Sunday, January 24, 2021

"His goal from early on was to introduce the whole world to each other"

I love house parties. Despite the anxiety resulting from the potential for calamity and chaos, I love hosting house parties. But I can't say that I'd be happy to host one every week for more than 40 years. Credit, then, to the late Jim Haynes, who did just that.

As Vicky Baker explains in an article for the BBC, the American had already lived a colourful, globe-trotting life before settling in Paris in 1969 and inviting complete strangers into his flat for dinner every Sunday night. The gatherings were his way of promoting a hippie vision of peace, love and understanding - of intercultural, international communication and of a world without borders. As Baker puts it, "He led the way in connecting strangers, long before we outsourced it all to Silicon Valley".

Fair play to him. I couldn't face the regular invasion of personal space or the tidying up.

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