« Home | Let's Keep It Civil » | Greeks, Immigrants and Όχι Day » | The Importance of Learning Ελληνικά » | Encourage Greeks Bearing Gifts » | Money for Nothing » | Uncommon Sense » | My Dog Made Me Do It » | The Wrath of Mom » | Don't Call Me. I Might Call You. » | The Miseducation of Greek Children » 

Saturday, October 22, 2005 

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

He preaches, but is he practicing?

On Friday, I picked up the Greek edition of the tabloid magazine "Hello!". I didn't expect to find anything of real interest in there since I only read it in the effort to improve my Greek. It's a glossy magazine which devotes itself to celebrity photo spreads and and fluff interviews with the subjects. In most countries Hello! appears, celebrities are usually limited to actors, pop singers, reality TV stars, and royals. In Greece, politicians are also considered to be celebrities.

As soon as you open the October 26 issue of the magazine, the first 'celebrity' readers see is none other than Giorgos Voulgarakis, Public Order Minister with his wife, Katerina. Of the many photos depicting home life with his wife and family is one of him taking a ride on his motorbike with her and neither of them are wearing their helmets. On page 9, he is asked if he always wears a helmet to which he responds "I wear one. Not always."

Given that the law in Greece specifically states that both driver and passenger must wear a helmet at all times when motorbike and that his ministry oversees the Hellenic Police force, I would think that he would not flaunt the laws his ministry is responsible for enforcing. To be photographed blatantly disregarding the law confirms the conspicuous existence of double standards here in Greece. It's no wonder the Greek population's trust and faith in the government is eroding.

I'm still trying to figure out what the hell that picture he is pointing to is about.

But yea, the irony. He won't feel that way about wearing a helmet when he and his wife get their heads cracked open. Oh wait, they'll be dead. I've had enough friends in motorcycle accidents who, thank god, were wearing helmets. Now, that is not to say they have not sustained serious injuries, one girl had two years of hospitalization trying to repair a shattered leg. But I can't imagine anyone not wearing a helmet.

Seinfeld did this routine about how humans continually do dangerous things, and instead of stopping these dangerous things, we invent ways to make them safer, like the helmet. Obviously, I can't present it as humorously as he did, but it was pretty funny.

I think the document he's pointing to is some sort of rudimentary organizational chart. Or it could just be a flow chart of how Passing the Buck works for the Ministry of Public Order. LOL

I can just hear him say..."A written request for my ministry to do some work lands on my desk. I then pass it on to the Ministry of Economy. They pass it on to the Ministry of Education who then forwards it back to me. So you see, it is quite easy to get paid for doing nothing when you really put your mind to it."

I've heard so many people telling me that it's not the State's role to dictate what they should and shouldn't do with their lives...if we injure or kill ourselves it's our problem. But it's not just their problem. My tax dollars are spent on the ambulances, doctors, and hospitals they require should they get in an accident...not to mention the fact that people who do not wear helmets also do not require their passengers, often their children, to wear them either. Risking their lives is one thing...risking their children's is quite another.

Last Saturday a friend of mine got in accident with her 5 year old daughter on a moped. Neither was wearing a helmet and her daughter spent several days in the hospital for it. Luckily, both are fine now. It was no more than 4 months before I had questioned her logic as to why she doesn't wear a helmet to which she replied "I've always rode without one and nothing has happened to me. Besides I only travel in the neighbourhood." Her accident was about 15 blocks from her house. I wonder if she'll start wearing a helmet now.

For a people who value children above all else, Greeks are outrageously lax when it comes to child safety on the roads. I'm sorry, but a moped is NOT a family vehicle, helmets or no helmets, and a mother that holds an infant, or worse, an energetic toddler, in her arms in the front seat of a car... this kind of thing disturbs me so much, I can't even finish my sentence.

People in glass houses should not throw stones... and it is for that reason I'm not joining in the stone throwing in this thread.

But it is ironic that he admits commiting a crime in a magazine, maybe you should call up police authorities and alert them to the evidence in black and white (or was it color).

I am certain if the Minister was caught riding on the road without a helmet, he would have found a d a way not to pay his fine.

Are you sure it's not a secret society symbol?

Lol Eff, it actually looks like a crude drawing of the symbol for the Post Hermetic Church of the Metagnostic Exemptus.

And...don't ask...

Post a Comment