Oh, Greece. I think it’s time we had a little talk.
See, once upon a time you invented a lot of things. You were the center of culture and, in truth, the western world owes pretty much everything due to the groundwork laid by your city-states three thousand years ago. Your forays into philosophy, mathematics, drama, science, astronomy, biology, mythology… well, you did pretty much everything well. You excelled. And, yes, you made some mistakes back then, but we’ll judge you by the moralities and paradigms of that time and not ours and give you your due praises.
It’s just – and I know this is the elephant in the room, and no one really wants to talk about it – you haven’t really done much since. Philosophy, technology, politics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, navigation… you used to be the cutting edge of everything. A Macedonian thought your way of life was so great that he spread it to everyone else, whether they wanted it or not, and the Romans thought you were so damn cool that they went and did the same thing all over again. You were just that awesome.
But over the past couple thousand years you haven’t been culturally relevant at all.
I know that hurts. I know this is not a truth you want to hear. You fought the Turks and you’ve fought these people and that group and done this and that and the other thing but no one is really paying attention. That’s got to stick in your craw. The European Union was actually hesitant to take you in, and yet you had an alphabet back before any of them even knew what the concept was. How dare they even think of arguing against your inclusion, when you invented everything they are and even taught them what an argument was in the first place?
Your latest efforts to prove that you still have some influence on the world stage is possibly the saddest yet; between club bombings in Athens to help ring in the new year, Amnesty International condemning regular police brutality against peaceful protesters last summer, your police backing neo-Nazi attacks on various clubs, Joel Stirling being mugged and beaten and robbed by your police force, and the many and varied corruption scandals of the past decade, you’ve certainly been in the public eye.
It’s largely thanks to your government, I think, and what a nightmarish line up that has become: Merchant Marine Minister George Voulgarakis, using tax payer money to land swap deals. Party Deputy Aristotle Pavlides, demanding bribes through his aides from private ferry shipping forms. Labour Minister Savvas Tsitouridis, caught money laundering by passing unstructured bonds to state pension funds. The media blackout against what your government is doing thanks to austerity measures, all the way back in late September.
Go ahead. Google any of those names, any of those incidents, and watch as they link to hundreds of others. Something has gone seriously wrong here.
And so, I think it bears noting that despite what you may have heard, not all publicity is good publicity. And what you’re doing right now, well, that’s not helping matters. You know what I’m talking about, that thing you did when your government kidnapped two video game developers? Not cool. The fact that no one in your government seems to even know who did the arresting, or why these two specifically were targeted, doesn’t make you look as tough as you think it does. It actually just makes your government look like a bunch of incompetent bullies.
Yes, we’ve heard that you had them flagged as espionage agents, despite the fact that they’re both registered employees of the video game developer Bohemia, makers of the well-received Arma games, and that they entered your country under their own names and seemed very pro-Greece before this. I don’t think they will be now, even if you have, as of Jan 17th, released them on bail.
Your government is now arresting foreigners for taking photos and videos. Yes, there is about a third of a second of video footage showing a chain link fence to a military outpost out in the middle of nowhere. That could be suspicious, excepting that it is one of those places that you can spot for free on Google Earth whenever you feel like it, and the address of the base can be found online with only a few minutes of searching. Or you could, you know, click here: www.maplandia.com/greece/nissia-egeou/khios/limnos
Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar work for Bohemia Interactive, a Czech based software company that specializes in first person shooters. They’ve won several awards over the years, including Best Game Developer for Personal Computer back in 2001. They’re friends of friends and I hear they’re good people, but since this happened Bohemia Interactive has gone on hiatus. Whether it resurrects now that their employees have been set free on bail remains to be seen.
And it better be seen. Your government has chosen to beat tourists, attack historians, cripple your populace. Now, they’re locking up game developers for reasons of espionage and expecting them to come back to corrupt government and face a trial, all for seven landscape photos and seven frames of video that show, well, not much of anything.
Your government is doing this to prove to your deeply unhappy populace that they’re doing something, but no one is fooled. This is not getting you any sort of good attention. In point of fact, http://www.helpivanmartin.org/ is all the attention you’ve gotten out of this.
I hope the world and your own people boycott you until you decide to clean up your government and start behaving yourself. You should be so much more than you are, Greece, and the fact that you aren’t is endlessly disappointing.
Speaker Of The TRUTH