I'm a pacifist, a hippie, living in a flow, never planning my life too far ahead. As a teenager I used to close my door, listen to The Doors and pen out poems to my small black notebook. I wanted to be a beatnik, travel like Jack Kerouac and write about my travels. I wanted to figure out life.
My father being as far Left as a Finn can be used to dis my creative dreams and push me to study politics, especially Left side of it. I remember getting really mad, saying 'politics is bullshit, I'll never, listen NEVER!!! get into that crap.' Little did I know that there would be a day in my future when I would willingly open the huge book of Vietnam war, and begin to figure our what went wrong in the US politics about 50 years ago?
Should I blame JFK or LBJ, or their administrations in general? Was it the strong will power and demands of General Westmoreland, or 'peace candidate' Nixon who took the office in 1969? The fact is that something went badly wrong during many years, and no coverups were able to take care of that mess. There must be somebody to point my finger to? But is there? Do I need someone to blame to better understand what happened? Is that why we write and study history and politics? So that we can blame and then learn from their mistakes, and hope that we won't make the same mistakes again.
During 1960-1970 the global politics took the harsh step down in people's appreciation, never getting back up to pedestal again. Pentagon papers, Kent State, Watergate Scandal were just the beginning. The atmosphere of the politics changed in 70's. And folks, we're now living the outcomes of that, globally. During the same time we were given a television to see and better understand reality. Now we have internet. And the world is fast.
I'm still a pacifist and a hippie as I have always been, but now I'm figuring our life through the history, through wars, and through stories of people who lived before me. They say that you need to travel to other countries to understand what you have in your own country. I agree. And you also need to travel back in time to understand your own time. The decisions made by politicians is our future. Sometimes it feels that people who make these decisions haven't seen much world, or haven't studied the past enough to really understand and have compassion. Sometimes it seems that although they look serious and confident in their ties, suits and with black briefcases, they are hippies who go with the flow. And they just want to save their butts as they go.
Kindness is the word, the other word is respect. These are the bases of diplomacy. And humanity.
Next week I'll meet Tim Page in Brisbane and continue this conversation with him. He was in Vietnam war taking pictures that were showing the truth of war, at the time when public didn't have anything but the word of their trusted politicians to lean on.
My next documentary film WARPEACE will be an interesting conversation between two sides of human behaviour: LOVE and ANGER. Stay tuned!