OPINION

The bitter taste of empty promises

Sometimes we only want to see the beautiful side of things – to become engrossed in a good book, enjoy a concert at the Herod Atticus Theater or on Lycabettus, or to share a meal or drinks with friends at our local taverna. There are times that we simply want to relax and forget ourselves. There are moments when we don’t want to feel the pressure to produce, when we don’t want to feel our individualism being gradually eroded by the ebb and flow of the daily grind, like citizens virtually enslaved in a society run by markets, competition and money, or by a sexist leaflet issued by the Transport Ministry for female motorists. There are times when we do not want to be categorized by political labels but to be defined by what actually expresses us, when we yearn to distance ourselves from the countless rivalries that undermine our working lives and to enjoy our individualism, our erotic and spiritual selves. It is important that we make time to experience our own reality, without being force-fed the opinions of all-too-familiar television personas, overrated celebrities – and perhaps also the politicians we have been unable to elude over the past few days. There are times when we do not want to hear about stock market crashes, or even about our fellow humans dying in muddy floods in Asia. There are moments when we do not want to grapple with the morality of the state and politics, nor with the ethics of war and the environment, not even with the morality of revolution. And perhaps this is because morality continues to constitute the biggest trap for free speech, the bait for a well-planned disorientation. Nevertheless, most of us continue to live in a very routine, mundane reality – the reality of elections, for example, of a political culture that ostensibly exists in this country and that imposes models of behavior which have virtually no bearing on the sensitivities and aspirations of the average citizen. It is this so-called political culture that so relentlessly deprives us of the right to vision, progress and development in its broadest sense. Over the coming days and weeks, political rhetoric will be gushing like water from a tap someone forgot to turn off. And before our very eyes, our politicians will advertise solutions to our chronic problems in the social security, education and health sectors. Politicians of all affiliations will do battle over the self-evident, over everything they promised us and should have been given long ago, so that we could now all be enjoying better lives. It leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth.