O MacGuffin: Agosto 2006

sexta-feira, agosto 18, 2006

“I only quote from the best” - 3

“E como dizia o psicólogo: - Minha senhora. Depois de muito meditar, cheguei à conclusão de que a única coisa que pode consertar a sua linda filha de quinze anos é uma boa surra de vez em quando.

Ao que a mãe respondia: - Mas, doutor, isso é um método muito antigo.

Ao que respondia o psicólogo: - Minha senhora, posso garantir-lhe que o que ela faz é muito mais antigo.”

Millôr Fernandes, in Pif-Paf (O Independente 2004)

“I only quote from the best” - 2

“Burke’s provocative defence of ‘prejudice’ – by which he meant the set of beliefs and ideas that arise instinctively in social beings, and which reflect the root experiences of social life – was a revelation of something that until then I had entirely overlooked. Burke brought home to me that our most necessary beliefs may be both unjustified and unjustifiable from our own perspective, and that the attempt to justify them will lead merely to their loss. Replacing them with the abstract rational systems of the philosophers, we may think ourselves more rational and better equipped for life in the modern world. But in fact we are less equipped, and our new beliefs are far less justified, for the very reason that they are justified by ourselves. The real justification for a prejudice is the one that justifies it as a prejudice, rather than as a rational conclusion of an argument. In other words it is a justification that cannot be conducted form our own perspective, but only form outside, as it were, as an anthropologist might justify the customs and rituals of an alien tribe.
An example will illustrate the point: the prejudices surrounding sexual relations. These vary from society to society; but until recently they have had a common feature, which is that people distinguish seemly form unseemly conduct, abhor explicit sexual display, and require modesty in women and chivalry in men, in the negotiations that precede sexual union. There are very good anthropological reasons for this, in terms of the long-term stability of sexual relations, and the commitment that is necessary if children are to be inducted into society. But these are not the reasons that motivate the traditional conduct of men and women. This conduct is guided by deep and immovable prejudice, in which outrage, shame and honour are the ultimate grounds. Sexual liberators have no difficulty in showing that those motives are irrational, in the sense of being founded on no reasoned justification available to the person whose motives they are. And they may propose sexual liberation as a rational alternative, a code of conduct that is rational form the first-person viewpoint, since it derives a complete code of practice from a transparently reasonable aim, which is sexual pleasure.
This substitution of reason for prejudice has indeed occurred. And the result is exactly as Burke would have anticipated. Not merely a breakdown in trust between the sexes, but a faltering in the reproductive process – a failing and enfeebled commitment of parents, not merely to each other, but also to their offspring. (…)”

Roger Scruton, in Gentle Regrets (Continuum 2005)

“I only quote from the best” (*) – 1

*Thelma Ritter em Rear Window

“Falling and flying are near-identical sensations, in all but one final detail. We should remember this when we see those men and women seemingly in love with their own decline.”

“Traditionally, the defining moment in a man’s life arrives when he looks in his shaving glass and finds his father staring back; but there is a day so much more terrible we rarely speak of it – when he catches himself naked in a full-length mirror and sees his mother…”

Don Paterson, in The Book Of Shadows (Picador 2004)

segunda-feira, agosto 14, 2006


“(…)Most people, he believed, would have thought of him as square. As a young man, he’d thought of himself as square, so conventional and unadventurous that after art school, instead of striking out on his own to paint and to live on whatever money he could pick at odd jobs – which was his secret ambition – he was too much the good boy, and, answering to his parents’ wishes rather than his own, he married, had children, and went into advertising to make a secure living. He never thought of himself as anything more than an average human being, and one who would have given anything for his marriage to have lasted a lifetime. He had married with just that expectation. But instead marriage became his prison cell, and so, after much tortuous thinking that preoccupied him while he worked and when he should have been sleeping, he began fitfully, agonizingly, to tunnel his way out. Isn’t that what an average human being would do? Isn’t that what average human beings do every day? Contrary to what his wife told everyone, he hadn’t hungered after wanton freedom to do anything and everything. Far from it. He hungered for something stable all the while he detested what he had. He was not a man who wished to live two lives. He held no grudge against either the limitations or the comforts of conformity. He’d wanted merely to empty his mind of all the ugly thoughts spawned by the disgrace of prolonged marital warfare. He was not claiming to be exceptional. Only vulnerable and assailable and confused. And convinced of his right, as an average human being, to be pardoned ultimately for whatever deprivations he may have inflicted upon his innocent children in order not to live deranged half the time.
Terrifying encounters with the end? I’m thirty-four! Worry about oblivion, he told himself, when you’re seventy-five! The remote future will be time enough to anguish over the ultimate catastrophe!”

in Everyman, Jonathan Cape 2006

quinta-feira, agosto 03, 2006

Zyklon-B, CO, pogroms, etc.

Ouvido num café: "Sem Israel haveria paz na região. Israel foi e é um erro.". Eu acrescentaria: sem judeus, ou «sionistas», o mundo estaria em paz.

Nao desculpa nada, claro

Exército israelita reitera que desconhecia presença de civis em Qana
03.08.2006 - 08h50 AFP, Reuters

Um relatório israelita sobre o bombardeamento de domingo sobre a cidade do sul do Líbano de Qana, em Qana, vinca hoje que o Exército israelita desconhecia a existência de civis no sector atingido e acusa o Hezbollah de usar escudos humanos.

O "Tsahal operou em função de informações segundo as quais o edifício não era habitado por civis, sendo utilizado como esconderijo por terroristas", afirmou o relatório transmitido ao ministro da Defesa, Amir Peretz, e do qual um resumo foi hoje divulgado.

"Se tivéssemos informações indicando que os civis se encontravam no edifício, o ataque não teria lugar", sublinha o texto.

O relatório sublinha que os habitantes da localidade foram advertidos para a iminência do ataque pela força aérea israelita, que os aconselhou a abandonar as suas casas.

O relatório indica igualmente que dois mísseis foram disparados pela aviação israelita, o primeiro explodiu e o segundo não funcionou.

O bombardeamento de Qana originou fortes críticas internacionais contra a acção militar de Israel e terá morto 52 civis libaneses, entre os quais 30 crianças. Contudo, uma investigação da organização humanitária independente indica que o número de mortos parece ser mais baixo do que o inicialmente apurado. A ONG indica que haverá sim 28 mortos e 13 desaparecidos.

Mas o tenente-general israelita Dan Halutz, responsável das forças armadas, frisou que "a organização Hezbollah coloca civis libaneses como um escudo de defesa entre si mesma e nós, enquanto o Exército se coloca como escudo de defesa entre os cidadãos de Israel e o terror do Hezbollah". "Essa é a principal diferença entre nós".

O documento revela ainda que desde o início do conflito, a 12 de Julho, mais de 150 "rockets" foram disparados pelo Hezbollah desde Qana e dos seus arredores rumo ao norte de Israel.

in Público

terça-feira, agosto 01, 2006

"E onde é que isso está escrito?"

Por estes dias.


Como é possível ninguém falar neste disco?


Tell me something new

No Público: "Aeroporto da Ota vai ficar mais caro do que se previa. A comissão técnica responsável pela definição do modelo de negócio do futuro aeroporto da Ota prevê que os custos de construção da infra-estrutura, avaliada inicialmente em três mil milhões de euros, sejam muito superiores, avança hoje o “Jornal de Negócios”."
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