OPINION

National visions and spectacles

There may be a lack of funds when it comes to giving a much-needed boost to crucial public sectors, such as health or education. But there never seems to be any such lack when it comes to promoting events such as the Eurovision song contest. It is true that we have never had any shortage of spectacles – we always make sure of that. We also seem to have a remarkable propensity for transforming spectacles into dreams or visions – national dreams, of course, which are supposed to rally the masses and give them the strength to rise above mundane reality and appreciate their country in the glow of glory. If one was to take seriously the ideology behind the advertising campaign with which state television has been promoting Greece’s Eurovision entry – to be performed by songstress Anna Vissi – ahead of the «big day» in May when the contest comes to Athens, one would conclude that it constituted the new major goal of our era. «For Anna, for Greece, for Eurovision» – this is the slogan that has been chosen to stir us up in anticipation of an almost tangible national glory that will give us back the self-confidence our nation acquired with its European soccer championship and Eurovision victories and with its successful hosting of the Athens 2004 Olympics. Our confidence in the Greek language also appears to have waned if one considers that the name of the program counting us down to Eurovision is «Feel the Fun» – especially when one considers that this is to be aired on the same day as a program promoting the dissemination of the Greek language abroad.