Wednesday, October 26, 2005

There must be a hidden agenda

Dark vortex
Originally uploaded by

I was on Monday in Helsinki for a brainstorming session on local government reform. During drinks we started talking about trust for the government. One of the participants in the discussion mentioned that in Britain people are not afraid of credit cards as much as of government forcing people to have IDs. The Finns commented by saying that in Finland there still is a strong belief in government knowing what is best for us.

It reminded me of a document that I saw last week at the Prix Europa television festival. The awarded British documentary is called The Power of Nightmares and it is about the philosophy behind radical Islam and Neoconservatism (Leo Strauss). I thought that the document - although I admit that there was a lot of research behind it - spreading the same virus it was criticising. It´s the same virus that is being spread by Da Vinci Code (which I have not read) and Michael Moore: the thinking that there is a great plan against us, that we should be afraid and we should beware. I think this scaremongering - even based very often on facts - is the most efficient force crumbling trust to your fellow beings. This creates the perfect environment for populism, isolationist politics and overprotection. As one of the foreign facilitators told us in Helsinki:"What does it tell about our society that on my plane to Helsinki there were fourteen people reading Da Vinci Code and half of the plane were reading tabloids?"

And to end with something completely different: I shaved my hair really short last week. I did not realise that everyone would be commenting it. I have been told that I look rough and of course, "different in some way". But the funniest comment was made by my French colleague:"You look like a petit eskimo." Haven´t heard that before.

p.s. One of my favourites won the IRIS prize for multicultural programmes in Prix Europa. It is done by a supernice Norwegian guy called Fridtjof and it is called King Hussain of Pakistan - Queen Asia of Norway. You should really make sure you see it. It is brilliant. The story description can be found from this site. If you happen to live in Amsterdam or nearby, you can see at Felix Meritis on November 26.

No comments: