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An EU middle-age crisis
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-03-25 12:10:00
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For months now I’ve been wondering why my middle-age crisis hasn’t reached me. I have seen it with people I know, they are reach this age, just around 50, when they realized that now we start the countdown - from one day to the next they transform from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde!

Doctor Jekyll is the good family man, works hard, average income, most likely owns a five-door car and summer holidays in a Mediterranean village. And then one night Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde discovering that the dream of a lifetime was to wear a bloody pair of leather trousers and cowboy boots. A black shirt and a vest complete the new look and the big Harley Davidson matches an overweight body and baldhead! Finally a blonde with rich round bits and less brain the better goes well as another accessory, while the difference of age varies from ten to twenty years. I have seen that and I have already been to one wedding where the ‘blonde with rich round bits and the less brain’ found out that her crisis was demanding a wedding ring.

There is another kind of middle-age crisis, which I think I’m closer to. You start searching for your space. You enjoy long weekends away from home, wife and the kids. You read a book that you don’t really understand but is intellectual enough. You are listening to Neil Young and The Who on your iPod, while still believing that this is the real music, not wanting to admit that something quieter, something jazzier, will keep you better company.

Another possibility is that you create your own space in your house, a room you can lock the door and stay inside watching B, C, D and E movies on DVD where the superhero kills all the bad guys with automatic guns and with his bare hands, and in the end he’s kissing the super model before disappearing into the sunset. You do that while eating all the forbidden things since at this age doctors start telling what you are allowed to eat and not what you would like to eat. It’s like my dentist told me once, at our age we wake up every morning and we check what is working and what is not!

Finally, there is the third type. He is around his fifties but he looks sixty and acts like ninety-year-old - no offence to some I know, although some might be eighty and act like thirty, they are the exception of the rule. Anyway, back to the character, he most likely spends most of his time watching soap operas on television seeing his life sinking into the nowhere and his brain gradually going numb!

Now, you might think that is all about me! Wrong! There is somebody else who is going through a middle-age crisis and it looks bad: The European Union. It is fifty years since the Treaty of Rome, so what kind of middle-age crisis is Europe going through?

Is it going to be a Mr. Hyde with a German motorbike, English helmet, French leather and trying to find an American girl ‘blonde with rich round bits and the less brain’ named NATO, who will start going around listening Beethoven’s Ninth or The Beatles’ ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ on the iPod and reading Umberto Eco? It could be even worse, the EU could end up bored watching American soap operas on television dreaming of a life it will never have?

I’m afraid that after seeing the latest photos from the EU meeting with Angela Merkel as president it seems as though the European Union has already found its favorite soap operas.

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John Eastwood2007-03-25 20:54:20
Lets hope it goes the same way as the Dodo!

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