What would J.C. do? Campaign memo to the Greek opposition

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To:         Evangelos Meimarakis; Stavros Theodorakis; Fotini Gennimata

From:     James Carville (J.C.)

Date:     23 August 2015

Re:         Campaign advisory contract proposal

Sorry for the group email, guys, but it’s late and I’ve just arrived in Athens after what must have been, what, three? four? five? flights. Hard to believe there ain’t a direct connection between DC and Athens?! You’d think Christine would have fixed that, what with all the air miles her guys clocked up.

So first things first, compadres: for the life of me I can’t figure out which one of you is ‘leading’ the opposition. Been locked in my hotel room all day and night watching the news, and quite frankly can’t tell y’all apart. Maybe it’s the heat, but it seems like the more fringe you are, the more TV time you git.

Okay, so let’s just make sure I’m on the right page – the big, shrill woman that reminds me of my fifth grade Spanish teacher Miss Hernandez, who’s always looking pissed off and delivering lectures (beats me what they’re about and my translator Loulis has yet to enlighten me – not that the boy’s playing with a full set of crab traps anyhows), she’s don’t run the country that right? And the guy that looks like my history teacher from senior year, the boring one with the white attempted beard fluff, glasses and the creepy beady eyes, he doesn’t run the country either? And the young-ish guy (at least compared to the rest) with the full head of black hair and the permanent smirk, Loulis tells me he’s not the head of the opposition – because I assumed he must be as he’s hardly on television – he’s actually the guy in charge? Or used to be? He’s Mr Popularity?

Dang pooter down a well, y’all got problems, a right ol’ mess on your hands, and I’m not sure I can do much. I’ve seen gumbo that was clearer than this so-called political ‘system’ you got here. Bolsheviks and Neo-Nazis out-poll most of you sensible middle-of-the-road types. Not that it helps that so many of you guys got THE SAME LAST NAME! I thought it was like Iceland or something because you couldn’t possibly all be related. Going back through the briefing papers you sent, it gets REAL confusing. Except that Loulis tells me it’s not just that y’all got the same names – you actually ARE related. Kinda like Hillary and Bill and Jeb and Bubba and ol’ George Herbert Walker. You’d think we’d come up with a few folks to run the country who aren’t TOO GENETICALLY CLOSE TO MARRY. Let me tell you right here that nothing feeds public cynicism with politicians like NEPOTISM. But I’m gitting ahead of myself.

So Loulis tells me that even though you guys PERSONALLY weren’t holding office over the past five years when the whole economy when down the bayou, y’all belong, or used to belong, to the parties that were supposedly running (or should that be ‘ruining’) the country. That y’all are tainted with a stink as bad as the smell in Daddy’s Dodge after Grandma left a pot of boiled crawfish in the trunk for a week after the church summer supper. Ain’t no way they was EVER gonna get that smell outta that dang car after that.

So the way I see it, the voters, they’ve got a point. They’re pissed off. Young-ish guy who’s never on the television says he’ll do it different, his hands are clean, everybody votes for him. Why not?

Well turns out the guy’s a complete turkey, deep fried, sanctified, butterball-stuffed and sliced. Either y’all elected a LIAR or an IDIOT. Neither is any reason to throw a fais do do. So Greece is mal pris – and that ain’t half the truth. But no point gittin’ all boude ‘bout it. Let’s do something to fix it.

Best I can tell from looking at the numbers, there’s the negative issue of ‘politics as usual’ and ‘the usual suspects’ practicing the politics as usual. This new guy is, well, NEW, but if he ain’t practicing the old religion, by golly I’m a pork tamale. Way I hear it, having signed onto a crazy bad deal with the lenders, he’s gone and re-hired all the civil servants that was hired and then laid off by the previous governments, namely you guys. I’m a Democrat and we don’t have no problem with guvment. Guvment is a good thing, but like everything, moderation brothers and sisters, moderation. Just cuz you like a bit of Uncle Claude’s hooch don’t mean you got to finish the whole dang barrel. Do you really need TEN FOLKS to sell you a postage stamp? Hell no! And what’s wrong with this picture? Aren’t the comrades usually on the side of the guys in the hard hats down the hole, however ersatz?

Now I gotta admit I like a guy who knows how to buy votes, but if that ain’t a lizard down grandma’s nightie for you guys, I don’t know what is. Seems like everybody’s too busy ‘strategizing’ and being ‘civil’ to react to anything. Jump down the sumbitch’s throat! That’s a gift he handed you and I don’t see y’all doing nothing! Those folks, they ain’t never gonna vote for you anyway, but you have a better weapon – all those other poor folks who ain’t had NO JOB for five years. Don’t be scared of a few thousand civil servants – WHACK that mutha with a BIG STICK.

Like I said before, the BIG negative for y’all is that you’re all TAINTED and there’s no UN-tainting y’all. Face it friends, unless you want to see the country down the CRAPPER, you need FRESH FACES AND NAMES, fer cryin’ out loud.

So recommendation Numero Uno: start putting some YOUNG folks with energy on the television whose uncle / dad / grandpa / brother / sister / cousin AIN’T already been prime minister / party secretary. YOU GIT THE PICTURE??

Now for the positive: these poll figures I’ve seen all say that these same dang voters are DESPERATE to stay in the European Union, notwithstanding WHATEVER THE HELL that referendum business was about. The other guys, my old Spanish teacher and the History teacher guy, they want to leave and take you back to the drachma. I seem to recall the drachma was something like 300 to the Euro way back, no? What do you think it will be now? Try 3000 to the Euro. Maybe 30,000, it’s any sumbitches’ guess (I got Loulis watching my Asia portfolio right now and I can tell you Mr Euro’s looking pretty dang good). Any currency you need to use SCIENTIFIC NOTATION to describe in order to buy a pack of chewing gum is NOT A SMART IDEA.

Recommendation Numero Deux: You need to start HAMMERING that fact home EVERY DANG TIME YOU OPEN YER DAMN TRAPS.

And I see on the BBC that all yer pretty islands near Turkey have become the vacation destination of choice for all those poor Syrian folk. Hey at least those guys have money to spend and only want to hang around long enough to take a selfie and get on the next ferry / bus / train / plane to Germany. Now let’s think for a minute. Your friends the Turks are more than happy to facilitate these folks getting in a boat and sending them your way. What happens when Greece is no longer part of the EU? That gum will be stuck to YOUR shoe, Bubba. Oh yeah, you can talk tough about sealing the borders like that armadillo-haired rabid old water moccasin Trump and his Mexicans, but, seriously? You got about a million miles of coastline, and Turkey just itchin’ to send a problem yer way. And you didn’t get the Nazi vote last time either, so my advice is to quit the goose-stepping. The EU money your government hasn’t even bothered to apply for to help (FER THE LOVE OF THE ALMIGHTY, the EU guy in charge of it is ONE OF YER OWN – if he’s even human! Ask for the damn money!), well THAT MONEY WON’T EXIST ‘COS YOU WON’T NO LONGER BE IN THE EU. MUY MUY grande problemo, amigos.

And so that leads me to recommendation Numero Trois: It’s bad enough being on the southern frontier of Europe with the Middle East and Africa goin’ down the can on your doorstep as a member of the EU. How’s that gonna feel when you’re all by your lonesome, compadres? The other guys use immigrants to SCARE y’all – you should use them to remind people that EUROPE is there to help in precisely this situation. Observe how your slick young neighbor over in Italy used the trouble down south to change the subject AND look statesmanlike. That’s how it’s done, my friends. Get out there and be seen doing something. It’s more than mister invisible nice guy is doing. IT’S A CRISIS AND THE GUVMENT HAS DECIDED TO WALK AWAY. Turn it to your ADVANTAGE!!

So, friends, I see it like this: the country is actually divided between a PRO-EUROPEAN MAJORITY (M-A-J-O-R-I-T-Y), and a XENOPHOBIC, ECONOMICALLY ILLITERATE, FANTASIST, NATIONALISTIC MINORITY.

You three gotta sit down and form a new party. A PRO-EUROPE party. ONE PARTY. Not another dang coalition, but an ACTUAL PARTY. Bury the hatchets, suck it up, and JUST DO IT. Face it, the jig’s up for the old ways. Now is your HISTORIC MOMENT. Seize it! – don’t sit there and twiddle your komboloï (thanks Loulis, finally earning your per diem). These old tribes are a fat possum round yer necks, ‘bout as welcome as a gator at a garden party. Sure, y’all are gonna lose this crazy-ass next election (excuse me, but don’t you guys have enough trouble finding money to pay bus fare without holding two full elections and a referendum in one year???). Lay the groundwork now for a ‘new political dialogue’, rather than crap like the old-rope-with-a-new-name Syriza jerk offs. New blood on the frontlines. You can’t pretend the past don’t exist, but give people something to talk aboutTHAT IS POSITIVE. I like that crazy mutha from Thessaloniki, the stoner dude. He makes sense, tells it like it is, has got brass balls. And look at him – he’s holding onto his job! IT CAN WORK. The old ways are broken as a raccoon in a grits mill. These new guys, they just playing the GAME like it’s always been played. Point that out EVERY TIME YOU TALK TO THE PRESS.

And for the love of bourbon and mother’s milk, stop being pussies! Hit ‘em hard, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, with the same, clear message. I DON’T CARE if it’s your annual summer vacation on some dang beach. If you don’t fix this TODAY, y’all are gonna be on PERMANENT VACATION. Repeat after me: IT’S THE CLIENTELISM STUPID! (OK, need something catchier). Find some YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR TYPES who can TALK and don’t dress like an insurance salesman from Houma to STICK THEIR NECKS OUT and point out HOW MUCH DAMAGE these idiots are doing. Don’t just sit there and commission polls – get out there and face the ZYDECO! Bunch of DAMN ELITES HIDING IN THEIR PARTY OFFICES – that dawg don’t hunt, brothers and sisters.

So here is the Big Idea: STAND FOR SOMETHING. You’ve got nothing to lose, so give people an ACTUAL DAMN CHOICE. Rather than a dozen different parties and candidates running for every damn seat in your parliament, make is SIMPLE for people. THINK BIG. Git off yer asses and WORK THE STREET. This crisis is your opportunity. If the government won’t lead, then y’all have a duty to. And if you aren’t up to it, y’all should JUST GO HOME and stop pretending to give a chaoui’s pecker for yer country.

This is YOUR moment, brothers and sisters. NOW SEIZE IT OR GIT GOIN’. Over and out.

J.C.

PS Invoice is attached.

PPS The country may be broke but I see you folks got some money in the kitty.

Image from dailycaller.com

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What would J.C. do? Campaign memo to the Greek opposition

Hey babe…

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Babe…

[showered, clean shirt, tucked in, just enough product to keep the quiff neat, but looking appropriately sleepless]

Μωρó μου (babe)…

I’ve done a lot of thinking… I think it’s time to show some commitment. I know things between us have been rough lately. But that’s because I’ve been fighting for us, babe. Because I really care. [look defiant!] You know, I was the one who told your ex to p*ss off and stop making unreasonable demands. I made the whole world listen. When your family tried to come between us I wanted to tell them to p*ss off too, but you know I can’t do that.

Yes, I know I promised a lot, and I haven’t been able to deliver like I wanted [puppy eyes]. But I’ve shown willing. I did take you to the 2-D Transformers movie, and er… a bunch of other things that I can remember now… but when we’re back together for good I promise you it’s going to be 3-D all the way. I’ve got some pocket money already, we can go out tonight.

You know, I’ve fallen out with loads of people over this. People I thought were friends, but who betrayed me. What you gonna do? H8ers gonna H8

Babe, [puppy eyes again] I know I’ve driven you to the brink, but I’m sorry. Our most beautiful days are still ahead of us. I know only I can make you happy. You have to trust me on this.

So.. whaddya think?

(wink)

Hey babe…

Dear Aunt Cassandra: I’m terrified of not being popular

 


Dear Aunt Cassandra,

This year I was elected school president, which has always been my dream. But now I’m not so sure it was a good idea. I thought that once I was in I would be even more popular than before, I would get to do what I want and I would never have to buy another drink. Of course I made all sorts of promises to get in, but isn’t that what everyone does? Now it’s even worse than I thought, the other guys really did use up all the money in the kitty, they weren’t just bullsh*tt*ng me. And everyone, including my homeys who are only there because I picked them, is nagging me about “what are we going to do now?” and “where are we going on the school trip?” Everyone has different ideas and they expect me to make a decision. That wasn’t part of the deal! I wish I could tell them all to p*ss off, but I don’t want to look uncool.

I am losing sleep, I keep waking up in a panic. I have nightmares that my friends aren’t talking to me anymore. What can I do?

Yours,

“Che” 


Dear “Che”,

When Mick Jagger sang that “it’s lonely at the top” he wasn’t complaining about trouble finding a girlfriend, was he?

You seem like a pretty pragmatic chap to me, even though you have shown pretty poor judgement in people. What you do really depends what you want out of life, and that is something only you can know.

You are not going to get the pool table for the canteen, or take everyone to Mykonos like you promised, that’s for sure.

If you’re worried about losing your “homeys”, don’t. You don’t need to prove yourself and you don’t need that passive-aggressive loser as your wing-man either. When it comes down to it, we both know the cool girls would rather own up to still liking Justin Bieber (#nightmare) than pick that guy over you. Especially when they realise that they’d have to give up their razors and deodorant.

As to who gets to choose where you go on your school trip, do you really want to visit cousin Kim’s firing range outside Pyonyang? Or spend a week swatting the mosquitos off uncle Vladimir’s torso on his annual Siberian camping trip?

I know your plan B was to organise a South American road trip on the cheap, sleeping on friends’ sofas. But you know Nicolás can’t even get beer and snacks these days, and Raúl’s place is crawling with the worst kind of yanquis. As for that Jeremy from the big school across town, even if he does get the keys to the country estate, he doesn’t really look like the partying type, does he?

Your Belgian pen pal may have had a point, even though you were just pretending to listen. This could be your opportunity to do something positive.

I’m not naive enough to think that kids go into school politics because they believe in the noble idea of public service (ha!). But your options are limited. From where I stand, you’re still popular enough that you could take the class to pick up garbage from the highway and still call it a school trip. Ever read Tom Sawyer?

I don’t really know you that well, but you seem to enjoy strategising. Instead of playing pool in the basement of the old guys’ bar during school hours, maybe you should try a real man’s game like chess. And if you show up for class a bit more you may pick up some basic maths – we’ve seen that you’re good at division, but there’s more to it than that.

As I said before, only you know what you want. You may think that what I’m suggesting is “selling out”. I will leave you with one final thought: If you’re thinking that at the end of the day you can still cash in your chips and trade your life comrade for a busty air hostess, you should bear in mind that we don’t own the airline anymore, and Ryanair girls have higher standards…

Image: Alone by Derek Mindler licensed under CC BY 2.0

Dear Aunt Cassandra: I’m terrified of not being popular

Dear Aunt Cassandra… Can I trust Alexis?

alexis-tsipras-540x304

Dear Aunt Cassandra,

Should I go steady with Alexis, our new school council president? He is very popular, and you wouldn’t know he used to be a Communist, he is so clean cut and well spoken. He has promised me he will take me out when he gets his allowance back. He only staged a sit-in at the school to claim his allowance, and now he has taken a summer job at the bank’s debt-collection unit. I am really confused. He told me his evil uncle made him do it, it’s not the real him, and once he’s got back into his uncle’s good books he will be able to take me out to the mall and the cinema like he says I deserve. He used to hang out with a guy on a motorbike who mum said was a bad influence and always getting into trouble, but then they had a big bust up and now they aren’t talking any more. Sometimes I don’t know if I can trust him and sometimes we fight but then he looks me in the eyes and tells me everything’s going to be OK and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. He even charmed my grannie when he came to pick me up and told her how unfair it was that her pension was cut, and how he would do things differently. Since then she can’t stop saying what a καλό παληκάρι* he is.

What should I do?

Yours,

Parthenope


Dear Parthenope

You know I won’t sugar-coat things, so I’m glad you came to me for advice.

My poor innocent darling, let’s look at the evidence. Your friend Alexis may not be talking to that idiot with the bike anymore (cool? in my day we had “Happy Days” to tell us what that was all about), but look at who he still hangs out with. His new best friend is a fat insecure bully who everyone knows will do anything for the chance to play Call of Duty all night because he’s not allowed to at home. What about that scary tomboy who flushed your iPhone with the limited edition One Direction cover down the school toilet and then started screaming for help saying you were pulling her hair? You know, the one who hangs out with the skinheads in the park after school. Then there’s those creepy older boys who are repeating the year for the third time and are telling everyone who’ll listen about their plan to rob the bank. You tell me if that’s a gang you want to be part of.

Do you really think he cares about you? Has he told you the one about how when girls say “no” they really mean “yes”?

My tip is, don’t trust anyone who goes into politics this young. Love’s young dream could easily turn into a nightmare. This isn’t “Grease”, this is Greece 2015. I suggest you take a cold shower and spend the summer learning a useful skill, like growing your own food. You might need it.

Yours ever,

Aunt Cassandra.

P.S. Are you sure he doesn’t have a drug problem?

*(kaló palikári) = good boy

Dear Aunt Cassandra… Can I trust Alexis?