Tag Archives: Greece

Photo: Ilissos and Acropolis, 1910

1 Dec

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Some tips that might help Neo-Greeks enjoy the beautiful Attic winters they’ve been blessed with

1 Dec

From Wall Street Journal: “If you dread winter’s chill, these tips can help you handle the cold better. More good news: Cold, like exercise, makes you healthier.”

Getty images

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Photo: Abbot at Hilandar Serbian Serbian Orthodox monastery, Mt. Athos, 1912

30 Nov

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Stephen Spender on Cavafy

29 Nov

C.P. Cavafy @CCavafy “His poetry… immortalizes the moment at which the predestined disaster or corruption happened. Of all poets he is the one who most makes success look like grandiose failure and failure look like fatal success.”

Stephen Spender on Cavafy.

Stephen Spender

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Iason Athanasiadis on Christmas in Greece, my comments and Kotsovolos’ Black Friday

26 Nov

Iason, on Facebook page:

Χθες στις 12:28 μ.μ.  · Imagine a nightmarish future in which life has devolved into being locked up as part of happily-clappily participating in a ghastly consumerist pantomime whose script was written by the intern of the local multinational’s press office. Oh, it appears to be life in Greece today. 😊

I couldn’t agree with Iasona more, as I’ve watched Christmas balloon into something ugly and tacky in Greece over the past few years.

The most horrible εξέλιξη though, is the adoption of Black Friday, that obscene American consumption orgy that has seen people trampled and killed at Targets throughout the states. And it’s new here, so people still haven’t started on the moral meta-talk about the practice, as opposed to the States, where at least there has been a little bit of soul-searching about what Black Friday says about America in the past decade or so.

Though this commercial from Kotsovolos appliance stores promoting Black Friday in a Greek mountain village — complete with clarinet acompaniment — does make me reluctantly laugh…especially the giagia at 0:33 shouting “Don’t skip” τελάλη with bell.

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Photos: Athens can still be so beautiful

25 Nov

And still so indigestibly ugly.

Photo: Hagioi Douloi, Corfu

24 Nov

Corfu is such a depressing rebuke to the ugliness of most other Greek οικίσμοι, urban or rural. Who would look at this photograph and not think Italy or southern France first? Or, who doesn’t go to Corfu and at some point ask himself: “Hmmm… What if all Greek lands had been Venetian colonies for four hundred years instead of Ottoman?”

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Erdoğan, Cyprus: “Mr Erdoğan’s vulgarity has no limits.”

24 Nov

Agnes C. Poirier liked

Anastasios Antoniou@AnastasiosAA

Turkey just renamed John Kennedy Avenue in Varosha to Semih Sancar Avenue. Semih Sancar was Turkey’s chief of armed forces in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Mr Erdogan’s vulgarity has no limits.

8:33 AM · Nov 24, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

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Bravo coffee’s silly Politisses commercial

22 Nov

I like that they dress the women up in a way that recognizes Constantinopolitan Greeks’ deep, deep bourgeoisness and αστισμό — perhaps the most precious thing we lost through that community’s destruction. But Polites didn’t talk with that weird accent and that thick Turkish “λ”. They spoke perfect, accentless Modern Greek.

Anyway, I guess it’s significant and positive that they remain an archetype Greeks are still conscious of.

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Next year marks the 200-year anniversary of Greece’s secession from the Ottoman Empire: here’s the first of the bicentennial kitsch

22 Nov

Fasten your seat belts; it’s gonna be a rough ride…

Too bad, because this song — Dionyses Savvopoulos’ «Ας κρατήσουν οι χοροί»/”Let the dancing continue” — is not only a nice piece, but can really be said to mark an important shift in 20th century Greek culture. In its kaleidoscope of Romeic imagery and thoughts and historical references (a super bitch to translate, but I’ll get around to it, promise) the song is kind of a hip anthem to Greek roots, and a loud negation of the cheap, lefty populism of the metapoliteuse, as the period after the dictatorship of 1967-74 is known. Part of what characterized those years of new freedom was a throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater rejection of anything that smacked of heritage or roots or the past of Greek civilization, and this song appeared just around the time when Greeks’ attitudes started to shift toward a healthier balance, which since the “crisis” has, in fact, started to swing in the completely other direction, as Greeks look for solace in tradition as a way of dealing with the wild social and economic buffeting of the past decade or so. When I post the translation, folks will understand a little better what I’m trying to say.

But the video is hopelessly silly, despite the touching array of beautiful Roman faces. The initial stadium part is ok, but then there’s the big daoulia sequence that looks like it could be part of an Erdoğan rally, and the flashing projection of Revolutionary war heroes, and… And if any of you remember the pageant of cringe-worthy “Hellenic” tackiness that the 2004 Olympic games brought us, be ready for the same deluded, patriotic bourdes squared, στο τετράγωνο.

Hopefully, we’ll at least get a few laughs out of all of it.

Here’s Savvopoulos’ original, by the way, which I just listened to and it made me tear up a little:

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