Thursday, December 18, 2008

ando a não ler.
não ando a ler.
e não quero ser esta.
e quero não ser esta.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

moçambique (ainda...)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Carta de P., um amigo grego

Dear all,
Over the past few days, you may have watched the news about the widespread riots in Athens and other Greek cities, which were sparked by the killing of a 15-year old boy by a police officer.
Now, I’m fairly sure most of you, quite understandably, don’t care that much about the social problems of Greece.
But, on the other hand, I’m quite sure you do care about the quality of news you get from the rest of the world.
And, if this quality is reflected at all in recent “analyses” of the situation in respected international media, like Malcolm Brabant’s in BBC Online or John Carr’s in The Times, it is frustratingly low indeed.
Reading either of these pieces, one would form the idea that recent events are based on a vague “historical” propensity of Greeks to rebel against authority –as if the furious demonstrators and the Molotov cocktails thrown at police stations over the past few nights are somehow directly linked to the war culture of the Spartans, or even –according to Mr Carr’s informed opinion- to the Trojan wars.
Alas, apart from The Land Of Stereotype, there is a place called the real world.
And, in this world, Greek police can get away, literally, with murder. Time, and time, again. They can beat immigrants in police stations, without anyone being charged or detained. They are allowed, indeed encouraged, to nurture an attitude towards citizens based on force and suppression.
In this world, Greece suffers chronically from a deeply corrupt political and economic elite, which over the last few years has been constantly mired in scandals involving public money and even public land; but unashamedly refuses to even apologize, let alone accept reform.
In this world, virtually every Greek under 25 knows that he or she belongs to what has been widely termed “The 700-Euro generation”; the first generation after WWII growing up with the firm knowledge that they will be worse off than their parents. A generation with little prospect for a better future, and even less hope for it.
It is in this world –and not the one of archaeologically-inclined commentators- that a single bullet can set alight a rage that has been steadily building up for years; and, on a cautiously positive note, begin a much-needed public soul searching of a whole country.
Of course, there is no point in asking you to do something about this. But there is a point in asking you to do something.
Next time you read about “senseless riots” in another country, please do pause for a moment to think of the things the journalistic eye fails to catch.
And please do remember that people don’t burn their own cities just because they have a bad national temper.
Thank you for your attention and have a happy new year.