Rubin Reports

A Greek Tragedy: The EU at Colonus

OEDIPUS: “I will be mute, and thou shalt guide my steps

Into the covert from the public road,
Till I have learned their drift. A prudent man
Will ever shape his course by what he learns.”

–Sophocles, “Oedipus at Colonus”


Greek Chorus: We have had a living standard high indeed

Though we could not afford that stuff at all,

Now we demand that you for all this pay

Or else the entire Euro’s going to fall!


EU: Oh, I have been blind for all too long

Sending to you all that cash you sought,

And now in a crisis deep and grave

I’m able to comprehend all you have wrought!


Germany: Ach! What more can I do or say?

True, I was once the aggressor cruel and brutal,

Yet does that mean I must always pay and pay,

For your entitlements, bureaucracy, vacations long?


Greek Chorus: Yes, it does indeed!

And in my hand I hold a knife so sharp

That will be plunged first into your currency

And then into my own breast!

We’ve just had elections you know

And communists and fascists now empowered

So set ye not conditions on the cash

Or to you all we’ll give quite a bash!


EU: True it is that I once had such dreams

All in harmony under a Brussels’ elite

Of happy family from Atlantic to the Urals,

Now it’s all just Cerberus’ leavings at my feet!


Germany: Now let me get this straight.

You want us to give you money without end

And no conditions either put on it

So you can just go on and spend and spend?


Greek Chorus: Yes that about sums it up.

Hey, Zeus, can you do something bold

To pull our spanakopita out of the fire?


Zeus (descending from heaven on a fiery chariot)

I am the only deus in the machina today.

Warlike Mars is in the Middle East quite busy

While Athena full-time must hold press conferences to deny

That Obama is the embodiment of her wisdom.

Brave Apollo is explaining to one and all

That the sun can replace all fossil fuels right now.

And Hermes is too depressed,

Having made bad investments in Internet start-ups

He’s in his own economic mess!


EU: Oh, glorious welfare state!

I thought you could go on forever and never bend,

Money pouring out and votes forever in,

Without a thought to the production end!


Zeus: But now the limit has been clearly reached

And looting all the rich—or Germans–is no solution.


Greek Chorus (breaking in) then revolution!


Zeus (continues): While bureaucrats and rulers will not be impeached

By their own hand, thus distress spreads throughout the entire land.

Oh, we are in a pickle, what can we do

In order to save the EU?


France’s New President: Oh, it is all so simple

As clear as Aphrodite’s dimple!

Just raise the taxes on the rich and

Put no limit on immigration.

Higher wages and forbid firing

Keep vacations long, the work-week short

And touch no hair on any bureaucrat’s head

Don’t worry and drink lots of wine instead!


Germany: Gott im himmel, no!

From me then all the funds will flow?


France, Greek Chorus, Spain, Portugal, etc: Yes, indeed!

So with the bail-outs let’s proceed!


Zeus: This cannot end well,

gentlemen and ladies!

I must SMS for Pluto right away

To open up more real estate in Hades!


[All exit]