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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 May 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 MAY 2017 23 GREECE people from opponents to comrades will never happen if we oppress. So basically I'm arguing for a Climate of Love. I am not naïve in believing that propaganda won't continue to do its damage but there is no hope whatsoever if we shut down voices, if any of us oppress. Of course I know that throughout human history the ability to discover the truth has been outstripped by the capacity to manifest deceit but there is more capacity for the truth in a society that allows for freedom of speech; whereas in a regulated forum we have seen the chasing down of truth obstructed, perverted by the elemental exploitation that is litigation. Litigation only serves those who can afford it and more often than not those who buy its use are those who wish to protect lies. The Climate of Hate has given rise to one law after another in the hope that there shall be generated civil courtesies and protections from vilification but in turn these banal laws never work and instead justify even more significant controls that shut down truth and in turn let mass propaganda run rampant with manifest deceits. A Climate of Hate near always leads to a Climate of Death. Hate accelerates a cogni- tive decline and in its pathogenic circumstance generates an opioid-like addiction. Hate is addictive. It can damage an individual into social isolation, and the unhappy circumstance of this clutters the mind into often serious illness. Despite an internet-connected world, there are increasing numbers of people who are socially isolated. The power of the internet, 24/7, is still in its formative stretch but in this transitioning period to wherever we are going with the internet the transition has been ugly, with so much hate overwhelming the spreading of the love on this penultimate human forum. There is a capacity for hate today never before known: with the internet and mass media in a 24/7 cycle; where the hatred of others, be it through outright or through signification is giving rise to maladaptive social cognition. We live in a society where social media, where the 24/7 news cycle can make 'blood boil'. In the end it is up to us to somehow to rise above pitting people against people, because human connectedness is vital to our happiness. The pursuit of happiness is an expectation that human beings are born into. The pursuit of happiness is contingent on our connections with one another. Hatred interrupts our connection with one another. Hatred isolates human beings. We should not want ourselves to hate, as we do not want this of our children. Hatred is intense and its duration can be long, and in sociopolitical circumstances often extends generationally. Hatred is pervasive, overwhelming, obscuring right- and reasonable-mindedness. Hatred is a two-way street. Where people feel intensely threatened, though they have never met each other, the hatred on both sides of the divide builds. We are vulnerable to trauma and the psychological wounds can become unforgettable, unforgivable, and in many instances there may be no recovery from the damage. The narrative of hate has long failed us and certainly makes impossible the narrative that pursues happiness. The counter narrative is the spreading of love – with the subtexts of forgiveness and redemption – and this narrative is in tune with the inherent human striving for interconnectedness and on equal terms. Let Pauline Hanson and the One Nation Party speak all that they want. This is freedom of speech. Let us carry people across the line to that universal place; it may not be Elysian fields but it's a better place than where hate takes us to. I am as hard a 'left-winger' as imaginable but the left is, or should be, about the universal and inalienable rights and should be all for the conversations that we should be having without shutting down conversations and hating others. It does matter how we carry ourselves on this earth and we must remind ourselves that our days are not that many nor are they guaranteed. If we are not careful, the testaments of hate will become firmaments of institutional hate and terror. *Gerry Georgatos is a prolific writer on trauma and trauma recovery, on redemption and forgiveness. He has written widely on suicide prevention and wellbeing. Gerry is a suicide prevention and prison reform researcher and advocate with the non-tertiary Institute of Social Justice and Human Rights. He is a member of national projects to further develop suicide prevention and prisoner wellbeing and education programs. He works first-hand with the critically vulnerable and marginalised. Greece, Cyprus, and two Australians in the 2017 Eurovision final The official start of Eurovision 2017 kicked off in the early hours of Wednesday morning (local time) with the first semifinal deciding 10 of the countries that will be competing at today’s grand final, while last night saw another eight countries qualify. As expected, the first stage of the competition at the IEC in Kiev did not disappoint, offering copious amounts of stage glamour, backstage drama, and speculation about politics. The first 10 countries that made it to the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest final of the 18 competing are: Moldova, Azerbaijan, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, Poland, Armenia, Australia, Cyprus, and Belgium. Those who polled enough votes to advance to the grand final from the second semifinal were Israel, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, Hungary, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Austria. The lucky 18 will be joining the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy - and host country Ukraine in the grand final. The overwhelming favourites predicted to gain coveted finals spots are Portugal’s Salvador Sobral and Sweden’s Robin Bengtsson. France, Spain, Italy, Germa- ny, the UK and Ukraine automatically qualify for the grand final. Australia’s 17-year-old star, singer Isaiah Firebrace, gave his best and in spite of a vocal hiccup, he managed to win the Europeans’ hearts getting to eighth place with his song Don’t come Easy. Greece’s Demy also qualified with an impeccable performance and a stunning presence, singing This is Love. The concept was designed by director Fokas Evangelinos, who also choreographed Greece’s winning 2005 entry My Number One, Ukraine’s 2008 entry Shady Lady, Russia’s winning 2008 song Believe and many others. Demy has been joined by Alex Panayi who is her vocal coach. Alex represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 and 2000 and was a backing singer for Greece when the country won last time the contest was held in Ukraine in 2005. “I’m really excited, a little stressed, but it’s great,” the young singer told the press. “We want to check that everything is alright, with the cameras, it’s going to be perfect. I’m feeling more excited than stressed, which might sound odd but I am feeling so pumped, I don’t feel that it’s going to be stressful, we have so many rehearsals that when the time comes there will only be excitement.” Cyprus, with their song Gravity by Hovig, is also preparing for a breath-taking performance in the finals’ second half, alongside Greece and Australia. Meanwhile, Australians will have two contestants to cheer for, as the second semifinal saw 21-year-old winner of The Voice 2014 Anja Nissen qualify for Denmark, her par- ents’ country of heritage, with power ballad Where I Am. At the moment, Portugal’s 27-year-old singer Salvador Sobral seems to be the crowd favourite, provoking a heartmelting reaction from the audience. The Portuguese singer presented his jazz pop song Amar Pelos Dois reaching 4794 points. He later wore a ‘SOS Refugees’ T-shirt to the finalists’ press conference asking governments to provide safe path ways to destination countries for Syrian refugees. “There is so much bureaucratic stuff happening in refugee camps in Greece, Turkey, and Italy,” he stressed. “We can diminish these bureaucratic services where they ask for birth certificates from people who came in plastic boats.” Italy and Sweden are also rated as the countries to fight for second and third place. SBS broadcasts the contest live from 5am Sunday and repeats it at 7.30pm (AEST). Dogtooth star Mary Tsonis found dead in Athens Greece Australia Cyprus Acclaimed actress, dancer, and musician Mary Tsonis was found dead at her apartment in Athens on Monday. She was 30 years old. Her body was discovered early on Monday afternoon by friends who called an ambulance; the paramedics confirmed the woman had been dead for hours. Her body was transferred to Evangelismos hospital for an autopsy which recorded pulmonary edema as cause of death. Rumours about her mental health and other speculation has been circulating Greek media since the announcement. Some went on to state that she had drug issues, while most reprinted a Facebook post made by her friend, model and actress Lewsha Camille Simboura: "Can't believe I just found Mary Tsoni dead [...] dead on the fifth floor. RIP. Sorry I didn't come sooner. Maybe we could have saved you. I felt guilty, as I watched James perform CPR. I should have tried to help you with your sickness. [...] But all the success in the world can not cure depression". Tsoni was born in Athens, but grew up in Livadia and Chania; she studied in the State School of Orchestral Art and at Dance Attic Studios in London. Her claim to fame came with her participation in Yorgos Lanthimos' internationally successful film Dogtooth in which she played the younger sister. She also had small roles in films such as Evil, Evil in the Age of Heroes, Art Therapy and The Fruit Trees of Athens. As well as acting, she was one of the key figures in Athens' thriving alternative mu- Denmark sic scene; she was part of a series of bands, most notably Joals and 'Mary and the Boy', an indie rock outfit she co-fronted in collaboration with director and musician Alexandros Voulgaris.
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