Friday, May 14, 2004

Greece Struggles to Clear Hurdles in Sprint to Games

Los Angeles Times

Yeah yeah, the Greeks are slow, everything's going to hell, things won't be done, etc etc. We've all heard it. Some of it may be true. But that's not interesting anymore. What's interesting is why they're struggling. Let's take a look:

"Until recently, thousands of stray dogs roamed the capital, lounging in downtown's Constitution Square at the entrance to the subway or pacing at the foot of the Acropolis. Dogs hold an honored place in Greek mythology - in Homer's 'The Odyssey,' it was his hunting dog that recognized Odysseus upon his return after a 20-year absence - but today some Greeks have a reputation for dumping their pets when they tire of them or go on summer vacation."

This gives you a real insight into why the Olympics are going the way they're going. If the ethos is "if it's too much trouble, dump it!" when it comes to living things, don't expect to get a roof done. Here's more:

"It all began when a visiting Ukrainian coach was bitten by a mutt. And then someone started poisoning the dogs.

The uproar, especially from foreign animal rights advocates, was enormous. Greek officials denied that they were behind the poisonings and countered that they had launched a compassionate program of rounding up the strays and neutering, inoculating and cleaning them. If they are not adopted, the officials insist, they will be returned to their 'original environment.'"

You can't make this stuff up. Stray domesticated dogs returning to their "original environment." That's what my mom told me when our Persianan cat disappeared - "we took it back to its original environment, honey." What's the original environment for a domesticated, neutered, declawed persian? Not Persia, that's for sure. More like the East River. Nice try, Greek officials, I'm on to you. More:

"After the dogs came the prostitutes. The city wanted to crack down on legal brothels. The well-organized hookers union fought the move. After all, the Olympics could be a time of enormous demand. The battle continues."

The well-organized hookers union. Europe isn't quite like us, is it. But hey, it makes sense - imagine if they went on strike. That's some serious leverage! And it's another union in the pocket of the liberals.
...
(everyone say it with me now): Literally.

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