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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MIND THE GAPS

A GAP I'll Never Jump Off...
Sydney's GAP is a breathtakingly beautiful suicide spot at Watson's Bay in the Easern suburbs. It is privy to scarily frequent police patrols due to its inordinate amount of suicides - an average of 50 per year.

A GAP I'll Never Shop From...

Then there is the other GAP, first established in San Francisco in 1969 with franchises that currently number 3,465 worldwide and include brands like Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperline and Athleta.

Its success is seeded in misery. I wonder how many fashion savvy consumers proudly sporting the GAP label are aware of the fact that their precious garment may have been created by children working as slaves in Indian GAP factories. How many buyers actually took notice when the store's sweatshop workers in Saipan brought a class action suit against the company for unpaid overtime, unsafe job conditions and forced abortion policies? A 20-million euro settlement followed - a bargain price for sold-out consciences...

A GAP I'll Never Vote For...

Here he is...Socialist/neo-liberal non-Greek Hellenic Prime Minister
George Andreas Papandreou (GAP).

Our very own Greek GAP has his origins in St. Paul, Minnesota and is the son and grandson of former Greek prime ministers (in the land where nepotism rules). His mother's side is American-born Polish. Educated in Toronto, Amherst College in Massachusetts, Stockholm University, the London School of Economics and Harvard University...Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Only, here's the itsy-bitsy problem, nobody thought to teach him the Greek language (though his command of English is also rather as limited as the scope of his leadership). Infact, it may have been the evident language difficulties that may explain why he did not understand it when outgoing Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis pointed out that Greece was in dire economic straits.

He entered government with huge  lies  promises that were followed by enormous cutbacks to pensions and other benefits. Meanwhile, one in five companies are currently threatened by closure as unemployment figures skyrocket! He opened the door to the IMF without so much as a referendum and managed to destroy decades worth of workers' rights and social welfare acquisitions in just a few months. Sharp cutbacks without thought of incentives or development.  

Oh...and here's another little problem...Greece's prime minister doesn't quite feel "Greek". Infact he is slightly embarrassed by his Greekness which may explain why Eurogroup Chief Jean-Claude Juncker issued a statement concerning to Papandreou's criticisms of the Greek people as "corrupt" - a huge blow to the country's market credibility. Meanwhile, has one person gone to jail for the harm that has been done to this land ? Of course not, because there are many insidious interests at stake.

I guess the Greekest politician one can find at the moment is French MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit (red Danny who turned Green and maybe is a paedophile but that's another story) who dared to say what no "Greek" politician had the guts to state: The country's woes were a common European secret that Germany and France have kept under wraps for years in order to force Greece to spend billions of euros in arms deals in a vicious upward patterned debt spiral.

I guess,
as Australian songwriter Richard Clopton said -
"For every credibility GAP there is a gullibility fill."

But let's all just be wary when picking our gaps... 

PS
October 28, 1940, is the Greek national holiday known as "Ohi (No) Day" that commemorates Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas' resounding "No" to the Italians marking Greece's entry into WWII (His exact words were "Alors, c'est la guerre" - "Then it is war"). Though a dictator and Germanophile fascist sympathiser, Metaxas managed to capture the pulse of the nation by standing up to the Italians and Germans and has gone down in history as a national hero that protected Greek freedom during a fascinating page in the country's history. And it's a page we should remember these days - the days of "Yes" and subservience.

7 comments:

Robin said...

I did not know that about any of the GAPs. As always, an enlightening post. Since I have no money, I don't do any shopping. Well, sometimes I shop at Goodwill. That is really sad, eh? Or secondhand stores. I did buy several pairs of Jeans a year ago from Kohl's but they no longer fit since I have dropped about ten pounds. I am back in pants I was wearing in FL. Some of them are starting to get loose. I may be headed back to the Goodwill again... I will try to remember which brands not to buy. Although it is catch as catch can at Goodwill! Sorry about the GAP problems in Greece!!!!

Night Owl Mama said...

wow had no idea.

Stopped by to follow you drop on by http://nightowlmama.blogspot.com

Let'sMakeADifference said...

Great post! I'm a new follower. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back!!

Colleen said...

Fascinating post and I truly had no idea about the store GAP's policies or lack thereof in India. :( Ignorance is no excuse though I guess...

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You :-)

~Ron

The Bucket Project said...

Great post! Lots of new info for me.

If you have a second please stop by the bucket project and let us know one thing you want to do before you kick the bucket. We'd greatly appreciate it!

Jessi @ http://bucketproject.blogspot.com

Phoenix said...

Yep, this is why I don't shop at The Gap. SO not cool.

By the way, there was a beautiful story in the Christian Science Monitor about a man who has saved countless lives by moving to where the Gap is in Australia and offering would-be suicide jumpers a cup of tea.

Read it here: it's so inspiring :)

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/1018/He-invites-suicide-jumpers-for-a-cup-of-tea