Thursday, July 27, 2017

For every complex problem there is a simple wrong answer

Whatever begins with the criterion, and basic motive of material gain, without having any real feeling, can never be successful, it will never realize its full potential. Music is not made to order, it isn’t just executed, whenever you try and contain it within specific boundaries, to limit it, to play just to make a living, for example, it will never achieve its potential grandeur.
That quote is from the great Cretan lyra player and teacher Kostas Mountakis (1926-91). Among his pupils was the leading exponent of modern Cretan modal music Ross Daly. In Greece today the government's attempt to exit from the EU imposed bailout programme has created a big opportunity for the masters of the financial universe which is causing widespread resentment. This Reuters report explains what is happening: "Big money managers have started buying cheap Greek stocks from banks to lotteries as clouds over talks between Athens and its international creditors gradually clear, anticipating big returns. A deal in May when Greece agreed to more austerity measures raised hopes of possible debt relief for a country that has endured economic hardship for years, resulting in the longest winning streak for the Athens bourse in more than two decades".

This development, together with the financial hardship suffered by so many Greeks and the foolhardiness of imposing fiscal policies designed to benefit urban-centric northern countries on rural-centric southern countries, is completely off the radar of those who salivated over the recent pro-EU gestures at the BBC Proms. This post is not about anti-Brexit versus pro-Brexit. It is about seeing the bigger picture and not just the parts that fit with our own preconceptions. The grandstanding at the Proms and the subsequent social media hysteria simply confirmed H.L. Mencken's assertion that for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

Mountakis Kostas - Rare live recording is available from the excellent Greek Record Shop in Crete - just one of the countless small Greek businesses that has suffered and continues to suffer from the machinations of the well-connected masters of the financial universe. To learn about Kostas Mountakis pioneering music education the 1999 documentary The Circle at the Crossroads available on YouTube is recommended; it is in German but has English sub-titles. No review sample or other benefits involved in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Pliable said...

Oh dear, there is another Proms anti-Brexit love-in coming up - https://inews.co.uk/essentials/european-requiem-proms-making-voice-heard-brexit/