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Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:45 AM

You say you want a Velvet Revolution

You say you want a Velvet Revolution

by digby

This is a lovely piece by RJ Eskow about Václav Havel, a true man of the ideas:

On a warm evening in 1991, a colleague and I found an out-of-the-way café in the old part of Prague. Two men with blank expressions stood outside. The interior was dim and close, with room for only eight or nine tables. The place was almost empty. Just a sleepy waitress, a bartender polishing glasses, and a single patron who sat alone drinking wine and chain-smoking cigarettes.

The President of Czechoslovakia wasn't reviewing official papers. He was reading a book, a startlingly un-Presidential act to our American eyes. My companion, a neoconservative State Department official, already admired him for defying and defeating a Communist state. He'd impressed me by bringing a writer's sensibility and an affinity for true underground culture to his role as head of state.

..............................................

We never spoke to Havel that night. It didn't seem polite to offer anything more than the curt nod of acknowledgement any café patron gives another at that hour. But Havel spoke to us, to all of us. And on the occasion of his death, the real lessons of his life's work are in danger of being lost.

Today we're told that the Occupy movement is too idealistic, too naïve. Naïve? Try Havel's words if you want naïve: "May truth and love triumph over lies and hatred."

MORE:
http://crooksandliars.com/richard-rj-eskow/havel-dissident-legacy-worth-clai
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/you-say-you-want-velvet-revolution.html

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