Friday, November 25, 2011

87 Euro for a concert!

 In continuation to the previous post (see below), I am posting the letter I directed to TED KURLAND ASSOCIATES, official representatives of Pat Metheny. Up to now there has been no reply from either them or the Greek organizers. I 'll just wait a bit, but in case I am not given any serious -or at least consequential- reasoning for the ticket prices, I am seriously considering printing the Greek letter and distributing it outside the theater on the day of the concert.


Dear Sir,

On December 4th, the company "Elliniki Theamaton" organizes a concert by the famous trio of guitarist Pat Metheny (along with Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart), for whom I believe you act as representative. The "Concert of the year!" by which the organizers have chosen to refer to the aforementioned gig, is to take place at Pallas Theater, Athens and has already broken a European record. The one concerning the price of the tickets!
Tickets, now on sale, have prices that start from 50 and go all the way to 87 Euro! Let me reassure you that this price list, in a country where the average wage is one of the lowest in the EU, having dropped to a mere 730 Euro over the course of this year, is not to be considered excessive but outrageous!
Even more so when one compares directly with the prices of other concerts Pat Metheny Trio have given or are scheduled to give throughout Europe this fall.

More specifically:
By visiting the website of the artist ( and by following the links for each show I realize that there have been concerts in:
Bologna (Teatro EuropAuditorium), with ticket prices of 32-50 euros
in Grenoble, France (theater MC2), with ticket prices of 29-42 euros
while there are scheduled gigs for:
Barcelona (in Auditori Concert Hall), with ticket prices of 22-55 euros
and Istanbul (CRR Concert Hall), with ticket prices of 56-89 Turkish Lira (22-35 euros).

Let me point out once more that ticket prices for the Athens concert are: 50, 67, 77 and 87 Euro!
It makes one wonder over the reasons for which the cheapest ticket for "the concert of the year" corresponds to 20% of the minimum wage in our country.

I need not go into details about the economic situation in Greece but, nevertheless feel obliged to bring this incredible discrepancy to your attention. What drives Greek organizers to set such high prices, at the moment that their counterparts in other European cities provide audiences with prices that are 50%, 60% or 70% lower? I fail to see how such a pricing ​​is justified in any way.
In the past- organizers have claimed overpriced tickets to be due to excessive demands on behalf of the artists. Their argument has been that many artists demand greater fees for appearing in countries of the Balkans or Eastern Europe on the basis of limited commercial interest of the audiences thereof. I have always been very reluctant to accept this sort of argumentation. This time, I am convinced it is not case. Pat Metheny Trio gave a concert in Belgrade with tickets in the range of 1200-2000 dinars (~ 11 to 19 euros) and similar prices were set for the gigs in Bucarest, Skopje and Sofia. Why should Greek fans be asked to pay at least 5 times as much to see the same the concert?

Please do not consider this as a letter of complaint. One such - a much bitter one- has already been addressed to the organizers, who have not up to now bothered to provide me with an explanation. My letter to you is only aiming at bringing this matter to your attention, as representative of the group. I understand there is some connection between the artists and their audiences and I simply felt I had to let them now why they should be expecting a less than full house in Athens, next month.

yours sincerely,

Christoforos Nikolaou
a fan

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Μουσικά Χαράτσια

Παρακάτω παραθέτω αυτούσιο το γράμμα που έστειλα σήμερα (22/11) στην Ελληνική Θεαμάτων που έχει το θράσος να ζητάει για τη συναυλία του Pat Metheny στο Παλλάς αντίτιμο από 50 έως 87 Ευρώ! Για να μην νομίζουν ότι  τρώμε κουτόχορτο. Διαβάστε και διαδώστε:


Αξιότιμη/ε Κύρια/ε,

Στις 4 Δεκεμβριου η εταιρεία σας "Ελληνική Θεαμάτων" διοργανώνει στο θέατρο Παλλάς μια συναυλία του τρίο του γνωστού κιθαρίστα Pat Metheny (μαζί με τους Larry Grenadier και Bill Stewart). Η "...συναυλία της χρονιάς!" όπως την χαρακτηρίζετε αποτελεί σταθμό στην Ευρωπαϊκή περιοδεία του εν λόγω τρίο και έχει ήδη σπάσει ενα ρεκόρ. Αυτό της τιμής των εισιτηρίων!!!
Προκαλεί εντύπωση το γεγονός πως η "μεγαλύτερη εταιρία θεατρικών παραγωγών στην Ελλάδα", έχοντας στο δυναμικό της "μερικά από τα ωραιότερα και μεγαλύτερα θέατρα στην Αθήνα" (στοιχεία απο την ιστοσελίδα σας), κατάφερε να "πετύχει" για το ελληνικό κοινό τα ακριβότερα εισιτήρια μιας περιοδείας που συμπεριλαμβάνει συναυλίες στη Ρώμη, το Αμβούργο, την Μπολόνια και τη Βαρκελώνη. Είναι αξιοπρόσεκτο πώς "το έμπειρο διοικητικό και τεχνικό προσωπικό της που καλύπτει όλα τα επίπεδα :  Διοίκηση, Οικονομικές Υπηρεσίες, Marketing, Επικοινωνία, Τμήμα Παραγωγής, Τμήμα Περιοδειών και εξειδικευμένη τεχνική υποστήριξη" (στοιχεία απο την ιστοσελίδα σας) κοστολογεί τα εισιτήρια για την "συναυλία της χρονιάς" με 50, 67, 77 και 87 Ευρώ!!! Την ίδια στιγμή οι αντίστοιχοι διοργανωτές σε άλλες ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις και σε πολύ καλύτερα θέατρα εξασφαλίζουν για το εκεί κοινό τιμές που είναι κατά 50%, 60% ή και 70% χαμηλότερες.

Συγκεκριμένα, κανείς μπορεί με μια απλή επίσκεψη στην ιστοσελίδα των καλλιτεχνών και ακολουθόντας τα links για την κάθε συναυλία να δει πως το ίδιο τρίο στα πλαίσια της ίδιας περιοδείας του έδωσε συναυλίες:
στην Μπολόνια (Teatro EuropAuditorium), με τιμές εισιτηρίων 32-50 Ευρώ
στην Γκρενόμπλ της Γαλλίας (θέατρο MC2), με τιμές εισιτηρίων 29-42 Ευρώ
ενώ πρόκειται να εμφανιστεί:
στην Βαρκελώνη (στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής Auditori), με τιμές εισιτηρίων 22-55 Ευρώ
και στην Κωνσταντινούπολη (CRR Concert Hall), με τιμές εισιτηρίων 56-89 Τουρκικές Λίρες (22-35 Eυρώ).

Θα δει επίσης πως οι ανωτερες τιμές των εισιτηρίων της Αθηναϊκής συναυλίας είναι συγκρίσιμες μόνο με αυτές της Λουκέρνης της Ελβετίας. Ακόμα και οι Ελβετοί μουσικόφιλοι όμως μπορούν να επιλέξουν από χαμηλότερες τιμές μιας και τα εισιτήρια εκεί ξεκινούν από τα 45 Ελβετικά Φράγκα (~36 Ευρώ).

Πριν αρχίσει κανείς να απορεί γιατί το φθηνότερο εισιτήριο για "τη συναυλία της χρονιάς" αντιστοιχεί στο 10% του κατώτατου μισθού στη χώρα μας μπορεί να αναλογιστεί τις εξής πιθανότητες:

1. Το φιλοθεάμον κοινό των πιο πάνω πόλεων να είναι καταφανώς πιο ακαλλιέργητο από αυτό της χώρας μας και να χρειάζονται χαμηλότερες τιμές εισιτηρίων προκειμένου να γεμίσει τα θέατρα.
2. Οι φιλόμουσοι της Βαρκελώνης ή της Μπολόνια να είναι στην πλειοψηφία τους άνεργοι μουσικοί, καθηγητές λυκείου,  καλλιτέχνες με περιστασιακή απασχόληση ή φοιτητές με πενιχρές υποτροφίες και συνεπώς να δικαιούνται ενός φθηνότερου εισιτηρίου από τους αντίστοιχους Έλληνες λάτρεις της jazz οι οποίοι κατά κανόνα κατοικούν στα βόρεια προάστεια, θα "κατέβουν" στο Παλλάς με τα SUV τους και θα αγοράσουν ένα CD της συναυλίας για κάθε οικιακή τους βοηθό.
3. Μια προσαύξηση κατά 50% έως 80% στης μέση τιμή των εισιτηρίων της "συναυλίας της χρονιάς" να αποτελεί ένα μυστικό μέτρο που έχει επιβληθεί από την τρόικα στην Ελληνική Θεαμάτων σαν ελάχιστη συνεισφορά στην αποπληρωμή του δημόσιου χρέους.

Αξιότιμη/ε Κυρια/ε,
Καιρός να σοβαρευτούμε!
Σε περίπτωση που δεν το γνωρίζετε, οι πρωτοδιοριζόμενοι καθηγητές στο Λύκειο αμείβονται με 670 Ευρω, οι δε πρωτοδιοριζόμενοι Λέκτορες στο Πανεπιστήμιο με 930 Ευρώ. Το να κοστολογείτε μια συναυλία (όσο υψηλού επιπέδου κι αν είναι) με ποσά που αντιστοιχούν στο 1/10 του μηνιαίου μισθού τους δεν είναι προώθηση της τέχνης. Δεν είναι καν εμπορική εκμετάλλευση της. Είναι μαστροπεία!

Η διαμόρφωση αυτών των τιμών δεν δικαιολογείται με κανέναν τρόπο, τη στιγμή που οι ίδιοι καλλιτεχνες εμφανίζονται σε μεγάλες ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις και σε καλύτερα θέατρα με σημαντικά φθηνότερο εισιτήριο. Ούτε θα πείσει το επιχείρημα που κατά καιρούς έχει χρησιμοποιηθεί, πως δήθεν οι τιμές διαμορφώνονται ανάλογα με τις απαιτήσεις των καλλιτεχνών. Ο Pat Metheny έπαιξε στο αντι-τουριστικό Βελιγράδι με εισιτήρια 1200-2000 δηναρίων (~11 έως 19 Ευρώ) ενώ αντίστοιχες ήταν οι τιμές στο Βουκουρέστι, στα Σκόπια και τη Σόφια!

Πώς αλήθεια θα εξηγούσατε στους φιλόμουσους της Αθήνας αυτήν την προκλητική προσπάθεια κερδοσκοπίας;
Αν πραγματικά πιστεύετε πως ανάμεσα στο κοινό της "συναυλίας της χρονιάς" δικαιούνται να βρίσκονται μόνο όσοι μπορούν να διαθέσουν 87 Ευρώ για δύο ώρες μουσικής απόλαυσης με λύπη μου θα σας πληροφορήσω πως μάλλον ανήκετε σε μια συγκεκριμένη ομάδα παραγωγών θεαμάτων, των οποίων τα "θέατρα" στοιχίζονται κατα μήκος της παραλιακής και οι οποίοι τουλάχιστον δεν προσποιούνται στο ελάχιστο τους μαικήνες της τέχνης.

Σας παρακαλώ πολύ μην πείτε στον κόπο να απαντήσετε σε αυτήν μου την επιστολή. Ενδεχομένως όμως να χρειαστεί να το κάνετε στους ίδιους τους καλλιτέχνες στους οποίους έχω κοινοποιήσει μια αγγλική μετάφραση της.

Σας ευχαριστώ πολύ για τό χρόνο σας,

με μια κάποια εκτίμηση

Χριστόφορος Νικολάου

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The "political consensus" as an appeasment


The following post was originally published in Greek, some three weeks ago. It has been -badly- translated and reposted here in English for the sake of some stubborn readers who keep asking for news from Greece. Given that the problematic developed in this note -whether or not a coalition government is beneficial for Greece- was finalized only a few minutes ago, I thought it timely to go on and post it again.

Only yesterday (20/10/2011) , with the events already in place to overtake us, the Prime Minister met with the leader of the opposition and asked him to join him to Brussels for the EU Summit. The call resulted in a fiasco. Shortly afterwards, the known communication jackals rushed to portray it as a failure on behalf Mr. Samaras. Both were expected and do not deserve special mention.
What is a little more important is the whole conversation is about this vaunted "consensus" and especially the commitment to it by both members of the government and a large part of the media. The arguments are pretty much as follows:
1. These are difficult moments and political forces need to show unity. The unity will find its reflection in society, which in great relief will experience the historic reconciliation.
2. Our lenders and the accompanying voracious "markets" will judge this consistency between government and opposition as a sign of political maturity. Their satisfaction will be expressed in addressing our country's lending deals with milder economic conditions.
3. Our democracy will finally pass from the "cavemen stage" of the traditional, monolithic debate of ideologies, to that of modern European parliamentary cooperations.

The strongest evidence of the importance and urgency of consensus is the urgent desire of our European partners, a desire that ultimately did not even bother to disguise itself as an "appeal", instead it was manifested as a "demand". This "demand" alone would suffice to make the above executives and their supporters to think twice before advocating the consensus and a coalition government. For one simple reason: That it is extremely doubtful how a consensus between government and opposition would serve the interests of the country under negotiations with exactly those who are urgently asking for it! Under continuing cruel and relentless-as we are being told-consultation with our lenders, the "much-desired" consensus would not work beneficially but only appeasingly. With all the negative implications. Therefore it should be clear that the above arguments in favor of a consensus are perforated. For the following reasons:

1. This so-called "consensus" will not find its reflection in society, for the simple reason that society as a whole is opposed to the imposed policy regardless of wherefrom it originates. Consensus between the two big -at least until recently- parties will simply increase the public feeling that "they're all the same" and will further undermine the faith of the people in the parliamentary system.
2. Our lenders will find an unprecedented opportunity to harden their attitude in terms of their requirements from the current government, which among others will lose yet another bargaining chip. The moment there will be no alternative policy to counter the terms being debated, these should be already considered as accepted. It's surprising how something so obvious has escaped our government officials who to the contrary keep reminding us of the pressure conditions under which the negotiations with our lenders are being conducted.
3. Whether such a development will be for our parliamentary democracy a sign of maturation or regression is evident. Democracy is based on difference of opinion. To openly say that 80% of our MPs being COERCED to agree on a major issue constitutes a progress of democracy is not only amusing. It is dangerous. It suffices to see which political elements within and outside the parliament (far-right, ultra-neoliberals, major mass media groups) are fearlessly backing the latest idea for a national unity government to understand the stakes we are facing.

To wrap it all up, the "consensus" is neither a solution nor a sign of maturity or a springboard to reconcile the divided nation. Instead it is the tombstone for any confidence in the parliamentary republican system  for a large portion of society. It will be a dangerous diversion from our democracy and the easiest way forward for those who negotiate the conditions of lending our heavily indebted country.

The rush and fervor with which some advertise it makes one wonder. Or maybe not?

Originally published in Greek here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let's take it outside

October 1995
Robbie Fowler (aka God). Fined 2000 Swiss Francs for wearing a T-shirt that read "Support the Dockers sacked since September 1995"

 January 2009. Frederic Kanute. Fined 4000 Euro for wearing a T-shirt that read "Palestine" in 4 different languages.

October 2011. Fans of Panathinaikos are arrested after lifting up a message reading: "Politicians, crooks, parliament of the nonchalant. You will be drown by the wrath of the uprising"

Time to take it outside!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Middle Ages

They say one way to judge a society is by the way its people treat animals. I say this is probably too much to expect from modern, western "civilized" states. It would suffice to take a look at how the establishment dictates the treatment of human beings.

Decades of prosperity, "progress" and "development" seem to go down the drain when it comes to question terms like solidarity against the all-consuming human drive for profit. We have formed our societies thinking -or assuming- that it was going to be for the benefit of all. That the unlucky could count on the help of the luckier. That those who are deprived of the most valuable could expect some relief from the ones that have everything. I grew up -or at least I thought I did- in one such society. Contrary to what some people think, I have always been proud to be paying taxes as I considered myself to be contributing to a common fund that would end up giving my parents a hard-earned pension, provide my grandparents with decent health care or come to the aim of a friend who has been seriously injured. This is our greatest achievement. It is the greatest sign of "progress" or "development".

It was, because it turns out it no longer is.
According to our "current needs" and in face of the "fear" of financial failure, the Greek State has decided to cut in half the amount of welfare aid towards handicapped people. Moreover, a "rationalized contribution" strategy demands that they handicapped over the age of 55 pay the full amount for prosthetic limbs. The official excuse is that people were taking advantage of the health care system with excessive demand and overcharged products . At the same time, the same Greek State is trying to appease the "markets" who are demanding a 15% interest rate in order to lend us money (probably not quite as excessive as the demands of the handicapped) and is grateful to the efficient -but not elected- European Union bureaucrats for providing the "know-how" to incompetent -but elected- Greek ministers in order to achieve cuts in expenses.

I am falling short of being grateful to these men for pretending to reduce my country's debt by sending its "crippled" to crawl on the streets. I have the right to decide where my taxes go and I demand my money go to the aid of my fellow citizens before they end up paying the interest of a bank loan. In any other case I should, I must refuse to pay them.
Unlike animals or life-or-death in the middle ages, we have structured our societies on the basis of solidarity, so that we all have a chance to feel useful and complete, so that we are all given the right of creativity and hence we can prosper as a whole. They should not and cannot take this away from us for it will be our greatest defeat.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

it's always May

(Young protesters changing the name of the City Hall Square into 15th May Square in Valencia. Photo by: jacobictus)

It's only been three days since I was contemplating on the need to act, indignant for my passive reaction to what is happening in Greece, discouraged by the way the state has decided to use the police against protesters and disgusted with the way the mainstream media seem to back them up. Thanks to the same media, who have the suspicious tendency to discover a new "terrorist" every time our government is about to announce another set of austerity measures, I -and the majority of Greeks- was still ignorant of the massive protests all over Spain until a few days ago. It looked as if the sensitive journalists of the establishment have failed to realize what was, what IS happening in Spain, where people, young people still maintain the courage to take to the streets, march, shout, even camp in Puerta del Sol, Plaza Catalunya and elsewhere without having to face tear-gas cannisters and globs.

Even more, it looks as if in Spain, the media still see the people -especially the young- for what they really are. Unemployed, in search for a low salary and an even lower rent, disappointed with how their education has turned them into by-products of a system of labour that cares more about interest rates than people and infuriated with their leaders that are too stubborn to realize what is obvious to almost everybody except perhaps to some short-sighted bureaucrats in Brussels. That things, as they are, are simply not working.

The movement of May 15th, is a movement of the young, which sparked of in May, in a European capital. The similarities to that other May, the Parisian one of 1968 end here. The French of the 60s were suffocating in a world of post-war prosperity. They were asking for "imagination to assume power", they were clashing against the police and went back to school once their revolution was smashed. The Spaniards (and the Greeks, the Irish, the Portuguese, tomorrow even the French and Italians) of the 2010s are the casualties of economic warfare. They demand a decent job with a decent pay, a decent place to live. They are pacific and non-violent (for now) but once, when, if their revolution is crashed they will have no other place to go than the exact same streets they now occupy.

Just think about that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the crisis and why one should care

It's as simple as that. The more you care about the current economical crisis, the more you get entangled in something that is beyond the grasp of the great majority of the people, even well educated ones. Over the last year, I have been trying to understand the basics of the global financial system through reading of newspapers, analyses, economists' blogs, by watching (good and bad) documentaries and talks on TV. But there was just too many SWAPs, too many derivatives and too many interests (literally speaking) for a poor bioinformatician to handle. I ended up wasting a great amount of my time without really getting a more elaborate idea than the one I had in the beginning: "There is something systematically wrong in this system".

I soon reached the conclusion that one should not really care about it. Let's face it. Life is short and one cannot expect but to pursue only a small part of his dreams over its course, the amount of which will be greatly reduced if he were to spend his time trying to understand how others pursue their own. My dreams have to do with understanding the way nature works, the particularities of the human soul expressed through literature and music, the extent of human ingenuity through football tactics. Other people's dreams have to do with how to become rich at the expense of others. It is a minor dream chosen by petty people. I said, let them have it their way.

The problem is that THEY are not letting me have it MY way.
Over the last week, these petty people, the little men (and women) in Brussels, Strasbourg and whichever place it is that their insignificances choose to hold their meetings, have been trying to "convince" the greek political parties (and hence the Greek citizens) to reach a consensus otherwise they will not carry on with the financial "aid" towards our country. The consensus here being simply the opinion the two greatest parties have on the memorandum that the greek government has signed with the IMF/EU/ECB "troika". It is, in fact, a common extortion of the worst kind. They are not urging the political forces of the country to reach an agreement. They simply demand that they all accept the -already signed- terms of the treaty as being the only way to go. Yes, we are back at the times of "total solutions". "Arbeit machts frei" is soon to follow.

Under these circumstances, carrying on with one's own business simply is not an option anymore. Even if for the majority this looks like no great a change, we are facing a challenge on which we cannot turn our backs. Democracy is at stake, the whole tradition of the Enlightenment, on which our culture has based its foundations is in danger. Lending money in a way that would have made Shylock blush is one thing. Making sure that a pay back will be done in a way that would ask for ever greater loans, thus holding a whole generation as financial hostages is another thing. But to demand that everybody says "Yes, we love the way you are screwing us up" is a whole different one.

Going beyond just the end of democracy, it is the end of reason.

Friday, May 6, 2011

the man who ran a lot

When I was a little boy, two things were very common on Saturday nights. One, my parents, still quite young and too tired of staying in the whole week, wanted to go out. Two, the Greek TV, still in its innocent youth was overwhelmed with old Greek comedy films, most of them shot during the 50s and 60s. The two combined meant that I had to spent a great number of my childhood's Saturday evenings watching Greek comedies at my grandparents place in the -then- quiet and picturesque neighborhood of Gazi.

There was one more thing. Back then, I could not stand Greek films. Oddly enough for a child at my age (these evenings were more frequent at the age of 5 to 10), I had the greatest distaste for these naive -I then thought- productions that could simply not compare to the historical Hollywood feature films like "Spartacus" or "Lawrence of Arabia" that were my father's favourites. Even more strangely, I could not stand colour. I vividly remember having a strong preference for black and white films, which to my eyes appeared more original, as I found it hard to accept that technicolored, cinecitta-like, musical extravaganzas had anything to do with Greece in the 60s. To my childish eyes -and as it now seems to the eyes of most people-, Greece in the 50s and the 60s was a black and white place, poor but romantic, grey and nostalgic.

Among those black and white films, there was only one kind I really LIKED to watch (to the relief of my grandparents). Those starring Thanassis Veggos. Aka our "good man". Aka "the man who used to run a lot". Truly the most talented Greek comedian of all time, undoubtedly the most innovative, simply the most beloved actor in the (short and moderate) history of Greek cinema. There was that time, I still remember, when Veggos was on, that everything stopped. At the age of 7, I could not get all his lines and I was puzzled by some of his references to anti-military themes, but there was something in this man's voice, his constant running up and down, his overall struggling that to me was -subconsciously- identified with the Greek soul.

To my childish eyes, THAT was Greece in the 60s. A guy in black and white, always in a working-class neighborhood, obviously uneducated but curiously wise, working three or four jobs to get by. A guy who never gets rich, never gets the pretty girl, never gets to be famous. Yet a guy with a smile that cannot be beaten, a laugh that cannot be silenced, a face impossible to be forgotten.

The "man who ran a lot" reached the finish line last Tuesday. Given that our Greece today is starting to resemble that black and white country his films took place in, there is a growing demand that we live up to his effort.
After all, life is a relay race.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

becoming Bin Ladin

Bin Ladin's henchmen and followers have repeatedly kidnapped, killed, decapitated westerners, often innocent reporters, whose bodies were never recovered. Through the eyes of fellow westerners, those have been considered, barbaric, intolerable acts of cruelty not abiding by the moral standards of our advanced societies.

After the killing of Usāmah bin Lādin, alongside three other men and a woman, the same westerners were pleased to announce that justice has been done. Unfortunately, this was justice the Bin Ladin-way. Breaking and entering, shooting indiscriminately -as none of the 25 extremely capable U.S. Navy Seals were harmed during the shooting-, kidnapping the body and bearing it in the sea as "finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult."

Now that ʾUsāmah bin Lādin "sleeps with the fishes", there is perhaps a timely question to answer. Is this the kind of example we "westerners" will pass on to "those rogue, backward muslims"? What has become of the western democracies in times when even a not-so-common terrorist suffers the exact same end would advocate for his victims? President Obama who thought that "yes we could", Frau Merkel who found Ladin being dead (correction: killed) to be good news and President Sarkozy who greated a preposterous act of violence as "a major event in the fight against terrorism", should think again.

Perhaps, they are becoming just like Bin Ladin

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

please do not like this post

When I started this blog I (must have) had a number of reasons. Nowadays, I can't quite recall any of them. Surely, if I try hard I may come up with a couple of new ones but something tells me it would be quite pointless. Over these last five years, there has been so much blogging, tweeting and status updating, that it would be hard for anyone not only to keep blogging but even to find valid reasons for doing so.

It has therefore become striking to realize that there are perhaps more bloggers and tweeterers out there than those who actually find the time -or simply bother- to read all the blog posts, interesting articles and "memes" circulating the "blogosphere". At least, I find it extremely difficult and have thus gradually shifted from being a blogger to panting out of breath to catch up with the bulk of interesting stuff piling up in my Google-Reader page. Not that I manage. Most of the times, I find myself utterly distracted, slightly dazed and disorientated in front of a dozen of open tabs, each pointing to a great album review, a nice piece published on TLS, an interesting scientific paper and a couple of reporting stories, all these in various languages (my moderate ability to read in 4 languages only worsens my distraction), none of which I manage to read in its entirety. What do I do then? I simply click on the "share" button of my browser and there it is. My somewhat interesting discovery is posted as a facebook update or a tweet, for other people to finish up what I couldn't. Read the damn thing!

It's not just me I assume. More and more we are turning into a universe of "sharers" of things that very rarely live up to their real meaning. There is simply so much of information out there that it is impossible for one to parse even the slightest portion of it. We end up reading abstracts in an abstract way, browsing through titles infested with "buzz-words", we share, we post, we forward, we like but very rarely read. Instead we create a universe of links, a web upon the web, where texts and hypertexts are connected like mass-less, volume-less dots without content.

And yes, all and all it's just another dot on the web. So please do not "like" this post!