Paper dedicated to my wonderful friend and interdependent activist, the brilliant artist John Scott, Artistic Director of the Irish Dance Center
Those who care to read me in these cosmopolitan pages know my multiple passions, for life, languages, education, art, academia, history but above all, or rather as a common feature, for my fellow world citizens.
I feel at home on the smallest island as much as in the largest cities, because I truly love people…I honestly believe that we can all meet around common values.
Nowhere more than in Ireland do I feel this same true warmth and care for the others….
I visited Dublin for the first time in 1991….at that time, I used to work as the conference manager of an international Association. The purpose of my visit was to examine the possibility of organizing a meeting in Dublin.
Today as every time I’ve come since then, I am more amazed than ever at its prosperity and busy touristic life with every cuisine of the world!
I followed the news of Donald Trump election with shock yet resignation…we now live in an uneducated era where blaming the other or the circumstances of one’s situation are the norm instead of examining whether we always acted responsibly.
We, the People, have delegated our power and shut our eyes to any disturbing reality and this ugly, hideous and hateful hyena is now in the open….”Ce qui me décourage, ce qui m’inquiète c’est qu’ils se soient choisi un porte-parole aussi pulsionnel, aussi brutal, aussi ostentatoirement inculte”(1)(2)
Whether Donald Trump had a hateful strategy of exaggeration simply attracting the weak minded or whether he meant what he said (fixing the industry in no time, restoring prosperity in no time, protecting the Christian whites…) is besides the point.
America forgot too quickly the Bush junior mandates and its hopes for the future incarnated by the charismatic yet too tepid Obama. But America is literally constituted by the soul of cosmopolitan ties so I am trying to overcome my deep disappointment and focus on avoiding another populist to arise in my own country.
People who went to school thinking their bad results were caused by bad teachers rather than their own shortcomings have unfortunately the power now to elect pitiful puppets.
Globalization is a term I worship as a cosmopolitan citizen but this term now encompasses terribly negative values we, word and world citizens, should combat!
How can we finally make Martin Luther King’s Dream (3) come true? Why, now that we “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal” should we “wallow in the valley of despair”
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow” King’s “dream deeply rooted in the American Dream“, today his Dream that “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood” is by and large a reality.
Today, throughout the world people “are no longer judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character“. Yet, “vicious racists“, and by this I mean Donald Trump and his supporters as much as South African blacks who seem to take a nasty anti white turn in academia, Israeli exactions in the occupied territories or ISIS and those who initially armed them, are having their moment…
But “today” isn’t yesterday and we won’t let history stutter, “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood”…
Exactly a year ago, I was in Paris….wandering and wondering in a deserted city prey to pure hate…Antoine Leiris wrote “You won’t get my hate”
I believe that this is the most valid attitude and citizens across borders, especially academics have to wake up and start acting to lucidly combat hatred and provide other alternatives to today’s dishumanization by creating and supporting joint grassroots activism for a more inclusive society.
(1) Alain Finkielkraut, Émission l’Esprit d’Escalier, 13 novembre 2016.
(2)”Raw ego and proud illiteracy” according to Garrison Keillor in Garrison Keillor: Done. Over. He’s here. Goodbye.
And here’s a vivid example of cosmopolitanism with this charming staff at the Tippenyaki restaurant in Dublin (food was good too!)