High Life

Greece Is the Word

August 05, 2017

When I was a child I lived ancient history and stood shoulder to shoulder with Leonidas in Thermopylae, with fellow hoplites in Marathon, and with Alexander the Great in chasing the Persians. Those were the first Westerners. I never imagined myself as an Egyptian fighting the Hyksos invaders or in combat alongside Sumerians against the Amorites. No sirree, we Greeks were the first ones who had common traits of justice, the law, and humanity; the rest were barbarians, and most of them have remained just that. And heroism always took first place. The archers and javelin throwers who launched their weapons from afar were not held in high esteem because they could kill with little risk to themselves. Eat your heart out, archers at Agincourt and snipers in Iraq. Only those who clashed with swords and spears, defying death and refusing to retreat, were considered honorable. Think of those great men and then spare a thought for the E.U. bureaucrooks and puke long and hard.

“And what about women?” you may well ask. “What about them?” I’ll answer. We the Greeks produced the first and greatest heroine of all time, Helen of Troy. Achilles and Odysseus aside, no figure from the age won a more worshipful following than Helen. The queen of Sparta became a cult and continues to be one. She was Homer’s finest achievement, at a time when women were seen in the manner Saudis consider women at present. The ancient Trojans watching their sons being slaughtered by the Greeks in the safety of their towers came upon Helen in her shimmering garments and whispered in awe: “Terrible is the likeness of her face to an immortal goddess.” They refused to blame her for the massacre because she was so special. Old Homer sure liked the fairer sex to have invented such a female.

So here we are, in the present. Greece is a tiny country living off loans from corrupt bureaucracies and Germany. Clowns are in power and face the Acropolis daily, where giants once stood. I look around me and see nice, hospitable people here in the Peloponnese. Churches are everywhere, which gives me hope. After all, Christianity is the only institution that can save mankind, not Silicon Valley, nor Hollywood. But try to tell that to the D.C. crowd.

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