The consensus is that the years ahead are not going to be pretty. Most of the western world seems poised to take a hard conservative bent, at a time when massive surveillance technology is reaching a tipping point, and while ultra-religious terrorism is becoming an increasingly common means of protest or rebellion against established states.
Whatever 2017 brings on, at least I’m hoping that creative resistance against the Trumps, Putin and Le Pen’s of the world will fuel an new generation of protest art in general, and songs in particular. Hey, I need all the silver linings I can get.
As a testament to the power of protest songs, here’s one I (shamefully) discovered only recently.
There’s an amazing story behind it, as well. It was written by Abel Meeropol, a New York Jew, not a Southern African American, who was a communist high-school teacher and ended up adopting the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
This gives me hope that in the years to come, people will find it into their hearts to fight the good fight and dream up utopias.
Si vous avez une heure ou deux, prenez le temps de regarder Ways of Seeing, un documentaire remarquable de culture, d’intelligence et de savoir-enseigner.
On en fait plus des comme ça, ni à la BBC ni ailleurs. Et on n’en fera plus: John Berger, écrivain, artiste, marxiste est mort hier.
Mediapart c’est également fendu d’une bonne bio (paywall)
The old and crusty IBM is retooling itself – they’ve hired 1300 designers who’re helping their business become more relevant to the modern world. And it works. Continue reading
La droite outragée me fait un peu marrer là dessus. Une analyse autrement interessante: comment un usage aussi ancien perdure-t’il aujourd’hui ? Comment les us et coutumes religieux, paisiblement gentrifiés, se délitent-ils peu à peu, mais jamais complètement? Évidemment, cela rentre mal dans 140 caractères. Et puis surtout, ça forcerait à observer quelque chose qui fâche: le bordel ambiant de l’islam radical, du Burkini, de notre xénophobie, c’est quelque chose que nous avons vécu bien des fois. Un monde et des valeurs qui évoluent, des fous de dieux qui se réveillent: un minimum d’attention en cours d’histoire devrait donner les clefs.
Mais encore une fois: c’est tellement plus vendeur de foutre le bordel en 10 mots. Vous savez ce qui me fait vraiment peur? On est dans la phase “George Bush & Bill Clinton” de notre histoire politique: ça veut dire que notre Donald Trump à nous est dans notre futur. Oh fuck.
I’ve been collecting snapshots of “things that surprise me” since I’m back in France, and this image remind me of something thats been on my mind for a while: please stop asking me to “respect your religion”, unless you’re willing to “respect my atheism”.
To be absolutely clear, I truly, really and absolutely don’t give a fuck what your religion is. I will respect you by default as a human being, and continue to do so as long as you’re not an asshole to me or people I care about. I will engage in philosophical or historical debates on the nature of faith and the teachings of your particular flavor, and probably enjoy it. I will even entertain discussions of how humans are (not) inherently religious, or how religion is the only way for us to have morals (hint: I disagree).
“Going home” is what we’ve been calling our precipitated move back to France. In a way, it is, of course. But our kids have known little else than the Gulf, and for them, it’s going to be quite a shock.
School at least seems to work out well. Hadrien in particular has few regrets. He’s made new friends in a few days, and he’s going to his “Classe de Neige” (winter camp) in a couple days. Rough time for Chris, who’s realizing her son’s going to be incommunicado for the duration – unless he remembers to write letters.
It’s also very funny for us to see them discover things we’ve known all our life. We’ve been anticipating snow for a few days, and when they saw the first flakes through the window it was magical! Snowball battle ensued, of course, and disappointment that a snowman was out of the question – snow midget, maybe?
I think this discovery, ultimately, will help us get over the shock we’re still feeling of leaving our expat life behind. The journey is less daunting – for me at least – because I’ll have my kids around.