Dear Mr. Godard,
What to say regarding your film In Praise of Love. I enjoyed the images and the talking, but noticed there were very few talking images.
…. America (the United States of North America excluding Canada and Mexico) has no history you say?
We had a civil war, we were the deciding factor in two world wars, and we won the cold war. As you mentioned in your film, Europe thus avoided the totality of the Drancy future – and you are entirely welcome.
I peeked ahead in your oeuvre to Norte Musique and note you are partial to losers. We lost in Vietnam (a former French colony) and we will probably be defeated in Afghanistan. I hopes this helps.
We perhaps don’t have a “name” because the future hasn’t been written yet.
Unlike French hubris, our hubris is centered on the future – we believe it will be better. People buy our debt because it is difficult for people to resist the future.
Occasionally they do, however, and it keeps us busy.
There have been times in our uh,…… past of which I am not proud, but that is to be expected of the young. I’m sure that is true for your country as well – which is? France? or Switzerland?
Very truly yours,
-our hubris is centered on the future – we believe it will be better.-
" America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of the World’s History shall reveal itself." —Georg W. Hegel
Didn’t figure you as a Hegelian, Robert.
July 4, 2010
have a happy !
World wars indeed- it’s been one long world war for the USA for well over 100 years- >130 military attacks/interventions in other countries since 1890, never mind the slave trade and native American genocide. And Goldman Sachs’ contribution to the massive worldwide starvation and malnutrition problems of 2006-8.
Johann Hari in The Independent:
“By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You’re wrong. There’s more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here’s the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.
It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it “a silent mass murder”, entirely due to “man-made actions.”………"
to all the decent kind reasonable Americans here (thank heavens that seems to be the majority) who don’t blow the big nationalistic “ain’t we great” trumpet,, have a very happy July 4th. Because there is a good side to the US and a potential for helping the world be a better happier place.
Martin Luther King
and all the others who’ve brought pleasure and done good, thank you
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
Kenji, perfection is an ideal the United States has yet to achieve. I suspect that’s true of all countries. The pride that most American’s feel does not derive from never having made mistakes, but from the ideals set out in our founding documents, which many others have now embraced. For every sin committed, there were acts of justice and generosity. Some of those military interventions were just. Some were not. One saved the planet. On a day of patriotism, there’s no reason not to celebrate what is great in a human and imperfect society. (this should not just apply to the U.S., but worldwide)
Well Bob, way to celebrate your county’s independence by starting a very antagonistic and arrogant thread.
Nothing like a family birthday party to bring people together.
To my American friends, I say happy fourth of July.
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
Langston Hughes, 1938
@ Nohea Ah, Langston Hughes – what would he say today?
To build a “homeland of the *future*”
@Strawdog: I suppose one could say In Praise of Love was a very antagonistic and arrogant film.
I preferred to think about it instead.
Thank you and best wishes.
It is true that Godard exagerated on what he declares almost on the end of the movie, but we do have to recognize that the United States’ culture is mainly composed of foreign cultures (which may be positive) but still lacks of (I don’t know how to call in english) a historical landmark?
As France had the Galian empire, Russia had its Zars, Mexico had the Aztecs and Mayas, Peru had the Incas and I could keep this list going and going.
However, USA is still making its own history but Monsieur Godard may have not thought of this positively. Congratulations United States!
And remember Mexico is turning 200 years old in a few months (:
I have no political opinion about USA, France or Switzerland, but I think the dialogues about the American nation without name is the weakest of Éloge de l’amour. Godard has always been considered an “intellectual” but I think many of his cryptic quotes are ridiculous or unnecessary.
Thomas Paine created its name: United States of America. And I like it.
America, FUCK YEA!
-World wars indeed it’s been one long world war for the USA for well over 100 years- >130 military attacks/interventions in other countries since 1890, never mind the slave trade and native American genocide. And Goldman Sachs’ contribution to the massive worldwide starvation and malnutrition problems of 2006-8—
I’m not apologist for the national wrongs, but such is the nature of concentrated power—compare the US catalog of atrocities to that of the British Empire, the Roman Empire, the Greeks. Western Civ ain’t pretty.
“More than any other place on earth, America can be attacked through its symbols because it is made up. It is a construct, an idea. . . . The nation exists as power, but its only legitimacy is found in a few pieces of paper.”
“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — it’s what the rest of the world understands by America when America isn’t forcing the rest of the world to understand America as something else. "
“There’s a way in which you can see every American story as a version of the Declaration of Independence: every story an attempt to make it true, or prove it a lie.”
“No failure in America, whether of love or money, is ever simple; it is always a kind of betrayal, of a mass of shadowy, shared hopes.”
Matt, i despise all forms of brutal imperialism and playground bully boasting of the “we won this war, we won that war, ain’t we great” variety (as on this thread) too. The US played a major role in the defeat of Nazism- all who fought against that monstrosity should be thanked. There were enlightened men involved in the US constitution, Thomas Jefferson had many admirable qualities but slavery was hardly a sign of being created equal.
C’mon Kenji, no one was bully boasting; no one said we are great.
The thread is in response to In Praise of Love.
The items in my letter to Mr Godard were directly from the film.
If you had seen the film, you wouldn’t have your britches in such a twist.
oh Godard has long come out with unsubtle attention-grabbers which along with his intertitles are wearing thin. And you reply with a national tit-for-tat
I’m over jingoism, it’s old. People claim nationality and all that, but bigger than nationality is the class system and that is the thing that is ruining what the world could be.
There is always the picture of the French painted as arrogant pricks, but that just the ones who think thye are higher class, and it’s the same in every country.
The brilliance of the US is the idealism that runs through the founding documents, but that idealism is just a mountain top and we seem to be slipping further and further from climbing that mountain as ‘high class’ continues to hose the mud.
Not a national tit-for-tat, I just pointed out some things he is obviously unaware of.
As for modern apartment housing at Drancy, it was constructed by the French, not the Americans.
this is what Americans can do
Tocqueville is still the best on the subject.
A true story.
A friend of mine, a British expatriate in America, once told me this—that quite a few Americans would ask him on the 4th of July, in all seriousness and without being tongue-in-cheek or any sense of irony, “hey, do they celebrate the 4th of July in England too?”
Winslow Homer, master of watercolours
Kenji: Hell yes.
Not just jazz, rock, pop, country etc, Americans can also sing opera:
Leontyne Price another, and Flicka
Yes, THEY CAN…
LORRAINE HUNT LIEBERSON SINGS HANDEL
He was good but no match for Chiyonofuji the wolf
Hawaiian-American..her ears perk up
and the Duke……Duke Kahanamoku, father of surfing and olympic swimming champion..
my gawd look at the length of the boards in the 30’s !!!
It’s Christmastime in Washington
The Democrats rehearsed
Gettin’ into gear for four more years
Things not gettin’ worse
The Republicans drink whiskey neat
And thanked their lucky stars
They said, ‘He cannot seek another term
They’ll be no more FDRs’
I sat home in Tennessee
Staring at the screen
With an uneasy feeling in my chest
And I’m wonderin’ what it means
So come back Woody Guthrie
Come back to us now
Tear your eyes from paradise
And rise again somehow
If you run into Jesus
Maybe he can help you out
Come back Woody Guthrie to us now
I followed in your footsteps once
Back in my travelin’ days
Somewhere I failed to find your trail
Now I’m stumblin’ through the haze
But there’s killers on the highway now
And a man can’t get around
So I sold my soul for wheels that roll
Now I’m stuck here in this town
There’s foxes in the hen house
Cows out in the corn
The unions have been busted
Their proud red banners torn
To listen to the radio
You’d think that all was well
But you and me and Cisco know
It’s going straight to hell
So come back, Emma Goldman
Rise up, old Joe Hill
The barracades are goin’ up
They cannot break our will
Come back to us, Malcolm X
And Martin Luther King
We’re marching into Selma
As the bells of freedom ring
oh and…recognize this guy?…. when he’s not a Hawaiian son, he’s a Kenyan son.