother of all languages. All the rest are distortions from lesser races that couldn’t cope with pure Hellenism. History, philosophy, technology. Did you know that the ancient Greeks had robots?”
“Really?” I enthused. “I had no idea. But then again, I know that they had wireless, because none of the archaeologists have found any wires whatsoever in any of their digs.”
“See!” he flashed a dentally reconstructed smile as he reached for a cigarette.
«Kαφές χωρίς τσιγάρο, Τούρκος χωρίς πίστη, as they say,» I reflected.
“Who says?” he snapped. “Forget about the Turks. When the time comes they will be annihilated. You know we could get rid of them just like that, but it’s the Jews who are propping them up. Their time is coming. We are going to regain our dominance. That is why we have to be ready and why we need to teach the Greeks of Australia the truth about their history. Εγγύς γαρ ο καιρός.”
“I think you mean: ὁ καιρὸς γὰρ ἐγγύς ἐστιν. It’s from the Book of Revelation. It refers to the signs of the return of Jesus.”
“Lies. They stole that from the ancient Greeks like everything else. And Jesus is a fictional character designed by the Jews, to make weak Greeks believe in him so they can destroy us. Why do you have to worship a made-up Jew? Why can’t you be proud of your own people?”
“Like who? Alexis Tsipras?”
“Not that weak runt. He is of Jewish origin anyway. Of the 250 members of the Greek parliament, 212 are actually Jewish.”
“I think there are 300 members in the Greek parliament actually.”
“No, its 250. What would you know? I’ve lived there all my life up until now. Be proud I say. Be proud of Alexander.”
“What about Alcbiades?”
“Him too. He saw the light and realised that Athens was decadent. Too much trade with the Middle East. Papadatos writes in his book that Jews introduced the plague to Athens during the Peloponnesian War. But Alcibiades could see the faults in Athenian society and embraced true Hellenism.”
“So you see ancient Sparta as an acceptable and preferred model for modern Hellenism?”
“Of course, how can you not? This is a war for dominance and there is no room for the weak. They will be swept aside. We are warriors for Hellenism, on a quest to regain our rightful inheritance. But our first task is to teach our people what it means to be Greek and how to be Greek. Those who follow will achieve glory. Those who stick to their Jewish lies will be swept aside.” He grabbed his crotch as he sat, his eyes half closed, mesmerized at the sight of his future triumph in his mind’s eye.
Many words of indignation flowed from my lips in this musing’s aftermath. I informed my interlocutor that as a scion of a family that had been here for the past six decades and yet, had managed to maintain its ancestral language and identity, I did not need instruction from any neophyte as to how to be Greek. I castigated him for seeking to introduce into the disaffected and the vulnerable of our own vibrant and inclusive community, which is facing enough challenges of a social and cultural nature as it is, an unnecessary, racist and divisive narrative, imported wholesale from the meanest and most dysfunctional sector of the Greek discourse.
As the leader spurned turned various shades of porphyry and turned to leave in disgust, I gave him these parting words of advice: “Being told to love or feel pride in one’s race because it is superior, is like being told to love one’s parents because they are richer, smarter, more powerful, more attractive, or more successful than anyone else. In actual fact, we love them, not because they are better, but because they are our own. Ultimately, it is the Beatles, who offer the most relevant guidance: “All you need is love.” And with that, he spat at my feet upon the Oakleigh pavement, gathered his entourage to him and marched away.
First published in Neos Kosmos on Saturday 30 July 2016