Proud to Be…
In its darkest days of anarchy, Somalis had a respected presence at the United Nations. The poorest countries among the world’s 200 devote resources to making a presence on the global stage.
A small country like Vanuatu is just as proud of itself as the mighty United States. It may be ignored now in the broader spheres of sports, politics and business, but coalitions are lending weight to their influence. Those small countries are also influential in resolving conflicts due to religious or cultural repression. The fight for recognition is a great driver of empathy, a quality universally admired for stimulating creativity.
Creativity is a driving force like eating, mating or finding shelter from a storm. The earliest cavemen drew stick figures on cave walls to express and ease their fears of a threatening world. When repressed, according to venerable psychiatrist Freud, creative energy can cause great harm, as seems the case in America.
Creativity needs room to grow and make the difficult process of expression worth the effort. The process in America seems to have been derailed by the tech explosion.
Costs for creative production are off the charts. The creative and financial hurdles in getting project approvals are virtually insurmountable. The answer of course is to throw open the doors and let material for creativity flow both in and out. In addition to language differences along with monetary and marketing risks for investment, the obstacles there are cultural sensitivities more frought with perils than a minefield.
The Global Cultural Range
The 50 American states are bitterly divided over transsexuality and the rights of women to make decisions about their bodies. Globally, both men and women are dying in Iran for the right of women to appear in public without a scarf. In Afghanistan, women have been silenced by a regime denying them an aducation. Crossing these lines entails great risk., which entails the great human virtue of courage.
The Current Global Hierarchy
Ukraine was barely a blip on the radar before Superpower Russia attacked it in an illrgal land-grab unseen since the Second World War. Occurring on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, the world let the assault slide when it first happened in 2014. Since the, America has survived a near coup. Like Europe, America has battled a stifling white nationalism and Asia along with Africa and South America has continued to quietly develop in wake of the Covid pandemic. Thus, when Ukraine showed inordinate smarts and courage upon a renewed attack by Russia, the US united the NATO trans-Atlantic Alliance and the global hierarchy shifted dramatically.
Russia’s assault on Ukraine brings together many of the issues involved in a global world. It brings into question the democratic principles Ukraine chose to follow and the lawless brutality of Russia in response to resistence against its status quo use of force to coerce compliance. Those are questions that affect the US domestically, particularly with regard to the racial divide that has been a scourge of humankind since way before Shakespeare wrote his immortal works in the 1500’s chock full of racist, anti-semitic and elitist observations.
In dealing with the enormous challenges facing issues calling for unity to address, there is no point in relitigating history and its unfortunate modern manifestations. America, the land of immigrants founded on the backs of slave labor, is wealthy today in great part because of that start. But industrial machinations have brought he country to its current leading position in the global hierarchy. The best compensation for past suffering is promotion of current opportunities. Recriminations bring diviciveness, resentment and the most unhelpful defensiveness wide open for the defenseless stupidity of panic.
Communication in a Global World
TMI, too much information is the watchword for the global 21st century. Humans the world over are connected by technology. But with little regulation aside from crackdowns by authoritarian regimes, the absence of editors, traffic cops or accurate rating measures, both individuals and movements die with barely a ripple. They are small fish in a very big pond indeed. Quality of communication is the victim.
Poets, Writer, Tweeters
Writers are a breed apart from other folks. Like those who practice any art, writers are a charmed subspecies. They are forever children. They see the world as a gestalt whole while other adults learn to segment their lives to be socially useful. Artists find new ways of looking at life to make life more meaningful for others. Writers do this with the precision of words.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the diffrence between lightening and a lightening bug, the American humorist Mark Twain reportedly said. He made that observation while recording his impressions of the age in which he lived.
Twain was born in the border state of Missouri as the young America was liberating slaves through a civil war. With that question settled, Twain turned his attention to the new American identity forming apart from its European roots. In a global world 150 years later, those roots are newly entwining to insure world security with the democracy Amerca adapted from forebears.
Like Twain, Fogarassy records her view of the tumultuous world in which she lives. The surprising factor is the degree to which elements remain the same the more that conditions change.
Fogarassy was born into post WWII Communist Hungary. The family was forced to flee after a 1956 revolution against oppression was put down by Russian Soviet tanks. The Iron Curtain across half Europe came down in 1989 and the Soviet Union itself collapsed two years after that. Yet 30 years later, Russia began rebuilding its evil empire by invading Ukraine. A new American president united European allies in aid of Ukraine’s fight against invasion, but a new form of tyranny had those countries in its grip.
As in Fogarassy’s case, forced migrations were not new in the 21st century. The novelty was the added complexity of racial distinction. In the threatening age of globalization, the racial factor became highly politicized.
From the Euro-American perspective, it seemed the rich western industrialized powers were hell bent on creating gated communities to protect themselves. Through a broader lens, all cultures are proud and protective of their heritage.
Economic dominence, military might & industrial strength are critical factors in a country’s global standing. But good will & willingness to cooperate are equally important for success in tackling global challenges like climate, health, food and freedom to live and communicate.
Enduring values are the ones that interest internatiolist writer Fogarassy. With good will as the umbrella virtue, immense changes are manageable if honor, ritual and respect are part of the
Career practitioners of any art are the lucky ones in a society. They are free spirits, dedicated to self expression. Unfortunately at present, society does not recognize artists as central to its soul. The Covid pandemic may have sparked a revolution in the direction of art.
Isolated in a series of shutdowns, people deprived of routine distractions found life empty. Pre-pandemic jobs were boring and not worth the security that servitude offered. The creative seed had seemingly found fertile ground but society had to till the soil if the flower was to flourish.
A Google search shows creativity as synonymous with innovation and its value is measured by income. A search for social and cultural creativity brings up a whole slate of different countries, half of them with emerging economies. Perhaps this current divergence in values points to a happy future world with art having a central role in the soul of each country.
For such a change to occur, the west would venture forth from its current tech comfort zone. The United States in particular would drop its disdain for intellectual pusuits. Liberal arts degrees would be promoted as much as MBAs and they would be mainstreamed so as to free the intelligent from their current Ivory Tower prisons. Most importantly from the perspective of a writer, the current social media dumpsite would take on meaning.
Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway were just two of the many writers throughout the ages who stressed the importance of experience to writing. “Write what you know,” Twain advised. In today’s highly structured society, independent experience is a hair-raising venture.
Churchhill once said that success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. By that measure, a writer becomes good at the craft by chasing daily success in the form of faith in the process despite the lack of external acknowledgment. Writing a tweet can take little or much effort. Only the writer knows whether the words conveyed the idea intended. Number of follows, retweets or responses bear little or no relevance to the writing.
As an expression of thoughts and feelings. writing is iniquely poised for precision. A writer knows when the sweet spot has been hit. When it hits that same spot in thr reader, eureka!
In the social media age, words fight through jungles before that mutual sweet spot is hit. By then, those wordsa have already made the laborious trek from mind and heart to the screen. Alas, evidence is scant that many writers brave the rigors of honing words to great precision. Yet the classics prove the value of the effort, however tedius the reading by modern standards. “To be or not to be” is as relevant as ever.
Scholars, students and esoterics read the classics. They are a joy to know. Those who write in the classic mode are in for a hard struggle. Posting on social media calls for suspending all the the rules that help a writer express deep thoughts and feelings.
Why America Needs the world
Like it or not, the world is going global. American business depends on it, as does the world economy and global stability. America is the major driver of that economy now. A global mentality will help Amerca stay that way and internationalism shows the path.
A broad view of itself will also help America cope with domestic ills. The worls’s most most vibrant democracy is in danger of losing the of losing the power it founded due to factors that today are global in nature. Racial, religious, cultural and political strife are now surprisingly similar the world over. Countries at all stages of development can learn from each other.
For all its remarkable strengths, American culture has grown stale. Some view this state as a decline, the inevitable fate of all great past empires. Yet its very founding in democratic principles is the American saving grace in a global world. Migration due to climate change and social unrest presents a brand new opportunity for the land of immigrants. A global mindset opens that door.
Like climate change and social entitlements, debate is stalled by polarities based on dubious facts. America’s nearst cultural relatives in Europe have solutions for Americans to consider. Similarly, America’s Blacks are well-experienced in fighting for the rights that to many in the world’s 200 countries are faraway ideals.
Those American Blacks are part of the American fabric, as are Asian Hispanic and Arabic minorities. They live all over the country with White American counterparts now overlooked by established entities in finance, education, politics and the media. A greater voice for them benefit America. Their input will also help establish ties with the currently faceless small countries thare are the source of Americann immigrants.
Egotism and self-absorption are no better for a nation than for individuals within it. Currently, suicide rates and drug overdose deaths break new records every year in America. Increasingly those tragedies afficct the young and the affluent. Most critical are the annual death rates from gun violence, the most jarring of which are mass shootings.
Americans are angry. They are frustrated by a stale social culture that has greatly reduced opportunity to move from social pockets. Open the window, increase opportunity and reduce the anger of frustation. Not a cure-all but more than an aspirin.
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