Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stop the Japanese brutality NOW!

Help Stop the Largest and Cruelest Slaughter of Dolphins in the World!
read more in the Save Taiji Dolphins Campaign website

Ask prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, to stop the slaughter immediately. Do something!

Sign the petition now

To: Prime Minister of Japan
Mr. Shinzo Abe
1-6-1 Nagata-cho 1 Chome
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968 JAPAN

Dear Prime Minister Abe,
We are outraged by the annual brutal slaughter of dolphins and whales that takes place in Japan . The images of bloody red water clearly show the world that Japan has little respect for the state of the world’s oceans and for the conservation of the marine resources it claims to support.
Many scientific studies show that the oceans are in decline. We must take whatever actions are necessary to stop their over-exploitation and to protect the creatures that live in them. These dolphins do not belong to Japan . The status of the species of dolphins and whales that you kill are either endangered, threatened, or unknown. It is an unthinkable waste that they will likely end up as a meat product or deceptively sold as whale meat, polluted with toxic levels of mercury and cadmium, killing people that eat it. It is tragic and unacceptable that the remaining dolphins that are not killed will end up destined for death in an aquarium, water park, or "swim with dolphins" program.
In addition, the methods used to kill these animals are cruel.
Corralling the dolphins into bays, then making them suffer a long and painful death by spears, hooks, and drowning is an inhumane way of fishing. This action is disgraceful and has caused much disappointment in the international community.
We demand that Japan permanently and immediately renounce and stop this slaughter. We will work diligently to bring this issue to international light until you have ceased your reprehensible violence.

The Undersigned

Monday, February 19, 2007

To whom it may concern...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I only have you

I was already on vacation when my cell phone informed me that I had a message from my old pal Tony, who lives in Amsterdam.
We hadn’t talked for more than three years and I got worried.
When I called him he asked if I felt like spending my holidays with him. Without second thought, I said yes.
I met Tony six years ago during a trip I took to the Netherlands.
Two months later, a series of events made me chuck it all up and seek refuge in the coolness of Amsterdam, where he helped me find an apartment. This is how we became friends. The following two years we walked countless miles together in the drizzle of the city. In Dam square next to the stone-built bridges and the wet tulip markets. And for endless nights we were shedding rivers of sweat on the dance floors, to find ourselves exhausted at dawn. In a few words, we were deep into the sweet quest of pleasures that Amsterdam can so generously offer.
These were weird days for me. Melancholic days, full of silent explosions. It was the great escape, as I realized much later.
But what made me run away from Athens? It doesn’t really matter. Let’s just say that some things didn’t turn out the way I was expecting them to. So, I woke up one morning and all that I had been wishing for did not matter anymore. This is why I left. A great relief, if you think that just before that, there was a period of five years of hysterically trying to make money and a career.

Each man has the right to know the truth. Sometimes the truth comes with a kiss and others with a punch on the face. Sometimes in the form of poison ivy and others as a lily. The truth must always be welcomed, even when it hurts. This is what I had had in mind back then when I was staring at the cloudy sunrises springing out from the dim waters of the Dutch capital's canals, on my way back home after long clubbing nights, with my head wobbling from the fog and my existential dilemmas.
You may wonder: what was Tony’s part in this story?
Failure has many faces. In my case it had the face of the people who betrayed me. For Tony, failure was a series of events that started from Liverpool and the iron foundries, continued in the lories and ended up into the night.
He was born of parents who only gave him good memories, so when he learned that they passed to eternity, he didn’t even bother to attend their funeral. He was lucky enough to be tall and good-looking and he had spent his adolescence in the gyms. So, early enough he left lorry driving and with the help of a two-meter-long boa snake he found himself stripping at nightclubs.
But even though things were gradually getting better for him, his personal life had started sliding down towards disaster. He married to a woman who ditched him and had a son who found tragic death. At the same time, he got affected by a virus with which he has been sharing his life for twenty years. As if all these were not enough, the boa kicked the bucket and the most vital asset of his work –due to booze or drugs- could not stir up the audience’s enthusiasm anymore.
All alone, he packed his things and settled in Amsterdam. He subleased a motel and a bar and with the years he made a significant fortune.
In a few words, that was the story of Tony, who was my best friend during my stay in Amsterdam. Why? Maybe because he was a nice guy. Maybe because he was fun. Or maybe because as I was looking at his fading tattoos and his anabolic-fed big muscles, I was realizing that my own bitterness for life was actually a joke.
Until one day I decided to go back to Greece. Sated of all that dolce vita, I was anxious to see the Attic sky again, my parents and friends, whom I kept loving, although they had betrayed me.
And because when you don’t ask for anything, you usually get it all, all I had left behind when I departed, came back to me fast, making Amsterdam’s fog, a history in no time.
As for Tony… I was thinking about him from time to time with affection and sadness. But I was hesitant to call him because I was afraid I’d listen to dreadful news.

But it was him who made the call after all. Listening to his voice and hem and haw about a heartbreak, I realized he wasn’t well. So, in old times sake, although I felt full of summer relaxation, I accepted to join him in his Greek holidays.
Our meeting at the airport was cordial. The next day we left to Mani. Why Mani? For no apparent reason. This is where the road took us. Maybe it wasn’t such a coincidence after all, since within me I could only identify the period I lived in the Netherlands with the sense of dryness of Mani’s landscape.
In the evening, as we were drinking wine, we talked about the old days, laughed, recollected the past, stunned from all we had lived through together, and commented on my decision to return to Greece. But next day, silence took over.
In the beginning there were just some dead moments; as the days passed though, they were getting longer.
It was obvious: the bridges that once joined us had collapsed. From the fourth day onwards, we who used to ceaselessly talk to each other had nothing else to say. To be perfectly honest, I was feeling intolerably bored. You see, standing back on my feet long ago, I was seeing life with different eyes. But he was the same old thing. Words told millions of times before were making our friendship seem like champagne gone flat. In the last days, glued around a swimming pool, we hardly said a word to each other.

And the time came to bid him farewell.
I drove him to the airport, carried his suitcase out of the trunk, kissed him on both cheeks and just before saying goodbye, I smiled and told him I had a great time. He looked right on my eyes, which made me feel uncomfortable. I though he’d realized.
As a sudden tempest was about to start, he took out a pen and a piece of paper. He asked me to write down my full name, my ID card number and an address where his lawyers could locate me at any given time.
I asked him what was all this about.
He looked at me again in the eyes and said that no one knows what tomorrow brings and since he had nobody in his life but me, he wanted his notaries to be able to find me in case something happened to him.
I felt my knees trembling.
“I cannot accept this,” I said.
We were stacked looking at each other like two wounded animals. Before going through the airport’s sliding doors he turned and sent me a kiss with his fingers.
I went back to my car and let my body collapse.
As I was driving by the wet Attiki highway heading home, to my friends, my job, my parents, I was choking with sobs.

(one of the forty-eight stories included in Petros Birbilis’ book “I only have you,” published February 2, 2007, by Melani Editions in Athens)


The short stories Petros Birbilis lovingly whispers to us in his book “I only have you” are the sweetest treasure to keep. Some are more sentimental and others insouciant, at times they have a kick of cynicism and a scent of disappointment. But they are always honest and come from this man’s heart as he exposes his most hidden thoughts.
What the writer screams out silently in this book is a farewell to innocence, as his early forties find him more mature and charming than ever.
“I only have you” is a must-read and is available by
Melani Editions, Athens, in the Greek language (for the time being).

Buy it now here


Petros Birbilis studied film direction and worked in several fields in media, initially audiovisual and currently printed. He has participated in various video and digital image festivals and work of his has been broadcasted in Greece and abroad.

Watch Petros' video "New York, New York"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Valentine's!

Two human skeletons of unrecognized gender embracing at a Neolithic tomb in Valdaro-S.Giorgio near Mantova, Italy. Archeologists who found them say the couple could have been buried some 6,000 years ago.
Dedicated to all of you who feel in love...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

YES! It's coming!!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

אורבן דיזי-ישראל-תל אביב

Shalom Urban Dizi...
Just got this dreadful call from Yehu. I cried for one hour and now I'm okay again.Two weeks ago we were having shawarma and beers at that terrible kosher place in Bezalel street. You told me at a point that we never go too far away. And I smiled. You were right.
Next day you drove me to the airport.
Your beloved Tel Aviv was all wet. And you said "we never go too far away Eliyahu." I gave you a hug, kissed you goodbye. On board from high up I was looking at the city, thinking that it was here I had first met you 20 years ago. That's too long I thought. If I had stayed back then, my life would have been so different. But I didn't listen to you. And I was right in a way... Because, I wasn't going too far away.
Now your brother told me that you left. Suddenly, with no warning, in such a short notice. They'll all miss you terribly. Family, friends, lovers, rivals... I'll miss you terribly... By knowing this, you leave content, don't you?
But, then again... I don't get it. Why did you have to go? In such a short notice... Shall we ever meet again one day?
I'll always love you, you know that...
Have a nice trip my love...