Sunday, February 12, 2012

Greece: The power of symbols

It's hard to resist the grim spectacle of Greece. I am fascinated by the symbols. In Athens—the birthplace of democracy, as they say—people express discontent with their democratically elected leaders by hurling gasoline bombs at the police. Okay. Okay, let's say it again. In the land of an ancient democratic heritage, citizens vote "no" with Molotov cocktails.

How is this for attacking a symbol but missing the implications of that attack: Here are Greeks—who presumably seek financial support from Germans—burning a German flag. Think the citizens of Berlin will miss the point? Or how about this one: Greeks—who want the world to lend them money, buy their goods, hire their people, and visit their land as tourists—burn down a Starbucks.

Or how about this: The AP and Reuters label people throwing rocks and firebombs as "protesters" or "demonstrators"—while their adversaries are depicted as—oddly—"riot police." If you thought "riot police" defended civil order against "rioters," you are mistaken—and you do not know the protocols of international journalism.

Here is a member of the "riot police" dodging a rock thrown by a "protester."

Let's conclude the evening's commentary thus: I—a consumer of news—must suppress a riot of laughter whenever I witness members of the international press trying to understand the world they live in.



Υiota Mitiou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brandsinger said...

Hi Yiota:
Great hearing from you, and thanks for your comment.

First, I take your word for it that most Greeks protest peacefully. I was reacting to the riots and bomb-throwing.

Second, I have not heard that German crimes during WWII were part of today's financial discussions. I wonder if today's Germans know about your persistent anger and financial claims -- because if they knew this, they would never risk buying Greek bonds or investing in Greek businesses. Certainly you should have that conversation with them.

Third, I wish you all the best. I know that there is worry and suffering in Greece. I tend to be flippant and (superficially?) clever on this blog -- but I take your comments seriously and will consider them as I watch events unfold in your country.


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Anonymous said...

I wish Greece the best, but there is something that surprises me.
You take our money and burn our flag?

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