Sunday, August 29, 2004

"At the root of evil" is different

I ran across this Mikis Theodorakis interview in Haaretz on Friday and it was a prime piece for bashing but I had no time for it, busy as I was not learning HTML. I bumped into it now on Silent running where I hoped to enjoy a right good bashing administered by Tom Paine. Bummer. Tom thinks he has come down with SJHFS but some of his weariness might have been from the sheer quantity of fantasy, contradiction and illogic Theodorakis spewed in one interview.

For instance,

... "The Jews of Greece were not different from the Greeks. They were entirely Greek. They loved their work and loved their family. At school they were the best. Good friends, good neighbors. No problems."

But there must have been something problematic as well. They were the other. They were different.

"The Jews were picturesque. I remember that for the old women, the Jews were the ones that crucified Christ!"

"In 1932 I was in Ioannina. There was a very big Jewish community there. I played with the Jewish boys all the time. My grandmother was very religious. She had a room full of icons. She sang psalms. Much of my music was influenced by her religious singing. And I remember that in the springtime she said to me: Now that its Easter, don't go to the Jewish quarter. Because during Easter the Jews put Christian boys in a barrel with knives inside. Afterward they drink their blood."

Was this story imprinted in your young mind?

"It was a very powerful image. Years later, before I was a communist, I was a member of a fascist youth movement. It was a state-sponsored movement during the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas. We walked up and down the streets in uniform and heiled all the time. It was a bit like the Hitler youth but comical. One day they gave me an assignment: to talk the next day about communism. I went home and asked my mother what is communism. She said she didn't know but she thinks it's something evil. What kind of evil, I asked. Evil like the Jews, she said. So I asked her if the communists also put little boys in barrels with knives and drink their blood.

What do I want to say by telling you all this? These things exist. I wasn't aware of it before, but now, through your questions, I realize it is there."

Would you agree with me that for Christian Europe the Jewish people is not just another people. The Jews have a unique role in the inner theater of the European mind.

I don't know about Europe. It's different than Greece. Different religion, different culture. We don't have religious dogmas. We are not fanatic."

Theodorakis claims Jews use victimhood as an excuse. Jews in Greece were no different than the Greeks ... except, what? ... that some GREEKS(?) killed Christ. Good friends ... except THESE GREEKS caught poor little Theodorakis's in barrels and drank their blood so stay away from them on Easter day. No problems ... because good little other Greek boys listened to their grandmas at Easter.

Greeks aren't fanatics ... except look at me in the state sponsored parade goose-stepping and heiling. Communism. What the heck is that? ... Mom doesn't know but it sounds as evil as SOME GREEKS to her. By the way, look at us ... Greeks weren't fanatics!

Does Theodorakis really have genes from the same pool that gave us Aristotle and Plato, not to mention quite a few more? Tom Paine said more in declining to fisk this pile. I'll have to get my windex to clean my boots. Tom was kind at the end of his post. Me too -- it's not right to laugh at such a pathetic figure.

Update: Figured out what block quotes are and fixed this post.


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