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But seriously a bit ...personal
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-02-09 07:35:10
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The last three weeks I have been travelling abroad for personal reasons and I have to admit that I tried to keep away from the news. I decided to distance my self from contemporary miseries, wars and natural disasters. Not that things like that don’t happen to the places I was but somehow you are closing your eyes and try to focus in more everyday things, familiar places, friends you missed and loved ones.

And then after this three weeks break I’m back, browsing the news to find that everything has changed and everything remains the same. People still expect Barrack Obama to become the new messiah, nimbus around his head rising from the dust and with his long spear ready to punish the unfair the tyrants and bring peace on earth. People die in every corner of this planet from hunger and lack of clean water, Ukraine has a pro-Moscow president – the other choice was the pro-Washington president which makes you wander if the Ukrainian people will ever have a pro-Ukrainian president. Iran has new nuclear plans and Berlusconi is still the Prime minister of Italy, Gordon Brown is trying surviving through one scandal after the other and Greece economic problems seem to be the reason for the latest earthquakes.

This minute I’m in front of a screen full of pictures and news, Sri Lanka arrests election loser, Michael Jackson’s doctor charged, Fresh Iran sanctions, kills in Kashmir and the same time a CD, a present from a very precious presence in my life, sings “…Always for the elusive I was looking!”  I’m not a pessimist even though a cynic but I have the feeling that something must be done and this something must be done soon.

Is not that the news were any better ten or a hundred years ago, it is that this moment people are bombarded from misery everywhere they turn. And people need some hope to survive. They cannot turn their cheek one more time; it seems that they are doing so all the time. Something must change and I wish I knew where this thing will come from. I have the feeling that even Obama feels the same in his desperation to survive from one problem to the other.

My grandmother used to say that sometimes life is, one day you say “thank you god” and the next day you scream “god help me!” Nowadays every single minute is, god help us! You read on the news that less people bought Nokia telephones in China and start worrying for the price of milk in Finland. With zero savings in your bank account and all your credit cards in red you start watching the quarter results of Ford in USA worrying that you might lose your job in Germany.

And then a natural disaster comes with thousands of dead to remind you that the very same greediness that gambles your life, your job, your future is exactly the same greediness that has destroyed the earth and is lobbying – and unfortunately wins - against your only chance in Copenhagen.

Tomorrow I will return to Ahmadinejad, to Nicolas Sarkozy, to Mugabe, Brown, Obama, Berlusconi and Putin but tonight while it is snowing outside and the temperature is reaching minors twelve let me believe that in the end, somewhere there in the far end there is light and something will change.

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Emanuel Paparella2010-02-09 11:50:45
Indeed Thanos, the news was not any better even at the golden times of Pericles when Aristotle cynically complained that “youth is wasted on the young,” it is that we get so much more of it now and we get it instantaneously and therefore it feels that now there is much more of it, so much more misery to go around. Plato said that poverty has nothing to do with how much or how little one has but with how big one’s desires are. The media and the Madison Avenue advertisers know this only too well and so keep us busy with our desire for more news and more stuff we don’t need to buy. The solution for the West may well lie in the East with the wisdom of a Dai La Lama that suggests that from time to time it is mentally healthy to take a vacation from the appetite for “the most news in the morning…” and fast from those appetites for more news; then a semblance of sanity begins to appear if not anywhere else, within oneself.

In that wonderful novel by Giuseppe di Lampedusa Tancredi joyfully brings the news to his uncle, the Prince of Salina, that Garibaldi has just landed in Sicily with his thousand red shirts and will soon unify Southern Italy to Northern Italy and create a wonderful new nation. The cynical Prince turns to his nephew and gives him the real sober news: indeed
Tancredi, we need to change everything so that everything remains the same. And that is what happens: at the end of the so called unification, Cavour, one of the architects of Italian unification pronounces this famous statement which can now be applied to the EU and the “Newropeans” so called: now that we have made Italy we need to make the Italians. The Prince of Salina had the wiser view.

ap2010-02-09 17:31:23
Let's build a Newrope where we have money as a core value, equivalent to hapiness and success... pretty much like the US!

ap2010-02-09 17:31:54
errata happiness

ap2010-02-09 17:33:25
... and then yes, we will all be a Europe united by one common value and ultimate goal: earn as much money as we can.

Thanos2010-02-09 23:01:45
Well there is nothing left than ...hope!!!

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