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Monday, October 09, 2006

Political Culture

Different cultures develop different ways to protest public policy. Northern Greece has the market cornered on one mode of political expression: yogurt tossing.

The city of Salonika played host last week to a 60-year-old man who threw a pot of yogurt at regional politician Panayotis Psomiadis during a statue-inauguration ceremony.

Nobody is really sure why this man did it. One theory, which seems like a long shot, focuses on a local investigation into a dairy manager’s corruption. Psomiadis’ opponents have hurled charges that he’s connected to the manager, but I can’t how this compels someone to hurl yogurt at him.

Now I’m a worldy man. And I understand that various countries and regions have different modes of political protest.

Italians go on strike when they need to make their views known. Canada is rife with dissent and rebellion—albeit in the form of polite requests. And some Iraqis enjoy using the IED to say their piece.

But only in Greece does this aspect of political culture involve … well, active cultures.

Psomiadis, the target of the yogurt toss, is running for re-election. It’s unclear if he will attempt to use the incident to his advantage in the election next Sunday.

Me? I’d milk it for all it’s worth.

30 Comments:

At October 09, 2006 9:02 AM, Blogger Ben Heller replied to my musings ...

Did the Yog "hurt" him David ? (ouch).

The Brits have a method of protest, we say to Politicians "You've been a very naughty boy, and we're not inviting you round for a cup of tea".

It solves nothing, but at least it addresses the world tea shortage.

 
At October 09, 2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

Are they sure it was yogurt, and not just some really, really bad milk? Either way, it's all Greek to me...

 
At October 09, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

I always enjoy Yoplait on words, David.

 
At October 09, 2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

You guys are KILLING me.

I'm not even gonna try...;)

 
At October 09, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I wonder if yogurt tossing will become a tradition--much like the vegetable tossing to indicate a person's dislike. I would rather something soft like yogurt get tossed at me than a ripe tomato or head of cabbage--which could hurt. Providing that is if the yogurt is not in it's container.

 
At October 09, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

I was impressed by the French farmers protest a while back. Where they dumped fresh dung on the steps of government buildings.

 
At October 09, 2006 4:42 PM, Blogger goldennib replied to my musings ...

Is yougurt tossing a softer form of protest than say throwing a block of feta?

 
At October 09, 2006 4:47 PM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

LOL! Funny post :-)

 
At October 09, 2006 5:11 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

This story reminds me of Sting's "Ellas Danzan Solas (Cueca Solas)" about the only form of political protest allowed in Chile during the Pinochet government. Women would dance alone to protest the "disappeared".

 
At October 09, 2006 5:12 PM, Blogger X. Dell replied to my musings ...

Doesn't seem to me that slinging yogurt differs that greatly from slinging mud.

 
At October 09, 2006 7:49 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Well, at least it's stirring up some interest, and it hasn't spoiled his campaign...

 
At October 09, 2006 8:28 PM, Blogger Grafs replied to my musings ...

I've hurled asparagus...

 
At October 09, 2006 8:52 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Ben, Fuzz, GW: Thanks for reporting the British, French, and Chilean habits. Can anyone share with us the Zambian, Armenian, and Monagesque traditions?

Bruce, GoldenNib: I suppose if the yogurt sits long enough, it'll be close to feta.

OMW: Thanks. Are you sure my milk puns aren't cheesy?

Stacy: We don't intend to kill you. Just amuse you.

Angel, Grafs: I was unaware of this asparagus/vegetable tossing thing. Have I missed some news?

Missy: Thanks. I saw the news story and couldn't resist sharing it. And mocking it, of course.

X. Dell: I've had some yogurt that tasted like mud.

Mike: [Groan.]

-- david

 
At October 09, 2006 10:46 PM, Blogger Death Warmed Over replied to my musings ...

"Whatever it is, I fear Greeks even when they bring gifts."
Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC), Aeneid

Throughout history apparently, the Greeks have been known to let their anger "ferment" leading to disastrous results.

As for this news story I think Socrates sums it up best:

"Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of."
Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC)

 
At October 10, 2006 6:01 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe replied to my musings ...

I wonder what flavour it was...

Good post, David :).

 
At October 10, 2006 12:28 PM, Blogger Paige Burns replied to my musings ...

I'm horrible at puns, but I love reading them. You guys are too funny!

 
At October 10, 2006 5:06 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Panayotis Psomiadis' campaign slogan is going to be,

"Umm...that was 'shoe shopping' good!

No, wait: That was 'getting your nails done'-good!

I mean, that was 'getting a foot massage while reading a Romance novel'-good!

Hang on a sec': I guess I'd have to say that was 'Zen wrapped in karma'-good!"

 
At October 10, 2006 7:53 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

This reminds me of a gag one of the local talk radio shows (The Roe Conn Show on 890 WLS AM) did in the past...

They would call up random family and Greek restaurants and ask, "Is Nick there?" If there was a Nick there he'd win a prize, if not they played it off as a wrong number.

Good thing it was over the phone, their gag wasn't that "cultured" and it was out of range of projectile yogurt.

 
At October 10, 2006 8:41 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

DWO: I feel like I just earned three credits in Ancient Civ.

ChickyBabe: I'm guessing it tasted like souvlaki.

Paige: What puns?

ZW: That's a lot of slogans. I wonder if they translate into Greek well.

Perplexio: That explains why my friend Nick refuses to eat at Greek restaurants in the Chicago area.

-- david

 
At October 11, 2006 9:51 AM, Anonymous fred charles replied to my musings ...

I like yogurt but I don't think I'd want any dumped on my head. My daughter would probably like it.

 
At October 11, 2006 9:53 PM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

Just when I started eating yogurt again without gagging. ICK

 
At October 12, 2006 1:55 PM, Blogger BV replied to my musings ...

I hear it's good for your skin.

 
At October 12, 2006 6:47 PM, Anonymous mojotek replied to my musings ...

OK, I can think of the only yogurt joke I know at this point:

Q: "How does a gay guy fake an orgasm?"

A: "He throws a cup of warm yogurt on your back?"

Alright... back to middle school I go.

 
At October 13, 2006 10:37 AM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

The nerve of that guy forgetting to toss some stuffed grape leaves along with the yogurt.

Some people got no culture!

 
At October 13, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Fred C., B.V.: I hadn't thought about the health benefits, or the play fun. I'm so tunnel-vision.

Mimi: Sorry to ruin your appetite. I'll try not to write about food throwing. (For a while, at least.)

Mojotek: Somehow I knew that was ... er, coming.

Cube: Suddenly I have the urge to go to the Greek restaurant down the street for lunch. Thanks!

-- david

 
At October 14, 2006 12:30 AM, Blogger Gyrobo replied to my musings ...

It's like the old saying goes, "sometimes you get the yogurt, sometimes the yogurt gets you."

I think it's a terrible saying, and I passively mock people who use it. I'm just not active enough to seek them out.

 
At October 15, 2006 1:22 AM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Hmm maybe he just didn't like that flavor of yogurt perhaps?? who knows.

Duke not a bad showing vs the noles

 
At October 15, 2006 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Gyrobo: That's one of those sayings that I love ... along with "Better a bird in the hand than a flying wombat in the spleen." Or something like that.

Phats: Crazy, huh? FSU must really be down this year if Duke can put up 24 points. Your Boilermakers had me a bit worried starting out against Northwestern, but they got it going!

-- david

 
At October 15, 2006 7:31 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

I was there and I wasn't too worried mostly because we moved the ball at will on our first drive, but our kicker is an idiot. I just figured it might be a shootout, but alas our defense actually showed up!

I don't like FSU.

 
At October 16, 2006 4:39 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

I don't like FSU much, either. It's nice to see some other ACC teams getting a chance!

-- david

 

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