On the eve of Greek bailout referendum three weeks ago, I both hoped and feared that something might happen. That an event would occur. One of those big ones you have to watch for with both eyes to make sure you catch it.

But nothing happened. Or rather something did happen, but it was as if nothing had. The Greek people voted against austerity and then their prime minister went ahead and negotiated more austerity.

Viktor Chernomyrdin, who navigated Russia’s transition to capitalism as its prime minister from 1992 to 1998, captured this paradox like so:

We wanted the best, but it turned out like always.

My attempts to enlarge on this theme over the last few weeks have oscillated between the pretentious and the preposterous. Trying to splice quotes from French postmodernists with slice-of-life observations. That sort of thing.

I’ll spare you and conclude this post here. Otherwise I fear I’ll start sounding like one of Chernomyrdin’s famously incoherent speeches. People thought he always mumbled because he was illiterate. It turned out he was merely trying not to swear.

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