About a couple of times I saw, in passing, in a TV ad or something, this American singer with a gravelly voice who "sings":
"What a wonderful world …
The sky is blue …"
These are the only words that have stuck in my mind. There is a lyricism and nostalgia in the words and the rendering of the song by the singer is impressive. Yet the music, almost a recitative, is childish and a bit affected to emphasize the "wonderfulness" of the world.
Anyway, nobody can deny that after water, food, and mating, music is a fundamental part of human nature.
The "rulers" of any human community rule by controlling (mostly through violence; physical or mental) all the needs of the members of that community. Music is no exception to this rule.
The folk music of all peoples, has tremendous quality and beauty, due to a musical history of thousands of years behind it. However, from a certain point in the cultural evolutionary process the "production" of music turned into an "art". So, a few centuries ago Bach and Handel, using the tools of this art, composed music that is a treasure in the history of humanity. This treasure was usurped by the world elites and was used as an instrument to separate the highbrow culture of the elites from the lowbrow vulgarity of the "ordinary" people. The argument was that the elite 1% were the only ones that could … "understand" the music of Bach and Handel. Which, of course, is bullshit.
When the TIANA (There Is AN Alternative, for example a "pareconish" alternative) spreads in the world, and the ordinary people will have water, food, and sincere and honest mating, the treasure of the music of Bach and Handel will be part of the source of all culture; the "lowbrow" humans. As was mentioned elsewhere, the works of Bach, or Handel, or of Praxitelis, or of Rodin, or of Noam Chomsky are ecumenical. What matters is that ordinary people should enjoy and appreciate them.
So, now, following the thoughts of the American singer, let us examine this "wonderful world" and its "blue sky", a world that the above "cultured" 1% have created:
This guy, whose name is unknown to us, about 25 centuries ago ran from Marathon [a nice place by the sea about 40 kilometers north of the Acropolis] to the community of the Athens of that time, at the foot of the Acropolis, and shouted "we [the Greeks] are victorious" against the Persian invaders. Of course, when you defend yourself against an aggressor you are not victorious, you try to stay alive. Suppose the Iraqis had defeated the Bushes, father and son, would they be victorious or they would have simply managed to avoid Fallujah? At the Greek elementary school I was taught that the name of the above guy was Fidippidis and that after he uttered the above words he collapsed and died. Official history has it that Fidippidis [lacking the services of an e-mail], instead, ran from Athens to Sparta (the titular "Vaterland" of today's Greek Nazis) to ask the Spartans to help defeat the Persians. It took Fidippidis two days to ran the distance from Athens to Sparta of about 240 kilometers, that is about six "marathons".
In 1896 the ancient "Olympic Agon[es]" were revived and became the "Olympic Games". [According to Merriam: "agon: the dramatic conflict between the chief characters in a literary work". According to Greek [modern and ancient]: "agon" means "struggle", as, say, "social struggle".
So, this rather harmful [do not forget that Fidippidies collapsed and died after running the first Marathon] and crowded spectacle, was chosen by two young men to express the dominant feeling of this wonderful world we are living in. The feeling: Hate, visceral hate!
The Russian-Chechnyans that killed and maimed in Boston hated the culture that they themselves had already absorbed and were proud of, when confronting their friends in Russia. The fundamental factor in this drama of irrationality is the instrument used to employ that hate. The instrument: Religion! Of course, the two men, in reality, did not give a shit about religion, as do the millions of humans that use religion as an instrument to make a living, or to secure respectability. or to follow the pack, or to survive, or … Or, take that pious US President who is employing drones to kill and maim women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan , Yemen , etc. Has he ever thought about the hate he is instilling in the hearts of the humans whose loved ones he is slaughtering, in the name of gentle Jesus. Of course the sky for the drones in Afghanistan is blue, as it is in Athens, Berlin, or Manhattan.
The first time that science was linked to technology was in 1842, when the German Justus von Liebig applied chemistry to make synthetic fertilizer. My estimate is that, if there are historians still on this planet, after, say, 50 years, they will have a very difficult task assessing the pluses and the minuses of that technological accomplishment.
Until then, people will have to endure situations as the one that happened in a fertilizer plant in the town of West, in Texas, on April 17, 2013, when 28 tons of chemicals, that the German Baron, Justus von Liebig offered to humanity, exploded killing 15 people, injuring hundreds of others, devastating a 37-square-block area, creating a crater of 93 feet wide and 10 feet deep.
Now, sitting close by was a rail car holding about 100 tons of the chemical compound, which did not explode.
Putting aside the quality of the offering of the German Baron, did my fellow-engineers ever take seriously the possibility of an accident when they were moving this material en masse in the plant? And, if not, why they did not? The answer: more profit less expense for the … owner of the plant.
I know that the sky is still blue in the town of West, in Texas. However, what we should learn is: of the thousands of existing synthetic compounds, how many have been tested for harm to humans, in this wonderful world of chemistry.
We cannot stop tornadoes [or earthquakes]. What we can do [in both cases] is design structures that protect life. Have the universities of the world ever designed houses for the ordinary (repeat: ordinary) people of the world, houses that are cheap and safe, in the case of tornados? The answer: they have solved a more difficult problem. They can design structures that can resist a nuclear blast and will not collapse, so that the expensive machinery in them will remain more or less intact.
In a nuclear blast a vertical pole (or column) is not affected by the blast, because the overpressure-wave engulfs the pole almost instantaneously, as it has to travel the insignificant distance of the diameter of the pole. If this holds also for tornados, could a forest of sturdy poles built-in securely in the soil be the starting point for a system of using these poles as anchors for various structures or objects? Does anyone care about this problem?
In Greece, about 20 miles west of Olympia, which is supposed to be one of the most "sacred" places of this wonderful world, as it is the birthplace of the Olympics, there is a place called Manolada. On April 17, 2013, about 200 Bangladeshi migrant workers in the strawberry fields of Manolada, who had not been paid for six months, asked the owner of the farm to pay them. Three foremen of the owner got their shotguns and started shooting the migrant workers. About 30 workers were wounded, suffering wounds in the abdomen, the legs, and the eyes. Then the three braves run in search of a hiding place.
One of the braves, last summer (2012) assaulted an Egyptian migrant worker and jammed the man's head in the window of a car door and dragged the migrant along the road for a long distance. Here we are again, in the wonderful world of (inexplicable) hate. Did the Greek redneck do that because that was a matter of profit, or other economic factor? No, it was hate for the dark-skinned foreigner. Or take today's (June 10) news about Edward Snowden, the really brave young American who leaked the NSA data. He said that he "joined the armed forces in hopes of helping the Iraqi people escape from oppression, but was jarred that his commanders 'seemed pumped up about killing Arabs'". (NBCNews). That a redneck, Greek or other, will behave like that, is "normal", but a refined American an "officer and a gentleman", at that, is not expected to stoop so low.
Incidents like that were unknown in Greece up to a couple of decades ago. Now there is a US cultural invasion [see below] that resembles the situation in California and the Mexican migrant workers. I guess the product there was … lettuce.
For the last two years I have been conducting a rather unusual test. With every person I met each day [friends, neighbors, salespeople, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, etc] I purposely struck a conversation about the situation in Greece. Given that there are 52 weeks in a year, if I talked to one person per week for these two years, that makes a total of about 100 persons, at least. If I talked to two persons per week the total would be 200 people and so on. Therefore, the "sample" was not insignificant. Again, purposely I ended the conversation with the phrase: "There is only one solution to the Greek problem: the gallows!" There was no need to mention that the gallows were meant for the political rulers of the country. The result of the test: Not a single person did not agree to that solution. An important characteristic of the result: women were more eager and aggressive in their will to apply the solution. [My explanation for this [originating with the Nazi occupation of Greece]: women, as mothers, have to look into the eyes of their children, when they are hungry, or cold, etc.]
What is really amazing is that the most important person responsible for managing the present situation in Greece, agrees, in essence, with the solution. A few months ago he said: "I will not be the first person to be hanged at Syntagma Square."
The man is named Stournaras, and is the Minister for the Economy [or whatever]. Stournaras, a youngish man in his fifties, is a university professor with a degree from Oxford. Yet, his most important characteristic is his Nazi SS (or US Marines) haircut. Having been born after the Nazi occupation of Greece he did never set eyes on the haircut of an SS German. However, he is probably familiar with the haircut of the US Marines in the US Embassy in Athens.
It is more than certain that a similar test in Italy, in Spain, in Portugal, in Ireland, and even in France will produce the same result as a solution to the problem of the European South. For the US the word for the solution will have to be substituted by the name Nuremberg, as the problem with the US rulers is ecumenical not national.
Of the 84 years on this planet, I have lived almost the entire period in Athens, Greece. For the first three or four decades (1930 to 1970) the words "protection" (money paid to neighborhood thugs) and "coach", were unknown. The word "narcotics" (a Greek word) was used in extremely rare cases.
Today, "protection money" is part of the Greek "culture", via Hollywood and other imports from the US, as shown by the news in the media, of burned shops or even demolished buildings, whose owners refused to pay "protection money".
As a kid and as a young man, when referring to the person who trained soccer or basketball players, I heard Greeks use the word "pro-ponetes" [someone who makes others labor before the game, etc.]. Today, that word was erased from the Greek language. The new word: "coach"! [Pronounced by the Greeks as something akin to "crotch"]. So this time the "cultural" invader from the US was the word "coach" and maybe the occasional "pederast" [also a Greek word]. By the way, what happened to the latest American pederast coach?
Of course, it is not the borrowing of the words per se, a natural and valuable practice, that constitutes the "cultural" invasion, but the collateral barbarity that accompanies it. Take the "coach" case. Many years ago a German named Rehagel [or something] came to Greece and trained a Greek soccer team which got a European cup or some other glorious kitchen utensil. Now, a few weeks ago Donald Rumsfeld's protege, a.k.a Angela Merkel, had dispatched to Greece Rehagel, by now a retired [?] trainer in Germany, as an emissary, to help the Greeks become worthy Europeans. Just think of the maturity or infantilism of Chancellor Merkel, dispatching a "coach" to improve the quality of Greeks, a people the youth of which speak two to three foreign languages, or have teaching jobs at MIT, etc. As expected, the Greeks ignored the emissary with a sneer.
In Kypseli (Beehive, in English), the Greek neighborhood in which I was born, up to 1941, there was probably not a single drug addict. Then, Hitler's Stukas bombed Pireus, the port of Athens, and a part of the population of the port moved to Athens, which was a safer place, as Hitler, an admirer of the ancient Greeks, had decided not to bomb Athens, the host city of the Acropolis , etc. [On the contrary, in December 1944, after the Nazis left, Churchill positioned British soldiers on the Acropolis to fight the Greek leftists. Those British soldiers hang their rifles and their laundry from the arms and other protrusions of the statutes of classical Greece! These very statues are now the main exhibits in the Acropolis Museum in Athens, visited by people from all over the world and probably the offspring of those British soldiers]. Pireus, being a port, was a city of Christian sin; of prostitution and (limited use) of drugs. So, Kypseli, in 1941, gained its first drug addict who smoked … marihuana, a man in his early thirties who did not have a job, or a friend but only his family that supported him.
Today, thanks to "Air America" of the CIA, we see on the first page of the May 23, 2013 issue of the International Herald Tribune, the Global US newspaper, not the usual Renaissance-style chiaroscuro colored photo, but a black and white one. The text beneath the photo reads: "A young drug addict and prostitute … in Athens lay in bed after using a cheap drug … With Greece in an economic crisis, and unemployment near 60 percent for young people, some are turning to prostitution and drugs". The photographer: Angelos Tzortzinis, a Greek! Did he write the text or was it Liz Alderman who wrote on page 4 [an entire page!] of the paper: "With the country heading into the fifth year of economic depression, and unemployment near 60 percent for young people, greater numbers of women and men are offering their bodies for next to nothing to get any scrap of money".
Notice the expressions: "60 percent", "some", and "greater numbers" and the way they are positioned in the sentences. Is there an effort to convey to the reader the idea that close to 60 percent of the Greek young are selling their bodies? Also, not only young Greek women, but also young Greek men are prostituting themselves. Any comment on the work of Tzortzinis and of Alderman is avoided, as it will be in extreme anger.
Compared to the prostitution of Amsterdam, Paris, Hamburg or Manhattan, Athens does not even make it to the bottom of the list. [Here is the tile on the cover of the German magazine "Der Spiegel", Nr. 22/2013, for this week: "BORDELL DEUTSCHLAND" (Bordello Germany)]. That, from almost zero, there are thousands of young Greeks who are drug addicts, was explained above. That drug addicts do, what drug addicts do, is not news, in this, basically made-in-the-US, wonderful world of ours.
However, the above "journalists" avoided to mention that Patision street, is the "sidewalk" for young women and girls from Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. As there are other streets in Athens, that are open-air bordellos. Have these "journalists'" ever asked themselves who drove these humans to Patision street. The street a few blocks off of which I was born and spent eight years in a High School close to Patision street and five years in the Polytechnic, on Patision street, the most important and historic educational institution of Greece. So, who drove them to the "sidewalks" of Patision street? Of course, both know the answer: The Clintons, the Bushes and now the "drone-addict" Obama the "African-American"! When I was twenty years old, in 1950, there were not more that 100 women working in this field in Athens, mostly young pregnant women abandoned by the usual male assholes. So, the digital age increased that number, let us say, tenfold to one thousand. However, the "great numbers" of Greek (repeat: Greek) young people prostituting themselves offered by the "journalists" are close to one million!
Finally, the important question is: where are the people at Langley aiming at, with this article?
[T]he role of the US in the post-WWII life of the two peoples [the Turks and the Greeks has been] paramount. Both countries have been governed by local elites that were proxies of the US. Both countries were strangled by US-backed dictatorships, when needed by the US elite, is also part of their recent history. That the police or military torturers in both countries were trained in the US is also a sad truth for the Christian people of America. However, it was an association of democratic lawyers of New York that made public the names of the Turkish torturers and the names of their American instructors more than 30 years ago! In Greece two of the most brutal, US-trained, torturers were executed in the streets Athens. This, from my ZNet Commentary "Of Turks and of Greeks" of May 26, 2010.
Erdogan, the present ruler of Turkey, as the "peddler"of a moderate Muslim state has been the continuation of the US dominance in Turkey. As expected, after more than a decade of rule, Erdogan had the usual "malady" of grandeur, etc. The Turkish people reacted, in the squares.
Also, from the above Commentary, referring to a Turkish serial ["One Thousand and One Nights"]:
– "Scheherazade", a young architect. Actress: Berguzar Korel. The epitome of the ideal womanhood on earth. Honest, proud, and kind. She has demolished the "synthetic", surgically and chemically produced "blond" of Hollywood. One fervently expects that the actress is the same in her private life.
– "Onur", a young Harvard-educated economist. Actor: Halit Ergenc. A no-nonsense, rational, and honest male. The same expectation holds for his private life.
Bergusar Korel and Halit Ergenc, now married, were in the, inundated with police chemicals, Square in Istanbul, demonstrating. An answer to their quality as private persons.
Imagine Marylin Monroe demonstrating against JFK. Or Meryl Streep demonstrating against that virile president … Bill Clinton.
Will the Turks in the squares succeed to "overcome"? I think they will. Then, the Greeks, a fraternal people of the Turks, will have a helping hand from the Turks, as the Turks, already did that during the Nazi occupation of Greece in 1941-44.
[Bulletin from Athens]
The list of items is short, but very dark [no "blue sky" here]:
– Nazis: It is becoming almost obvious that the Nazis are assigned to provoke real trouble. To understand what is going on think of a Timothy McVeigh-type of person, who is a Nazi member of the US Congress, addressing another member of Congress in the House or Senate assembly and repeating three times: "You are a jerk! All of you are jerks!" This happened a few days ago in the Greek Parliament when a Nazi member of parliament addressed a member of SYRIZA, the left party. The reaction of the insulted leftists can be described as measured. It seems that, that was the wise thing to do.
The present Greek government consists of three parties: 1. The New Democracy, a party representing (with various names) the 33% rightist section of the Greek people, which has been in and out of power, as a proxy of the British or the US, for more than a century. 2. The PASOK: "socialists", established by Andreas Papandreou a US professor of economics. and 3. The Democratic Left, a "creation" by a lawyer who, for his entire life, has been cultivating the image of a serious person.Today cartoonists have the perfect subject to exercise their art. Parties 2. and 3. are by now insignificant. What is significant is that the two top persons that, Samaras, the leader of New Democracy and Prime minister of Greece has by his side are two former Nazis. Both of these "respectable" Nazis have been on our TV screens, almost daily for years.
– Health care: To whom it may concern:
The health care services for the Greek people have become a humanitarian-problem case. People are starting to die because of lack of personnel, medicine, and funds.
This is a wonderful world and the sky is blue. They were "meant" to be that way. They were not "meant" to be filled with drones, or pepper spray, or chemicals.
It is up to us to keep them that way. We have the instruments: the Squares. The Squares of freedom, of dignity, and of JUSTICE. Justice for those that make the world miserable and the sky filthy. And this time, justice not in Nuremberg, but in Athens, in Istanbul, in Rome , in Madrid, in Lisbon, in Dublin, and in Manhattan.