Sunday, August 02, 2009

COMRADE MIKIS THEODORAKIS

Real Politics kicked in for me in the active sense in the sixties; Civil rights, Apartheid; CND and of course Vietnam. Politics always played a part in the lives of me and my brothers and our friends but it was usually talk and opinion and debate to the background of protest song and folk music. When you left school and went to work you joined the union and you started to learn about active politics. We were going to change the world and the enemy was America, Marches, Protests and Boycotts etc. were constantly on our minds and the villain always seemed to be the biggest; richest capitalist country in history the USA. "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive," wrote Wordsworth about the French Revolution; and that’s how that generation felt, America and capitalism needed tobering and we were just the kids to do it; it was a long time ago right.

The antagonism to America still exists but it seems to be less ferocious, certainly in terms of the American people and that goes for me also, I still see America as the cause of most of the worlds problems but it is not fair to blame individual Americans who are just the same as us, some good some bad. Some people who read this site will be surprised at this because I am usually regarded as against all things American and I admit that I can be very antagonistic toward them, I have always struggled to explain the difference between my feelings for their people and my hostility to the elite corporate crooks who dominate their society.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself sitting on the deck of the MV Emerald in the harbour of a Greek Island called Patmos; the weather was glorious the beer was cold and I was in heaven because my wife had found a newspaper called The Athens News which was in English. I was having withdrawal symptoms after a week without a newspaper; what has this got to do with this article? I hear you ask, well here is an excerpt from the paper, A great man was being honoured for his contribution to liberty and human rights at Deree College of the American College of Greece, he said the following.

“I thank you warmly; firstly for your efforts in serving the students in their educational, learning and cultural needs in Greece; secondly you represent a great people; the American people have given new momentum to the patriotic, political, scientific and cultural elements that comprise civilisation internationally; to such an extent that freshness and renewed vigour has been lent to humanity’s struggle for prosperity; education and human rights. I know that I am often considered anti American, in reality it is the opposite, my admiration for this country and it’s people is so great that I suffer and protest every time that someone or some group of people acts in such a way that I consider to be anti American . Because I consider America to mean freedom; progress, good intentions, peace, educational solidarity, the cultivation of science and culture”

The fact that the speaker was also a hero of my youth and a great socialist was also a help, he put my feelings about America far better than I ever could, I agree with the sentiments expressed by him, he is Mikis Theodorakis the great Greek musician, composer and freedom warrior, a man who faced the Greek Colonels and went to prison and was expelled from his country, socialism never had a greater fighter and he declares his love for the USA. Most people of my generation will remember one of the all time great film scores for a movie called Zorba the Greek starring Anthony Quinn, the theme tune is one of the most popular tunes ever written by his pen and is impossible to ignore when it is played, everyone reacts, whether it’s by foot tapping or shoulder swaying or when the night gets late and drink has been taken as the say in Ireland; the stage/floor becomes the beach where the scene is set for lots of drunk; mainly men to display their version of “Zorba’s dance”

He is still alive and campaigning and I thank him for the music and his inspiration; not least for helping me to better understand my feelings toward my American comrades.

24 comments:

Tartan Bond said...

Mate your getting your arse booted on the Scotsman website.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/Salmond-seeks-slot-in-TV.5515728.jp

Check out the comments near the foot of the page.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Tartan Bond) 02/08/09
Thank you for letting me know about this; I have never sent a comment to The Scotsman in my life so clearly someone is purporting to be me to try to damage me. There are some strange people out there, I wonder what this character is all about; clearly a low life coward but it would be fascinating to find about him/her.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean 'try to damage me' is that actually possible? your blog and the drivel you spout has been a train wreck from day one.

get a grip on reality.

Scottish Unionist said...

I don't like your attitude you prat. I will make sure the Labour party distance themselves from bitter horrible people like you.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 03/08/09
O.K. half wit; why was it done then?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Scottish Unionist) 04/08/09
Can you do that while cowering in your hiding place?

Anonymous said...

I'm a half wit?

You are obviously deluded and actually believe your drivel contributes to the greater sum of mans knowledge up there with Cicero or Socrates maybe? Nobody could damage you any further than this blog has done. However you are correct 'they' are out to damage you, being an intellectual giant and all that.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 16:36
I’m more of a Marx and Gramsci kind of guy myself but I would have to concede, Socrates was some player.

Ariel said...

Spot on with 'Anonymous' Terry. Marx and Gramsci, bigod!! That'll show him! Got to keep the plebs in their place. Heavens, he'll be wanting to discuss the place of Cultural Hegemony in a Capitalist Society next! Not the kind of person we would want to be sharing a table with on our next cruise.

Rumbold said...

Terry:

(Long time no speak).

I think you believed what you wrote in this piece, but you do need to be careful about separating out Anti-Americanism and dislike of America's policies.

Same with Israel.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Ariel) 05/08/09

“Cultural Hegemony” you are obviously an intelligent well read person; I’m impressed; really I am.

I compensate for the cruise by spending a lot of time barefoot in draughty corners and rising in the morning half an hour before going to bed to break stones with a big working class hammer.

I think anonymous would be a more interesting companion on a cruise than you; in fact anyone would be a more Etc.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rumbold) 05/08/09

What did they put you away for this time? Anyway it’s good to hear from you and I am as always grateful for your advice, I try to choose my words carefully so.

The state of Israel is a crime against humanity.

Anonymous said...

Enlighten us Terry. Who are 'they' you refer to that are out to 'damage you' please tell us why 'they' are out to 'damage you' Are you a secret Labour WMD waiting to be unleashed upon the Nats and 'they' want to 'damage you' to prevent your use.

Now that would make a good film.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 15:40

I can’t comment on who “they” are as it may become sub judice. I would have thought the reason for wanting to damage me or any other Labour activist would have been obvious; try to work it out.

Ariel said...

Kelly @ 3.31

B****r. I was planning to throw you overboard!!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Ariel) 06/08/09
I’m not surprised; it must be frustrating for such a well educated guy like you to be unable to land a glove on an ignorant uneducated guy like me.
How would you lift me ?

Anonymous said...

I would be delighted to go on a cruise with you Terry. However if the ship was in any danger I would have no hesitation in sacrificing you to save more productive members of society.
Such as waiters, cabaret troupe members and the ships cat, quite frankly anyone who wasnt you. No offence.

Anonymous said...

Well spotted Terry. If Ariel had figured it out properly by carrying out an aproporiate risk asessment he/she would have to come to the conclusion that rather than 'throw' you overboard,shove or push would have been a better option given the dynamics involved. again no offence

Rumbold said...

Terry:

As a historian I shouldn't be saying this, but it doesn't matter what has happened in the past with regards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the important thing now is that both sides work out a way to live in piece.

I was in a secret CIA jail after they ordered me to smear you, but I refused.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 17:57
“Such as waiters, cabaret troupe members and the ships cat”

cowards who hide their ID they would not be missed; they would not be missed. Please feel free to take offence.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 17:59
Turgid absolutely turgid, you couldn’t pay people to laugh at this; the humour has gone and it was mine; a joke against me by me. You haven’t got a clue have you.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rumbold) 19:31
As a historian you will know that it’s the victors who write the history and history will record that the Israeli cause was just which it was not and is not.
A two state solution might be the result but it will never be a just ; it will remain a crime against humanity.

I would have no fears for your reputation despite the barbarians of the CIA; the British stiff upper lip; the shield of truth and the sword of fair play has always been enough to see off the Johnny foreigner; well done that man!

Damomac said...

Here's a link to the original article:

http://www.athensnews.gr/articles/13345/03/07/2009/627

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS, I HOPE PEOPLE WILL READ IT, A GREAT MAN.