When we were children, we used to catch lice very often; especially when we went to the village, where our favourite place for exploration was the chicken coop.
As soon as our round-faced grandmother (the other one was the hard boiled Arbëresh) twigged that our head had become a habitat for parasites, she leaped into action.
She hauled us in front of the fireplace or to the garden and armed with a bottle of vinegar and a comb she proceeded to the operation of extermination.
In winter she cast the lice into the fire and they burst like minuscule arthropod balloons. In summer she smashed them with her nails, uttering hedonistic interjections or saying absurd things to them like: “take that bitch for having it in for my child’s blood.”
The smell of vinegar always recalls these memories of delousing, just like a rural version of Proust’s madeleine.
The years have passed and grandmothers do not delouse their grandchildren with vinegar anymore. The world has progressed.
I can see this progress when I surf on the internet. I have this kind of perversion, visiting incongruous blogs, sites and online newspapers.
The pluralism of platitude in full swing.
In one of these blogs which are like “we-don’t-support-golden-dawn-but…”1, I saw a comment from somebody who compared the immigrants with lice and that they should be exterminated because they drink our blood.
Promptly I saw a picture with my mind’s eye:
A pale man lies on a bed at the point of death. A vampire drinks his blood with a drinking straw, liters of blood, while others wait for their turn to feed themselves.
But all that the dying man does is to chase away the parasites saying: “These lice are killing me”.
The lice are the easy target. The politicians are aware of this and they distract the attention, anger and despair of the victims to them, while they prostrate themselves to the vampires, exalting them: “Yes, master!”
Vampires are sacred and they are portrayed as invincible. “Vampire or tanks” it is what they say via their internet mouthpieces.
“The immigrants are drinking your blood” is what their talking heads keep repeating. “These lice”.
But if we are brainwashed to regard every human being as a louse, then -inevitably – each person will be as worthy as a louse at some point.
On 22 July 2011 the far-right Breivik, dressed as a policeman, went to the island of Utøya and killed 69 youths, 69 white Norwegians.
In his view, his fellow citizens were nothing more than lice, since he was used to see immigrants as lice.
It is not that hard to get from one point to the other.
If you get used to kill black dogs, it won’t be that hard to kill white ones, too.
That summer, I remember, I was working in Naxos. The day of the attack, the Norwegian tourists, but also the rest of the Scandinavians, were gathered around the televisions.
Everybody was shocked, some cried, some were on the edge for the names of those killed to emerge, hoping that they wouldn’t hear any familiar to them.
The way they looked spoke volumes: “How could ever such a thing happen to our country? In Afghanistan, Palestine, Africa or even America, it makes sense. But in our country? In our heaven?”
Two years later, I’ve got friends who immigrated to Norway and I hear that, in spite of the well-being there, it is not heaven – not by a long chalk.
The immigrants there have the same luck just like in every other country (and I speak of the poor and worthless ones, not the NBA players), namely parasites in the eyes of the indigenous.
Men like Breivik and deeds like the slaughter of Utøya do not happen out of the blue.
A racial background is elementary, the devaluation of human existence, the acceptance – be it concealed – that some are more “equal” than others and these “others” are subhumans.
But if there is man, even only one, who is deemed as a louse, then soon enough everybody will be considered as such.
If you think it is natural to kill an immigrant, an anarchist, a neo-Nazi, a policeman, a politician, a homosexual, a stranger, a different person of what you are, then the time is near that all that is left will be bereaved and departed.
And vampires stuffed to the gills.
1.Golden dawn is a far-right political party in Greece.