Saturday, August 14, 2010

The wall(s), the wind and us

Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of this.

And it took almost 28 years for that:

So many hopes, these one, two years. Some got fulfilled. 


Has the world since become a better place?

Obviously the wind's not being strong enough, hm?

Why blaming the wind, anyway?

It's us who are to blame, hm?


Not just them


  1. I can't say that I care for the song but what an event!

    I was utterly astonished how easily the regimes behind the Iron Curtain crumbled

    Even if many promised have not been delivered it is heartening to know that is no chance that some crass escalation of tension between the US and the former USSR will lead to battles over the Lueburg Heath and the Fulda Gap and the likely transformation of Germany into a radioactive heap.

    now that IS a step in the right direction!

  2. I was watching footage of it the other day, the wall coming down.
    It give one hope, it does.

    One day we'll do the same to the HQ of Goldman Sachs ;)

  3. I had written my usual long-winded speech-on-the-soap-box comment. I'm so grateful I deleted it before printing it. This is going to be short and sweet.

    I'm not holy. But I don't accept collective guilt. I'm not us. I'm not them. I'm I. I'm a unique individual, and an active participant in the world we live in.

    Is the world a better place? Yes! I'm working at it. I do my best to rectify what's wrong, here, there and everywhere.

    RE: The Berlin Wall. I've already commented on the post you're sending us to. And I don't have the pessimism you expressed then in your reply to my comment. I don't agree with Hannah Arend. Evil might be in everyone's heart. But it's (and was) fought off very successively in many instances. And it's NOT a collective endeavour, but an individual one when it's being done. Each one of us is responsible for one's own action. To jump in with the crowd is ONE person's decision.

    Cheer up, Sean. As long as I'm around, the world is improving. Forgive my arrogance!

  4. I partly agree with Claudia. If we didn´t have all these people in the world who do take their responsibilities (and i agree, sometimes - or usually - it is not the responsibility you and i would like to take) we would be far worse off.

    Okay, i do think barbarism is never far away in humanity (we are just simple mammals, aren't we?) and there ís a group mechanism in us which is difficult to control (except by a dictator) as we are social mammals.

    But i think it is a matter of balance. In its struggle to survive at all cost humanity will sometimes be on the wrong side of the balance and sometimes on the right side. And sometimes there seems to be no difference between good and evil (as these terms are an invention of humanity itself and can be manipulated as such).

    But still Sean, if there is a reason for pessimism there is also a reason for optimism.


  5. The only way humanity can improve collectively is one person at a time. I do believe that's happening but there are some very deep pockets of fear and greed left to be illuminated by the light of day. I still hope the day comes when winds of change blow open the still locked doors and the minds of those who hold the keys.

  6. Jams,
    it is strange: In a way - like you - I don't care for the song. On the other side, I can't deny that when looking back it is able to catch me.
    The reason I embedded it is that I do not want to re-post what I posted the year before.
    :) Next year I might (try to) post Rostapovich's impromptu performance during the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

    I do see your point, Jams. There is but one word that became a winged one these days and which immediately made me sceptical.
    Gorbatchev's 'This is irreversibe.'
    Nothing is irreversible! One never does know what a 'wind of change' will bring ...

    the idealist in the Sean agrees; the experienced idealist does not.

    I love it whenever nitpickers are getting nitpicked.
    Correcting myself:
    Why blaming the wind, anyway?
    It's me who is to blame, hm?
    Not just them.

    Better? :) Does it change ... everything ... the world ... ?

    Now could a random reader think: 'What a fucking arrogant host/blog-owner.
    Her/His problem, hm? :)
    You do, of course, know that I do agree with what you write about any individual's responsibility.

    And still, dear Claude, there is a banality of evil. Unfortunately.

    I was just writing my reply to Claude when I noticed the arrival of your comment.
    Thank you, my friend, as always.

    How to explain?
    Sean the optimist does (wish) to imagine that in the long run homo insapiens will become sapiens;
    at the same time Sean the optimist - see? I'm not calling myself a pessimist :) - does not see evidence, though, that suggests (wo)mankind will be able to overcome its deficiencies.
    - - -
    Now, and that is an intersting sentence/thought:
    And sometimes there seems to be no difference between good and evil (as these terms are an invention of humanity itself and can be manipulated as such).

    One day, Bertus, one day we will meet and - for several days :) - discuss.
    We won't always agree, let alone change the wind, but - with Claude's help :) - we shall overcome ... theoretically. :)


    As I am at it ... and: oh, how well do I know myself: once I don't do things immediately they are likely to never been done.

    Ha ha, actually (?) this deserves a post of its own.

    Be it, though:
    You, Bertus, Claude, Stan, D.E., Jams and all those knowing they are meant are enriching my life.
    'Enriching' may sound strange, but you won't care, will you? After all, Sean's English is exquisitely strange, hm? :)

    In so far, yes! There are lots of reasons to become an optimistic optimist.

    [need I tell you are belonging to those mentioned above? :) ]

    Again (look above), I do agree.
    And at the same time I see (a) people making a revolution to get rid of its king, only to get an emperor, 15 years later [French Revoluton].
    Yes. Hope dies last.
    After all, it dies, hm. :)

    Ah, no reason to give up, anyway.
    Dum spiro, spero! Hm? :)

  7. It's nice that Bertus partly agrees with me. BUT (although I cannot speak for others) I'm NOT just a simple, social mammal. I have a soul. I would stand alone against a whole group of people if they choose to do something that is wrong according to my values. And I won't be silent about it. People like me (in many countries) have died protesting oppression. And it's still happening. I just have to read everyday Reporters Sans Frontières (offered on Sean's sidebar) to know that. Petitions after petitions have been openly sent to the tyrants of the world. And articles have been printed with courage.

    It doesn't always stop bad things from happening. We have discussed this before. What matters is that some of us KNOW what's right and what's wrong. There is a clear difference between good and evil. As long as there is ONE person in the world (and there are more) willing to speak up, and ready to die, the world is redeemed and stands a chance to improve.

    Tyrants can manipulate, or kill a simple mammal body, but they cannot destroy an enlightened soul.

  8. 'Sean's English is exquisitely strange'

    To which I would add 'strangely exquisite'.

    Decision-making is a strange affair. I think that often people aren't aware they're making decisions; they follow a familiar groove of habit – habit of action and of thought – and imagine themselves powerless to change either themselves or the world around them. They feel insignificant. And in many ways they are, but in other ways they most definitely aren't.

    At the other extreme there are people who think they control the world around them, and they behave as though they're entitled to. The subtle truth seems to lie between these poles (or above them!). We have enough control over ourselves to nullify excuses of non-responsibility. But it's easy to see how people deny responsibility, because often it's not apparent, or it's buried under years of confusion regarding their place in the world.

  9. Dear Sean - Considering that you're enriching the world with your creativity, that I have talked to tyrants with petitions sent through your blog, that you remind us often of the human suffering around us, I absolve you of any blame for the global imperfections we're witnessing.

    May I add that, although I don't like it, it's good, very good that you bring them to our attention. Thank you!

  10. Dear Claude,
    sorry for letting you wait 3 days before praising your enlightened soul and thanking for "absolving" me of all blame for the bad state of the world.

    You are lovely. Thank you.
    [Still laughing, caughing, smiling].

    Despite the absence of 'the very unspeakables', I do understand that certain what you wholeheartedly mean was served with a wink and the sound of laughter.
    Much appreciated. Thank you again.

    [isn't it interesting that sometimes it is or seems easier to take (harsh) criticism than a compliment?]
    Having written the above: Thank you for what I take as a wonderful compliment; the more as it comes from a master of the English language.

    As for your thoughts, here's my first reply: Thank you!
    One day we shall dive deep(er) into this topic and others - and if it were while together with Mr. Doubtful visiting the Saltee Islands ...
    Go raibh míle maith agat, Stan.