There’s something fishy when someone like Tassos Papadopoulos admits to political “mistakes” during a TV 'press' conference. Especially when the show turns into an act of repentance, or demagogy, however naïve.
“Da man” has used tears in public before and nothing good came of it. He shed tears a second time around for the cameras last winter, at the funeral of the then Minister of Education and Big Pal Pefkios Georgiades, and I wonder whether the departed would have gone along with introducing an incredulous programme, such as the “Makarios III devotion” in schools - as proposed last month by the Ministry of Education (Cyprus Mail, September 9, 2007). Well, I suppose he would. After all, isn’t that what friends are for - to help one keep the comfortable seat one happens to be occupying? And maybe guarantee that for relatives as well?
So the crowd had their tear replica, although this time with a shred of genuine emotion perhaps. But a President unable to control himself during a funeral... c’mon...As the Italian saying goes, it’s all “lacrime di coccodrillo”, just “crocodile tears”, and it is well known those apparently immobile, scaly creatures ought never to be trusted. Especially when they seem to be asleep and seemingly inoffensive. After all, that’s when they get really dangerous.
In TeePee’s case, I feel the “outing” on CyBC the other day is clear a sign of his growing vulnerability. I say 'feel' because I’ve lived abroad since 1974 (hey, I’m talking about Italy - not Burundi or the Andaman islands) and, however involved with my homeland, I’m also a true outsider by now, and very much at loss when it comes to Cyprus news. I won’t even try to go deep into analyzing day-to-day political facts, as I would always be that minute-too-late. besides, all of you do that superbly already, for which I wish to thank you.
Not only that: In a world that is seriously trying to cope with “obsolete” definitions such as right and left in politics, I have yet to come to grips with the paradox of a Communist party in a country that has never known heavy industrialization (or famine, for that matter), and, consequently, has never had a real working class. OK, one could try and argue; "farmers are the working class," but not in a place where land is mainly for sale (as the whole island has been many times in the past, even rented), now in the hands of unscrupulous “developppers” who just see patches to be exploited for the building of hotels and God knows what else at prices only Mafiosi could afford. Believe it or not, the estimates I was given in July for a flat in Protaras were equivalent, in terms of square meters, to a villa in Portofino. Or do the rules change when it comes to theRussian mafyia? And what happens when we run out of land? Do we start selling the sea?
Apart from real estate considerations, had it not been for the web (this blog, local press and agencies on the internet, where – as usual- Turkish sources handle matters better), I wouldn’t even have heard of the latest Talat - Papadopoulos meeting. There has been no mention of it in Italy, whereas the Belgian crisis, for one, is commented on every day, as has been Gül’s election. And the same goes for France, Spain, Portugal, etc…(I did look around). It seems we’re still stuck in the “Greek chauvinism” scheme and the “occasion perdue pour les Chypriotes” - as Le Monde diplomatique entitled it in May 2004.
Resonance of the recent Talat-Papadopoulos encounter was minimal even in μητερα πατριδα: nothing more than a brief mention in Kathimerini. And the last time I read about Cyprus in the Corriere della Sera or La Repubblica (the two leading Italian daily newspapers) was, first in August, on the occasion of that farcical hijack attempt of an Atlas jet flying from “Cipro Nord” (textual, thus a de facto recognition of the pseudo-State) to Istanbul. The other was an interview with American essayist Alan Weisman, who has just published “The World without us”, a daring and, according to the author, optimistic book on what the world would be like after the extinction of the homo sapiens, inspired, he says, among other situations, by Chernobyl and no-man’s lands like those dividing Korea and the North (the Turkish part, specified) from the South (the Greek part, also specified) of Cyprus. A pretty disquieting way to make it to the headlines.
Well, Papadopoulos’ pre-electoral charade to meet Talat last week didn’t quite cut it. It merely turned out to be a farce as well as a boomerang in terms of popular consensus. In Cyprus, of course, but then again that’s where the vote counts, right?
Maybe not. Not only, at least. I believe that in Stravaraland’s peculiar – and extreme - situation, consensus is needed on a vaster scale. We cannot expect the world to be on our side (i.e. the Greek Cypriots) simply because we believe it should. I think our main problem has always been that Cypro-centric view, which never actually focuses on the who-needs-what or who-and-to-which-extent something is needed.
It’s simply typical of any blame game to be found in most parochial States. Are we at last willing to admit that we belong to this category? And that this is reason enough to consider a “democrazia dell’alternanza” (“political shifts in name of democracy”) as being absolutely necessary?
Once you lose a sense of proportion, you end up lacking in realistic perspective. To that, we add a frighteningly short memory span. And there you have it – a situation crammed with anachronistic “isms” such as populism, nationalism, even “anathemism”; in other words, a disaster.
Unless somebody believes that any of the memorabilia collected among the young of the land concerning the premier Etnarch’s (Makarios III) legacy could serve anything other than to boost domestic ethnic folklore, we might as well go the extra mile to end up at the point of national hara-kiri.
And let's leave to Archbishop Chrysostomous (nomen-omen) with his severe yet persuasive Orthodox garment the task to express a “singular and holy truth”: a picturesque and equally angry expression of the everlasting reactionary Cypriot soul that consists of a bigoted, patriarchal, mannish, State-defying, anti-european xenophobe.
In short, let us allow things to remain frightening.