Why, Sir

Johnson’s dexterity in retort, when he seemed to be driven to an extremity by his adversary, was very remarkable. Of his power in this respect, our common friend, Mr. Windham of Norfolk, has been pleased to furnish me with an eminent instance. However unfavourable to Scotland, he uniformly gave liberal praise to George Buchanan, as a writer. In a conversation concerning the literary merits of the two countries, in which Buchanan was introduced, a Scotchman, imagining that on this ground he should have an undoubted triumph over him, exclaimed, ‘Ah, Dr. Johnson, what would you have said of Buchanan, had he been an Englishman?’ ‘Why, Sir, (said Johnson, after a little pause,) I should NOT have said of Buchanan, had he been an ENGLISHMAN, what I will now say of him as a SCOTCHMAN,—that he was the only man of genius his country ever produced.’

From Boswell’s Life of Johnson.

Only shorter

Days are long in the lockdown (not really) and the operating system in charge of the windows allows you now to install it in a breeze and run it in a snap any of the major Linux distros out there —their command line part, to be precise; the graphical interface as a promise coming soon.

So I installed my beloved but abandoned Ubuntu, and had it the cow say the fortune, and the fortune was:

“It is right that he too should have his little chronicle, his memories, his reason, and be able to recognize the good in the bad, the bad in the worst, and so grow gently old all down the unchanging days and die one day like any other day, only shorter”.

That coming from Beckett (Malone Dies), and having recently read his highly praised Waiting for Godot, whose corresponding entry in my readbooks log was,

Ugliest and more stupid piece of crap I’ve ever read.

have to say it’s a remarkable piece of prose.

Thank you cow!

Nosotros obedecemos.

Quizás sea lo más inteligente; quizás no quede más remedio. Pero no nos engañemos —estar en casa encerrado no tiene ninguna épica, no hay ninguna resistencia valiente y osada. Será más tonto, será más irresponsable quien sale a la calle y desafía a la autoridad, pero es más valiente; él si que resiste. Esto viene a cuento del videoclip de la canción.

Y es que, si no salimos, no es porque comprendamos la gravedad de la situación y nos hagamos responsables  —es que no podemos tener más miedo en el cuerpo, y dentro nos sentimos seguros, y fuera, acongojados. Esto viene a cuento del videoclip del Camera Café y de la cantinela del quédate en casa.

Porque, si cumplimos a rajatabla y sin rechistar las (brutales) restricciones impuestas, no es porque conscientemente y altruistamente sacrifiquemos temporalmente nuestra libertad en aras de la salud pública —es porque la autoridad lo manda, y cuando la autoridad manda, nosotros obedecemos. Y punto.