” Je suis Charlie! “. I started my trip in Paris with the obliteration of an icon of French Society, Charlie Hebdo! Who knew when I arrived in Paris I’d become one of the mourners of those murdered along with the attempted demise of free speech and liberty. Discussing the Muslim interactions in France and Europe, is a story for another time. However, these events have forced me to focus once again on our feelings about humanity. I question our values and mourn their loss. Which makes me wonder, can there ever be a million person , or a billion person global march proclaiming , ” Je Suis Humain”! ?
I want our humanity back. I want to feel the appropriate feelings of love, shame, disgust, anger when my fellow man , my children are disrespected and left to whither and die, desperate with no good paying jobs, no careers, none of the advantages we had or were promised for each succeeding generation.
I proclaim my fight for justice for all. I proclaim my fight for human rights and dignity. I proclaim a day of mourning for the loss of our moral compass throughout our world. The world is small. We can see all of humanity and with a common will we can resolve our differences and reclaim our sense of values in a “World that protects monuments” rather then People. I have taken the liberty of posting my friend’s poem,written on his birthday. I hope it resonates with you , too , dear reader!
By Aloni Zmora
Birthday, January 8th, 2015 – Many years and a day
Translated to English by Stephen Pohlmann
I’m collecting values
Resting at the roadside
Among dried branches
Inside neglected nests
No one asked for them
Eaten by the flames
Justice, morality, truth
No longer in the cloud that accompanies us.
Like birds who abandon their nests
Dispersed to the four winds
Never to return
Eggs without chicks
I’m collecting values
Abandoned at the roadside
Among dry branches
Of people who ask for honour and rule
Lost the Ten Commandments
Only arrogance, gravel
And pebbles in the mouths
Found themselves in days of trouble
Without values which dried up and evaporated
The birds now no more
Brooding and warming the hearts
To the light of the Ten Commandments
Following the column of cloud
The compass imploded
Grounded down and disappeared
Left no trace
And I was left alone
At the roadside
Like collecting unwanted eggs
And the day comes
The column of cloud rises again
The sand bird will rise in flames
And I will offer up the abandoned eggs
Whose chicks will lead the multitudes.
WINTER IS COMING, a young Parisian friend said . I believe this to be true. Our world is too unbalanced, and when the pendulum swings once again and it will, we must be aware that like terrorism, like fiscal collapse, ” we the people”, have the power to modulate the swing and the arc of the correction. All over the Western world, our youth are left to wander aimlessly without a proper use or reward for their knowledge.
Along with the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triomphe, the French have monuments to “The Corporation”, as their “flag ship” shops ” grace” the magnificent boulevards and the working class people live and die in filth. No lights shine on or into the peripherque: that’s where France’s workers live. French culture has a long history of Plutocracy and revolution. Remember, the Nazi’s came into Paris without firing a shot. It was more important to protect monuments that could be rebuilt, then to concentrate their efforts on the protection of their people. That takes work and a compassionate heart which seem in short supply ” at the top” these days. One can only hope, that this latest horrific incident in Paris, gives France the opportunity to review it’s contract with their People and work with them in earnest to achieve true unity of spirit!
We are no better off here in America. As London and Paris look towards the Americans for a moral and fiscal compass, we create good PR without real results. We, too, protect our icons while we starve our people. Corporations pay no taxes, hire our labor at cheap rates and have replaced ” slavery and cotton” with retail , hospitality and the working poor. The proof is broadcast in every newspaper on the Planet. The Financial Times, states that the “State of Inequality” between the wealthy and the poor has never been greater. Corporate CEO’s make over 300 times the salary of their workers. People earning $10.00 an hour can’t work hard enough or long enough to be anything but” the working poor”.
Globalization is us: Our US Corporations, real estate developers have taken over Paris and London. If you wake up in these cities, except for the apartments and the distinct architecture of the area, you could be at any American Mall. Years ago, going to Paris meant experiencing the immersion in the French culture. Today, you have to go very deep into their society to find The Parisians. I went to the Eglise de la Madeleine and listened to Vivaldi and Mozart. Another evening when France was in” lock down” , I arrived at the Essaion Theater to listen to Caroline Nin sing Piaf . The last night in Paris, I attended Offenbach’s ” The Grand Duchess.” My friend and I went deep into the Heart of Paris and we were rewarded. Otherwise, what remains of Paris , besides the Museums, is the shops. I went to Lucas Carton, for a remembered cherished dinner , a classical FRENCH Gastronomique experience. Instead, though excellent, I received “sous vide”. The new molecular cooking style, long on flavor, short on food. Though quite filling and satisfying to your senses .
There’s a brave new world out there, embrace it, or get out of the way of those of us who wish to move forward.
In conclusion, I have faith that Humanity will survive. My hope , like Victor Hugo before me, is that a few good men raise their voices and concerns now! Now is not the time to remain silent. Enjoy my photos, dear followers, more to follow in the coming days. All the best., always.