Friday, February 17, 2017

World Showcase

In the late 1960's Walt Disney approached Henry Kissinger about his EPCOT project. He was thinking of making a 'World Showcase' that would be like the International Village in the 1964 World's Fair. That was a place where different countries around the world could come and show themselves. Their cuisine. Their culture. Their humanity. Kissinger thought it was a great idea. It would be a way for Americans and other visitors to meet people from other countries and learn about their culture, their people, their politics, and their religion. It would open people's minds and hearts to the greater world. We're all the same, after all. It's a small world. Bring us your diplomats, your poets, and your philosophers. And your jesters, your dancers, and your musicians. Here we are with all of ours. Your friends and equals. Dance, jest, and sing alike, shall we?

I always felt disappointed that Russia wasn't one of those countries. China was included. But Nixon was negotiating open relations with China at that time so I guess that makes sense. Still. We have a lot more in common culturally with Russia than with China. I've since heard that Nixon wanted to open negotiations with the Soviet Union instead of China but Kissinger favored detente with China. Just think what that might have done had he opened the doors to Russia? What he might have accomplished? What we might have avoided and yet still avoid today? History always turns on the edge of a knife.

Too bad we couldn't have included both. Dance, anyone?

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