Disguised as human beings

One of my political heroes was the late South African politician Helen Suzman, for many years the only anti-apartheid member of the (all-white) parliament in Cape Town. As a leader of the opposition party she sat right across from the government, speaking directly to their menacing faces. On one occasion she said to them: “You should really visit one of the townships, to see how blacks live in our country. I suggest that you go disguised as human beings.”

From the always excellent Peter L. Berger.



Hang’em High

I was married back in Denver. His name was Paul. He was a doctor, and a very fine man. He used to say this was his place, this was were doctors were needed. One night, after we’d camped, we sat around the fire, talking, husband and wife talk, about how many children we were going to have, and what a wonderful life we were going to have together. And then they came.

So sad the night at Paris, so sorry for the victims and their families.

Let’s see they won’t come back.

You say you want a revolution

Revolution? Don’t dare talk me about revolution. I know all about revolutions and how they start. The people that read the books they go to the people that don’t read the books, the poor people and say, the time has come to have a change, uh? So the poor people make the change, uh? Then the people who read the books they all sit around big tables and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat. But what has happened to the poor people? They’re dead. That’s your revolution.

There are people out there who I admire that have a positive approach to other people and things —they presuppose the best of them until disappointment comes. They’re outward, radiant, confident, embracing; they can also be bitter, vindictive, and mean. My way, for better or for worse, is just the opposite —I expect the worst until proven wrong. First thing I think first time I meet someone or something (be it a person, a song, a novel, a film, an idea, a new political star, a website, you name it) it’s this is gonna be a waste of time. Most of the time it is, so I quit.

But what exhilarating an emotion you get when it isn’t!

Sergio Leone‘s Giù la testa (A Fistful of Dynamite, aka Duck, You Sucker) gives you one of those.

—If you leave me now, what the fuck is going to happen to me?

—They’ll make you a general.

—Shit, I don’t want to be a general.

Man versus Leviathan, wins Leviathan.

If you happen to have any adolescent boy around in the house, make it happen, just casually —have him watch this film before it’s late.

armed buddhists

I once was in a restaurant in Berlin and a smiling Buddha in a slightly unbecoming pose kind of presided over the place. I remember telling my friends how I’d pick Buddhism over any other religion if I were to become religious just because of that —because it was highly improbable anyone bothered themselves and others about the Buddha being this way or that way.

This proves me wrong:

Anti-Muslim mobs rampaged through three more towns in Myanmar’s predominantly Buddhist heartland over the weekend, destroying mosques and burning dozens of homes.

documentación por favor

Així que arrib al carreró d’accés d’allà on faig feina i em trob barrat el pas per una tanca i un policia nacional. Desconnect els bluetooth, desmunt de la bicicleta, m’hi adreç i em demana que a on vaig. A la feina dic jo (i tu què n’has de fer, que pens). Que on és que faig feina. Idò un carrer més avall. D’acord, passi, me diu; i també que duc auriculars i vaig en bicicleta; que si no sé que hi ha una ordenança municipal que ho prohibeix. Li dic que sí, que ho sé, i que gràcies per recordar-m’ho (que tens vocació de policia local, tu?). Insisteix a dir-me que si no veig que anar amb auriculars me posa en gran perill, perquè m’aïlla completament del món; pens que home, ja m’agradaria, però li dic, home, tot depèn de a quin volum duguis la música. Això l’empipa, i em repeteix que hi ha una ordenança municipal. Li dic que ja m’ho ha dit i que crec recordar que fins i tot li he agraït que m’ho recordàs. Quan veig que està a punt de demanar-me la documentació, call i me’n vaig.