Σάββατο, 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2011
Με ένα άρθρο έκπληξη, ο Ετιέν Ρολάντ, πρώην διευθυντής της Γαλλικής Σχολής Αθηνών και ομότιμος καθηγητής στη Σορβόνη, αναφέρει πως αισθάνεται βαθιά ταπεινωμένος όταν υπάρχουν εφημερίδες που αναφέρουν πως η Ελλάδα είναι λιγότερο ευρωπαϊκή χώρα από όσο δείχνει.
«Τέτοια άρθρα προσβάλλουν το φιλελληνισμό μου και ενισχύουν το μύθο ότι οι Έλληνες είναι ψεύτες και πονηροί, ενώ πόρρω απέχουν από την πραγματική εμπειρία που έχει κάποιος όταν επισκέπτεται την Ελλάδα», τονίζει ο κ. Ρολάντ.
Αρθρογραφώντας στη γαλλική εφημερίδα Le Monde, ο κ. Ρολάντ διερωτάται «αν η Ελλάδα δεν είναι ευρωπαική χώρα, τότε ποια χώρα δικαιούται αυτόν τον τίτλο; Η βαρβαρική Γερμανία ή η ύπουλη Γηραιά Αλβιώνα την οποίο ο κορυφαίος ποιητής της ο Βύρων κατηγόρησε πως λεηλάτησε τη χώρα του Ομήρου; Είναι πιο ευρωπαϊκή η Βρετανία που συστηματικά αρνείται την ευρωπαϊκή αλληλεγγύη ιδίως όταν αυτή κοστίζει χρήματα; Ή μήπως δεν είναι η ίδια χώρα που έφερε το στρατό και το βασιλιά στην Ελλάδα μετά το Β' Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο οδηγώντας στην καταστροφή του εμφυλίου την χώρα που αντιστάθηκε περισσότερο από κάθε άλλη στους ναζι;»
«Όταν ο Βαλερί Ζισκάρ Ντ' Εστέν χαιρετούσε την είσοδο της Ελλάδας στην Ευρώπη, μιλούσε για επιστροφή στις ρίζες καθώς η δημοκρατία και ο πολιτισμός προήλθαν από εκεί. Μπορεί κανείς να πει πολλά για την Αθηναϊκή Δημοκρατία, το θέμα δεν είναι όμως που γεννήθηκε η δημοκρατία αλλά να αναγνωρίσουμε ότι ο ελληνικός πολιτισμός, ή αυτό που λέμε καλύτερα Ελληνορωμαϊκός είναι το μόνο κοινό υπόστρωμα σε μια ήπειρο που τυρρανήθηκε από ιστορίες μίσους και πολέμων. Αυτός ο ελληνικός πολιτισμός γαλούχησε την Αναγέννηση και το Ρομαντισμό δημιουργώντας αυτό που ονομάστηκε «νεοκλασσικισμός», τονίζει ο κ. Ρολάντ.
«Ακόμη και στη νεωτερικότητα και τη μετανεωτερικότητα, που ο κλασσικισμός δέχθηκε επίθεση από παντού, η Ελλάδα δεν έχασε τη θέση της στην Ευρώπη σαν μια από τις πιο φωτεινές και ζωντανές εστίες πολιτισμού.
Με εξαιρετικούς εκπροσώπους σε όλα τα πεδία των επιστημών και της τέχνης, η Ελλάδα είναι παρούσα. Όχι μόνο στην ποίηση, αλλά και στη ζωγραφική διαμορφώθηκε ένα ιδιαίτερο ρεύμα από τον Θεόφιλο που οδηγεί στον Τσαρούχη μέσα από τον Εγγονόπουλο αλλά και στη φιλοσοφία υπάρχουν προσωπικότητες όπως ο Καστοριάδης. Σε όλα τα πεδία θα βρείτε στην Ελλάδα μια αξιοσημείωτη γενιά που ανανεώνει το αντικείμενο»,
Να υπερασπιζόμαστε τους κλέφτες;
«Πρέπει λοιπόν να υπερασπιζόμαστε αυτούς τους κλέφτες και τους ψεύτες επειδή κάποια στιγμή ευφήυραν τη λέξη δημοκρατία;» διερωτάται ο κ. Ρολάντ.
Μπορούμε να βάλουμε και άλλες λέξεις για να ισορροπήσει η πλάστιγγα, τονίζει. Λέξεις όπως φιλοσοφία, ιστορία, θέατρο. «Σε αυτή τη χώρα κατοικούν άνδρες και γυναίκες που είναι από τους πιο καλλιεργημένους και πολιτισμένους που ξέρω. Και σε ότι αφορά τις κατηγορίες για αν η χώρα τους βρίσκεται σε αυτή τη δεινή οικονομική κατάσταση ας αναρωτηθούμε ποιοι κατασπαταλούσαν τα δισεκατομμύρια μέχρι πολύ ;»
Το θέμα δεν είναι αν η Ελλάδα είναι λιγότερο ή περισσότερο ευρωπαϊκή χώρα, καθώς οι βάσεις της Ευρώπης δεν υπάρχουν χωρίς τον Ελληνισμό. «Θυμηθείτε πως η Ευρώπη ήταν μια πριγκήπισσα από τη Φοινίκη, που απήγαγαν οι Κρήτες προκαλώντας την πρώτη διαμάχη μεταξύ Ανατολής και Δύσης. Η Ευρώπη έχει και ανατολίτικες ρίζες. Η Ευρώπη δεν υπάρχει για να ενώνει τράπεζες και τραπεζίτες αλλά πολιτισμούς - και ο Ελληνικός πολιτισμός είναι ένα στοιχείο που μας ενώνει», επισημαίνει με νόημα ο πρώην διευθυντής της Γαλλικής Σχολής Αθηνών.
«Ζήτω η Ελλάδα και μην αφήσουμε τους τεχνοκράτες να μας λυγίσουν φίλοι και αδερφοί μου», καταλήγει σε πανηγυρικό τόνο το δημοσίευμα.
marilena: Institutional Dutch Catholic abuse 'affected thous...: Allegations of abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions multiplied after ex-pupils at a school came forward Tens of thousands of children...
Allegations of abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions multiplied after ex-pupils at a school came forward
Tens of thousands of children have suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions since 1945, a report says.
The report by an independent commission said Catholic officials had failed to tackle the widespread abuse at schools, seminaries and orphanages.
But the report also found that one in five children who attended an institution suffered abuse - regardless of whether it was Catholic.
"This episode fills us with shame and sorrow," said a bishops' statement.
The commission, which began work in August 2010, sought to uncover what had gone on and how it had happened, and examined what kind of justice should be offered to victims.
It was triggered by allegations of abuse at a Catholic school in the east Netherlands, which prompted other alleged victims to come forward.
It studied 1,800 complaints of abuse at Catholic institutions, identifying 800 alleged perpetrators, just over 100 of whom are still alive.
It also conducted a broader survey of more than 34,000 people, to gain a more comprehensive picture of the scale and nature of abuse suffered by Dutch minors.
Continue reading the main story
Commission reportThe problem of sexual abuse was known... but the appropriate actions were not undertaken”
The report estimates that 10,000-20,000 minors were abused in the care of Catholic institutions between 1945 and 1981, when the number of Church-run homes dropped. In the years between 1981 and 2011, several more thousands suffered at the hands of priests and others working for the Church.
Most of the cases involved mild to moderate abuse, such as touching, but the report estimated there were "several thousand" instances of rape.'Widespread in Dutch society'
"The problem of sexual abuse was known in the orders and dioceses of the Dutch Catholic Church," the commission says, according to news agency AFP, "but the appropriate actions were not undertaken."
A taboo on discussing sexuality in society until the 1960s and the Catholic Church's "closed" administrative structure were some of the reasons for the official failure to respond effectively to the problem, the commission said.
"Then again, people simply could not believe that a religious person could do that," commission chief Wim Deetman told a news conference.
Continue reading the main story
Bert SmeetsAbuse victimWhat was happening was sexual abuse, violence, spiritual terror, and that should have been investigated”
The report also estimates that one in 10 Dutch children have suffered some form of abuse, rising to one in five among those who had attended an institution - regardless of whether it was Catholic.
"Sexual abuse of minors is widespread in Dutch society," the commission reportedly said.
Bert Smeets, an abuse victim who attended the presentation of the report, said it did not go far enough in detailing precisely exactly what happened.
"What was happening was sexual abuse, violence, spiritual terror, and that should have been investigated," Mr Smeets told the Associated Press news agency. "It remains vague. All sorts of things happened but nobody knows exactly what or by whom. This way, they avoid responsibility."
According to AP, prosecutors say the inquiry referred 11 cases to them - without naming the alleged perpetrators. They opened only one investigation based on those reports, saying the other 10 did not contain enough detailed information and appeared to have happened too long ago to prosecute.
Last month the Dutch branch of the Catholic Church set up a sliding compensation system based on the severity of abuse suffered, offering compensation of between 5,000 and 100,000 euros (£4,200-84,000; $6,500-130,000).
Mr Deetman, a former government minister, headed the commission, which also includes a former judge, university professors and a psychologist.
Its findings have been keenly awaited by the Dutch population, 29% of whom are identified as Catholic, the BBC's Anna Holligan reports from The Hague.
Παρασκευή, 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2011
Πέμπτη, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2011
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Tbilisi, Georgia: Etibar Elchiyev poses with 50 metal spoons on his body during an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most spoons on a human body
Τρίτη, 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2011
World War II brought more suffering to humanity than any other event in the 20th century. Nearly 60 million people died throughout six years of war, which saw atomic bombs, cities flattened and the Holocaust. Out of the war sprung the atomic age, the Cold War, Israel and the division of Germany.
April 2011: Well-wishers, tourists and media gather to watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's 'first' kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace as a married couple following their wedding at Westminster Abbey
May 2011: US president Barack Obama and his national security team in the now famous photograph of them watching the mission to kill Osama bin Laden unfold in real time
June 2011: Barack Obama appears with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, as they played down the prospect of a double-dip recession
July 2011: Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng blocks him from getting cream-piedduring a hearing of a government select committee hearing on phone hacking
August 2011: Rioters clash with police in London, Birmingham and Manchester, as local businesses and buildings are looted and damaged
September 2011: Protesters camped out in Zuccotti Park as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, sparking copycat demonstrations across the globe
October 2011: Fighting continues in Libya between anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists, as the rebels mount a massive attack on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte
November 2011: A police officer pepper sprays students at a protest in Californiasparked a series of online memes, as Xeni Jardin explains
November 2011: Lego makes the news for real this time as a Lego Christmas tree is erected in London
November 2011: 11/11/11 remembered
marilena: Bizarre and unusual destinations around the world: Remote monasteries of Metéora, Greece ( Gene Minick ) The six monasteries of Metéora are perched on rock pinnacles (in Greek, "Metéora"...
Remote monasteries of Metéora, Greece( Gene Minick )
The six monasteries of Metéora are perched on rock pinnacles (in Greek, "Metéora" means "suspended in the air"), some built as high as 1,800 feet. The monasteries date as far back as the 14th century, when monastic living was embraced by the surrounding region. Though six remain, 24 were originally built.
St. Nikolas Monastery( Aris Messinis / AFP / Getty Images )
The multilevel St. Nikolas Monastery is one of two unoccupied monasteries at Metéora.
Varlaám Monastery( Milos Bicanski / Getty Images )
This monastery was first occupied by the monk Varlaám and continues to house a religious community.
Roussanou Monastery( Aris Messinis / AFP / Getty Images )
Built on ruins of older structures, this monastery rose in the 16th century.
St. Stephen Monastery( Graeme Churchard )
St. Stephen Monastery houses a museum with artifacts, including manuscripts, silverware and post-Byzantine icons.
Great Metéoron Monastery( Aris Messinis / AFP / Getty Images )
Great Metéoron Monastery is perched on the highest pinnacle among those occupied and was the first monastery to be built at Metéora. Today, it houses a folklore museum.
Great Metéoron Monastery( Milos Bicanski / Getty Images )
The skulls of deceased monks in an ossuary, as seen through a locked door.
Δευτέρα, 12 Δεκεμβρίου 2011
marilena: Winter 1893: Greece is bankrupt. Summer 1896: It h...: There may have been a few times in the past when Athenians were as unpopular as now – during the Peloponnesian War, for instance, or the ...
There may have been a few times in the past when Athenians were as unpopular as now – during the Peloponnesian War, for instance, or the plague in 430BC – but not many. Their generous retirement benefits and reluctance to pay taxes, plus the almost heroically irresponsible lending to them by Western banks, have made nearly everyone full of resentment at the huge debts the Greeks owe us.
Next year, however, the entire planet will have a chance to appreciate instead what we owe them. It will come with the 2012 Olympic Games, the 30th celebration of an event which the Greeks conceived in ancient times, and were crucial in reviving in the modern era. And the story of how – against ludicrous odds – they did so is one that might not only diminish our resentment, but also perhaps inspire them to believe their present difficulties can be overcome.
December 1893 was the previous nadir of Greek finance. On the 10th of that month, Prime Minister Trikoupis rose in parliament and uttered the words: "Regretfully, we are bankrupt." In a dash for modernisation and growth, Greece had woefully over-borrowed. Repayments might have proved troublesome even if the economy had been buoyant, but state revenues stuttered, and overseas earnings sagged alarmingly. Currants made up nearly three-quarters of the country's exports, and the collapse in demand for them, and so prices, was devastating. By mid-1893, more than half of the Greek budget was being used to service existing loans. It couldn't last, and it didn't. The country had to cede control over its finances to a commission of officials from Britain, France, Germany and elsewhere.
Seven months later, an event took place in Paris which led to Greece proving it was a great deal more than a mere bankrupt state. It was the Congress for the Restoration of the Olympic Games, and was organised, only after considerable difficulties, by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a determined French educationist and sports enthusiast. From first to last, the event was saturated in reverence for Ancient Greece, so much so that, instead of awarding the first modern Olympics to France, Sweden, or Hungary, all of which were willing to host them, the delegates gave them instead to Greece – a very reluctant Greece, as far as its government was concerned.
Trikoupis was privately opposed, yet publicly non-committal. But the body which controlled nearly all serviceable sports facilities in Athens was run by an old ally of his, and this, to the horror of Coubertin and chums, met and declined to stage the Games while Greece was "in the throes of a great economic crisis". Coubertin hurried off to Athens, and was told by Trikoupis that Greece "does not have sufficient funds to accept the mission you wish to entrust to her".
But the little Frenchman (he was only 5ft 3in tall) was not to be beaten. He knew the Greek royal family were on his side (being transplanted Danes, they were anxious to bang the patriotic drum whenever they could), and he called a public meeting. His speech was a verbal tour of Greek achievements over the centuries, referred to the formidable challenge of Greece staging the games, and then added: "The dishonour here would consist not of being beaten; it would consist of not contending." Thus did the familiar Olympic slogan "not the winning but the taking part" begin life not in reference to an athletic event, but to the very staging of the Games themselves.
Before King George returned from abroad, to declare the royals four-square behind the Games, Trikoupis resigned, and the Crown Prince was put in charge of the Athens Organising Committee. It met for the first time on 13 January 1895 to devise a detailed schedule of events, cultural as well as athletic, to ensure all who were expected could be accommodated, get existing venues up to scratch, build new ones, and, most pressing of all, to turn the derelict Panathenaikon Stadium into a fitting arena for the world's first international sports festival. To do all this they had precisely 14 months, and no funds. In a bravura act of faith for a bankrupt nation, they decided that not a penny, cent, or franc would be accepted from foreign sources. Every drachma would have to come from Greek sources.
What now followed was one of the most remarkable examples of peacetime mobilisation in modern history. Round went the begging bowl. Municipal authorities organised collections within the country, embassies and consulates dealt with expatriates, and, in places, the effort took on the fervour of a crusade. Donations came in from all over Greece, and from Greek communities in the Balkans, London, Copenhagen, Ireland, Boston, Cairo, Vienna, Odessa and Marseilles. Individual merchants gave as much as 10,000 drachmas, and even the monks of Mount Athos sent cash. Within a month, more than 130,000 drachmas had been given. But all this paled into insignificance compared with the generosity of a shy, but rich, Greek merchant living in Alexandria, Egypt. Georgios Averoff agreed to underwrite the entire cost of restoring the Panathenaikon Stadium. It would cost him more than one million drachmas.
Averoff's generosity, once broadcast, inspired a further flood of giving and, in the end, donations by his fellow Greeks totalled more than 332,000 drachmas. To this sum, in due course, would be added 400,000 drachmas from the sale of the first Olympic stamps, more again from selling commemorative medals, and, finally, the gate receipts of 200,000 drachmas. All told, Averoff's gift apart, the Greeks raised more than 1.5 million drachmas. It was 10 times Coubertin's back-of-the-envelope estimate and an heroic effort from an impoverished nation then still stuck in the age of the donkey and cart.
At the ancient Panathenaikon Stadium – plundered for its stone for the past two centuries – 500 labourers worked day and night, and by April 1896, all was ready for the opening of the first Olympic Games in 1,500 years. They were, necessarily, a homespun affair in a country which was then a sporting backwater. But, personal squabbles apart, they were a successful experiment in friendly international competition. Despite bankruptcy – or maybe even because of it – Greece had given birth to the modern Olympics. As the athletes were seen off at Athens station, they stuck their heads out of the train windows and shouted "Zito Hellas!" ("Long live Greece!").
It's a sentiment worth remembering not only next summer, at the opening of London 2012, but today, as the land that has given the world so much struggles with debts again. It beat them back then. It surely, somehow, deserves to do so again. Zito Hellas!
David Randall's 1896: The First Modern Olympics is published by Black Toad as an ebook. Details atwww.1896Olympics.com
Ο Άγιος Σπυρίδων γεννήθηκε περί το 270 μ.Χ. στο χωριό Άσσια της Κύπρου. Στα νεανικά του χρόνια ζούσε ως ένας απλός αλλά πολύ ενάρετος βοσκός. Παντρεύτηκε και απόκτησε μια κόρη, την Ειρήνη. Μετά τη χηρεία του ασπάσθηκε το μοναχικό βίο, μελέτησε πολύ, απόκτησε μεγάλη σοφία και χάρη στις θρησκευτικές του αρετές, πολύ σύντομα έγινε Επίσκοπος της Τριμυθούντας. Έλαβε μέρος στην Α' Οικουμενική Σύνοδο το 325, όπου και θαυματούργησε. Κοιμήθηκε το 348 μ.Χ.
Το λείψανό του, που διατηρήθηκε ακέραιο μετά την ταφή και ανέδιδε ευώδεις αναθυμιάσεις, αρχικά διατηρήθηκε σε εκκλησία της πατρίδας του. Μετά την κατάληψη της Κύπρου από τους Άραβες, μεταφέρθηκε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, το 691. Τρία χρόνια μετά την άλωση της Πόλης, ο ιερέας Γεώργιος Καλοχαιρέτης μετέφερε το λείψανο, μαζί μ' εκείνο της Αγίας Θεοδώρας της Αυγούστας, σ' ένα χωριό κοντά στην Άρτα και στη συνέχεια για μεγαλύτερη ασφάλεια μεταφέρθηκαν στην Κέρκυρα.
Αν υπάρχει κάτι με το οποίο η Κέρκυρα είναι έκτοτε αναπόσπαστα δεμένη μέσα στη νεότερη ιστορική της πορεία, σίγουρα είναι ο προστάτης και πολιούχος της Άγιος Σπυρίδων. Η λατρεία των Κερκυραίων στον θαυματουργό τους Άγιο δεν είναι απλά ένα οποιοδήποτε θρησκευτικό συναίσθημα, είναι η αγάπη, η ελπίδα και η παρηγοριά τους.
Η μνήμη του Αγίου γιορτάζεται στις 12 Δεκεμβρίου.
Κυριακή, 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2011
The Travelling Players (1975), a four-hour masterwork that established Theo Angelopoulos's reputation. Photograph: Artificial Eye
Now in his late 70s, Angelopoulos has been Greece's premier cinéaste for 40 years, a heroic international art-house figure making ambitious epic movies on major political, spiritual and mythical themes, usually at great length, at times overblown.
The first volume of three is dominated by the four-hour masterwork that established his reputation, The Travelling Players (1975).
A leftwing interpretation of Greece's turbulent history from 1939 to 1952 much influenced by Brecht and Jancsó, it traces in long, elaborate, fluid takes the adventures of an emblematic troupe of itinerant actors.
The forthcoming second volume contains five equally expansive works, all long, serious, pessimistic and visually impressive.
Each is a painful odyssey in time and space that ultimately repays the demands it makes on the audience. Two of them star Marcello Mastroianni in uptight mode (The Beekeeper,The Suspended Step of the Stork). Volume 3 will contain Ulysses' Gaze, an astonishing 1995 contribution to the celebration of the centenary of cinema starring Harvey Keite
marilena: ΤΑ ΧΕΙΡΟΤΕΡΑ ΑΕΡΟΔΡΟΜΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ......: 10. São Paulo-Guarulhos International, São Paulo, Brazil 9. Perth Airport, Perth, Australia 8. Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu, Nep...
10. São Paulo-Guarulhos International, São Paulo, Brazil
9. Perth Airport, Perth, Australia
8. Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu, Nepal
7. John F. Kennedy International, New York, United States
6. Jomo Kenyatta International, Nairobi, Kenya
9. Perth Airport, Perth, Australia
8. Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu, Nepal
7. John F. Kennedy International, New York, United States
6. Jomo Kenyatta International, Nairobi, Kenya
5. Ninoy Aquino International, Manila, Philippines
4. Toncontín International, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
3. London Heathrow, London, England
2. Los Angeles International Airport
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO......