A miracle for the brain-dead

By Alexis Papachelas

I could see the person sitting next to me on the same flight had been anxious to tell me something for quite some time. In the end he explained he had written a book debunking the «holy light» miracle, instead explaining how it's generated by some chemical reaction. And he went on to say that the only person who ever dared to write about this before was Adamantios Korais. Sure. It's always interesting to hear a different point of view during a flight. But my fellow traveler really took me by surprise when he told me that he was set to appear on Anna Drouza's show on NET state television that same day. He was also scheduled for an appearance on Terence Quick's program the following day. A few rows ahead sat a tall priest who looked vaguely familiar. After the airplane had landed, my fellow passenger bumped into the priest. «Will you also appear on Drouza? It will be my pleasure to meet you again on a panel,» the guy said in excitement. The archimandrite and the writer of Biblical secrets belong to that particular breed of television duos. One claims that the holy light is, in fact, a genuine miracle while the other counters that it's just a marketing trick by the Jerusalem Patriarchate. Both represent a cult section of Greek society that is findings its way onto private TV channels. It used to be that characters like these appeared on second-rate channels after midnight when news junkies were looking for some goofy mind candy. Then mainstream channels started fishing for stars for their morning and midday programs. All of a sudden this world of conspiracy theories and absurd nationalism has entered our lives through TV's back door. Perhaps it may not mean much, as sensationalism has always been a good sell. Maybe it signals a near brain-dead society that is looking for release in the absurd and in pseudo-metaphysics.