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Happy New ...Old?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2017-01-01 11:56:18
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The year of 2016 was a very hard year. Individually, as individual societies, as a collective of societies, globally. A year that brought a lot of pain and insecurity for the future. 2016 also brought a lot of grief. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Muhammad Ali, Ronnie Corbett, Prince, Michael George, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher were among many many others who died this year. All celebrities and we all mourned for them. But please, don’t take me wrong, it is sad that all these people died, but still there was something therapeutic the same time. With a celebrity’s death, it doesn’t matter how much you loved the person and their contribution to art, there is no guilt.

ref02_400_02From January to October 2016, 94 people died only in the waters of the Aegean Sea trying to escape war, crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece on boats that couldn’t survive inside a bathtub. Among them kids, five, six and eight years-old. We all saw the pictures and we all felt the pain since the death of a kid is something that bringa pain to all of us. We all felt tears in our eyes and we all felt the guilt. The guilt of doing too little. The guilt of doing nothing. The guilt of sitting comfortably in front of your screen, with a cup of hot tea in hand, looking at a lifeless body of a four year-old on the shores of the Mediterranean.

But with David Bowie it was not the same, was it? Great artist, most likely you all have a record or a CD of his, definitely you know his work. A man who lived fully his life, often to the edge. Yes, grief but no guilt. No responsibility.

No responsibility.

2016 was the peak of a series of years that taught us personal preservation at any cost. Save yourself, improve your situation at any cost. Even if that means ignoring what’s happening next to you, even if that means stepping on your fellow human. First blame the others of all your past misfortunes – the further they are from you the better – then water your environment with fear and hatred and in the end vote for Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage, Timo Soini, Norbert Hofer, Geert Wilders, Beppe Grillo, Giorgos Michaloliakos, Erdogan, there is no end in this list and it is all because people don’t want to take any responsibility.

I’m afraid 2016 will mark the years to come and there is very little that will change in 2017 with all the preparation the …dark side has done.

What remains for us? For the ones still fighting? For the ones still believing that democracy is a way of life? For the ones who protect Thermopylae from the barbarians?

To show responsibility.

From my heart to all of you but first to everybody in the Ovi Team

Happy New Year.

It is going to be a very difficult year and here in Ovi we have to make a stand to stop the barbarians, but we have faith in humanity and democracy.

Happy 2017

With good health, love and strength for you,
your families and the ones who love you!

 Thanos Kalamidas

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Emanuel Paparella2017-01-01 14:28:29
Indeed Thanos, indeed, the barbarians are at the pass and the pass needs to be defended, sometimes sacrificially, and not just with words and good wishes but with difficult, even heroic deeds.

But let's not forget either that sometimes the barbarians are within the citadel, among us posing as collaborators, hidden in waiting in a wooden horse, and that we as mere writers, editors, lecturers, may not be on the directly on the battle field but can assume the role of Cassandra and hope against hope that the catastrophe will ultimately avoided, and democracy saved.

Of course it does not make it any easier to have the cynics among us keep us entertained with jokes and practical advise, while decrying idealism and promoting their positivist, anti-poetical anti-humanist realism.

Ultimately it is a conspiracy; a conspiracy of hope!

Long live the conspiracy of hope.

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