Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Final Solution: Never on Sunday

Remember Never on Sunday (1960), the Jules Dassin film about the Greek prostitute (Melina Mercouri. "Greece says it'll reopen to tourists July as it claims success over Covid-19," (CNN) "Brothels to Reopen But Hookers And Clients Required to Wear Masks and Gloves?ran the headline in Nation and State (5/4/20). One announcement came on the heels of the other. While New Yorkers were taking baby steps in terms of allowing outdoor dining with social distancing, their Greek counterparts were obviously dealing with the resumption of more carnal satisfactions. Of course, the blow to prostitution has been one of the least hotly debated issues that’s arisen from the pandemic—though the pictures of the Amsterdam’s shuttered Red Light district have been a source of consternation to sex workers and customers alike. In a way it’s nice that one of the world’s oldest civilizations is paying attention to the needs of the world’s oldest profession. Plato you may remember argued against poets and poetry in The Republic (too bad he didn’t live to read C.P. Cavafy), but he didn’t opine about Dionysius. Let’s say you get on an Olympic Air flight to Greece and you find yourself wandering around The Acropolis or some other ancient ruin on a hot summer afternoon, will you be adjourn to the Temple of Aphrodite? Obviously, social distancing has a different meaning in Athens than it does in New York.

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