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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Yannis Ritsos: The Unhinged Shutter

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Debt crisis in Greece

Pensioners stand behind shutters of the Alpha Bank headquarters in central Athens on June 29: photo by Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

I told the carpenters, told the builders, told the electricians,
I told the grocer's delivery boy: "Secure that shutter;
all night long, loose-jointed, it bangs in the wind,
won't let me sleep. The owner is away. The house is becoming a ruin.
Nobody has been in it for twelve years. Secure it. I'll pay for it."
"We don't have the right," they said. "We can't interfere," they said.
"The owner's away. It's a stranger's house." That was just what I was hoping for,
what I wanted them to say, to recognize they had no right.
Let the shutter alone, let it bang in the wind over the garden,
over the empty cisterns with the slugs and the lizards,
with the scorpions, the empty spools, the broken glass. That noise
gives me an argument, allows me to sleep nights. 

February 10, 1969 

Yannis Ritsos: The Unhinged Shutter, from Railing [1968-1969], in Exile and Return: Selected Poems 1967-1974, translated by Edmund Keeley, 1985

Debt crisis in Greece

People wait outside the National Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens on June 29, hoping to receive their pension payments, even though banks were ordered closed for a week: photo by Petros Giannakouris / Associated Press via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Debt crisis in Greece

Pensioners wait to get to get their payments outside an Athens branch of the National Bank of Greece on June 29: photo by Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Debt crisis in Greece

Pensioners wait to get to get their payments outside an Athens branch of the National Bank of Greece on June 29: photo by Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Debt crisis in Greece

A man working at Athens' central fish market waits for customers on June 29: photo by Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Debt crisis in Greece  
A notice at an Athens gas station reads "NO Fuel.": photo by Milos Bicanski via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015


#Greece defiant as default looms: image via Reuters Live @ReutersLive, 30 June 2015

Unhinged: Saying 'No' to the banks

TOPSHOTS Carrying banners calling for a "NO" vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, on june 29, 2015.  Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say 'No' to the latest offer of a bailout deal Monday, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKILOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

Carrying banners calling for a “NO” vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country’s creditors, protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, late on Monday. Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say ‘No’ to the latest offer of a bailout deal Monday, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail
: photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP, 30 June 2014


Debt crisis in Greece

Protesters gather in central Athens on June 29, urging rejection of the latest offer of a bailout deal by Greece's international creditors: photo by Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Debt crisis in Greece
Demonstrators gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29 to protest what they say is an unfair bailout deal offered by the country's international creditors: photo by Aris Messinis / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Debt crisis in Greece
Supporters of a "no" vote in the upcoming referendum on a proposed bailout deal for Greece gather near the White Tower, a landmark in Thessaloniki, on June 29: photo by Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP via Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2015

Explaining 'the situation': Don't worry, Europe helps you


#Greece:
Austerity street art (photo by Louisa Gouliamaki): image via image by Pedro da Costa @pdacosta, 30 June 2015


#Greece street artists vent their fury over financial crisis with graffiti masterpieces
: image via Jim Roberts @nycjim, 30 June 2015


#Greece street artists vent their fury over financial crisis with graffiti masterpieces
: image via Jim Roberts @nycjim, 30 June 2015

Sadness in Hellas
 
Illegal
Tender, ever

green
 


#Greece street artists vent their fury over financial crisis with graffiti masterpieces: image via Jim Roberts @nycjim, 30 June 2015
 

#Greece street artists vent their fury over financial crisis with graffiti masterpieces: image via Jim Roberts @nycjim, 30 June 2015
 

Tragic: #Greece bank manager explains 'the situation' to distraught retirees (photo by Yannis Behrakis) #EuroCrisis: image by Pedro da Costa @pdacosta, 29 June 2015

Unhinged: Stardust of capitalism, disintegrating

Stardust of Capitalism | by uravms

Stardust of Capitalism. Xin-Y, Taipei, Taiwan: photo by Brandon Wong, 8 January 2013
 
Disintegration of Capitalism | by Ian Sane

The Disintegration of Capitalism: photo by Ian Sane, 7 August 2010
 
Capitalism Kills Love | by buridan

Capitalism Kills Love (Brussels): photo by Jeremy Hunsinger, 5 January 2009
 
Capitalism = death | by gaviota paseandera

Capitalism=death. Esquina de Mendoza y Buenos Aires (Rosario): gaviota paseandera, 7 August 2005

Capitalism | by Voxphoto

Capitalism (Ann Arbor, Michigan): photo by Ross, 30 March 2007

Capitalism | by rstrawser

Capitalism: image by rstrawser, 7 October 2007
 

Women line up for a job interview at a Buenos Aires store promoting “liquidación", or sale, amid Argentina’s default crisis of 2001
: photo by Diego Giudice/AP via The Guardian, 30 June 2015

Way of Capitalism | by txmx 2

Way of Capitalism (Hamburg): photo by Txmx 2, 3 December 2014

Capitalism | by marcel601

Capitalism (Varna, Bulgaria)): photo by marcel601, 25 May 2012

Unhinged: A head full of snakes


Head of Medusa: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1598-99, oil on canvas mounted on wood, 58 cm diameter (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence)

Where capitalist production is fully naturalised... The social statistics... raise the veil just enough to let us catch a glimpse of the Medusa head behind it.

Perseus wore a magic cap down over his eyes and ears as a make-believe that there are no monsters.

Karl Marx, Capital, 1867, preface to the first German edition


destory capitalism® | by robotson

Destroy Capitalism $30 [stencil art by Banksy, on exhibit in downtown Los Angeles]: photo by lance robotson, 16 September 2006


Oh the irony: Banksy's "Destroy Capitalism" prints for sale on Walmart.com: image via Emily CohnVerified account@emily_cohn, 3 December 2013

the horror | by robotson

The Horror [stencil art by Banksy, on exhibit in downtown Los Angeles]: photo by lance robotson, 16 September 2006

Enjoy Capitalism | by @boetter

Enjoy Capitalism. I just printed a hundred of these together with a friend. We are going to sell them to people who enjoy capitalism and market economy: photo by Jacob Bøtter, 23 December 2004

Unhinged: Refill it all
Refill it all | by michaelj1998

Refill it all. Los Angeles, California: photo by michaelj1998, 2 January 2015
 
Stoli | by michaelj1998

Stoli. Los Angeles, California: photo by michaelj1998, 24 October 2014
 
Saul | by michaelj1998

Saul. K-Town, Los Angeles, California: photo by michaelj1998, 13 February 2015
 
Oreo | by michaelj1998

Oreo. Wilshire Blvd: photo by michaelj1998, 13 March 2015

For an unhinged future: tight lips from Frau Nein, chump change from Bono, growing resolve to dump the capitalist model -- and a mysterious smell of burning plastic turncoat


BREAKING: Merkel says she won't discuss #Greeces new bailout proposal until Sunday referendum: image via RT @RT_com, 30 June 2015
 

Bono "delighted" to donate €2 to #Greece: image via Eurohand News @eurohand_org, 30 June 2015

Embedded image permalink

#GreeceCrisis | "We don't owe, we won't sell, we won't pay": Voices from the streets of Athens: image via teleSUR English @telesurenglish, 30 June 2015
 

Zeus sent home thousands of pro-Troika protesters, earlier today in #Athens #Greece: image via 15MBcn_int 15 @15MBcn_int, 30 June 2015
 

A sea of umbrellas saying yes to reform and the eurozone. Smell of burning plastic in air. Don't know why. #Greece: image via Ros Atkins @BBCRosAtkins, 30 June 2015

5 comments:

TC said...

from The Travelling Players (1975): New Years 1946

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Given the context of the currrent Greek "situation", including this crucial scene from Angelopoulos’ masterpiece is a stroke of genius. I wonder how many Greeks remember it.

TC said...

Thanks very much, Vassilis. The brilliant scene from Angelopoulos seems to enact so much, condense so much, virtually without need of words.

One of the very few truly great historical films. I've actually tried to teach it, once upon a time. Of course, nobody was willing to sit through it. Fatal flaw, it doesn't "explain", merely demands at least some level of conscious attention. Given that, it grants a whole new understanding of the meaning --- and mystery -- of the passage of time.

Our conversation here about the clip, in the present context, came down to that cruel yet hardly avoidable phrase, "the party's over". But surely it would be overdetermining things, at this point, to so over-simplify. And fatalism offers what?

In any case it seemed (seems) wrong to damn to a proleptic conclusion something brave that's still struggling to get to its feet. One must constantly remind oneself that no matter how ancient and broken-down one may be, there are still young people out there with the energy and desire to change this world that is crushing the frail bones of the weak and the old.

Wooden Boy said...

It wouldn't be long after '46 that the Marshall Plan would come into operation and see Germany rescued from a fierce economic castastrophe. Just saying like.

TC said...

Duncan, the way that plan was understood at the time was as a part of the global anti-communist strategy (which of course it was), and as a means to the restoration and expansion of markets (for, first off, of course, American goods), through the invention and development of international corporate capitalism (which it also was).

There have been many ways of thinking about the "plan" of having American business manage the world party.

There's this classic Spanish film:

Bienvenido, Mr Marshall! (1953)

The Greeks of course only received a minor pittance of the Marshall money. Ten percent, finally, went to Germany. The lion's share -- twenty-six percent -- went to cement that famous "special relationship" with the UK.

Marshall Plan beneficiaries, by nation

I spent the summer of '64 in Athens. The buildings were still riddled with bulletholes. But the US Sixth Fleet was parked in Piraeus, and love for Americans was not exactly overflowing.

Angelopoulos captures a bit of that spirit:

from The Travelling Players (1975): Wedding party at the beach