Craze of the century

“This trial, the trial of the century…» a television presenter recently, magniloquently said of the current trial of November 17 suspects. And she seemed to be referring to the century we have just entered – the one which has another 97 years to go. But how can we be so certain that for decades to come, no other trial will attain the level of importance of the one we are now following? To what must we attribute the presenter’s conviction? Super-human vision? Or all-too-human conceit? – that mighty force which makes us believe that we are at the center of a perpetually moving world, that whatever we are experiencing is unprecedented and never again to be repeated. That presupposes that no more terrorists will be born, and that there will be no more victims. We are smart enough, however, to restrict our range to just one century. And so, with a naivete which is an affront to history we preordain and talk about «the trial of the century,» just as others – at other times, using other standards – spoke about the trial of «the six» (Greek military and political leaders executed after the Asia Minor catastrophe), the Nuremburg trial, the trial of Greece’s military dictators and so on. However, when and if war breaks out in Iraq, Yotopoulos’s alleged manifestos and Koufodinas’s speeches will automatically take a back seat as everyone and everything falls under the shadow of an event which television will automatically christen «the war of the century.»

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