Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.
It is in Globish (a nice word to define poor or broken English), which also happens to be the official language of Nowheristan, that I will address you tonight. I decided not to speak about our philosophy, politics or culture; neither will I speak about the solutions that we propose, or about our achievements. For those of you interested in those topics, there is a lot that can be found on the net, and, very soon, a major European publisher will be releasing the Manifesto of Nowheristan.
By excluding all the aforesaid subjects, I have cruelly narrowed my choices; but I have to find something interesting to say, since the tradition requires that I give a speech (we have to respect good and sympathetic traditions), and since I have always been fond of history, I thought: why not give you a short lesson, that covers 2500 years of history?
My first story is about my colleague Sargon the Great of Akkad, the first person in history to create a multiethnic, centrally-ruled empire. This son of a gardener was the cup-bearer of the King of Kish. Sargon entered politics after the encouragements of a goddess he saw in his dream. He overthrew his king, and started the conquest of his great empire from Elam in the now southwest Iran, to the Mediterranean Sea including Mesopotamia, parts of modern-day Iran and Syria, and parts of Anatolia and the Arabian Peninsula.
My second story is very short. It took place in Macedonia, 2350 years ago, when King Phillip II said to his wife Olympia of Epirus: "Alexandros is becoming more and more megalomaniac; if ridicule could hurt, he would be shouting". He was referring, of course, to the young prince who will be later known as Megas Alexandros, Alexander the Great.
You seem to like short stories! Here is a very short one; it was heard exactly 2000 years ago in the streets of Nazareth: “Poor Yosef the carpenter, he has a crazy son!”
In the last 2000 years were called unrealistic, the projects of, among many others, Genghis Khan, Osman the First, Christopher Columbus, Oliver Cromwell, Galileo, Maximillien Robespierre.
Less than 2 centuries ago, Jenny Marx said in a letter to her family: "Karl is writing books that no one will ever read, in which he is developing theories that no one will ever be interested in applying."
My fifth story is from an INA documentary that I recently watched. (INA stands for French National Audiovisual Institute). In this documentary, we can see Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, the late Shah of Iran, explaining to a journalist, in perfect French, that the real danger for his regime are the Iranian communists, while mullahs are nothing but harmless folklore. He said that in 1976, less than 3 years before the Islamic revolution.
I will end my small lesson by quoting 3 of the figures who most marked our last century and that you all know:
Albert Einstein: “If, at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
The Mahatma Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, THEN YOU WIN!"
Martin Luther king: "I HAVE A DREAM!"
All this, ladies and gentlemen, is to tell you that you are allowed to mock the Emperor, to be sarcastic, to say that he is an unrealistic dreamer, a crazy utopist, a ridiculous megalomaniac, a harmless folkloric illuminated idiot… You can ignore me, you can laugh at me, you can fight me…
BUT I WILL WIN!