FINISHED my last essay for this master’s before the big ol’ thesis takes hold. This one was for the minorities course, where I chose historical linguistic minorities in Greece. Kind of a broad subject since there are a lot to be tackled (Pontians, Vlachs, Slavs, Arvanites to name a few), so it was narrowed down to the Vlach (Aromanians) grouping. It went from enlightenment writers of the 1700’s jumping a century to retarded national awakenings in the Balkans to post-WWII legal status. Really interesting to see that in the face of nationalisms, a group without a set locality (FUDGE I totally forgot to put that in there, so important) will end up subscribing to a nationality which does. Location, location, location. Also interesting to see that identities can eventually become obsolete and will get replaced by other more influential ones>>>
Which brings me to a thought: What about people taking up new, not just cultural, ethnic identities, but also of societal ones; what about subscribing to the “gay” identity? Impossible to be gay and poor in the states, as it’s something associated with fabulousness (excessive consumption, stereotypical hubris, subscription to new trends) which assumes the capital required to support it; no money no funny honey bunny. Exclusivity is key to upward mobility, and being labeled as gay puts you up there with the big boys (statistics of median income of homosexuals vs straight). Some of the straighter-acting men you see have been known to flame out in the company of other men who shake the fig tree, and in a sense speak their language; using jargon and discussing the mundane community topics as exclusive common bonds. Maybe this is linked with conservative rejection of the gay community, where it’s not so much about the lifestyle that is feared but the rapid change of society posing a threat to its structural power. Lesson learned, mischief made.
Papalex’s grandpa gave out to cancer yesterday, and we went to the funeral today. Maybe I’m biased but orthodox ceremonies are really something beautiful, and somehow there is always that one relative who leans over the coffin murmuring their farewells while the priest chants. Thinking back, it was pretty surreal at the burial:
We drove to a hilltop cemetery overlooking the city, and after the priest delivered the last rites, Papalex stood up at the end wearing the John Lennon sunglasses, began delivering her elegy, lamenting these verses of spiritual freedom from a poem her papou taught her by heart as a little kid. As she neared the end, three white pigeons appeared on the headstone next to papou, chilled for a bit, and took off when she finished. Sweet birds.
RIP Thymio, you were a real man; entered the civil war at 14 and battled for those who sent you up the mountains, carried you through adolescence, and then the man locked you up in prison for years but you managed to hold up sweet as possible for your family decades later.