The Prime Minister of Greece

Greek Students and Greek Resistance: A Yellowist Look at Recent Elections

January 10, 1973 Athens   The Prime Minister of Greece, the Regent, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Defense in a rare group photograph. With Coke and Pepsi, the “smile”-button has come to Greece. They have appeared — those yellow ovals with the supine parenthesis — everywhere in Athens. In the cafes and ministries, on the wharves and in the streets, disembodied grins enforce an invisible optimism carefully programmed by the government and gently amplified by corporate investment from abroad. As the radio voice says with ubiquitous insistence, “Esso-Pappas cares for you; Esso-Pappas cares for you.” The message nags on in the head long after the commercial has ended, and one finds oneself repeating it over and over in a silent, unintentional pseudo-reverie. Optimism is the by-word of the Greek regime. According to the folks at the Ministry of Press and Information — a “must” visit for every foreign journalist — everything is dandy. Torture is down, and the GNP is up. Students have elected their own representatives, the press is free,

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Special Offer

Without Apparent Utility

Halloween, 1972 Somewhere-in-Europe   “After all, it’s not that awful — you know what the fellow said…In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — they produced Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce…? The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly.” — Orson Welles in The Third Man   In any intrepid quest for (flourish of trumpets) The Truth, or even a desultory glance around for (fanfare of flutes) A Story, one comes across a welter of details, incidents and anecdotes which, while seemingly disconnected from the course of current events, nevertheless emit an aura of importance. One is certain that this detritus of inquiry has significance in the larger Scheme of Things, but just how this relationship manifests itself is, too often, elusive. (The writer notes here-with, in the interests of credibility, that the word “one” is used in an effort to convey a probably false sense of objectivity, existing as

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Now that your hair is longer, you need Wella Balsam.

A Word From our Sponsor

November 20, 1972 London   Remember Macrobiotics? The Frug? The Animals? Baba Ram Dass, Millionaire Michael Brodie, and Wavy Gravy? What about smoked bananas, can-you-dig-it, and fa-a-ar out? Do DMT, STP, and LBJ ring a bell? Okay, then, how about lovebeads, RYM-II, the Diggers, and the League for Spiritual Discovery? The real question, then: has the counterculture seen the light at the end of the social tunnel? Consider some of the evidence: American campuses, according to Esquire, are quiet; the Weathermen have abandoned the scene; rock-and-roll has entered a phase of such overt decadence that it may never recover; many of those who so hopefully went back-to-the-land have since returned to the city streets; brown rice sales have plummeted; cheap booze is back; the Haight is long dead, and so is the Lower East Side; Bill Graham has sold his theaters; underground papers are in trouble everywhere; Abbie and Jerry are embarrassments; the West Coast has accepted Jesus. Have the fruits of the counterculture rotted upon the vine even while America was a-greening? Have both

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Ibiza Harbor

Being Old and Hip & Broke on Ibiza

Tim sits guzzling cheap beer down by the docks on Ibiza. He’s 57, sun-burned to a ripe mahagony, and keeps brushing shoulder-length gray hair from the tangle of his full, white beard. Otherwise he sits in total repose, only his mouth moving in clipped Cockney accents. “Rubbish,” he says. “Full of chemicals. San Miguel is the worst beer this side of the Indian Ocean.” Nevertheless, he continues to drink it in quantity. “Look at that,” he says, raising his eyes in disgust at a white thread crossing the sky. “Jet trails! Did you see yesterday’s paper? Some idiot-scientists have finally gotten around to noticing that jets affect the weather. Why, I could have told them that ten years ago. Any bum lying on the beach knows it. A beautiful sunny day — clear as a bell — and a jet goes by. What happens? In 15 minutes the sky’s filled with clouds. I’ve seen it happen a thousand times. Got a cigarette?” Ibiza Harbor Usually Tim rolls his own cigarettes from a cheap Spanish blend,

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Helen Vlachos

Helen Vlachos Doesn’t Love You Anymore: Conversations With a Greek in Exile

October 10, 1972 London   “Each time I change brand of cigarettes A strange cough gets hold of me. Each time I change the country I live in I hate the moment I was born.” — Vassilis Vassilikos, from his poem Piran  “Things go better with Coke!” — Advertisement The apartment is too neat. It is elegant and still in the way some waiting rooms and embassies are. Decorum pushes the visitor to the edge of his chair; transience hangs over the fine furniture like white sheets that movers use. And then Helen Vlachos sweeps into the room with tea and cigarettes, small cakes and the abundant energy to which her voice gives shape. The effect is one of curtains having been suddenly opened: the room comes alive and one wonders if all Greek women share the same throaty accent whose perfect expression is found in Melina Mercouri. “It is terrible,” she says without preamble. “A newspaper editor can be jailed in Greece if he prints anything which could cause worry to the public. Well,

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