Jun 03 2011

I friggin’ worship you, man…

Published by at 12:34 pm under Just another day in Paradise

The problem is that having someone great as your idol is not going to save you. If anything, it raises the expectations people have of you, and make your fall in their eyes, even greater. Having a low-key role model, on the other hand, can really make you look good, so it’s sometimes worth a try.

Today Theo and I got on a boat to go swimming on a nearby island. When we sat on the deck, we couldn’t help but notice a pretty girl sitting with her friends opposite us. She was wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt, her Converse had Neil Young lyrics written on them, and she was listening to Bob Dylan on her mp3 player. Without saying anything, we were both really getting our hopes up as the time was passing, and more and more we felt like interesting people could be found on weird off-season boats to Greek islands. But everything fell apart when she paused her music to say something to one of her friends: ‘Sometimes I wonder… Is there really such a thing as a perfect tan’?… Her friend shook her head, not knowing the answer to a difficult question like this one. ‘I mean, either you have your bikini marks, or you’re left with a white neck if you’ve got long hair… You’re peeling off if you go for a fake tan, or your hands remain white ’cause you need to wash them after you apply… I just don’t know’… Her friend could feel her frustration. ‘Life is just so hard’… They both agreed on that one. ‘But Bob Dylan is my god! Listen to this one’, she said and gave one of the headphones to her friend.

We went to a taverna to eat in the afternoon, when two guys came and sat at the table next to us. One of them was wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, he was scruffy, with long hair and torn jeans, while his friend was more of a summer hippy, with long blond dreadlocks and colourful beach clothes. The minute they joined us, Theo glimpsed at me. ‘These guys are cool’. I nodded, agreeing, and looked at them. ‘Great t-shirt’, I complimented the guy. He smiled, surprised, and checked to see which one he was wearing. ‘Yeah, thanks’. And that was when he took his little mirror out to ‘tidy’ himself up. He studied himself in the mirror, re-shaped his eyebrows and took his little brush out and backcombed his hair, giving it that bit of extra volume. I looked at Theo, who was staring at him with eyes wide open. ‘Did this really just happen?’, he asked, destroyed. The guy smiled while fixing his hair. ‘Che was the man, wasn’t he’? We nodded, awkwardly. ‘By the way, are you guys from Athens? What’s happening there? I heard about some protesting going on in Syntagma. What’s that all about, do you know’?

A few hours later we made our way back to Athens and sat somewhere in Kolonaki, the rich area, for a coffee. The usual group of wealthy stupid kids was sitting near us, and their annoying voices were stronger and louder than ours, so in the end we just surrendered and tried our best to enjoy their conversation. ‘Apparently in this season of Keeping Up, Kim is single and she starts dating all these guys!’, one of the girls said, filled with enthusiasm. ‘What’s happening with Scott and Courtney? He’s such a jackass…’, another one commented. Theo looked at me. ‘Are they talking about that depressing show? Keeping Up With The Kardashians’? I nodded. ‘How can anybody watch it?’, he wondered. ‘Kim is just the best! I love her, she’s my idol’, a third girl anounced, and we then knew it was time for us to get going.

From there, we went straight to Syntagma to join the protests. We stood in between a huge crowd of people and after a while of shouting and giving the parliament the finger, we spotted the girls talking about the Kardashians at the table near us earlier. Holding flags and signs, they seemed to belong there much more than we did. They were shouting slogans, swearing, and passionately raising their signs in front of the parliament’s windows. Theo and I looked at each other in shock. ‘Are these the Kardashian girls’? I nodded, speechless. ‘Wow… They really have it in them. I would have never guessed’. I was left staring at them, hugely impressed. One of them saw us and recognised us, so she waved from afar. We both waved back, slowly, hesitating.

I realised then that I liked the way those girls had gone about it much more. I realised that if you can’t just wear your Che Guevara t-shirt and be a rebel yourself, if you can’t listen to Bob Dylan and actually support this music choice by the things you say, then you should perhaps pleasantly surprise everyone by worshiping an anti-hero while you’re a bit of a hero yourself. Doesn’t it look like loving the Beatles comes with a huge risponsibility, whereas idolising ‘Twilight’ and its vampires takes any pressure of having to impress, away from you? And even if you don’t particularly like the Kardashians, sometimes it’s worth just pretending you do, since the lower the level you set for yourself, the fewer the expectations. If you go around wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, people are bound to expect things from you, so if you can’t come through, then better take that t-shirt off and start talking about the perfect tan.

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