The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49515   Message #1044360
Posted By: George Papavgeris
30-Oct-03 - 04:27 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Plastic Paddy (Eric Bogle)
Subject: Lyr Add: ATHENS 2004 (George Papavgeris)
Children, children, don't mistake a caricature for the real thing. EB draws a caricature in PP, and his mickey-taking of the caricature surely shows his love for the real thing.
But let's not be to ready to draw our shelaleigh. As a Greek, my race often gets caricatured, sometimes unfairly, sometimes brilliantly:
a) Did I find the Aussie film "Wog Boy" fair in its showing all Greeks as ne'er-do-wells? No. But was the film funny? Yes, I split my sides.
b) Once in a Chicago Greek restaurant I noticed that an awful lot of flambe dishes were arriving at various tables (flambe does not exist in Greek cuisine - roasting over open fire or coals yes, but flambe not). When I mentioned it to the restauranteur with surprise, he was most keen that I shut up in case I spoil his marketing tricks. He had a caricature of a Greek restaurant. Did I exclaim and spoil his business? No, of course not. But I smile every time I remember at all the Chicagoans going home and trying to emulate Greek cuisine by putting their houses at the risk of beign burned down.

The Jewish caricature themselves all the time. They don't hate themselves!

And finally I offer here a (rather lengthy) caricature of my own race that I have written, with the advent of the Athens Olympics 2004 as the excuse - and before anybody says anything, I AM a Greek Macedonian, my quip is only at my race's chip-on-the-shoulder over the use of the name.

Athens 2004
(c)George Papavgeris, July 2001

The Greeks are known far and wide as people that are full of pride
And also given to good wine, as well as food and groping;
But now all that we will forego, for in 2000 and 4
To people from around the world our doors we will throw open.
The Olympics are for everyone, all races, creeds and nations come,
Bolivians, Germans, Russian, French, Indians and Esthonians.
We're open-minded and fair, all nations this event may share
Although we hope no-one will dare invite the Macedonians.

We know that some athletes take drugs as pills and syrups, even jabs
And they will try all sorts of tricks to enhance their own performance,
But Greeks will have no need of that, our boys will train and give up fags (GP note:"cigarettes"! although...)
We'll sing our lads to victory, we won't depend on hormones.
So our National Anthem for to sing, to make the Olympic Stadium ring,
You might well see us practicing with yodels and with gargles;
Don't worry, it's not another anti-NATO demonstration, but
You might be excused for thinking that we lost our Elgin Marbles.

Now, in the Marathon you know, we were the first there, long ago,
Anyone else who thinks to take the gold is just myopic.
The Bounty of Marathon is ours, Maltesers, Galaxy and Mars;
Our boys won't Flake, we'll also take all Yorkies, Twix and Topics.
As for the rest of the events, we'll not be greedy, we are gents,
We 'll have plenty of chance to show our calibre as losers.
Our lads will eat and drink the night away and all will fear the sight
Of our weightlifting team led at the head by Demis Roussos.

To the occasion we will rise, though it's true that we're disorganised
And it's well known that we have had problems with preparations;
Our brand new airport's now complete, but try our bus queues in the heat,
And our famous taxi drivers' speed will give you palpitations.
It's true that we have more church bells than guest rooms in our few hotels,
Though that's not counting the ones we rent out by the hour;
Our hospitality's well known, our home will simply be your home;
That's if you have the dollars, or you're in for a cold shower.

It's true that in the midday sun the Olympic Stadium is no fun
And Athens air in summertime can be full of pollution.
But me and some good friends of mine discussed this o'er a case of wine
And we have come up with a smart and elegant solution:
We'll make a deal with all airlines to fill up all returning flights
To take the Greeks to cooler climes, where summer is no bother,
And we will leave the Athens sun to all the tourists – do have fun,
Just leave the keys under the mat and tell us when it's over.