NEWS

Mikis, Justin and anti-Americanism

The following correspondence between the most famous living Greek of all and a completely unknown young American, a fellow musician, is of particular interest not only for its subject matter, but above all because of the contrasts between the two correspondents, their arguments, the worlds they represent and the way they think, their points of contact – and of divergence. In public debate, the great and famous among us often praise young people, but very rarely do they go to the trouble of really dealing with the essence of what these young people are saying. In times past, this formed an essential part of public life and bore results that are still part of the core of the history of thought. As everyone knows, the war in Iraq evoked strong reactions against American policy around the world. Among these reactions was that of the composer Mikis Theodorakis. After his statements on the war, his website was was bombarded with messages, some praising, some criticizing him, from many countries. One of the most recent is one sent by Justin Goldner, a 17-year-old American musician from Philadelphia. Perhaps it was the combination of those three factors – the music, his young age and his nationality – as well as the quality of the content of his message, that prompted Theodorakis to reply to the young American’s e-mail. We don’t know how Justin reacted to the reply by Theodorakis, printed below.