Headless Frank...

advisor to the lovelorn, weary, confused, and the overly self-involved

headless frank

Dear Headless Frank:

I just got back from the protests and I am so mad! My friends and I have been proud Greeks all our lives and now our prime minister scolds us for our public outcry against austerity measures. We live in a democracy and we can riot if we want to. We don’t like being told what to do. It was much better when we could go hog wild with spending and nobody tried to stop us with rules and measures.

If you believe in democracy, you believe in freedom and you know freedom isn’t free. Somebody has to pay. We don’t know how that works exactly, but don’t put austerity on those of us who don’t want it. Let the people who want austerity do it. Thanks for listening. Don’t you think we will probably be the next generation of Greek philosophers?
—Zapphos and Friends

Dear Zapphos et al—
If you guys are going to be philosophers you have got to stop running around torching historic sites in the cradle of western civilization. These are the only places where toga-clad sophists have a future.

For now, rather than rant or riot, consider how an austere lifestyle might be good for you.

Here’s something about austerity you might like: Once you select your first toga, you don’t have to change your clothes. That’s right. I’m not complaining, but I personally embody austerity. I don’t own a change of clothes or shoes, I have no chance of ever getting updated appliances, a haircut—or a HAIR—or new anything.

I really mean it: No new appliances! No digital beeping and blinking LEDs, no dependence on cycles, timers or mysterious automatic locking devices that hold your dishes, socks or grilled tilapia hostage while you try to remember where you filed the user manual.

Your Greek philosopher Epicurus famously pointed out: "A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs."

Okay? Add to the list servility to appliances! I mean there goes your freedom.

Austerity, man, it’s really what you want.

Signing off: Medulla oblongata.