[MGSA-L] Syriza vs. Xrisi Aygi column Του Νικου Χρυσολωρα

Aristide Caratzas acaratzas at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 01:48:40 PDT 2012


1. Referring to Dr. Katsetos' references I would like to add the following facts:
Manolis Vasilakis is the Editor of the Athens Review of Books and reviewer of the Markezinis book, to which Dr. Katsetos refers, has a number (four or five) of legal judgments against him for defamation and libel; those who had sued him could have pushed for financial compensation. Instead the plaintiffs asked and received an formal apology, in which the editor/reviewer Vasilakis admitted:

"I [published] the (sc. libelous) articles in question and made these (defamatory) statements during the Ocalan case, being part in a political disinformation operation and creation of scapegoats, which was created using manipulated and false "information," the initiators of which I cannot name for obvious reasons and on account of journalistic discretion." (for the entire text, see http://www.newstime.gr/?i=nt.el.article&id=50502)

2. In response by some to my short comment on the posting of the Chrysoloras Kathimerini piece:
I think we all agree that the piece was by a journalist not an academic, but to some of us it was inherently interesting and stimulated our imagination; others found it a "syllogistic mess." The article raised the issue of the rise of extremes in Greek political life, left wing and more recently right wing. Much ink has been spilled about right-wing extremist Chryse Auge of late, much less of the totalitarian impulses and violent (even terrorist) fellow travelers closely linked to extremist Syriza factions, some of whom have cultivated violence for well over a decade. [It is an open question as to whether it was Syriza-linked factions that burned five right-wing bookstores in Athens in 2008 — much of the left-leaning publishing world in Athens is still silent about these crimes]

This is not the place for an epistemological discussion about the nature of academic writing, but the argument for the value of the Kathimerini posting was elegantly summarized by Athanasios Grammenos — to which I would like to add that the impulse to censor is unfortunately strong among adherents of political extremists. I think there was a consensus in the postings that they must not must not be allowed to have their way and impose censorship, even if it means some material is posted that some may not find interesting — the rest of us have been around long enough to be able to discern (and delight in so doing) whether something is propaganda (and of what kind), whether the tone is "excitable" or "dripping with sarcasm" and why, whether the "news it provides are clearly manipulated and targeted against the legitimacy of a political party" and so on.

In short, that which is intellectually interesting to one may not necessarily interest someone else; thus a shard of an ancient urn may be just that to one person, and it may provide a world of knowledge to another. The way I understand it, scholars are not priests, i.e. they are not obligated to perform the same liturgy, the same way, over and over again with through the ages. Indeed their humble task should be to keep looking for different refractions of reality unencumbered by ideological prejudice or simple neurotic fixations. 

Aristide Caratzas


On Sep 26, 2012, at 9:12 AM, Christos D. Katsetos wrote:

> While on the subject of "discursive mud-slinging," it was, in fact, the same
> columnist and aspiring pundit who had written, a couple of years ago, 
> a cavalier Op-Ed/"book review" attacking an expatriate academic in the 
> editorial columns of the Athens daily Kathimerini. 
> http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_civ_2_12/12/2010_425409
> 
> Perhaps a quintessential example of "mud-slinging" is the tortuous narrative
> in Athens Review of Books, in which the author (and Director of this periodical)
> combines obsessive beliefs, preconceptions, and ad hominem attacks lashing out
> viciously at his "targeted victim."
> http://www.booksreview.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128:-sir-basil&catid=53:-20-2011&Itemid=55#_edn2  
> But it is the posting in MGSA-L of a piece so devoid of scholarly merit that raises
> questions about conflicting perceptions of scholarship in this academic list.  
> http://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/public/mgsa-l/2011-October/013526.html
>  
> CDK
> 9/26/12
> From: "Grammenos, Dennis" <d-grammenos at neiu.edu>
> To: MGSA List <mgsa-l at uci.edu> 
> Sent: Monday, September 24, 2012 2:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [MGSA-L] Syriza vs. Xrisi Aygi column Του Νικου Χρυσολωρα
> 
> I thought the Nikos Chrysoloras piece in question was an "op-ed."  It sure sounds like that. I wouldn't go as far as to baptize it "journalistic analysis" though whatever that may be in this age of blogging.  As for the "news" and "information" it purportedly provides (valid or otherwise) I had to re-read it to make sure that I hadn't miss anything.  I hadn't. No "news" there, just recycled equivalencies for the least common denominator, verging on a type of discursive mud-slinging that has always been common fodder for Greece's embedded "journalists".
>  
> Does it have a place on MGSA-L? Thankfully it was just a link to it for those who care to waste their time reading it. 
>  
> And, I did waste my time! What a syllogistic mess:) One walks away with the equation SYRIZA=Xrusa Auga.  Wow.
>  
> Giasas paidia,
>  
> Dennis Grammenos
>  
>  
> From: mgsa-l-bounces at uci.edu [mgsa-l-bounces at uci.edu] On Behalf Of Aristide Caratzas [acaratzas at gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, September 24, 2012 1:37 AM
> To: MGSA List
> Cc: Neni Panourgia
> Subject: Re: [MGSA-L] Syriza vs. Xrisi Aygi column Του Νικου Χρυσολωρα
> 
> Actually, the posting in question has everything to do with Modern Greek Studies, it is a journalistic analysis, and it provides [unpleasant but valid] news and information. 
> 
> Censorship has no place on an academic list like ours.
> 
> Aristide Caratzas
> 
> 
> On Sep 24, 2012, at 1:22 AM, Neni Panourgia wrote:
> 
>> This posting has no place on this list as it has nothing to do with 
>> Modern Greek Studies, it is not an academic analysis, and is it not a 
>> piece of news or information.
>> 
>> np/
>> 
>> 
>> On 9/23/2012 3:50 PM, Roland Moore wrote:
>>> A subscriber to this list sent this link to a Kathimerini column.  For those subscribers who wish to follow recent showdowns between supporters of Syriza and Xrysi Augi...
>>> 
>>>     ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>     From: athanasios grammenos <athanasiosgrammenos at gmail.com>
>>> 
>>>     Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2012 10:18:59 +0300
>>>     Subject: Αλέξης Τσίπρας, όπως Μιτ Ρόμνεϊ
>>>     Αλέξης Τσίπρας, όπως Μιτ Ρόμνεϊ
>>> 
>>>     Του Νικου Χρυσολωρα
>>> 
>>>     http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_columns_2_22/09/2012_496385
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> List-Info: https://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/listinfo/mgsa-l
>> 
>> -- 
>> ________________________
>> Professor Neni Panourgiá
>> 
>> 2012-2013
>> Visiting Associate Professor
>> Bard College
>> Anthropology Department
>> Hopson 301
>> Warden's Hall, PO Box 5000
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>> (845) 752-7217
>> 
>> ICLS
>> Heyman Center for the Humanities,
>> Columbia University,
>> New York, NY 10027
>> 
>> Dangerous Citizens. The Greek Left and the Terror of the State
>> www.dangerouscitizens.columbia.edu
>> 
>> Ethnographica Moralia Experiments in Interpretive Anthropology
>> www.fordhampress.com/detail.html?id=9780823228874
>> 
>> 
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Aristide D. Caratzas
Telephone: 30-697-228-5442
acaratzas at gmail.com





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