Saturday, May 27, 2017


“Foustanella-wearers and Amalias are national symbols that we must respect, but they are now anachronistic. They do not convince and do not reflect modern Greek cultural reality." 
Professor A Tamis.

My first reaction upon reading Professor Tamis’ thought provoking article “The First Generation is Declining” about the future of the Greek community in Neos Kosmos on 18 May 2017, was to reflect that he is in origin, a Pontian. As such, he is therefore genetically and culturally without capacity to appreciate the exquisite perfection of manhood that can be achieved by means of the foustanella, a garment that is crying out for a retro re-run, with or without hipster moustache (sold separately).
Secondly and as a corollary, it immediately becomes apparent that the Professor’s relegation of this superior form of garb to the realms of the anachronism could be ascribed to jealousy, because being a Pontian, his legs would not look good in a foustanella anyway.
Jokes aside, in his article, Professor Tamis makes some pertinent points. He points out that our local organisations are not only antiquated in scope but also anachronistic, since they rarely meet the aims that they were founded to pursue in the first place and, being self-serving and short-sighted, lack the capacity for co-ordinated action and strategic planning.
Further, he proceeds to do something obvious, that has eluded many omphaloscopic office-holders of our organized community. He compares and contrasts our institutions and level of cultural development with communities of Greeks that arose historically in similar conditions in various parts of the world. Having adopted our yoga navel-gazing stance for a while now, we have generally forgotten that a knowledge of the development and fate of those elder communities can assist us in planning for pitfalls and help us to avoid futile activity.
This is especially so considering that our community seems largely to be in palliative care mode. Professor Tamis’ study of Greek communities in South America, among other places, suggests that within a generation, aged care facilities, which are costly to build and maintain, and clubhouses, become under-utilised, obsolete and then, invisible. Indirectly he makes the most pertinent observation of them all: What is the point of going to such effort and expense to perpetuate Greek community organisations and institutions when that sense of community that is supposed to be the unifying force behind their existence is not passed down to the latter generations, who not seeing the need to relate to one another on the basis of a common ancestry, choose not to engage with such institutions? How do we go about re-creating that sense of community?
Professor Tamis is scathing about the latter generations, who as he says: “Defines the boundaries of [their] interests as not beyond that of the individual..” The change in community ethos from the communal to the individualistic, between the generations is undoubted but unsurprising, reflecting broader global trends and I marvel that the first generation now expresses bitterness about it, for they are partly the authors of this change. Countless members of the first generation, especially those actively involved in organized community affairs, deliberately absolved themselves of any of the social responsibilities and ties of mutual obligation that underlie our community. Instead, it was hinted that their offspring were ‘above’ such pursuits, which were better suited to their “peasant” progenitors and instead, were tasked with obtaining an education and/or making money, a task the second generation dutifully performed. Why the first generation, which, in denigrating themselves and their peers and their community to their offspring at every given opportunity, marvel at the fact that the second generation has largely cultivated a lofty contempt for the organised Greek community and has in part distanced itself from it, is thus mystifying. One reaps that which one sows.
Professor Tamis however, perhaps does not give due weight to the fact that significant Greek community institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria and the Pan-Macedonian Association are now headed by members of the second generation. The owner of this publication, which is arguably the glue that binds the Melbourne Greek community together, is also of the second generation. The many dance teachers around Melbourne who are often the first port of call for younger Greek-Australians when it comes to imbibing Greek culture are also in their vast majority, of the second generation and it is they, along with a significant number of second generation musicians, who are now largely the mediators of Greek culture to the latter generations, in forms that are yet to be quantified or assessed. Also unmentioned, is the latest grass roots attempt by Hellenism Victoria to co-ordinate the activities of Greek clubs of Melbourne’s suburbia, so that by sharing resources and working together, a sense of community can be created among Greeks in the areas in which they live. This too, is a second-generation initiative.

Thus when Professor Tamis states that foustanella wearers do not reflect modern Greek cultural reality, he is actually voicing a powerful protest against the reduction of Greek culture to arid and restrictive stereotypes, that marginalize and trivialize whatever vitality exists in our community as kitsch. Significantly, the process of such stereotyping is bi-polar, taking place not only by us, through a preferential distillation of our understanding of our cultural heritage but also by the ruling class that seeks to define us in a certain way. Professor Tamis considers closer contact and understanding of the cultural scene as it exists in Modern Greece to be vital to the breaking of such stereotypes and the creation of a viable Greek culture in Australia.
Nonetheless, what is the Modern Greek Cultural Reality we are expected to emulate? I for one am convinced that the Greek Australian Cultural Reality is an entirely different proposition from the Helladic one altogether and that our reality such that it is, with all our myths, stereotypes, delusions, anachronisms and bizarre rituals form a unique culture of its own that is derived from but is not identical to that of Modern Greece. As anyone who places a Greek and a Greek Australian side by side can deduce, our points of reference that provide our conception of who we are, are often markedly different. Our culture, such that it is, exists in differing forms, permutations, geographical areas and even is expressed in completely different dialects or languages than that of Modern Greece though it cannot be disputed that close cultural contact with Greece is desirable, as long as we are provided with the opportunity to interpret and adapt Helladic cultural forms, rather than unthinkingly adopt them wholesale.
Thus, though it cannot be doubted that foustanella wearers and other cultural fetish idols can become stereotypes, does the fact that so many Greek-Australians were moved by the visit of the foustanella-wearing Evzones of the Presidential Guard to Australia this year suggest that these are not only a symbol, but also a very potent one that has great meaning for many Greek-Australians?
Similarly, does the fact that every year, thousands of us feel the need to don the foustanella in order to participate in public dancing performances, or to march through the City of Melbourne also suggest that the foustanella is not an anachronism but a part of our Greek Australian life, albeit in a commemorative context, much as many Aussies of Scottish background don the kilt to mark their own important days? In addition, is it not part of the unique Greek-Australian language that we employ in order to articulate our identity to others, regardless of how relevant it is to our everyday reality?
Professor Tamis’ assertion however, is an extremely valuable one because it gives rise to questions as to what extent we make our own cultural reality and whether the symbols we use to express it evolve gradually over time.
The fact that, over one hundred years after the founding of our community, we are still apparently labouring under a cultural cringe that sees us psychologically and culturally dependent upon a country whose mores, values, interests and manner of thinking are extremely different to our own and have not been able to coherently articulate or develop our own Greek-Australian culture, with reference to our daily lives, is perhaps the real reason why our community, in its present form, lacks an ideology and framework all of its members can identify with, that will enable it to perpetuate itself and address the needs of the future. It is thus this stance of culture as archaeology or folklore, that Professor Tamis, in employing the motif of the foustanella-wearer, is rightfully decrying. Symbols are important but they do not define culture, only express it. This is why the nuanced and multi-faceted approaches to culture outlined by Professor Tamis in his article deserve thorough consideration.

Ultimately however, it is for the second generation to decide the form their community should take. The comitragedy here is that the ageing and declining first generation still feels responsible for the second generation, and instinctively wants to make decisions on its behalf, without reference to it, even though it of itself, is of an age of maturity and integrated into all facets of Australian life. Conversely, having been absolved of the responsibility of being active in community affairs for a generation, much of the second generation has little vision for the community or any conception of what it should be.
It is therefore in the pious hope that our ruminations become symbolic of an ethnogenesis, I humbly beg pardon for imposing upon the gentle reader, an anachronistic picture of myself, with my Assyrian nephew, as foustanelloforoi. My Assyrian nephew dons the foustanella every year and marches proudly by my side because his foustanella identifies him with me, his Greek cousins and our extended multicultural family. He can also sing Σαν πας Μαλάμω για νερό in flawless Greek. That has to count for something.


First published in NKEE on Saturday 27 May 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017


“What are you going to get me for Mother’s Day?” the yoga-panted, sun-glassed woman asked, as she hoisted two 5 litre tins of olive oil onto the counter at the Greek deli. “Huh?” her bald, blue Kappa-tracksuited partner sporting a luxurious beard responded. “You’re not my mother.” “Finally you get it,” the woman responded. “No, I’m not your mother.”
“Next please,” the cashier smiled, turning to me.
Mother’s Day is a concept fraught with difficulties for many Greek-Australians of the first generation. I attribute this to the lack of a similar counterpart back home, prior to our metastasis en masse upon these welcoming shores. It is not that Greeks do not revere their mothers, as one friend pointed out recently over coffee in one of the few remaining ‘Greek’ cake shops in the centre of Melbourne. Rather, the confusion lies in the method of reverence and its institutionalised form. According to my friend, Greeks have internalised their mothers to the extent that they invoke them randomly, even when they are not present, as if they are household deities, in the course of their daily activities; to wit: «Αχ μανούλα μου, ω ρε μάνα μου,» or if you happen to come from where I am from: «όι οί μάνα’μ». As such, Greek mothers are, at least to their offspring, domestic hearth goddesses, or at least, humans in an advanced stage of deification. Anglo-Saxons on the other hand, as my friend put it, see their maturation as a process of emancipation from their mothers and as a result, need structured, socially imposed dedicated days in which they are reminded that they must relate to and pay homage to their maternal progenitors. Because they have psychologically cut off from them, they seek to bridge the sundered bond by the proffering of material goods.
It took a while for all of this to sink in and discerning in my face, tell-tale signs of dissent (after all, I knew many Anglo-Saxons who shared close and extremely fulfilling relationships with their parents, as well as many Greeks who did not), he asked: “Did you ever ask your mother what she wanted for Mother’s Day?”
Not at first. There were Mother’s Day stalls at our school from which we would all select a present. In those times, any gift purchased was indiscriminately made a fuss over, even though it was purchased with the intended recipients own funds. Cards and artwork, commissioned by teachers, on the other hand were a completely different matter altogether, simply because my mother was a teacher and thus subjected my offerings to orthographic and stylistic criticism. It was only in my teenage years, when artwork and stalls were gradually phased out, that I was compelled to ask the inevitable question:
“What do you want for Mother’s Day?”
«Τι να θέλω; Να είσαι καλό παιδί και να μην αντιμιλάς.»
“But that’s too hard! There has to be something that you want.”
«Σου είπα. Να μην αντιμιλάς.»
«Καλά ούτε αυτό δεν μπορείς να μού κάνεις;»

Eventually, I would settle for breakfast in bed, which was an uncomfortable experience for her, considering that my mother seldom, if ever, eats breakfast of a morning and I ascribe this to the time when, as a young boy, I made her a carrot breakfast, comprising a large quantity of shredded carrot, artfully garlanded upon a piece of charcoal toast. As we grow old together, my mother finds herself ideologically opposed to Mother’s Day, citing as a reason: «Τι, μόνο μια φορά το χρόνο θα θυμάστε ότι έχετε μάνα;» thus providing the doctrinal props to buttress my friend’s theory.
On the other hand, one of my non-Greek acquaintances, who is enamoured of Greek-Australians and who chooses to associate solely with Greeks, asked this, when I expounded my friend's theory to her: "If you people are so close to your mothers, then why is it that when Greek girls get together, all they seem to do it bitch about them?" This, for me, was a revelation. 
Sadly, my friend never got the opportunity to complete said theory, and indeed expound upon why, if Mother’s Day is alien to the traditional Greek reality, it has been embraced by our community so enthusiastically, because moments later, he received an angry phone call from his mother, who, in a colourful array of Greek dialectical idiomatisms, called his sanity, morphology and moral uprightness into question, for he had forgotten to collect her from the doctor.
Nonetheless, over the years, I have chanced upon various conversations relating to preparations for Greek-Australian Mother’s Day, the first of which took place while I was on the tram late at night, listening in on the following phone conversation:
“Mum what do you want for Mother’s day?”
The answer, emanating from the telephone speaker was as thunderous as if the mother was seated beside us:
«Όλα σου τα έδωσα. Όλα, Τι θα μπορούσες να μου έδινες; Τίποτα. Αν δεν ήταν για μένα, θα ήσουν ένα τίποτα. Τι θέλω; Να ακούς τη μάνα σου. Να σταματήσεις να είσαι γάιδαρος. Να γίνεις άνθρωπος επιτέλους. Να συμμαζευτείς. Αλλά σε ποιον τα λέω; Σε κάνα γηροκομείο θα καταλήξω…..αχαΐρευτε.»
“But mum…”
«Σκάσε. Είκοσι χρονών μουλάρι…»
“Mum, I’m nineteen, not twenty.”
«Σε ποιον τα λες αυτά βρε ρεμάλι; Εγώ σε γέννησα. Έκλεισες τα δεκαεννιά και πας στα είκοσι…»
Eventually, his mother having unceremoniously hung up on him, the boy turned to me and shrugged: “Mothers.” I had not the heart to tell him that I had understood every word.

Mother’s Day in a controlled environment where one can be one’s Greeκ-Australian self is one thing. Having to share such an event with a melisma of companions of diverse origins can be quite another, especially by those mothers in denial about their offspring’s life choices. The following snippet comes from a conversation outside a local church, a few years ago:
Mum, get a move on. We are taking you out to the Brickmaker’s Arms for Mother’s Day with Craig’s mum.”
«Τι δουλειά έχω εγώ με τους κωλοαυστραλούς, μού λες;»
“Come on mum, its for Mother’s Day. We are all going to get together.”
«Τι μάδες ντάι και μαδέρια, που μού μάδησες το κεφάλι από τη στεναχώρια; Αν αγαπούσες τη μάνα σου δεν θα έπαιρνες αυτόν τον προκομμένο. Άσε με εδώ να σαπίσω. Καλά να πάθω.»

Like in many other aspects of communal Greek-Australian life, Mother’s Day can also be about one-upmanship, especially the stage-managed type, for it is not unknown for Greek-Australian mothers to boast to their peers about and magnify the excessive troubles taken by their offspring to honour them on their special day. Where it is felt that the aforementioned offspring’s efforts will fall under par, then that provides cause for maternal intervention. Thus:
«Μαμά, θα πάμε στου Γιάννη για το Mother's Day.»
«Δεν πατάω εγώ εκεί με την νύφη τη φαντασμένη. Τόσα ντίνα σέτια έχει αλλά από μαγείρεμα τίποτα δεν ξέρει.
«Mum, don’t be like that. Γιος σου είναι.»
«Σκατά στα μούτρα μου είναι. Τη Σούλα θα την πάνε τα παιδιά της στο Langham. Δεν θα πάω εγώ να φάω κότες έτοιμες από το κοτάδικο. Ή στο Langham, ή πουθενά. Έκανα ένα μπούκιν. Θα πάρουμε γρουπ ντισκάουντ.»

Sadly, despite the intrinsic role our mothers play in our lives, within a community for whom internecine and interfamilial strife is not unknown, not a few mothers will have spent last Sunday's Mother’s Day alone, forgotten, unforgiven or merely neglected. Others still will have spent Mother’s Day in the cemetery, lamenting over things said and things left unsaid.
For me, Mother’s Day, culinary disasters notwithstanding, will always have me yearning for past commemorations spent with my paternal grandmother Kalliopi, pointing at the icon of the Panayia whenever we came to wish her a happy Mother's Day, and telling us: "Wish it to her. She is the Mother of all of us," before sitting us down to a vast feast comprising of but not limited to Samian tiganites and pumpkin bourekia, (instead of us treating her), because as she would say, "That's what mothers do." 
Time also pauses upon those Mother’s Days when my great-grandmother, who died at the age of 105, would sit in the doorway, watching a long litany of children, grand-children and great-grandchildren enter, process before her, laden with flowers and other gifts, ready to pay homage. With a gleam of triumph in her eyes, she would remark: «Αυτοί είναι όλοι δικοί μου.» Because ultimately, that is what Mother’s Day, like everything that has to do with Greek-Australia, is all about: belonging.

First published in NKEE on Saturday 20 May 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017


The Portokalos, Windex—infused conception of Greek linguistics would have almost every single word in the English language derive from a Greek root. For many Greeks, this patrimony forms an intrinsic part of their identity, which is why the ‘fact’ that there are 40,000 to one million words of Greek origin in the English language, depending on who one speaks to, is often offered as a reason as to why reluctant diasporic offspring should study the language of their forefathers. The need to prove that our language has gone boldly where no other languages have gone before, is thus symptomatic of an inferiority complex that ties national pride, not just to over-achievement but also an acceptance of one’s culture’ superiority over all others, in all fields, in this case, linguistics.
 There is, however, no need for exaggeration or inflation of facts or figures when it comes to the Greek language for, from times ancient until now and for often complex reasons, the Greek language has profoundly influenced tongues, transcending the boundaries of proximate language families. In this context, Professor George Kanarakis' tome: The Legacy of the Greek Language, recently launched at the Greek Centre under the auspices of the Greek Studies Program of La Trobe University, the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria, the Greek-Australian Cultural League οf Melbourne, and the Hellenic Writers Association of Australia, is a must-have book for all Greek-Australian households. Not for the jingoistic reasons outlined above but rather, because it outlines just how deeply the Greek language has contributed in shaping the language, grammar and even thoughts of various other cultures over the centuries, or in some cases, relatively recently. In doing so, it does not crow over the superiority of the Greek language or culture. Instead, it analyses the manner in which such contributions occurred, and most importantly, the historical and social factors that facilitated such a contribution, which are surprisingly diverse.
 Of course, the fact that this monumental endeavour, comprised of a compilation of essays by noted linguists throughout the world, had its genesis in Greek Australia is of great significance, one that leads credence to the assertion in the book, that within the context of the reception of various aspects of the Greek language by so many other tongues, we can truly speak of “Globo-greek.”
Of great value especially are the essays on the Greek influence in the Coptic language, for this language relationship uniquely was engendered in a manner similar to the spread of the English language in India, that is, via conquest and colonization, with Greek being the language of the ruling class. Thus Greek was not only a language of administration and intellectual activity, but also, more enduringly until today, as a language of theology and as a medium with which to record Coptic itself. Consequently, Coptic is not only peppered with Greek loan words, but also Greek grammatical forms that are otherwise alien to the dialects of that language. It is hoped that revised editions of the book will examine the trickle down influences of related languages and cultures, such as Meroitic in Sudan, where, in the kingdoms of Nobata and Alarodia, Greek was the official language for centuries, and of course, the various Ethiopian languages, considering the important diplomatic and religious ties shared by the Greek world with that region.
 The corollary with Coptic are the articles on Bulgarian and Russian, which are interesting, considering that at the time of first contact, Greek was the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire, a dominant power and thus able to export culture, religion and alphabet as well as political might. In the case of Bulgarian, these cultural ties endured even as political power waned, and the fact that the word order of such Balkan languages corresponds in large part with that of Greek, should not go unnoticed.
 The essay on Albanian is also of profound interest, as it delineates not only how languages that exist in close proximity with each other can influence each other grammatically and via vocabulary, but also how such languages can converge and diverge several times over the course of a millennium of inter-association, while dialects spoken in areas more remote to Hellenism, such as the Northern Albanian Gheg, preserve Greek loanwords in more archaic forms, providing the linguistic archaeologist with a treasure trove of information.
 Moving towards the east, the article on Arabic is instructive, because our modern western orientation often causes us to forget that the Greek language and culture was diffused both more broadly and deeply in the east than in the west. The plethora of loan words existing in Arabic are symptomatic of a wholesale movement to understand much of the philosophy and science of the Greeks. Given that the bulk of these works were mediated into Arabic by way of Greek-speaking Syriac scholars, the addition of an article on the Greek influences on Syriac/Aramaic would also have been valuable. Since the aforementioned language forms part of my linguistic reality at home, I am constantly amazed at the presence of both Greek words, calques and ideas within it.
 Similarly, the article on Hebrew fascinates the reader by exposing the old Greek elements embedded within that language from ancient, to medieval and modern times, exploring the usage of such words as diyatiki (diathiki) for will, timyon (tameion) for treasury, tuganim for fries, from the Greek “taginon” meaning frying pan, lagin from the Greek “lagynos” meaning flask and even the remote pakres from “epikarsion” a redundant Greek word for a striped garment.
 As a speaker of Chinese, I am fascinated by the process in which, phonologically and culturally, Greek words are received into Mandarin. An article by the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Korea about the phonological challenges entailed by the reception of Greek words into that language is also fascinating, and with its companion Japanese article, marks a Cavafian spread of the influence of the Greek language, way beyond his Hellenistic Indies.
 The well-constructed article on Turkish informs the reader just how many Greek loanwords were adopted by the Turks as they entered Asia Minor, and, given that in turn, Turkish lent many of its own words to Greek, this piece constitutes the best argument for the publication of a companion volume, in which the influences upon the Greek language by other languages since times ancient is examined. Arguably, such an endeavour is sorely needed and would prove most challenging for the cherished stereotype of the Greek language existing in blissful and splendid superior isolation for much of its existence, with each linguistic borrowing being equated to subjugation, contamination and cultural decay.
 Nonetheless, within the thirty languages which the book examines, to whom largely Greek influence has been spread via other dominant world languages, the legacy of the Greek language is shown to be both complex and awe inspiring, as it is extensive and long-lasting perhaps suggesting patterns for the future development of languages within the context of globalization., In facilitating a study of such awesome scope, Professor George Kanarakis thoroughly deserves, our heartfelt gratitude.


First published in NKEE on Saturday 13 May 2017

Saturday, May 06, 2017


I confess to be conflicted about the amorous proclivities of the Modern Greek people. This is because, growing up in the eighties, I was assailed by sundry compatriots sporting T-shirts proudly emblazoned with the slogan: “Greeks do it better.” What objective criteria were used in order to verify such a broad claim remains a mystery and for this reason, I accepted the claim as fact. In my university days, I was advised by the executive that “NUGAS is for lovers.” Considering what transpired at the various national conventions, again I had no reason to doubt that this was the case.
Similarly, every once in a while, the Greek press is wont to publish articles whose sole aim is to disprove the myth of the Latin lover, asserting variously instead, that Greeks do it better, or more often, or longer, or with more partners or in manners more lyrical and ebullient. Again, I accept these wholesale, because as a newly arrived Ellinara in an Oakleigh cakeshop once told me while attacking a kok with gusto, Greeks invented σεξ. Literally. Breaking it down etymologically, he explained that the English word sex is derived from a Greek compound comprising the words σε (you) and ἐξ (outside). According to him one has to come outside oneself in order to indulge in the said act, and my observation, that the opposite of sex is thus men με (me) and ἐν (inside), being in itself a form of tantric constipation was met with incomprehension and sundry dismissal. Similarly, when I advised him that the Greek term for sex is συνουσία, meaning the conjoining of essences, he dismissed this angrily, stating that he would never allow anyone to con-mingle with his essence, which was well defined over the course of the decades of his existence and uniquely perfected. As a sexual monophysite, then, he roams the barren fields of all that remains of Greek-Melbournian nightlife, sadly unable to fertilise, for, as he confides, Greek-Australian women are just not women enough for him, and being a Hellenic supremacist, no other type of woman is worthy of him.
To add to the confusion, despite being the world’s best lovers, this does not appear to translate to superior Hellenic fecundity. Ultra-right nationalists, religious folk and purveyors of the deeply held conviction that humanity is descended (or is rather in a process of decay) from an original Greek master-race that covered the globe (except for the Amazon basin, the Australian desert and sub-saharan Africa), are most concerned that Greeks do not produce enough children and that as a result, within a projected period of time, the Greek state will be populated by peoples of inferior blood lines and the pure Hellenic blood line will be sullied forever. According to them, there is therefore much in the way of copulative activity, but not much to show for it. This could easily be a metaphor for the manner in which the Greek economy or the Greek public service works.
The august Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras has also appeared to explode the myth of Greek amorousness. This is gravely disquieting, especially considering that during a time of crisis, the leader of the home of democracy and the world’s best, longest and most frequent lovers should be “talking up” Greece’s capabilities, rather than casting further doubt upon them. However, instead of concerning himself with the prickly demographic fears of the far-right, for Tsipras, it is the act of copulation in Greece itself, which is under threat. And as usual, we have the Troika to blame for the fact that quite simply, young Greeks, just simply, cannot be ……ed.
In his recent address to the Youth Conference of his own Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras thus stated pertinently: “Children who reach the age of thirty and when they wake up in the morning, they are in their children’s bedroom, who cannot enjoy sex, who cannot feel autonomous… we are determined to change this with a plan and with substantial interventions. In the next few years, we have designed and will implement a major program for utilising state-owned buildings to accommodate young people." In other words, Alexis blames the crisis (and not tradition) for the phenomenon of Greeks living with their parents beyond the age of thirty, and thus not being able to find a private place in which, as the Greeks say figuratively, they can “take their eyes out.”
Commentators rejoice in the consistency of this new SYRIZA policy, coming as it does in the midst of the greatest humanitarian and economic crisis to flagellate Greece since the Second World War, proving, that SYRIZA is committed to providing the populace with its basic needs, quite apart from food, safety and financial security. Indeed, Tsipras’ exciting new policy directive can be considered revolutionary, given that traditionally, it is the government that is widely held to “screw” the people. Now, in what could thrillingly be described as state sponsored anarchism, the government is providing the means for the people to “screw each other.”
Rather than being an inept form of the worst type of populism, signifying that Greek politics has learned nothing from its travails over the past few years, Tsipras' bold new move must be interpreted as a calculated strike against the coerciveness of the modern state. George Orwell in 1984 pertinently observed that: “unregulated, naturalistic, animalistic, erotic, hedonistic, pleasure-for-pleasure’s-sake sex [ is] a politically rebellious act and, particularly, a political act of defiance against states, state power, and state authority.” Orwell, and Tsipras, by providing Greeks with the means in which to have sex, is in effect reinforcing the fact that sex is an effective response to a concentrated, and therefore dangerous, state power and thus ensuring that sexually rancid fascism will never again blight Greece.
In like fashion, Tsipras conceivably desires the youth of SYRIZAn Greece to be satiated and satisfied because this forms an effective resistance against the cult of false excitement that seems to plague the western world. At all times, we are supposed to gush happily about the latest programs on our screens, or assume paroxysms of orgasmic delight at the progress of our workplace, traverse the streets in our active-wear and measure every pace we take according to the dictates of an insidious fitbit. Tsipras rails against the coercive misuse for such energy, using as Orwell does in 1984, sex, as the key tool to emancipation from the cult of the ersatz social orgasm and the repression that it masks: “When you make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother…. and all the rest of their bloody rot?” In youth sex, therefore, lies freedom.
Greek Olympian Voula Patoulidou, was perhaps more prescient than she could have ever known when she muttered those immortal words: «Για την Ελλάδα βρε γαμώτο,» which literally translates as “I copulate with this, for Greece.” Let us go forward therefore, with this injunction indelibly engraved upon our generative parts, happy in the knowledge that a brave new generation of Tsiprasjugend is being created, one that, suitably discharged of all frustration, will, in a languorous and pleasurable way, lubricate the Greek economy and facilitate Greece assuming all the requisite positions that will see her able to withstand the bump and grind of Weltpolitik, well into the future, or at least, until such time as the Troika see fit to levy a tax on them as well.


First published in NKEE on 6 May 2017