Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Greek Stuff

We have a guy here who used to be a social worker in Britain and therefore accustomed to dealing with the socially challenged (scum). He expressed some concern about the boy up here in our village, opining that the kind who set fire to puppies as children tend to become even bigger shitbags when they become teenagers. I think it a given that most teenagers are shitbags – they have the total self-regard and lack of empathy of children combined with hormones, pre-adult bodies and, nowadays, a huge sense of entitlement. But I understood what he meant about us not wanting to set ourselves up as targets when this boy turns into the village hoody. I don’t think we need to be too worried.

It goes back somewhat to my previous post. In Britain, if a child was to do something like this, he would have done something completely outside of accepted mores. It would be an act of rebellion and a rejection of ‘society’, and regarded by most as something he should be locked up for. Here, with many adults hating dogs and having grown up in a time when if you hated a dog few people would object if you strung it up from an olive tree; here where many adults find setting fire to a puppy amusing, his biggest crime was not checking to see if the puppy had an owner before torching it.

It is also the case that this child, and his two brothers, are generally just boisterous boys. They play like boys did a number of decades ago in Britain before computer games, and TVs in the bedroom. They take the rubbish down to the bins, collect food from the veg delivery man and collect loads of wood – we often see the youngest labouring up and down the steep paths here with a heavy wheelbarrow. They work in their parent’s large vegetable plot, help with the olive harvest, are polite to us and bugger off when we tell them without any danger of one of them pulling a knife, and they get a belt round the ear when they do something wrong.

The problem here is that the casual cruelty we have seen is not regarded as something terrible. And I fear that the child concerned was just trying to be an adult – using an accepted method to drive off a stray dog and thus protect the family’s chickens.

Incidentally, going back to that dogs ‘strung up from an olive tree’. A recent case in mainland Greece actually resulted in prosecutions. Three dogs were strung up all together with the same rope, or wire, their back paws just touching the ground so as to prolong the entertainment.

Stress Diet:

Over a period of ten days I’ve lost about 8lbs. Stress, anger and lack of sleep certainly burn off the calories. Seeing an animal in pain is an appetite suppressant, and the smell of burnt fur, burnt skin, Betadine antibiotic commingled with with a hint of putrefaction certainly puts you off the meat course. Enjoy your lunch.

Some Greek Learned:

I believe Gamoto kakos apovrasma translates as ‘fucking evil scum’. I was going to go for ‘bastard’ rather than ‘scum’ but whilst my Rough Guide has that word as keratas my dictionary has it as nothos or palianthropos and lists keratas as ‘cuckold’. I tend to feel that it’s the Rough Guide that’s wrong because it contains so many mistakes. Opening it at random I get the standard one: anafero for ‘mention’ when it is ‘I mention’, again totally ignoring the verb endings I’ve mentioned before: anafero, anaferis, anaferoome etc (again the disclaimer: I’m no expert so correct me if I’m wrong).


Anonymous said...

We Americans removed all of the bison and wolves with out much effort... why are there even still dogs on that little island if they hate them so much?

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

Dahmer, and Kuklinski, both murderers held down their identity as predators for a long time without being caught. they started with little things. Cats.

Shayla said...

I like the socially challenged (scum) bit. I don't think I was really bad, I certainly would never have done anything close to setting fire to a puppy, usually I was the one getting hurt because I was stupid enough to get sucked in to things just to live up to what people expected of me. I know that the guys I hung out with weren't afraid of being caught because they knew nothing would happen if they did get caught. Thankfully those times are behind me now but what the guy warned you about is right, or at least it would be in this country, its best not to pick a fight with them unless you have something scarey to frighten them with.

RFYork said...

Culture here is only relevant in a limited way. Or, to put it another way, any culture which sanctions casual mutilation or killing of animals is sick. And, yes that's a culturally biased judgment. Which I'll stick by.

There are sound reasons for the killing of predators or even religious rituals. And, I think killing of animals for food is defensible.

The research and documentation on the psychopathy of individuals who casually kill or maim small animals is pretty clear. Such behavior can and does lead to equally awful treatment of one's fellow humans.

I'm not sure what social approval of such conduct says about the prevalent culture.

And, no, I'm not a follower of Peter Singer and I am an omnivore.