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Gerard Papasimakopoulos Headshot

Better Learn to Doggy Paddle

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By the time you read this, the Greek elections will probably be over and we will be waiting for the full results of the 6 May ballot battle, to show us what in blue blazes Greece does next.

For even the most optimistic soul living in this country, it's a time rife with uncertainty, heavy with fear and overloaded with less than sunny scenarios concerning what the immediate future holds.

It's been a while since I have written anything here. Frankly, I didn't know what to say. What to feel even. I look around me and I see people pretending that the voting process can potentially change the course of a nation that has relied on its European partners to clean up its loaded diaper for far too long.

I see people wandering the streets, actively believing that the answer to the complete political inability shown by major political dimwits Pasok and New Democracy, is either to head towards leftish good for nothings, who peddle anything from let's-leave-the-euro heroism to let's-stay-in-the-euro-and-tell-them-what's-what hilariousness, or right wing extremism.

The latter of course has been making the headlines all over Europe. Oh look at Greece they say, the cradle of democracy now openly batting its eyelids at neo-Nazi thuggery and heavy right demagoguery. Because nothing says "democracy" like blaming those filthy immigrants for every single zit the country needs to pop on its pretty little face.

No, I don't have a solution, I don't have a proposal. No political representative in Greece has shown the ability to understand the true severity of the situation, no political representative seems to understand that the people flooding the street corners, looking for a slice of pavement to sleep on, is just a social monster waiting to form its legs, hands and torso, its true face not yet evident, its true ability to bite deep into the soul of the Greek psyche not yet shown. Oh sure, the crime rate has exploded. But the frightening thing, is that most feel that this is the only side of the beast.

And how could they possibly? How could they get it? How the hell could any Greek political representative have any idea of what's going on in their country? How could the Greek political system run its motor smoothly, when at ground level, the average Greek still thinks that a political change means "a return to money"? It's a rotten motor, no one denies this, but someone bought the damn thing.

"We need a political change, to breathe again, to get our wages back", the local kiosk owner tells me.

I want to grab him by the throat and throttle him. No, you don't need a political change to get your pockets heavy with coin again. You need a political change to show that Greeks have finally understood what's up. You need political change to show yourself that you actually "get" your responsibilities, your role in the grander scheme of things, your understanding that nothing happens without you, nothing happens because you weren't asked.

Ultimately it's all for nothing. The fact that we're still here, in this country, hoping for a simple colour change, a flag swap, rather than real, active social change is what turns the knife in the open wound.

Like a ship, heavily listing after a torpedo has hit it full on, we're still under the impression that a change of captain will see us safely home. And as officer after officer fails to do anything more than lazily inch the vessel forward, engines coughing wildly, no closer to a safe port than before, there is not a single soul on board that stands up and says:

"Hey, do you think that maybe, we should consider the fact that we're taking on water? A lot of it?"

In truth, it isn't even considered. To hell with it, even if we do sink, the Euro rescue boats will come to our aid right?

Maybe they will. One just hopes they're not late, because most of the crew can't even doggy paddle.

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