CULTURE

A sunny view from the Athens 2004 magazine

Athena seems to be right on target. T-shirts showing Athena and Phevos are selling well. Children and adults, Greeks and foreigners are already wearing them on the beaches and islands, with smiles that suggest they’ll be here for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. Hand in hand, the mascots for the Games are on the cover of a magazine put out in June 2002 by the Athens 2004 media office. This issue has an interview with Denis Oswald, head of the IOC coordinating committee: «Only when everyone leaves Athens satisfied will I be happy.» No kidding, Denis the Menace! There’s an article by New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, where he says: «Undertaking the responsibility for organizing the Games has from the outset had the support of the overwhelming majority of Greeks,» and presumably his as well. Besides, as prime minister, which he hopes to be in 2004, he invited US President George W. Bush to the Games in Athens. And the magazine’s new idea: «Fifteen TV personalities,» who appear on television every day, wearing Athens 2004 caps, T-shirts and insignia. The most likable of all, Giorgos Papadakis of ANT-1, states: »I have already broken the world record for getting up in the morning because of my program ‘Good Morning, Greece.’ But since we still haven’t seen any stars of TV reality shows wearing T-shirts with Phevos and Athena, we haven’t seen anything yet.» The personal crisis that many children are experiencing reflects a more general crisis in society, Matsa believes. «Young people live at a rapid pace, they are constantly being asked to memorize things, but at the same time they have no support, no role model and no point of reference. And schools no longer form the personality. Children need to get away from misery and routine. But when they get into drugs they realize they are experiencing another kind of routine that is even more intense.»