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Un entretien avec Ian Rhett

Ian Rhett est un artiste indépendant. Le genre de type qui n'a pas sa langue dans sa poche. L'anti-thèse du règne du faux. Une sorte de hippie des temps modernes. Discours sympathique qui appelle a plus de douceur, de tendresse. Et si tout le monde s'aimait, ce ne serait pas mieux?

Il y a des gens qui trouvent cela débile, ou mièvre. Ian, lui, pense que beaucoup de monde se porterait mieux si l'on s'intéressait aux gens qui souffrent plutôt qu'à faire la guerre. Le bon sens près de chez vous. Une valeur un peu perdue outre-Atlantique pour 51% de la population...

J'ai trouvé la piste de Ian sur le site d'un ami qui a passé de trop longues heures en détention pour avoir marché dans la rue, le long d'une manifestation contre la convention du parti Républicain à New-York. Cet illustration de ce qu'est devenue la vie aux Etats-unis m'avait sidéré et laissé un goût amère. Je n'y voyais qu'un très sombre présage. La réélection de George Bush ne devrait pas améliorer la situation et il est probable que les années à venir seront marquées par de nouvelles détentions massives pour délit d'opinion, remaquillé en terrorisme.

J'ai bien aimé la chanson de Ian. Je vous recommande de lire les paroles et de regarder le petit clip qui va avec. Allez sur son site, lisez la FAQ qui va avec sa chanson. Comme sa chanson nous a plu, je me suis permis de lui poser quelques questions sur la situation dans son pays. Vous pouvez lire cette interview ci-dessous.

Comme vous l'aurez compris, il reste des intellectuels engagés et actifs aux Etats-Unis. Je trouve leur courage remarquable. Parce que je pense qu'en s'exprimant, il mettent en péril leur vie en ce sens qu'ils deviennent des parias. Et les parias n'ont généralement pas une vie très rose.

Du côté de la Maison-Blanche, les futurs slogans sont à l'étude:

« la pensée est un crime »
« le questionnement est une faiblesse »
« ne rêvez plus, il y a des terroristes sous votre lit »
« Ils utiliseront votre amour pour vous détruire »

just kidding, bien sûr...


Voici en outre une sélection de sites (*) à visiter pour se convaincre de l'existence des « 49% »:



(*) Les lecteurs assidus de Kitetoa.com retrouveront ici quelques sites impliqués dans Webzine (l'événement, pas les webzines).

Un entretien avec Ian Rhett

"I don't think of love as being a "hippie" value. I believe it's a HUMAN value"

- Ian, do you think America is going to eradicate intellecuals?

No, I really don't. I think that there will be a lot of friction between those who 'believe' and those who 'think'. To me, that's what it really comes down to. That's not to say that either is wrong or right. Personally, I think it's important to have both faith and critical thinking. It's dangerous when one or the other becomes overly predominant.

Our country's short history (relative to the rest of the world) has gone through a series of pendulum swings. We go from very liberal to very conservative to very liberal, although that's admittedly a rather simplistic way of looking at it. In a way, it strikes me as very human on a mass scale. We grow a certain way, then there's a strong reaction against, and things get pulled another way and on and on.

I predict (for what it's worth) another few years of this sort of fundamentalist conservatism and an eventual cultural backlash that will lead to a new cultural evolution (note I did NOT use the word "Revolution").

In the 50's we had a very intense period of conservatism lead by McCarthy in his anti-communist witch hunt, which looked a lot more like "eradicating intellectuals" than we'll ever see again. That period of our history was the fertile soil from which the 60's emerged with the initial message of love. That was a HUGE transition in just a decade. Very painful, too. Many incredible lives were lost in that burst of culture - JFK, MLK, RFK, among others.

I think with the advent of technology and the degree to which so much information is accessible, it'll be impossible to have the same kind of witch hunt.

Instead, I think there may be government action against activists. I think this is a greater concern, as laws have been put in place (Patriot Act) to enable the government to classify active dissent as terrorism.

- Why is that a great nation like the USA can't get rid of a guy like George W. Bush? What happened on 11/2

We're still trying to figure that out, too! I think a number of things happened. I think the "Get Out The Vote" strategy was assumed to be to the Democrats favor, when in fact, the GOP got in on the game and got their people out in droves as well.

Kerry ran a miserably lame campaign in my estimation. It wasn't until the last couple of weeks that he started showing any kind of clear difference and making strong, clear statements against his opponent. The Republicans completely dominated the agenda and without the Democrats coming out with a clear alternative, they weren't able to move the swing vote.

I also believe the Republicans are dirtier fighters than the Democrats, and are more inclined to bend the rules than Democrats. I think the White House republicans (which I think are a different breed than mainstream American republicans) have a win-at-all-costs mentality. I think Democrats can play a mean game, too, but boiled down, the Republicans would put rocks in their gloves to win a fight - especially if they felt (or were lead to believe) that the country's security was at stake. I think Democrats would rather lose the fight honorably than win it dishonorably.

I think the questions raised around the integrity of our own election is really important. I'm afraid that issue might get swept off the table by a very adept republican administration that has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to control the national media agenda.

The Red State/Blue State phenomenon is an example. I think "Red State/Blue State" is a Republican idea. We think there are a bunch of red states and a bunch of blue states, right? Well, the FACT is, they're almost all PURPLE. In a majority of the country, it was a very close election. "Red State/Blue State" serves the Republicans and puts the Democrats on defensive and forces them to respond to the Republican "majority" (witness Bush's statement following the election that he had earned political capital and intended to spend it).

Until the Democrats learn to set the agenda instead of respond to the Republican agenda, we're hosed. That's why I'm so disappointed in the Kerry campaign. We went WEEKS listening to Kerry defend his war record instead of setting the agenda himself. C'mon!

What makes the USA great (in my opinion) is that we have a society that is *supposed* to be open to debates and various ideas and opinions. That is being threatened right now, but is ultimately what makes the US a great place.

- How big is the fear of terrorism? Is it so big that most of the Amercians will give away their political ad freedom rights?

It's hard to say. In one respect, apparently so. The Patriot Act was passed, right? At the same time, it was railroaded through congress with very little review. I think Americans' fear of terrorism has been pretty effectively manipulated into supporting the "war on terrorism". I think most Americans feel safer now that we're clobbering the hell out of Iraq.

I really believe, though, that we are making the world increasingly LESS stable and fanning the flames of hatred that will inevitably come back to haunt us. It occurs to me like using a sledge hammer to get rid of hornets. You may kill a few, or even a lot, but you're going to leave a lot of pissed off bugs with stingers that hurt like hell.

I keep wondering what the world would be like if we spent only twice as much as anyone else on defense and used the rest to feed people, provide irrigation and potable water systems, and generally contribute to the world (*). I think moderates in the Middle East would have a lot more support and that extremists would find it harder to operate in their countries when people are happy and well fed.

(*) Don't get me wrong - we already give more than almost all countries on the whole, but It's distressing that while we're the dominant economy, we rank 21st in per-capita direct foreign assistance.

- May be Europe has dealed with terrorism for a longer time and, may be, that is why the American people's position is hard to understand from our point of view?

I think that's a really valid point. We've had a few really upsetting incidents here, but for the most part, we've been living in a false sense of security. 9/11 was a shocking reminder that we are NOT in fact, living in safety.

What upsets me so about this administration is how much money has been spent on prosecuting a pre-emptive invasion based on the flimsiest of evidence, while our police departments, hospitals and fire departments have gotten little if any training or equipment to handle another attack.

It's not unreasonable to expect that terrorists will seek to 'outdo' the 9/11 attacks. It just seems like such a gross misplacement of priorities to be dropping bombs in Iraq rather than building capacity for hospitals and fire departments at home. Then again, I feel equally as strongly that we need to be moving away from a petrolium-based economy and investing heavily in renewable energy resources. I wonder if the war in Iraq and our dependence on oil have anything to do with each other...

- what would you awser to someone who would say that your song is a hippie song?

Well, I've heard that a few times. Hippies were people who believed that all we had to do is love one another and then everything would be fine. I think where I'm coming from is that we need to start loving one another and then start working our asses off. I agree with a lot of my detractors who say that Freedom isn't free. It's not. Nor is peace. It's going to take a lot of dedicated, focused work and sacrifice. But at the end of the day we have to ask ourselves - what do we believe? If we believe in peace, but are not willing to act or sacrifice, then we will never realize peace.

I don't believe in "tuning in and dropping out". I think it takes more than faith to change things, and WE NEED CHANGE, PEOPLE!

I DO believe in the power of love, and that we are on earth to experience and generate love. I personally believe the Bible passage that says "God is Love". I don't think of love as being a "hippie" value. I believe it's a HUMAN value. It's what moves us to tears when we see great acts of compassion or cruelty to others.

I struggle sometimes thinking "even if I gave everything to peace - every moment of every day giving all my love, energy, attention - would it make a difference in such a huge world with so many forces at play and so much greed?" I keep coming back to this answer - I have no choice. I can't let the likelihood of an outcome of my actions determine whether I take them when it comes to choosing between love and not-love. I believe if peace is to happen, it can only happen when individuals make the decision to live peacefully and lovingly - regardless of whether or not doing so will change the world. And since I'm the only one I can control (most of the time!), I have no choice but to BE peace in order to SEE peace.

- what would you awser to someone who would say that your song is nice but that we can't love everyone? who would say that ove is not a the kind of weapon we need to fight terrorism?

Well, I think it's important to have the defenses to deal with the very real fact that there are people who want to kill and harm us. That doesn't look like more aircraft carriers and stealth bombers to me. It looks like more hospitals, shipping container search systems, equipment for firefighters and the like. A strictly military/intelligence response to terrorism is so narrowly focused as to be detrimental to the national security it seeks to protect.

I also think it's important to acknowledge that we live in a big world that we share with one another, and that we have to be responsible for our actions. All too often, Americans refuse to hear about the injustices we perpetuate and will only say how great America is. To me, this is irresponsible. We should definitely take the credit where the credit is due, but that also means taking the rap for when we make mistakes. Americans in general don't seem to like to admit they make mistakes.

I think the "war on terrorism" as it's currently being played out is going to be as successful as the "war on drugs" (but way more expensive). Until we start leading the world instead of trying to dominate it, we're not going to be winning the war on terrorism.

Ultimately, I think people are more afraid of love than they are of terrorism. What would the world be like if EVERYONE woke up tomorrow in love with the world? I think it would be wonderful, but so many people immediately dismiss that kind of thinking because they fear that if too many people felt that way in America, we would be weak and vulnerable to attack.

It's easier for people to be afraid of terrorism. Drop bombs? "Sure, I support that" Love one another? "Are you crazy?!"

- who will be the next president (after bush)?

Colin Powell, like him or not.

- how can we help during the next 4 years?

Let's love one another and work our asses off.

Do what you love to do. Do what you feel called to do. Consider that every person has a purpose on earth and that all purposes exist in harmony with one another. Find yours and live it fully.

And www.generatekindness.org!

Propos recueillis par Kitetoa

k-version: 5.0

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