Skidding with aplomb

We may be doubting Thomases by and large, but we are certain about one or two things: First, that there is no state to speak of, second, that there are enough television stations around for us to air our grievances, third, God is at our service to get us out of a jam and fourth, «all this has nothing to do with me» – «all this» meaning everything from the warnings of the weather service, traffic police, port authorities, seismologists and epidemiologists, to the snow, fires and floods. Thus armed against the elements with our certainties, we head off on our excursions; a weekend getaway to Kalavryta or lunch in Thrakomakedones. And, of course, we don’t need to bother with snow chains – for, as Marxists by instinct, we want to break all chains. Yes, we did hear something on the news, something in the paper caught our eye about the North Pole moving south, but we also implicitly trust ourselves, especially when behind the wheel. And so we run into snow or ice. «Bad luck,» we say, even though we had received plenty of warning (of course, they didn’t text us the warnings, did they?). So, we get stuck and we block roads. And we lash out: «Where is the state?» (Although the state should not be bragging about performing its most basic duties.) Stuck on the national highway or a hair’s breadth from those lovely lamb chops in Thrakomakedones, we call television stations and inform them of our woes while the other ear is tuned into the radio and the match now being played. What can the poor television stations do? How many complaints do they receive? In order to give the appropriate amount of time to the predicament of the singer Efi Thodi, stranded alone in the snow, they had just enough time to squeeze a few words in at the end of the bulletin about the elections in Cyprus, Kosovo’s independence and other insignificant matters.