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Cultures in crisis

The financial crisis in Greece has caused detrimental havoc in the greek morale, and that, my friends, is the understatement of the century. The over-analysis combined with the lack of any will to remain calm and face tha facts escalate once the media come into play. Yep, drama did originate in Greece. Even if the Aristotelian definition of tragedy were to have gotten lost before anyone ever knew of him, the current climate projected onto people’s faces, driving style, tone of voice and lack of any trace of positive energy, make it plain : drama is indeed a greek thing.

Us Greeks should be well aware that it is our job to produce, maintain and help tragedy develop to its full capacity. If people aren’t swearing at each other on crudely presented late night reality shows, we are nowhere near fullfilling our role as Greeks in the universe.

Other cultures, such the Anglosaxon culture for example, keep calm. It is what it is. We’ll do the best we can. We shall take one step at a time. There may be some exception, but in general, people don’t drive like madmen ready to blow their heads into a million pieces because the country is in financial turmoil. Americans aren’t happy about the financial crisis in the US either. The news, however, focus mostly on consumer confidence and gas prices. Channels do not pick the most tragic title for their ‘news at ten’ ad and they do not repeat this herrendously tragic and fear infusing headline throughout the day just to intimidate the ones that aren’t yet terrified by means of incessant repetition.

Embracing fear brings a familiar tragedy back for us Greeks considering that the German occupation of World War 2 wasn’t that far back. Suffering and striving and struggling and fighting is familiar territory for the Greek psyche of recent times. Ladies in their 50s and 60s are almost happy to be complaining about the crisis, cursing politicians and showcasing the suffering that is either taking place or is about to take place. ‘I am cooking simpler things these days because of the crisis’ ‘In this crisis we should all be taking the bus’. Everything we didn’t feel like doing because it required too much energy, too much work or we just didn’t feel like doing,  all of a sudden turns to a fashionably ‘out’ activity. There’s a crisis. Noone should be doing it anyway. Let us all stay home and moan or gather someplace and moan collectivelly. This way the tragedy will be lived out, felt and somehow dealt with in a masochistic yet agressive and bold manner. It’s not the most efficient way to deal with a problem, it’s not polite and seam-free, it is incessantly crude if not downright barbaric, but it’s as extreme as it gets; and tragedy needs extreme states of being to play out right. Hopefully, the much-needed catharsis, will come in a form that includes a little less passionate moaning and groaning and a lot more cold and calculated action…

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