Vasilios Theodorakis – An Online Author is a digital repository of all my written work (in text and podcast formats)…

June 25, 2010

A new PM

Filed under: Culture And Society — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 6:50 pm

If it hasn’t already become apparent, my politics have always been left wing and green. If you know anything about the Theodorakis clan, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. In fact, what would be a surprise is if one grew up as anything other than left wing within a Theodorakis household. Social justice is part of Theodorakis dinner table conversations from infancy. This also explains why going into social work early in life seemed so natural for me.

As a left winger then, I’ve felt very disillusioned with Australian federal politics for some time now. I’ve inadvertently continued to vote for Labour though this led to a PM who was a little too right wing and non-Westminster/Federalist for my liking. Now I find, that even if I could put up with his right wing nonsense, I couldn’t put up with him ignoring our Westminster protocols of consultation. His executive approach to government left many people like me wondering how, in good conscience we would continue to vote for the Labour Party. My guess is most of us wouldn’t and many of us were getting ready to vote for the Greens.

If you compare democratic systems, the Westminster/Federalist approach we have in Australia is still the most stable and constructive form of government in the world. Anyone who tries to move too far away from its current approach does so at the constituent’s and nation’s peril. People have yet to invent a better and more stable form of government.

So yesterday my faith was restored, when the Westminster system won out over an individual’s ambitions. I therefore look forward to once again being able to vote for the Labour Party and wish the new PM all the best in her battles ahead. May she not only lead us well, but may she also protect the institution which has placed her on the pedestal on which she now sits.

Our political system is what makes this country so special, stable and safe. Thank goodness for the Federation’s robustness and the ability to replace leaders who do not perform.

As an aside, you can guarantee the hobbled parliamentary system in Queensland is the real reason why Queensland continues to suffer such ongoing corruption, even under the current Labour government. Take away the Upper House in a Westminster system and you take away fundamental checks and balances!

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

June 18, 2010

Waiting For Things To Happen

Filed under: Culture And Society — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 4:20 pm

There are many temporally challenged people in the world. People who sit back and wait for help to show up in the form of money, strangers, friends, family, God, love or politics. People who’ve made themselves overly dependent on others, and people just like you and me who wait and wait – then wait some more – hoping that others might solve their problems!

Unfortunately, in using this approach, life can pass you by and leave you wondering what in the world happened to a big chunk of your time. The problem of course is that self advancement doesn’t come in the form of a package, a pill or a person – it is a process initiated by oneself, carried out by oneself and fulfilled by oneself.

In my experience, genuine movement forward often emerges out of tragedy, desperation and finally, an understanding that only the self can help the self. We are ultimately alone in the world as no one can walk in the shoes that we already occupy. Those of us who learn this, usually get ahead, and those who don’t usually fall by the wayside.

Like many others, my greatest error in judgement (as a young man) was waiting for external help that never arrived. Needless to say, I was shocked when no one approached me and offered to address the issues that had buried me in a temporal ditch. Neither friends nor family tried to alleviate the problems that had developed – and why should they? The ditch I was in was my own and all those close to me had their own issues. To be given absolution without being able to systematically deconstruct, identify and address each aspect of a burden, does not lead to growth and personal evolution – it leads to a stunted existence. You have to remove as many obstacles obstructing your path, as is possible, before life can progress again.

In my case, once the core burdens had been removed, the things that did came to fruition, happened because I made them happen. This is a difficult truth to swallow, especially for someone who grew up thinking he could depend on others. I wish I could offer examples of how life might function differently, but I can’t, and unless you lead a particularly charmed existence, you will always have to do things for yourself. Either that, or you’ll have to accept that most things you’d like to accomplish, just won’t happen.

So – as the lads I grew up with used to say – “Get over yourself and get on with it!” You might just find, trying rather than hoping, accomplishes more than you could’ve ever imagined!

Dedication (For my whinging Gen Y brothers and sisters.)
Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

June 11, 2010


Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 11:55 am

For over ten years my Grant Family name has been – the “only if you’re having one” lad. I’ve taken great pride in this badge of honour given to me by Pop – Jack (John McKinnon Grant) – the only man I’ve ever looked up to and tried to emulate. Until I met Pop, who is my wife’s grandfather, I had never had any real male role models. All the men I had come to respect, lived in the pages of biographies and autobiographies – there was no flesh and blood in my life worth emulating.

The label was not only a sign of fondness for the crazy grand son-in-law – who did everything far too slowly, it also summed up how Pop could get to the crux of a personality. He had a knack for finding a word or phrase that perfectly captured what someone was all about. In my case, how I couldn’t handle imposing on anyone. Pop’s long term advice in regards to my hang-up? – “Just relax Vas…, my food is your food…, just leave the money on the table after you’ve eaten!”

God bless you Jack, I’ll miss the banter! Until we meet again, look after yourself and Nan. Save me a piece of her sponge as the rest of us will be there with you soon enough. I look forward to that next pot of tea and our ongoing deliberations on how unnatural it is to rush anything – especially work!

Pop and Nan (Mona) had 7 children, 18 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and countless hangers-on like me. Not bad for a family that’s descended from Scottish immigrants who started out life in a tent on the beach at Port Melbourne (Victoria – Australia) in the 1850s.

Eternal be, his memory. Pop was born on April 1st 1919 and entered his repose on June 7th 2010.

My condolences go out to all the Grants in regards to his passing. Pop will be missed by each and everyone of us. He leaves behind countless wonderful memories and set the standard on how to live and what it means to be a gentleman.

Pop’s Eulogy (Text – PDF / 60kb)
Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – June 2010

June 4, 2010

Site Update 053

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:55 pm

Did You Ever Exist?” is a poem written in 2009 and has seen many rewrites over the last 10 months. It’s finally in a form I’m happy with so I’ve uploaded it for this week’s piece.

My highlighted author for the week is: Octavia E Butler – a brilliant American Science Fiction writer who’s given us some amazing predictions about the future and some extraordinary alternative realities. Her death in 2006 was an absolute tragedy for the written arts.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – June 2010

June 1, 2010

An Australian Name

Filed under: Culture And Society,General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 4:25 am

It’s 2010 – a name like mine should be recognised as a “good Australian name” by now, just like Kerry O’Brien and Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Its form was born into this land and has belonged to this country for over 43 years. If individuals don’t understand that a non Anglo-Celtic name is as Australian as an Anglo-Celtic name, (or an Aboriginal name for that matter) then they’ve missed the whole point of this country.

Why do I still have to explain such a simple thing to supposedly “educated people”! Frankly, if they don’t get it – it’s their problem, not mine!

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

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