User has mentioned in comment to question the magazine El Popola Ĉinio (“From the People’s China”), and I remember its impeccable glossiness and low-key propaganda.
Argh! I did read about this at a bookstore the other day, in a collection of essays about the posterity of Mao’s Little Red Book. But no, I didn’t buy the book.
The way the book put it, the Communist Party in the ’50s was sympathetic to the aims of Esperanto, and saw it as a suitable, non-colonialist vehicle for getting their message out. I think the book subtly hinted that they were a bit naive about the propaganda efficacy of Esperanto. But in the ’50s and ‘60s, I suspect it was not that absurd a vehicle: most English-language vehicles would likely have been closed.
(Who was that American journalist who’d interviewed Mao in the ’30s, and Mao did an interview with to help prepare for Nixon’s visit? Not all English-language vehicles were closed; but the audience was certainly not as reflexively sceptical.)
It’s got a lot of what makes Modern Greek culture so rich:
Cryptic, magical dread. The lyricist based it on a nightmare he had; but the song was released in 1974, during the death-throes of the Greek dictatorship—so people assumed what they would about it.
A firmly entrenched notion of the Netherworld, continuing from pagan times, as opposed to Christian Heaven and Hell
Casual mentions of antiquity and the landscape; not as obeisance, but simply as inheritance
And the dark sorrows of the land, that the tourists miss, beneath those gleaming beaches
And all against the stern modal 9/4 thud of the verse, and lament of the chorus.
You can have your Dylans; I’ve always thought the Greek art-bouzouki scene did a far greater job of true poetry in its lyrics, even when it wasn’t subording actual Nobel prize winners like Odysseas Elytis. The fact that Greece continues to keep singers, songwriters, and lyricists separate really helps there.
She may well think I’m stalking her by now, with all the shout outs I’ve been giving her, but there’s a reason for it.
It’s a bad business to rank people, but:
You asked about influencing views, not deepening views, or learning more about the world. That rules out my top 5 Quorans. 🙂
I appreciate people who challenge my views on the world. They know who they are, because I keep thanking them for it.
The social/political domain I think I’ve learned the most about since alighting here is transgender issues. I’m not quite sure how that happened; I think it started with me liking Elliott Mason’s English grammar posts, and then getting everyone he ever upvoted on my feed. 🙂
Jae both talks about transgender issues, and challenges my views on the world as a card carrying SJW (or is that Social Justice Cleric?), and she talks about both with passion and lucidity.
Jae has also taught me how not to hate comment blockers. Well, how not to hate comment blockers who have a reason for comment blocking I can appreciate, anyway.
Runner up—although again, ranking people is a foul thing to do.
2. (μτφ.) μειωτικός ή υβριστικός χαρακτηρισμός για άνθρωπο: α. αργόστροφο· βλάκας: Είναι ~, δεν καταλαβαίνει τίποτα. ΦΡ σαν το ~ στο παχνί*. β. άξεστο, αγροίκο, αναίσθητο· ζώο: Mε πάτησε κι ούτε συγγνώμη δεν είπε, το ~. γ. παχύσαρκο: Έγινε (σαν) ~ από το πάχος.
(metaphor) a contemptuous or insulting description of a person who is (a) slow, stupid: “He’s an ox, he understands nothing; like an ox at the trough”; (b) uncouth, insensitive: “He stepped on me and didn’t even apologise; what an ox”; (c) obese: “he so obese, he’s like an ox”.