In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe. What’s your reason to believe?
I believe that it is now May because the lilac is blossoming in my garden. The Russians used to believe in the 1st May because they had large military parades showing everyone their newest developments in rocket science with the hidden message to beware. The Russians also stopped believing many years ago, indeed they had no choice. Some bloke called Karl Marx had the idea that religion was the opium of the people and one of his faithful followers, Vladimir Lenin, decided it was a good idea so Russian closed all the churches and went communist. Many years after, the churches are opened and Russia is still being lead by a Vladimir, this time Vladimir Putin. I do not think he had much in common with religion, perhaps just his own beliefs. So at the end of a hard earned Russian day people still have reason to believe and the opium has been replaced probably by other hard drugs from the Russian Mafia. Russia no longer celebrates May Day with military processions. It is now known as Spring and Labour Day and the people spend the day gardening or time with their families according to Wikipedia.
I wonder if Vladimir Putin is attending to his tulips and daffodils and spoiling Mrs. Putin with a bouquet of Lily of the Valley, after all he is also a human being. Vlad is OK, just leave him to his own thing, poor man has a lot of problems at the moment, but he will be celebrating the first day of May like all of us.
As it is May Day most of the countries of the Western World have a free day, no work or? Switzerland is not so different and all good socialists are looking forward to the usual speech in town from one of the politicians, promising work to all, equality, liberty etc. etc. At least that is the way it is supposed to be. Marches are held, people wear t-shirts showing clenched fists of united work forces: at least it used to be like that. Today the celebrations in Zürich are usually held under close observation by the police with their water hoses at the ready to sooth the masses and the masses are usually wearing some sort of black mask draped over their faces to prohibit recognition. It might be they set a car on fire or destroy something and afterwards be recognised, how times change. Where have the days of Rosa Luxembourg, Leon Trotzky and Michail Gorbachov gone?
This morning Mr. Swiss informed me that the company where I worked are working today, like any normal working day. Everyone is celebrating the day of the workers, the day of our freedom fighters, but in a company somewhere in Switzerland everyone is at their desk, diligently using computers and making turnover. Of course, the solution is quite simple. One of our prominent socialist members of parliament, a female, has been invited to visit the company. Just a token of being one of the workers and all the workers are probably dressed in their best clothes with bright and shiny tidy desks and a freshly cleaned carpet on the floor awaiting the honour. I am sure the windows have also been cleaned. It is the appearance that counts. If I was still a member of the working population I would have been there as well, but not without words of resistance and annoyance uttered. This happened now and again in my working life that the company called on a national holiday, or a Sunday (occasions few and far between I must admit) and I was there, bristling with annoyance because my husband and children all had the day free and I could not share the day with them.
So in the spirit of 1st May I have just held my speech. Unlike Bruce Springsteen I do not find a reason to believe. I just read the lyrics of this song and it seems that it is a song of double meanings, talking about dead dogs, deserted lovers, dead people and stood up bridegrooms, so I do not really think that Bruce Springsteen got the desire to believe, he just wanted to make money with the song, which he probably did. And me? I am not a believer, an atheist, but it does not bother me at the end of the day.