07 July 2008

μητέρα μου

I read up on the (sacred?) mystery of the ABBA at The Independent. I have never been much of a fan, but this article is totally to blame for me listening to the song below ten times. It is such a rollicking tune, but the lyrics are so full of pathos, which is what the article is about.

Also reading The Age of The Warrior: Selected Writings by Robert Fisk. For a book on the Middle East, I am proud to have got half way through it. It gets a bit depressing for obvious reasons, but being a collection of newspaper articles is very approachable.

Waiting to read Peter Pan, after seeing it discussed on The First Tuesday Book Club recently.

I really enjoyed watching The Hollowmen the other night. If you check it out, you will see what Canberra looks like, at least in the credits. Interestingly, The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot was my favourite poem in my final year of high school. I was a little more maudlin in those days.

Since I started keeping a note book of new words that I meet, I have been very interested in Greek. It appears to have contributed as much to the English language as Latin. For instance, psephology - the study of elections and voting trends comes from psephos which is Greek for pebble, because the Ancient Greeks used little rocks to cast their vote. Cool. It was only invented in 1952. Plutocracy, ploutokratia, ploutos meaning wealth, kratos meaning strength, therefore rule by the wealthy or elites.

It makes sense. My family come from Campania which was kicked off by the Greeks before the Romans moved in, after which the Turks had a bit of a go too. Now the region is dominated by waste. I will have to get back there and visit the relatives eventually, although they tend to drunkenly stand around belting out vaguely misogynistic folk songs. (I've seen the videos.) And they tend to feud across continents about the size of telephone bills.

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