Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Speech after long silence

BBC World Service is now not worth even trying to listen to on Short Wave. The transmitters are underpowered, and the frequencies chosen with the aplomb of a family grocer opening shop next door to Tesco's. If  you do manage to tune into it, the news is relentlessly trivialized and the announcers rush through in order to get to 'sport', which means football. So instead I listen to the English service of Deutsche Welle, which assumes its listeners are adults.
A few days ago Deutsche Welle had a programme about those unfortunates in the third world who have difficulty getting water. It provoked, as so much news does, a hollow laugh: here in this little island in the Northern Sporades, (theoretically in the 'First' world,) the council has just put up notices to say that our village will have no water supply for the next two weeks. It has made no alternative arrangements. Putting up notices was, it seems, enough.
In the summer, when there are tourists (with money) to impress, the water supply is continuous. Winter residents? Why should the council care?

More generally though, the 'crisis' affects the small islands less than it does the cities: in a little place like this everybody knows everybody else, and no-one is allowed to starve or be άστεγος (roofless.)

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