That sport best pleases that doth least know how;
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
Die in the zeal of those which it presents;
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
When great things labouring perish in their birth.
Love's Labour's Lost
(Act V, Scene ii)
This painting is called Geopoliticus Child, it was created by Salvador Dali in 1943. Dali’s home and mother country, Spain was engulfed in a bloody civil and world war, deep in a national identity crisis.
What does the crazed genius Dali do? He shows us mother earth pointing to a new child grapling its way into the world. The innocent new born is the United States of America. The land mass of the United States is the body tearing its way through the earth (egg) into life. The new born grips Great Britain, as this is the lever of its roots.
The head of the ‘child’ is yet to grace the light of day, still to find its vision, realize it's focus, reason, purpose and identity.
In every ruling class and culture throughout history has established its presence through bloody mindless military rule, gained power by reeking fear and destruction, be it the Mughals, the Romans, the Greeks, the Mongols or the British. Each in turn brought untold suffering and devastation to the cultures and communities in their path, but in equal measure, they also co-mingled with the existing cultures and heritage to bring new depths of creativity, breakthroughs in the arts, science, engineering, social order, learning and growth have emerged out of this darkness, the genesis of which would otherwise have been inconceivable.
The industrial revolution and the British Empire may be two separate chapters in the history books, but they are one indistinguishable event. Economic power, military rule and the creative power of human creativity and innovation are all one ying-yang whole.
Each of the ruling cultures have always been a mix of political and militaristic expediency (greed) and in equal measure the divine power of their artists, poets, thinkers, engineers, their builders of education systems, community and an advancement of the human experience. You cannot separate the two. Ugly as it is to admit, they are one.
The question that Dali’s painting begs – is that as this next child tears out of the darkness, as it spreads its desperate economic and geo-political grip on the world, Mother Nature can do nothing but look and point, natures other child (existing cultures and communities) cling to the mother earth, for fear of what will come.
We are left to wonder, WHAT will America’s contribution and legacy be? It is the utimate mystery of any new born child, its potential greatness and destructive powers are unknowable.
Over half a century after the painting was put on canvas, the U.S. is getting through puberty and only just beginning to shape its legacy, it will take much longer than our lifetime for it to make is true mark. This is the birth place of the internet, the global on-line community, the source of the new wisdom, the unexpected contribution of this child is only just unfolding before our very eyes.
This is a vision of America's legacy, one that reaches beyond the narrow politicians lens of greed and consumption, politicians come and go, the only thing that will endure is the value created by ordinary human beings, born in ordinary circumstances, the artists, poets, thinkers, engineers and builders of education, communication systems, community as these are the men and women who bear the burden of broadening the bounds of human experience.
We have no idea what will be created or what will survive once the Geopoliticus Child has come of age, or once it has passed through the usual passage, the life cycle that every empire that preceded it has been through.
All we do know for sure, is that once it has run its course and bites the same dust that we all have to bite one day, another egg will hatch and a new empire will clutch the earth through its birth pangs, to destory what has been created and plant new seeds of learning through its own lethally glorious legacy.
Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O! let us embrace.
As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
Therefore, of all hands must we be forsworn.
Love's Labour's Lost
(Act IV, Scene iii)