Friday, October 06, 2006

Streets I miss

There is a TV spot with parts I dislike, on MBC, the arabic broadcaster. It is about initial impressions and misunderstandings, how something per se negative, if looked at more carefully, is transformed into its opposite: a positive social message. It starts with people approaching, holding red banners, seemingly in anger. The phobia towards public expression of disagreement or, even, protest. Hence the threatening option appears: "Demonstration", but, no, do not worry, the publicizer ticks off the second interpretation: "Celebration". And indeed, by zooming at the facial expressions of the crowd, we see faces with a broad smile and a general festive mood. (Although, I wonder, have you ever seen crowds coming down the streets of any ME city with red banners, in order to celebrate?) What menacing point is there in the word "Demonstration", that it has to be directly set in the group of negative words?
These days i would rather be in Athens, or Thessaloniki, to participate in the frequent demostrations of the teachers asking for a considerable improvement of their salaries, and a better percentage of the GPA invested in education. None of their demands is unreasonable or falling out of the reports of Eurostat(the european central committee for statistics among the member states of EU). The strikers demand a wage of 1400 EU- now it is 900 EU- for the newly appointed teacher, considering that this is a minimal request, given the cost of life in Greece, and they are not wrong at all. The cost of life there is really high, especially if one happens to have children and pay a rent. The spokesman of the Government decided to question not the fact that 900 EU are not enough, but the argument that a newly appointed teacher would normally be 23-24 years old, therefore it is questionable that he/she has a family, or children. That much of cynicism... So, what the conclusion of the statement may be? While you are young, you have to spend your best years in misery, coz you are young and you can physically bear it. Let traveling, vacations, theater and opera, cinema and a decent outing with your friends for dinner, for later, while you will be anyway having objective difficulties to implement these simple projects.
I would like to be there, not only for the sound of the demonstration through the cement avenues, not only for the unexpected meetings with friends I have not seen for years, but also in order to see how the rest of the people look at the demonstrators, with fear?, with support? with the indifference and the annoyance about some people who make noise and cause some delay to their coming back?


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