This is the English version* of a text I have published here on December 21- 2016, a few days after the election of the President of the United States. Exactly a year later, should I change anything to it ? I’m afraid not. I’m afraid.
Si vous voulez lire la version originale de cette lamentation, cliquez ici.
*Thanks to the Pat-Sue-Jim-Paddy Team for helping me not to be lost in translation.
Born in 1942 Or A reflection of America
I was born in Paris in 1942. I am a child of the War.
And we, children of the War, have been fed, literally and spiritually, with the sweetened condensed milk of America. We have grown up in strength and wisdom thanks to Hershey’s Candy Bars for the good energy, to Wrigley’s chewing-gums for the square jaw and to Coca-Cola for today’s thirst. But we also grew up thanks to John Steinbeck and Franck Capra for social justice, Gary Cooper and John Ford for courage, Howard Hawks and John Wayne for patriotism, Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers for elegance, Stanley Donen and Katharine Hepburn for sophistication… We grew up looking at America.
Then, there was Kennedy in Dallas, Johnson in Washington, the boys in Vietnam, Nixon in the Watergate… but those were accidents, mistakes, series, fatalities. None of these changed America, that survived, recovered, did justice. There would always be a James Stewart to persuade a Senate, a Robert Redford to pop up the truth, a Steve McQueen to save a child from a blaze. There would be other Sidney Lumet to expose, new Oliver Stone to denounce and eternal Woody Allens to make fun of it. America would remain America.
Of course, came 9-11, and George Bush Junior, and the untraceable weapons of mass destruction, and , and … But America came back, one more time, as one expected, like a Norman Rockwell drawing…
And THEN came The Donald, and The Donald said all we did not want to know about America : brutality, cynicism, violence, stupidity, vulgarity, egotism, amorality, immorality, contempt, fear, ignorance, prejudice… all we did not want to hear but heard.
Then, we thought that The Donald was just a clown with a bad hair style, a vulgar, naive and pathetic self-dazzled nouveau riche, a resentful and vain Uncle Scrooge. We thought that he would not go very far, stuck as he would be with the ridicule from the mockeries of self-satisfied Hollywood comedians and cunning Broadway commentators, morally ruined by the beautiful flights of Mr and Mrs Obama’s speeches, annihilated, blown to pieces and stamped by everyone who can read and write across the fifty states. We were confident, America would not do that.
And then America did it ! In a chaotic, questionable and disputed way, but it did it.
Is America no longer America ?
Is this really happening ?
James Stewart, Robert Redford, where are you ?
What are you playing at, Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Steve McQueen ?
And you, Fifth of Cavalry, what are you waiting for ?
AND TO-MORROW, AT TOTO’S, A ROMAN BISTRO