Apologies for taking so long to post something, but it’s been a busy couple of months.
In August I returned to filmmaking, my first love, and was fortunate enough to put together an amazing team of people to shoot most of a short film over the last weekend of the month. And, while the film kept me from posting here, it also opened my eyes to something that’s crept up on me almost unnoticed over the last five years. And ultimately it inspired me to write this post. As an immigrant (albeit a garden-variety privileged white guy American one) I’ve become pretty well inured to the concept of multicultural living.
On the second day of my film shoot, I, and a number of the cast and crew commented on the scene before us. On that day in particular my cast and crew included a generous mix of folks from Asia, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Brazil, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Switzerland, and Ireland. And while that did seem pretty amazing, the part that struck me most was that it took all day for it to sink in. Living as I do in Dublin (a fairly multicultural place – at least by Irish standards), I simply didn’t notice, and, having gravitated over the course of five years to have friends with similar concerns and issues, most of my friends here are from, well, everywhere. That’s simply the reality of my life here and now. And I think life on set that day was simply a little distilled version of life in Dublin, at least for many immigrants.
But that, and the fact that I recently filled out the Irish citizenship paperwork, got me thinking about the ways that my world view has changed since I moved to Dublin.
First and foremost it has solidified something that started to take shape when I lived in Los Angeles. It no longer surprises me to see anybody of any race, creed, sex, or religion doing any job or living anywhere. I may take notice of the Burka-wearing Southern Baptist militant lesbian Trump supporter working at my bank, but then I’ll walk right up and ask to deposit my money. It simply doesn’t faze me anymore.
And secondly, when I’m not surrounded by that level of diversity I miss it. The cultural vacuum is palpable. Something’s not right.
Those two shifts in worldview are gifts for which I’m eternally grateful.
For me, whether it’s a result of being an immigrant, living in Dublin and not Indiana/Georgia/Florida/Ohio/Alabama, or simply getting older, multicultural living has become a bit like renting a Ferrari for the weekend. How can you possibly go back to driving a Renault?
Dublin, September 2016