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August 19, 2003

Our Big Fat Greek Writer's Block

We know we promised you a new article this week but honestly it's the middle of the summer (the slowest of times in the Greek-American social calendar) and therefore one of the hardest times of the year to write about something Greek. In the last two years we've tried to post a new article every week, and only succeeded at that about twice a month. It's sometimes hard to get inspired to write Greek-American related content, and even harder to make it somewhat funny, without repeating the same old jokes about gyro and souvlaki, how many syllables in a Greek last name, or making some other stereotype that even the writers of My Big Fat Greek Wedding wouldn't even have used. (Oh yeah, and an article that doesn't mention that movie would be a good change of pace as well.) 

If there hasn't been much going on in the Greek community, we try to rely on outside sources for inspiration. We find ourselves too busy these days to surf the internet and watch as much TV as we used to when we first started the website. We simply don't stumble upon Greek related news stories or programming like we did back then.. A friend of ours sent us an article earlier in the week that he found on the internet on how Athens only has two of twenty-some-odd venues built for the Olympics, with less than a year to spare. Of course he entitled his email, "Crazy Greeks," like he does when he attaches any article he runs across on the internet about our people. Some other favorites he's forwarded were articles on the Greek government's ban on video games and the Greek government issuing permits for a few hundred brothels for the Olympics next year. Even though he's not Greek, our friend Matt is a philhellene at heart, a trait that comes from his crazy Russian Orthodox grandmother who brews her own flavored vodkas. A couple of weeks ago at his wedding reception, ten minutes of Greek dancing broke out for no other reason than he had five Greek-American guests, and he thought it would be funny. The quote of the night came from his younger sister who was dancing next to one of the five designated Greek dance "instructors" for the evening. 

-I can't dance this, I'm not Jewish...
-Honey, it's not Jewish, it's Greek.
-I'm not that either.

One unavoidable news story over the last few days has been the California recall election. Arianna Huffington, the Greek-American syndicated columnist, who is running for governor may be worth talking about at some point, but let's face it, Arnold Swartzenegger is taking up almost all of the media's focus. With other unlikely candidates, like former child star Gary Coleman, serving as the comic relief in this election, Arianna, even with her thick Greek accent and her nutty stand on SUVs and other gas-guzzling automobiles, probably won't receive any attention. (Watch, we say this now, and somehow she's going to end up winning this race, just like how My Big Fat Greek Wedding ended up making a gajillion dollars, just to prove us wrong.) 

Seriously, it's been a pretty slow summer when it comes to news otherwise. The fact that a "disappearance" of two Michigan State college students who simply ran away from home could make national news, shows how slow things have been. By the way, could you imagine if these kids' parents had been Greek? There wouldn't have been the public, "Oh my God, I'm so glad you're safe," from the parents like there was in this case. It would have been more like, "You stupid, stupid children, I can't believe you embarrassed me like this in front of the entire nation and everyone at church. Don't come home!" 

On a lark we decided to simply look at the TV Guide for inspiration and were reminded that one of America's newest non-skuzzy reality TV shows is NBC's, The Restaurant.  Having grown up around restaurants like many here in the Greek community have, this show would probably bore us, considering we've probably seen worse. How they can make a show called The Restaurant and not include any Greeks on it, we have no idea. (Ok, back to the first paragraph where we said that we should try to get through one article without relying on a stereotype... scratch that idea.) 

It just occurred to us while writing this article that if you try hard enough, you can write a Greek-American commentary on anything, simply by muttering the phrase, "Could you imagine if [insert random news or pop culture reference] was Greek?" Maybe we should have started with that thought instead of writing all of this. But then who knows, we may have had an article this week entitled, "Could you imagine if Freddy vs. Jason was Greek?," or "Forget Pepsi Vanilla, When are they making Pepsi Ouzo?," or "Which would win at the box office, Le Divorce, or a movie entitled, My Big Fat Greek Divorce?  With that said, we're over our case of Our Big Fat Greek Writer's Block, and will resume with a regular article next week. 

Read past feature articles