“Mr. Avgolemonos” is one of the best known cult figures in Greece, whose fame as a social commentator has spanned for more than three decades.
Some characterize him as the Greek Bukowski, in reference to Charles Bukowski, the German–American poet, novelist, and short story writer, whose writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.
Mr. Avgolemonos may not be able to write, but his wit and sharp intellect has made him a star in Greek social media. He has the ability to simplify complicated concepts and speak the language that ordinary Greeks can understand.
“Avgolemonos” in Greek means the egg and lemon sauce used in cooking. Metaphorically speaking, however, it refers to a soft or flabby person.
The “Greek Bukowski” earned his nickname when he appeared accidentally on Greek television in the early ’90s. He was at the horse races, when asked by the reporter on live TV what he thought of the punters and the competition.
“At the Greek racecourse, if ten horses and a cow compete, the cow wins,” he told the reporter, continuing “The racecourses are for lords and princes, not for Avgolemonos.” The nickname stuck with him for decades.
One can agree or disagree with him, but there is no taking away his passion for his homeland and its ancient history.
Mr. Avgolemonos offers apology to Greek kids
Mr. Kostas, as he is only known by his first name, shares the wisdom he has gathered all these years talking to the camera at a neighborhood café in Athens. He pontificates on a whole host of subjects, including his beloved Athens, his neighborhood and his philosophy on the relationship between sexes.
He was never married and never had children. “What shall I do having children?” he ponders before replying:
“I would like to apologize to all the children of Greece, boys and girls, because me and my generation are to blame for everything. The kids are now paying the price of our bullshit… Some think they have done great things for the kids. What did you idiots do? All you have done is castrate them,” he says.
He insists on blaming his generation: “Instead of making Greece better, we destroyed her. One day, remember what I say, the kids will come over our graves and they will start cursing us.”
He also blames pseudo-intellectuals and university professors. “They blame the kids. But, they train idiots, they train robots. They train 5-year-old kids to learn English, at 6 to get the Lower, at 7 to get the Proficiency, at 8 to learn Chinese, at 9 to learn French. We train idiots.”
His pride in Ancient Greece
Asked what he would take into his luggage to keep, Mr. Avgolemonos says:
“We as descendants of the ancient Greeks need to put in our luggage the language of Homer, from the shores of the Aegean, our great wise men, Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, Thucydides.
“We need to walk on the same paths our ancestors walked for centuries. Then we would not not be afraid of anything or anyone.”