2005-06-01

 

Merde! Give us good old American DNA!

I could not agree more with today's Friedman:

"where birds don't fly, people don't mix, ideas don't get sparked, friendships don't get forged, stereotypes don't get broken, and freedom doesn't ring." Full Article.

American DNA for me is not simply a metaphor. My wife and I mixed our bi-continental DNA to produce children who are both European and American. They are something neither of us could be alone. Our little birds were meant to fly effortlessly not only across the big pond, but across the globe. Left to their own devices, they do. They thrive in their cultural and genetic mixture.

If, as Friedman points out, 9/11 leads to a progressive caging of our cultures due to a reactionary fear of the late XX century movement towards cultural, racial and global openness, then the terrorists will have won. Those who like to erect walls around themselves, Stalinists and Zionists alike, will have won. Indeed, this reactionary zeitgeist of fear is not only made in America. I suspect the French "Non" is based on the same fear of increasing openness to race, custom, lifestyles and open borders -- and the French certainly do not hold a patent on that "non" around Europe.

The World, not just America, needs to get rid of the politics of fear. We need a little bit more Popper, a little bit more Picasso, a little bit more love. Not just trite peace-and-love-and-stick-our-heads-in-the-mudhole sort of thing, but passionate openness. Live Aid, back in 1985, more than the money that it was able to gather for its cause, generated a global feeling of openness, of good old American "can do " spirit at a global scale. It was a defining moment for my generation: we wanted openness with a passion, not as outsiders to the system (e.g. a la Woodstock generation) but as movers and shakers. The 90's, when this generation hit the job market, showed the full force of our global openness ethos.

If I can stretch this point a little further, I would say that the current zeitgeist of fear is a direct reaction against the Live Aid generation. That is why I take it all so personally. Nothing could be more against our nature than the new border and university controls that Friedman well describes, or the politics of nationalism creeping up at every corner. Well, we need to counter-react. Make the World feel a little bit better about coming together. Could the second coming of Live Aid help? I know I'll be grooving -- with passionate openness! Let the walls come tumbling down!




Walls Come Tumbling Down
by Style Council



You don't have to take this crap
You don't have to sit back and relax
You can actually try to change it
I know we've always been taught to rely
Upon those in authority
But you never know until you try
How things just might be
If we come together so strongly

Are you gonna make this work
Or spend your days down in the dirt
You see things can change
YES an' walls can come tumbling down!

Government's crack and systems fall
'Cause unity is powerful
Lights go out- walls come tumbling down!

Yes they do yes they do
Yes they do yes they do

The competition is a colour TV
We're on still pause on the video machine
They keep you slaves to the H.P.

Until the unity is threatened by
Those who have and who have not
Those who are with and those who are without
And dangle jobs like the donkey's carrot
Until you don't know where you are

Are you gonna get to realise
The class war's real and not mythologised
And like Jericho- Yes walls can come tumbling down!

Government's crack and systems fall
'Cause unity is powerful
Lights go out- walls come tumbling

Down we're be to weak to fight it
Down not if we're united
Down when you're united

Are you gonna be threatened by
The public enemy No. 10
Those who play the power game
They take the profits -you take the blame
When they tell you there's no rise in pay

Are you gonna try an' make this work
Or spend your days down in the dirt
You see things CAN change
Walls can come tumbling down!

Government's crack and systems fall
'Cause unity is powerful
Lights go out- walls come tumbling down!






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