Tag Archives: Portugal

Photo: satellite pic of Iberia

12 Sep

Madrid! Sevilla! Cái!!!

Never thought northern Portugal would show up as so densely populated. Expected it to suffer from the same depopulation as Castilla/León/La Mancha.

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“Χριστός Ανέστη” — Christ Has Risen — and I’m so damn PROUD…

25 Jan

I swear to God those were the first words — the two most totemic in the Greek language — that instinctively leapt out of my mouth when a very loved cousin of mine in Athens answered her mobile today.

Anastasis_fresco_(Chora_Church)The Resurrection fresco in the church of the Chora in Constantinople (click)

I don’t know what will happen.  Tomorrow, me…and Greeks all over the world will wake up sober — or hungover — and have to figure out how this thing is actually going to work.

But one thing all of us need to understand is the power of language and discourse.  By “discourse” I mean the idea and interpretations that people give and ascribe to the phenomena in the world around them; that discourse is “poetic” and a process of “poiesis”— not poetic like Byron or Baudelaire — but poetic in the original Greek sense of “making” or “creating.”  What that means is that DISCOURSE: what people say about things, how people talk about and interpret reality, the opinions and analyses of that reality, are not an either accurate or inaccurate view of that reality but a code and a language that create that reality.  This is simple stuff.  Intro to Deconstruction.  Foucault 101.  And nowhere is it truer than in the “game of chicken” played in the arena of political economics.

So, like I said in GREEK ELECTIONS,” if a critical mass believes a hypothesis is true — or just possible — then it becomes true; then actions and gestures on the ground, and praxeis in the “real,” physical world will create that reality, poetically.  And if we continue to bolster — worse, think we deserve — the Troika’s Neo-Liberal discourse of exploitation, then it will continue.  If we support a discourse, if we believe that an alternative to that reality is possible, then it will emerge.  It only took some workers in a Gdańsk shipyard to say: “I’m not gonna pretend that I believe this shit anymore”; it only took a heroic Gorbachev to say: “This isn’t working”, for the most horrific political economic system that has ever been inflicted on humanity, and that seemed as eternal and as immoveable as Everest, to come crashing down like a house of cards from one day to the next.

This will work, if we let it.  They’ll feed us a language of fear, which if we swallow, will ruin us.  If we simply keep in mind: “That’s what you think — and want us to think — but we won’t,” change will come.

ALSO, we, as ROMANS, should be immensely proud that so many other left-leaning, anti-austerity parties from the rest of the European periphery: Spain, Portugal — and even from Prussia itself and other parts of Merkelstan — came to be part of these elections.  If it gives them only a tiny drop of optimism, if it makes them feel like: “Yes, we can say ‘No!’ too”, it will be a by far greater gift to them than anything else we supposedly gave the West in the past.

YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Merkel, Spain, Greece and Nasreddin’s donkey

21 Jul

Nasreddin Hoca had a donkey.  One day he got it into his head that he could save a lot of money on feed by training the donkey not to eat.  So every day he gave his donkey just a little less food.  At first the animal seemed to labor on as if nothing had changed.  Even after his diet had been halved, the poor strong young donkey just soldiered on.  But eventually, as his daily caloric intake got reduced to almost nothing, he got weaker and weaker and slower and slower, but Nasreddin was so happy at the money he was saving through his brilliant austerity plan that he didn’t even notice.

Then one fine day, the poor, martyred beast just up and died on him, on the road, right from under his legs.

Dead.

“Damn,” said Nasreddin, “and just when he had learned not to eat.”

And without a donkey’s back to ride, he had to walk.

 

(All Nasreddin Hoca stories are versions learned from my father and I think would be public domain already anyway.)

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