January 17, 2009 at 14:48

Podria, i potser deuria, aparentar indiferència, o adoptar un posat irònic, o millor encara, no fer cap referència en absolut, com si la cosa no anàs amb mi. I tanmateix, ací estic, escrivint en públic, confessant la destemprança, fent palesa la debilitat. No ha passat un dia, en tot aquest any, que no hi hagi pensat.

La impressió que em fa TF és la contrària a la meua. El veig completament determinat, segur d'ell mateix, tranquil, i satisfet amb la situació. Que la cosa està com ell vol que estiga i que s'hi sent bé. No ho dic amb rancúnia --ho dic amb enveja. Crec que per primera vegada en la meua vida estic en el costat turbulent, inestable, feble, d'una relació.

No tenc l'orgull ferit --no és això. Hi ha, però, una qüestió en la que sí que hi intervé: al contrari del què li vaig dir, m'ho he repensat i no aniré a demanar-li explicacions. No les necessit, jo sé el que he fet i el que no he fet i consider que siguin quines siguin les raons de la ruptura, concretes o abstractes, importants o banals, és qui trenca qui ha de dur la iniciativa.

Però no escric això amb cap esperança, no és un ham, no necessit realment cap explicació i no la deman. No pens, sincerament, que puguem tornar a cap passat, ni que tingam cap futur. Tampoc no em pesa que em pesi --la persistència i intensitat del dolor de la pèrdua m'ha fet sentir bé amb mi mateix, m'ha ajudat a conèixer-me, m'ha fet conscient del valor que per mi tenen els amics de veritat. Però m'agradaria arribar a la clausura, al tancament, i que mentrestant ens deixàssim de pardalades.

January 16, 2009 at 17:51

Tinc davant el calendari que ha publicat l'Institut Balear de la Dona per a l'any 2009. Aquest Institut ha gastat una quantitat considerable dels diners de tots per fer una sèrie de preguntes, una per cada mes, als homes d'aquestes illes. Per exemple, el gener és Fem dissabte cada setmana tots junts. I tu per què no? amb el dibuix d'un pare passant l'aspiradora. Al febrer, L'educació és cosa de tots. I tu per què no?, amb un pare assegut a taula fent els deures amb la seva filla. A l'abril, A la família ens repartim les tasques. I tu per què no? etc. (fins i tot, juny: Separam la roba per colors, i tu per què no? i desembre: Planificam els dinars i sopars familiars, i tu per què no?)

El govern demanant-me que per què, quan pos la rentadora, no separ la roba per colors. I que com així que no vaig pensar de convidar els cunyats per la nit de Nadal.

I per què demanen als homes tot això? Realment creuen que el gruix de masclistes que aquesta societat patriarcal produeix, en llegir les inscripcions del calendari, comprendran la veritat, se n'adonaran de la iniquitat del seu comportament, abraçaran la fe progressista, demanaran perdó a les seves dones per tota una vida d'opressió i abús, i se posaran a planxar i a separar la roba mentre, de pas, pensen com podrien contribuir a millorar el món a través de l'Aliança de les Civilitzacions?

Segur que ho creuen, perquè la inteŀligència no abunda, en segons quins Instituts del Govern. Ara bé: quan vegin que, l'any que ve, els homes segueixen sense separar la roba, passaran a l'acció amb la promulgació d'una llei de paritat qualsevol que obligarà els marits a separar una forquilla de roba que osciŀlarà entre el quaranta i el seixanta per cent de la bugada diària. Que de considerats i flexibles, ho són.

¿I perquè, en comptes de demanar a l'explotador que renunciï voluntàriament a l'explotació (cosa ben poc probable, com tothom que hagi viscut més de dos dies sap perfectament), no demanen a l'explotada per què continua tolerant ser explotada? Perquè no gosen sentir la resposta, evidentment. Perquè, què passaria si les demanades contestassin coses com ara:

Mira, sóc beneita, se veu, o

Ja em va bé així, o

Ni tu estàs tan bé, ni jo estic tan malament, o

Tot té avantatges i inconvenients, o

I tu, què sabràs, de com van les coses dins ca meva, o

I tu, que n'has de fer, de com organitz jo la meva vida familiar?

Doncs passaria que s'acabarien les excuses per malgastar diners públics, per continuar tractant-nos com a infants, i per seguir restringint la llibertat en nom del Món Feliç del Correcte-Progressisme.

December 13, 2008 at 19:03

I've added some more poems to my selection from The Young Oxford Book of Christmas Poems. Click here to read them; they're worth it. Here's one:

The Thorn, by
Helen Dunmore

					There was no berry on the bramble
						only the thorn,
							there was no rose, not one petal,
								only the bare thorn
									the night he was born.

										There was no voice to guide them,
											only the wind's whistling,
												there was no light in the stable,
													only the starshine
														and a candle guttering
															the night he was born.


Diu Anne Applebaum a Slate : Moral authority, or any authority, is something people earn, thanks to their achievements and the quality of their ideas—and it is something they can sustain only if they know how to advertise themselves.


From the normblog profile, Hilzoy: What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Gambling. I have proposed to several of my friends that they simply give me money, and every so often, at random unpredictable intervals, I will give some of it back to them. They do not think this is the same. I honestly don't see why not.


Next time M. ask about the origin of the Universe, make him read the very first paragraphs of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything :

No matter how hard you try you will never be able to grasp just how tiny, how spatially unassuming, is a proton. It is just way too small.

A proton is an infinitesimal part of an atom, which is itself of course an insubstantial thing. Protons are so small that a little dib of ink like the dot on this i can hold something in the region of 500.000.000.000 of them, rather more than the number of seconds contained in half a million years. So protons are exceedingly microscopic, to say the very least.

Now imagine if you can (and of course you can't) shrinking one of those protons down to a billionth of its normal size into a space so small that it would make a proton look enormous. Now pack into that tiny, tiny space about an ounce (28.3 g) of matter. Excellent. You are ready to start a universe.

I'm assuming of course that you wish to build an inflationary universe. If you'd prefer instead to build a more old-fashioned, standard Big Bang universe, you'll need additional materials. In fact, you will need to gather up everything there is—every last mote and particle of matter between here and the edge of creation—and squeeze it into a spot so infinitesimally compact that it has no dimensions at all. It is known as a singularity.

In either case, get ready for a really big bang. Naturally, you will wish to retire to a safe place to observe the spectacle. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to retire to because outside the singularity there is no where. When the universe begins to expand, it won't be expanding out to fill a larger emptiness. The only space that exists is the space it creates as it goes.


L'hàbit de dir sempre la veritat té una conseqüència indirecta, la d'afavorir el comportament recte en cada moment --si després no vas a poder mentir, més val fer les coses de manera que la veritat de les quals no t'ocasioni problemes. També, és clar, potencia la responsabilitat en el comportament i dóna una mesura de la vàlua personal. Som tan propensos a mentir, fins i tot en les coses insignificants, que n'hem fet un modus vivendi que, contràriament a allò esperat, complica la vida i la devalua; els pares, especialment, exigim honestedat d'uns fills als quals no fem altra cosa que mentir de totes les maneres possibles i imaginables.


Les dites són una gran oportunitat, i excusa, per plantejar reflexions a M. que altrament seria difícil de tenir o provocar.


Avui he tingut un estrany moment de melangia, com els que sovint tenia abans i que feia molts anys que no em venien. Es curiós, perquè només feia uns dies que havia pensat que, d'aquests moments de reminiscència melancòlica, ja no en tenia.

December 8, 2008 at 16:28


Documents extraordinaris hi ha pocs, i aquest n'és un --la paraula dels qui varen sofrir l'arrabassament de l'única dignitat possible, la humana.

Extractes del llibre:
Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4.
Autor: Work Projects Administration

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person interviewed: Taylor Jackson, Edmondson, Arkansas
Age: 88?
[Date Stamp: MAY 11 1938]

 
        "I was born two miles from Baltimore, Maryland. I was a good size boy.
        My father carried me to see the war flag go up. There was an awful
        crowd, one thousand people, there. I had two masters in this country
        besides in Virginia. When war was declared there was ten boats of
        niggers loaded at Washington and shipped to New Orleans
. We stayed in
        the 'Nigger Traders Yard' there about three months. But we was not to
        be sold. Master Cupps [Culps?] owned father, mother and all of us. If
        they gained the victory he was to take us back to Virginia. I never
        knowed my grandparents. The yard had a tall brick wall around it. We
        had a bunk room, good cotton pads to sleep on and blankets. On one
        side they had a wall fixed to go up on from the inside and twelve
        platforms. You could see them being sold on the inside and the crowd
        on the outside. When they auctioned them off they would come, pick out
        what they wanted to sell next and fill them blocks again. They sold
        niggers all day long. They come in another drove they had, had men out
        buying over the country. They come in thick wood doors with iron nails
        bradded through, fastened on big hinges, fastened it with chains and
        iron bars
. The house was a big red brick house. We didn't get none too
        much to eat at that place. I reckon one side was three hundred yard
        long of the wall and the house was that long. Some of them in there
        cut their hands off with a knife or ax. Well, they couldn't sell
        them. Nobody would buy them. I don't know what they ever done with
        them. Plenty of them would cut their hand off if they could get
        something to cut with to keep from being sold
.

        "A Negro on a joining farm run off. They hunted him with the dogs and
        they found him at a log. Heap his legs froze, so the white doctor had
        to cut them off. He was on Solomon's farms. After that he got to be a
        cooper. He made barrels and baskets--things he could do sittin' in his
        chair. They picked him up and made stumps for him. Some folks was
        mean.

        "I couldn't tell how many I ever seen sold. I seen some sold in
        Virginia, I reckon, or Maryland--one off the boats. They kept them
        tied. They was so scared they might do anything, jump in the big
        waters. They couldn't talk but to some and he would tell white folks
        what he said. [They used an interpreter.] Some couldn't understand one
        another if they come from far apart in the foreign country. Slavery
        wasn't never bad on me
. I never was sold off from my folks and I had
        warmer, better clothes 'an I have now. I had plenty to eat, more'an I
        has now generally. I had better in slavery than I have now. That is
        the truth. I'm telling the truth, I did. Some didn't.


Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor
Person interviewed: Lula Jackson, 1808 Valentine Street, Little Rock, Arkansas
Age: 79?
        
        "My mother's name was Bertha Williams and my father's name was Fred
        Williams. [...] Early Hurt was mama's master. He had an awful
        name and he was an awful man. He whipped you till he'd bloodied you
        and blistered you. Then he would cut open the blisters and drop
        sealing-wax in them and in the open wounds made by the whips.
        
        "My mother's second husband was named Fred Williams, and he was my
        father. All this was in slavery times. I am his oldest child. He
        raised all his children and all his stepchildren too. He and my mother
        lived together for over forty years, until she was more than seventy.
        He was much younger than she was--just eighteen years old when he
        married her. And she was a woman with five children. But she was a
        real wife to him. Him and her would fight, too. She was jealous of
        him. Wouldn't be none of that with me. Honey, when you hit me once,
        I'm gone. Ain't no beatin' on me and then sleepin' in the same bed
        with you
. But they fit and then they lived together right on. No
        matter what happened, his clean clothes were ready whenever he got
        ready to go out of the house--even if it was just to go to work. His
        meals were ready whenever he got ready to eat. They were happy
        together till she died.
        
Husband's Death

        "I told you my first husband got killed. The mule run away with his
        plow and throwed him a summerset. His head was where his heels should
        have been, he said, and the mule dragged him. His chest was crushed,
        and mashed. His face was cut and dirtied. He lived nine days and a
        half after he was hurt and couldn't eat one grain of rice. I never
        left his bedside 'cept to cook a little broth for him. That's all he
        would eat--just a little broth.

        "He said to his friend, 'See this little woman of mine? I hate to
        leave her. She's just such a good little woman. She ain't got no
        business in this world without a husband.'

        "And his friend said to him, 'Well, you might as well make up your
        mind you got to leave her, 'cause you goin' to do it.'

        "He got hurt on Thursday and I couldn't git a doctor till Friday. Dr.
        Harper, the plantation doctor, had got his house burned and his hands
        hurt. So he couldn't come out to help us. Finally Dr. Hodges come. He
        come from Sunnyside, Mississippi, and he charge me fourteen dollars.
        He just made two trips and he didn't do nothin'.

        "Bowls and pitchers were in style then. And I always kept a pitcher of
        clean water in the house. I looked up and there was a bunch of men
        comin' in the house. It was near dark then. They brought Sampson in
        and carried him to the bed and put him down. I said, 'What's the
        matter with Frank?' And they said, 'The mule drug him.' And they put
        him on the bed and went on out. I dipped a handkerchief in the water
        and wet it and put it in his mouth and took out great gobs of dust
        where the mule had drug him in the dirt. They didn't nobody help me
        with him then; I was there alone with him
.

Whippings

        "Early Hurt had an overseer named Sanders. He tied my sister Crecie to
        a stump to whip her. Crecie was stout and heavy. She was a grown young
        woman and big and strong. Sanders had two dogs with him in case he
        would have trouble with anyone. When he started layin' that lash on
        Crecie's back, she pulled up that stump and whipped him and the dogs
        both.

        "Old Early Hurt came up and whipped her hisself. Said, 'Oh, you're too
        bad for the overseer to whip, huh?
'

        "We had a old lady named 'Aunt' Charlotte; she wasn't my aunt, we jus'
        called her that. She used to keep the children when the hands were
        working. If she liked you she would treat your children well. If she
        didn't like you, she wouldn't treat them so good. Her name was
        Charlotte Marley. She was too old to do any good in the field; and she
        had to take care of the babies. If she didn't like the people, she
        would leave the babies' napkins on all day long, wet and filthy
.

        "My papa's mama, Sarah, was killed by lightning. She was ironing and
        was in a hurry to get through and get the supper on for her master,
        Early Hurt. I was the oldest child, and I always was scared of
        lightning. A dreadful storm was goin' on. I was under the bed and I
        heard the thunder bolt and the crash and the fall. I heard mama
        scream. I crawled out from under the bed and they had grandma laid out
        in the middle of the floor. Mama said, 'Child, all the friend you got
        in the world is dead.' Early Hurt was standin' over her and pouring
        buckets of water on her. When the doctor come, he said, 'You done
        killed her now. If you had jus' laid her out on the ground and let the
        rain fall on her, she would have come to, but you done drownded her
        now.' She wouldn't have died if it hadn't been for them buckets of
        water that Early Hurt throwed in her face.


Interviewer: Thomas Elmore Lucy
Person interviewed: Mary Jackson, Russellville, Arkansas
Age: 75?

        "My name is Mary Jackson, and I was born in Miller Grove, Hunt County,
        Texas during the War. No sir, I do not know the year. Our master's
        name was Dixon, and he was a wealthy plantation owner, had lots of
        property in Hunt County.

        "The days after the War--called the Reconstruction days, I
        believe--were sure exciting, and I can 'mind' a lot of things the
        people did, one of them a big barbecue celebration commemoratin' the
        return of peace. They had speeches, and music by the band--and there
        were a lot of soldiers carrying guns and wearing some kind of big
        breastplates. The white children tried to scare us by telling us the
        soldiers were coming to kill us little colored children
. The band
        played 'Dixie' and other familiar tunes that the people played and
        sang in those days.

        "Yes sir, I remember the Klu Klux Klan. They sure kept us frightened
        and we would always run and hide when we heard they were comin'. I
        don't know of any special harm they done but we were afraid of em.
 

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person interviewed: Virginia Jackson, Helena, Arkansas
Age: 74
[Date Stamp: MAY 31 1938]

        "Mother said I was born the same year peace was declared. I was born
        before the Civil War close, I reckon. I was born in Tunica,
        Mississippi. Mother belong to Mistress Cornelia and Master John Hood.
        He come from Alabama in wagons and brought mother and whole lot of
        'em, she said, to Tunica, Mississippi. My mother and father never
        sold. They told me that. She said she was with the master and he give
        her to father. He ask her did she want him and ask him if he want her
.
        They lived on joint places. They slept together on Wednesday and
        Saturday nights. He stayed at Hood's place on Sunday. They was owned
        by different masters. They didn't never say 'bout stepping over no
        broom. He was a Prince. When he died she married a man named Russell.
        I never heard her say what his name was. My father was Mathew Prince.
        They was both field hands. I never knowed my father. I called my
        stepfather popper. I always did say mother.


Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden
Person interviewed: William Jackson, Route 6, Box 81, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Age: 84

        "Me? Well, I was born July 12, 1853. Now you can figure that up.

        "I was sold four times in slavery times. I was sold through the nigger
        traders and you know they didn't keep you long.

        "I was born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, and been here in
        Arkansas up and down the Arkansas River ever since I was fifteen.

        "A fellow bought me in Tennessee and sold me to a fellow named Abe
        Collins in Mississippi. He sold me to Dr. Maloney and then Winn and
        Trimble in Hempstead County bought me
. They run a tanyard.

        "I went to school one day in my life. My third master's children
        learned me my ABC's in slavery times. I'm not educated but I can read.
        Read the Bible and something like that.

        "The Ku Klux run me one night. They come to the door and I went out
        the window. They went to my master's tanyard in broad open day and
        took leather. Oh, I been all through the roughness. But the Lord has
        blessed me ever since I been in this world. I can see good and hear
        good and get about.

        "I come here to Arkansas with some refugees, and I been up and down
        the river ever since.

        "In slavery times I had plenty to eat, such as 'twas. Had biscuits on
        Sunday made out of shorts.

        "I lived with one man, Dr. Maloney, who was pretty cruel. I run away
        from him once, but he caught me fore night. Put me in a little house
        on bread and water for three or four days and then he sold me. Said he
        wouldn't have a nigger that would run away. Otherwise I been treated
        pretty well.

        "I come to Pine Bluff in '82. Last place I farmed was at what they
        call the Nichol place.

        "I used to vote Republican--wouldn't let us vote nothin' else. In this
        country they won't let niggers vote in the primary 'cause they can
        vote in the presidential election. I held one office--justice of the
        peace.

        "If the younger generation don't change, the Lord goin' to put curses
        on em. That's just what's goin' to come of em. More you do for em the
        worse they is. Don't think about the future--just today."
 
 

December 2, 2008 at 18:48

La meua entrada, si s'accepta, per al Diccionari afectiu de la llengua catalana

GLUTEN

Allò que el meu fill no pot menjar.

Substància maleïda que en panxeta d'innocent causa dolor de mal diagnòstic, vespres insomnes, vòmits constants i diarrea incessant; que agafa un infant i l'interromp el creixement, tot xuclant-li l'energia i llevant-li l'alegria, juntament amb la dels seus pares que, inexperts i temorosos, no saben o no volen reconèixer el problema; que pediatres incompetents no saben detectar, perllongant innecessàriament el sofriment de tots plegats.

Proteïna omnipresent que, sistemàticament evitada, fa que l'estómac recuperi la forma, l'infant la força i el goig, els pares la felicitat hipotecada i la vida el seu vessant amable.

Allò que, a força d'aprendre-hi a renunciar, i a través de la dificultat, contribuirà a forjar en M. autoconsciència i responsabilitat (o això esper).

 


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