Sunday, November 13, 2016

American Winter follows Autumn in Paris spawned from an Arab Spring: Remembering Peace Building and the Paris Attacks 2015

US President-elect Donald Trump might get his Emmy yet with seemingly all the world tuned in for the next episode of Trump Trumps Trump. Of this unfolding pantomime – comic-tragedy, tragi-comedy, the ascension of the anti-hero despite the mockery, scorn and buffoonery, he commandeers the super functions as the producer, the financier, the director, the script writer, the actor of all the other key parts – the villain and the anti-hero. All other characters fade into insignificance as background sound or mere ambiance - a reminder of the context in which he is, well, Trump.
Reality TV has come into its own, promising episode after episode of surprise twists and turns, the world waits breathlessly yet for the customary surprise Hollywood ending that would see the villain’s epiphany and transformation, or its alternative, his poetic cathartic demise when the world rights itself and falls back comfortably into its accustomed axis of orbit.
Powered by the political machinations and machinery of the day, the Commander-in-Chief to-be is surrounded only by the bruised and battered mechanics of democracy: his political opponent, the media, the spin doctors, the freedom fighters, and proponents of social justice are crumpled up and grasping in disbelief for failing to practice the basic principle of enjoyment of a good drama – the suspension of disbelief that underlines poetic faith, if not poetic justice.
Self-made, Made-in-America, the epitome of capitalism, the sprawling centerfold of glossy this-is-how-you-do-it trendsetting magazines and individualistic do-it-yourself self-empowerment social media snippets; the buffoon, the clown and the circus, the ghoul, the fiend...; the most succinct example of the fulfillment of the American Dream, and its antithesis; the world’s worst nightmare. No superlative seems to capture the poignancy of processes, systems, beliefs, posturings all turned on their heads; the Joker's feat at commandeering Gotham City and acquiring unto himself all the saving powers of Batman - a success that affords him a trump tower of total power with a White House thrown in for good real estate value. The depth and the breath of his appeal is the source of the collective universal shudder at a dream-turned-nightmare that not even Hollywood could have contrived.
Not only his opponents at home, but world leaders, struggle to pen the words that would sound the right tone of welcome and wariness, while he too, holds on to his fingers in a pinch of self-assurance that it is indeed real, and to keep from glazing over at the kingdom of high flying assets he has inherited. His bewilderment, with that of his glued-in and clueless audience, lend atmosphere as the lead-in promo to the next episode.
What would it be: Fist shaking at the peace making mechanisms? Sounding the death knell at the green lobby? Kicking out the last termite infested pillars of the floundering institutions of democracy? A bugle call of the ultimate Capitalist’s embrace of Communism? Hollywood and the headliners are all back to the story board, re-imagining the tale as old as time, which lyrics, incidentally can ironically be applied to falling in love, or falling out of love - did you ever notice? (See sidebar on this page:).
Trump rode the wave to Total Power from Trump Towers with the rhetoric of the champions of equity and justice, many since silenced and sidelined and ridiculed by the existing deficient democratic systems for sounding exactly such a warning, for pointing to the possibilities of exactly such an outcome; for foreseeing the pitfalls of a democratic deficit that has been mutating and expanding and engulf all with the sneers of annihilation.
All eyes may be turned to America, but is that also not misdirected? Shouldn’t we be turning inward and now try to address, reconcile and bridge the deficit of those factors which contributed to the rise of Trump, not with rhetoric, but with real? For which society has not seen the same forces and factors that now underline the turmoil in America, at play at home? A reminder of a phrase as old as old can be but attributed to a US House Speaker, all politics is local. The same might be said of much else all global disasters begin in a locale; all megalomaniacs have their beginnings in some obtuse district; all media, mass or otherwise for all news is local, first.
What might have been spawned in an Arab Spring, an opening up of knowledge, of understanding, evolved into a last autumn’s occurrences in Paris and is now exposed in America’s winter and portends an explosive season of intolerance and discontent.

PS: I spent the last year since the experiences of the peace building processes at the time of the attacks in Paris, combing the conscience of those around me, the consciousness of peace proponents and philosophers, conversing with local and global thought leaders, examining the conclusions of people from cultures at home and across the globe about peace, peace keeping, peace-making, and the antithesis: war, violence, extremism and terror, and the place of people and politics – are they one and the same thing? Here in this space, Demokrissy, begins now and for the next few weeks, articulation of those experiences and ideas on this the first anniversary of the attacks in Paris in autumn 2015, spawned from an Arab Spring, germinating in an American winter, looking to a New Season of ….
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