Σάββατο, 2 Αυγούστου 2014

what's in an expression... (a little rant)

One of the reasons I started this blog was to give "foreigners" a few insights to what goes on "behind the scenes" so to speak, but also behind the facade of the Greek Psyche, or Soul...

And what better way to do this, other than through the examination of everyday expressions, sayings, even songs...

Just like any of the "big" languages of the world, Greek remains very much alive.. and kicking I might add. Kicking against the bastardisation of itself, be it through modern day use and abuse or even by government decree...

(I was intending to go into the subject of Greeklish here, but got waylaid..so here is a little rant for now)

Och Aderfe

This is an expression that means in straight translation "Oh brother". Now "brother" is sometimes used in Greek in the sense of "bro" a way of calling someone you may not know but want to be friendly. And oh? or rather Och, as it is pronounced in Greek? well that is a way of showing pain..or anguish in this case..at things that cannot be controlled , things we can't do anything about.

Och Aderfe has defined the Greeks for at least 30 years if not more.

It means "why bother?" There is nothing you can do, nothing you can change. There is no point in complaining aderfe about the things that do not work in the government, no point in complaining that your hard earned money will be taxed until there is nothing left, no point in complaining that even though you have been without a job for seven years we will tax the fact that you own a house, or a car, because we can...

Och aderfe no point in doing anytihng at all... just shut up and pay your taxes, or if you can avoid it, do so, because Och aderfe that is what the clever ones do...

There is even an  -ism of it.. Ochaderfismos... the very greek reaction of shrugging the shoulders to say "there is nothing we can do"  there is nothing we can change Och aderfe...we will always be Greek, even if being Greek has become a bit of an insult or something to be ashamed of... Let's just go and drink a frappe in the liston and let the others worry...

Och aderfe if oyu can't handle it go away..go away and become European, see if we care... Och aderfe we will always be in power here..for aderfe we have trained them well to be an Ochaderfist like us...

Here is another expression that  goes with "Och aderfe" another greek favorite... "Oti fame, oti pioume ki oti arpaxei o kolos mas..."

"Whatever we eat, whatever we drink and whatever we get up the ass... " now there's a defining sentence if there ever was one...

There I've had my little rant..

more soon on definitive Greek expressions.. and feel free to ask for explanations on some if you want. Just send a comment...

Words

I really need to get back into my writing...

Often ideas will come up and I ll be too far from some way of note taking, or driving, and ideas get forgotten.. One of my favorites (and quite possibly one which will guarantee a dearth of material and inspiration) is Greek words with very specific or peculiar meanings..

Words being the basis of communication, they often convey so much more than a simple meaning..

Words convey feelings and beliefs, they have histories, they often define the speaker, even in their abuse...

Take the greek word "Stratokavlos". Little known I am sure to my englsh speaking friends it means "he-who-gets-a-"hard on"-out-of-anything-army-related".

Reserved usually for the skinhead, nationalist type, it also defines many of those working for the Armed forces, Police etc. not all...

the Greek Stratokavlos reads magazines like "Defence news"  often sports a tatoo of the Greek flag or an ancient warrior, is pretty good at some form of hand combat, or likes to think he is, often goes hunting, and believes violence to be a solution to most problems...

Bit like Israel really...

I get to meet many Israelis. A lot of them have boats and sail our waters (obviously they are safer)
I don't like  what is happening in Gaza, and why not say it I don't like what the Israeli government is doing in Gaza and Palestine, but I cannot and will not fall into the trap of defining a "people" by the actions of its "nation" or government. Yes I do wonder if maybe the Israelis opposing their governments decisions and actions could do a bit more against it...but I get the sense that Israeli Ultra-nationalists have done a great job over the years of creating a strong following of Stratokavlous citizens... both men and women go thorugh National Service and no joke like here... they are seriously trained killing machines... and they believe what they are doing is right.

A lot of the Israelis I have met over the years have this air of "superiority" they truly believe they are "better" or seem to exude this...but then again so do many of the rich americans and ultra-capitalist and neo-liberal  twats I have met...

I am loathe to put a "tag" on a people.. There are some really nice Israelis just like there are nice Arabs and Jews, and Greeks, and Americans...and every other race under the sun...

Why do we say "race"? it implies thjat someone has to come first and that is not true...

There a lot of nice people out there... everywhere.. just like there are a lot of Stratokavloi and wankers..everywhere... even inside us...inside almost everyone there is an idiot-in-waiting... the enemy is within..

That's where the fight is...

We need to make ourselves our better. for our children's sake. for the sake of life....

to be cont'd