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politics

A little fun over the weekend, asking myself as elections are approaching which one is my favorite candidate….

really hard to decide…and I bet it is the case everywhere else for every election…

so enjoy this little animated cartoon…

😉

 

ps : I truly ask myself how to explain to my son that when choosing someone to represent us, I do it thinking about his future…

 

 

It was a snowy day. At least it is what I remember. Walking back home after school in the first snow was a magic moment. I was 7 years old and I remember that quiet and peaceful atmosphere that only snow can create. All sounds are deaden and all I wanted – or pretty much wanted – was to get back home to find my cat.

All the way back, which wasn’t a very long way – perhaps a couple of kilometers – I couldn’t help looking at the sky. In those days darkness came quite early and we could see some stars very soon. So with my red hard leather backpack on the back I felt like flying above the ground, like floating in this cold but life-giving air.

I remember the feeling : I thought it was the best moment on earth. The best moment ever. And that this moment might be the last one.

Actually the days before, spying on the TV – or should I rather say listening from the corridor to the switched-on TV – I was busy paying attention to the news. Gorbachev, Reagan, nuclear power, spies, Afghanistan, if no signature or agreement the end of the world as we know it.

I think I tried to explain it to my cat, but she didn’t realize it. Well being honest my way of explaining her my fears were done in a pretty funny way : I used to lay on floor of my room, trying to not breath. I pretended to be dead after a bombing. What mattered to me was the cat’s reaction : will she find me back, ask for cuddle and show me some desperate love and a deep sadness of loosing her master ?

Years went by and that stays as a memory,  that tension I felt for a couple of weeks when going school disappeared. So did those international tensions (somehow). So did the medias in moving onto other news (yes like the Gulf wars, 9/11, etc…)

Funnily enough in Switzerland every house in those days had a nuclear shelter, obviously build underground. In most of the houses it was used – and still is –  as an extra cellar, a disposal room or quite often as the kids playroom. Toys next to food cans next to sugar next to old newspapers.I believe that nowadays the amount of toys and old newspapers totally outmatched the goods.

As I commented many times, I wasn’t born here, in Europe. As a fact my ancestors – and not that long time ago (only 1870’s) are from Europe. An interesting mix of Western and Central European fellows that for many reasons left the continent to have a better life, or simply a life somewhere else. To exist, no matter what they are or came from.
If we are back to this continent, it is because our future was endangered in South America ; if that sub continent could avoid all damages from the World Wars, the legacy of colonialism carried into most of the World the same seeds that provoked those European driven conflicts.

So is it that the Eurasian continent has been seen as lifesaver for my family and for me. Deep inside I have this believe that culture, respect, open minds are the low hanging fruits in this orchard. We were the victims, like many others in what is called the Third World, of fascism, lack of freedom, single-minded doctrines, post colonialism conflicts, debate free societies – some other type of low hanging poisonous delights. I grew up in an ideal perspective where every point of view – even some disturbing – could be discussed and resulted into positioning of individuals and societies. By  agreeing or not, respect of laws and people, in many different ways. A common objective of not repeating the errors of the past. Yes I saw Western people, Euro-Asians , North Americans like the saviors of us, poor victims. Of course It never meant these places were idiots-free. There is stupidity everywhere, but I thought the wealthy and cultivated have a good way to handle them.

These days, no need to detail what’s happening, we all know too little and too much, we know all is right and wrong, every side in every conflict has good and bad reasons and both interests can be accepted or denied. Just like in an argument with your partner, no one is fully innocent, no one is fully guilty. Yes you know it. Yep hard to accept…I know I know…It makes me think that quite often, and it is the same with acting, many strategies are applied during a couple’s quarrel. Actually it is even the same when a kid asks for something and the parents say no. It shifts from seduction to pleading ignorance to cries and the most often from tyrannic anger to absolute victim outfit. Again you know what I am talking about. So do actors.

Unfortunately for me, my childhoods feeling of last day on earth came back. Not that there is a true fear in there. No I realized and understood that what was scary as a child is sad beyond its limits as an adult. And even more when I see all around me, in the civil society, nothing but people considering themselves like victims. Having a collection of all the most precious treasures that mankind ever dreamed of and they feel like the biggest victims. And all their reactions, thoughts and behaviors are excused by being “the ultimate victim”. I am a bigger victim than you so in the name of my decency – as it is all what’s remaining – I have all rights and no responsibilities.

I am free of any moral duty linked to my acts as I fight for my survival. I thought this was only the claim of uneducated hopeless oppressed  about to die poor people from what is being called the Third World – where I am from. In these days I understand when it can come from the people who had to suffer the biggest from the financial crisis. Hard to hear it when it comes from everywhere and on everything – literally from Geo-politics to personal work.

In those moments I feel discouraged and tricked. I feel like this naive dream of my parents to offer us a better world to live in, a place where you can move from being a victim into an active educated responsible person was a shadow. A concept that no one here wants to grasp any more as hope and future seem to vanish. Is it possible that all the conflicts on this part of the world, since thousand of years taught people to only react with what they know…which means lack of hope and chaotic presumed solutions ? Just like a cheap 2 € therapist would say that beaten children become abusive parents ? Did it discourage them from finding new ways and solutions and a low acceptance for what life is made of , which is uncertainties ? Did a certain comfort make a lot of people lazy and brainless on this side of the globe ? Just like a very clever man, a farmer who had a tough life told me recently for my movie : the advantage we have, us, oldies, versus the young ones , is that we had nothing when we started, and all what we have we collected it on the very late….

I know that there is something deep in human beings, in their nature, in ourselves, that pushes us to find guilty ones and dramatic fast solutions. But so many amazing things have been achieved by those same humans ! If instead of collecting whose nation have the biggest amount of poets, writers, Nobel prizes and great generals to know who’s the greatest and rightful,  we would sum up this for the mankind ? A reason to all be proud of it ?Just like the recent discovery about the Big Bang’s earliest moments ?

And not a victim of the non recognition of my personal greatness from the others. A victim of the lack of interest of our nation amazing genius from the other countries ? A victim that what my faith is not the same as yours and my uncertainties and doubts of my beliefs are actually your fault ? And the most stupid : I am a victim of the entire world not being like the way I want it to be but it freaks me out so therefore everything , everyone is guilty and let’s fix it the way it should be…that no one knows about ?

Maybe those are just the results of what our frenetic materialism drove us into : feeling like things, treating others like things…. Maybe this victimization is the voice of our souls crying in distress…

I believe that my cat understood what my little drills were about. I think she understood it far too well as she stayed by my side for almost 22 years ! She died years ago and it was to me to stand by her side on her last moments. That happened many years ago.

Since 5 years I have a new cat and it never came to my mind to play that game again. Instead of waiting for her to come and save me, I look at her and ask myself what does it take to make her a happy world to live in.

sochi_2014

 

 

It started. Actually it started last Friday. Another opening ceremony like we have seen since 1992. It is always a great show and looked to me quite similar to the London one. Showing the past and the glorious history of a country, its main events and cultural summits are the most common content of such ceremonies.

So like many people, I know what this month of Feb wil be made of when not being busy : Winter Olympics ! And as I do like most of the sports, it is a sort of nice buffet where I can pick up what I like having every day. Such a comfort !

As we are on the 7th day of the event, the race for medals is largely on. Some are winning. Some are loosing. This is what competition is made of.

But how did these Winter Olympics really start ? Well a couple of weeks or months ago with all the negatives obviously : scandalous budget, homophobic laws, restricted rights, destructions of wildlife, expropriations and the list is pretty long.To this the reaction has been pretty clear with demonstrations, critics, boycotts and so on. Most of western countries made their voice clear on all those topics.

Right before the games you had the adventures of journalists arriving to the spot of the games : hotels not ready, poorly installed, hazardous water pipes, holes in the venues, no Internet and all that despite the enormous price they paid for their accommodations.

For the last 6 days the complains came on the quality of the snow, the dangerousness of the slopes, the bad shape of the half-pipe and so on. It had as a result, for instance on snowboard, to the already crowned to be king to fail his games. But all those competitions had winners, and good ones. Unexpected ones ?

This Sunday was a beautiful day here in Switzerland. I mean it was a cloudy morning followed by a sunny afternoon. As most of the weekends I was in the mountain, enjoying some snowshoeing with great people. A beautiful tour where the weather changed from snowy to sunny. At some moment, half way actually we stopped. I jumped in a beautiful white spot, took a shovel out of my backpack and started to build a little wind shelter. You cut the snow, you pile up some, you dig. A great moment of fun ! a very useful fun as it would enable us to get protected from the wind when having our bivouac.

On this same day a lot of people , in Switzerland, did the same. Thanks to their vote , they build a shelter in order to be quiet and not disturbed while they live their life. They voted for a great step back, not only politically but as well in terms of humanity. Afraid and supposedly tired of this place and its benefits getting spoiled and endangered by newcomers, they decided to close the venue. Only the people with the right badge could have access or stay. And new badges will be harder to get in the future.

I heard a lot of comments about the opening ceremony. And some from the Swiss TV commentators. With a disguised laughter they tried to not criticize openly what they had in front of their eyes but they just couldn’t. How come the artistic director dares glorifying the Russian 20th century ? Or how does he dare not doing it and fight the power back ? Other comments where pretty judgmental on the extra cheering and support the Russian Team gets every time it is on-screen : something like come on guys we got it  – ok enough now… .

I just realized that if you are shocked by that kind of celebrations, or by the scandals of the corruption and the (ab)use of power, maybe it isn’t so much about the content…but more about the style. It looks to me that the vote we faced here was the silent expression of what other nations claim loudly. To the extroverted show and celebration of the national pride, we saw here the introverted shout of the same pride. Even worse : by not sharing it loudly, you don’t allow the others to take a clear position or at least to see what all is about. To a visible content that allows a critic, we silently decided that our culture, values and history mustn’t be shared any further.  And we thought and think that no critic is allowed. It is our business. No peeks allowed.

I figured when watching the opening ceremony that indeed some stuff looked pretty nationalist, but actually as much as any country celebrating their culture in public. You can’t escape from all the stereotypes as 3 hours to talk about hundreds of years of history…well it is quite short. But probably what puzzled western people a lot is the style. It is just the Slavic style. And here, if compared to London, no worldwide known director that could soften the image by giving to it an “artistic” value when the message stays the same : we are proud of what we are and what we have accomplished.

Until recently I believed that Switzerland had the same and even a little plus. They had an idea of what the future could be like, just because of a simple fact : such a long-term stability enables you to be ready to face any challenge. And the surprise of the vote – and disappointment – is that there is no idea or trust in the future. People got caught into the extreme phenomenon of eternal immobility. The “end of history” scheme. When you think nothing more that what has been achieved is achievable and you’ve reached  the top of the pop. From there on you only focus on trying to not lose what you have accomplished (with or without efforts, what matters is the status, not the journey anymore). it is even more obvious that when asking already established foreigners, second generation with Swiss nationality, they voted for this restriction of immigration in order to preserve what they have gained.

I can understand such fears. I can imagine what it is to feel like threatened. I actually do, our family history had to face such – for some more rational reasons but well any system is relative ?! What I don’t understand is the hypocrisy and pride related to it. Indeed it is easy to criticize the Russian’s regime and the way they deal with what are their problems. It is far away and so easy to just take a position when there’s no true involvement, meaning it won’t change your everyday or endanger you. When such goes into an established mindset that you expect from foreigners to acquire if they want to stay for a longer period, maybe it is good the vote closed the gates ; it will preserve the fighting and hopeful spirit most of the people of the poorer / less advance / in development countries have and gives them the strength to face hard and humiliating situations in these new places they have to come to in order to survive. Because what a lot of people here forget is that they as well are proud of there they are and would actually do anything to stay there rather than having to quit it all. Some would say a minority of them don’t, well that’s true like it is anywhere.

I remember watching a very nice documentary about the creation of the Air rescue team in Himalaya with the great help of Air Zermatt. When arriving there, the famous Air Zermatt pilot Gerold Biner is asked by the swiss-german journalist , when checking the Nepalese chopper, if he trusts that engine. Gerold has this great answer, first a bit technical ” it is new and in very good shape, of course in Switzerland we would transform and change a lot of stuff in it” and after a second ” of course I trust them ; all these people have family and kids and they don’t want to die”.

I do believe our current scale of measuring the greatness of nations (and therefore its people) is not anymore on how much they have achieved – as let’s speak frankly, most of the countries have great researchers, scientists, artists and historical moments that build their equity. No, what matters is how they can live the present and project themselves in the future. Owning is about past, sharing is about the future.

Most of Western and developed Countries believed they reached the last ever possible level of their evolution. And they easily laugh at others that are on the way to something. They point out all the mistakes they are making, all what doesn’t work and feel much cleverer. I heard during the Olympics, on French public TV, on a biathlon race : ” No No No! Come on a Czech can not come before the French !!”. What should we think ? I believe the words don’t match the thinking and there’s no true racism in there. But there is a state of mind that what had been achieved is better than what is on the way to be achieved. If you train for only repeating and maintain your performance, you will sooner or later under-perform. If you think your practice method you had for years is the best and never looked around, the moment comes when you’re sort of outdated. The bad thing is when you believe that because you achieved something, you deserve it forever. Or there is no other way to measure excellence.

Couple of decades ago, Sting asked himself if the Russians loved their children too ? I think a lot of people still have doubts on the answer…it is a pity…as they doubt it for a lot of other nationalities too..

And it is very unfortunate that the answer for Swiss…tends now half way to the negative…

 

(about the 6th of may)

I had a strange moment, two days ago, before going sleep.

Our French neighbours were having their big election’s evening and of course, due to this close geographical situation of where I live – take a boat, cross the lake and there you are, in another country – we have been living their campaign as if it was our. In fact, there was as much energy put into following and debating about the choice they had to make as for our federal elections. So I had the opportunity to listen to the proclamation of the results, the happiness of the winners, the sadness of the losers, the clever comments and the stupid remarks of both camps.

At the same time, I was switching channels from hockey world championship held in the Nordic countries – it takes a medium-sized  boat to go there – and NHL series game – it takes a really large boat to go there. Games were pleasant and when I heard the « since one year expected » results of the elections, It didn’t touch me more than that. Actually I didn’t have any favourite candidate and well it is their elections with their cultural / economical / religious situation, so no living it, I can’t say  who’s right or wrong, who’s good who’s bad.

But the comments I heard were totally different : there is only one good and one bad, this for every side. And there is a winner and a loser, but not the same in each side. There is a disaster, a plague to come, an infinite desperation, a sadness of the soul for the future – or an incandescent energy for renewal, a mighty will of creation, a billion times miss universe happiness to come.

Clearly to me, there was only one thing : a clear wish for expression in both camps. And the only answer to all the fears of the future or the excitement of winning was a certain violence. All the shouts, on both sides were just asking and claiming : use our violence for whatever you think is right !

Watching hockey again, I felt like a massive distribution of penalties could have been the solution : 2 min for hooking, 2×2 for undisciplined boarding, and a game suspension for the « one meter from the glass nasty checks on the back of the neck ». The interest of those penalties is to be away from the game, to calm down and the most important to me : to trust your team and opponents in what they will do. I have doubts that hockey players think about the meaning of life at those moments – actually a movie about it could be interesting – and yes for some it is just like jail and they only wait to come back for their revenge.

I had hope that watching hockey would make me feel better, but actually the commentator was shouting on the players : yes when things don’t go the way you want, and in a world where “you worth everything”, how to deal with the frustration of just being a person with limited influence over the world vs the image of your “marketingself” where you are actively being defined as the one that can move the tides and change the rotation the planet ?

So was it, just the usual standard way of expressing the fear of losing control : violence.

For me, I tried to be positive : I turned the volume down, forgot about the elections, and decided to have faith in the players and that whatever would happen during the game. I knew they would shake hands at the end and just go on with the uncertainties of going to the second round or the conference finals, and most importantly that they would make sure hockey game will shine in the future.

So have I to admit..like a lot of people, I can barely skate and don’t always know if I prefer to handle the hockey stick with my right or left hand.