Hoje tive oportunidade de ver uma exposição de Kandinsky. Notável. Mas não me conseguiu provocar qualquer emoção. Depois pude ver uma exposição de Modigliani e, apesar de eu não ser a maior apreciadora de retratos, eles falaram comigo. E subitamente um quadrinho pequenino, no meio de salas enormes de museus ideais. Um quadrinho que falou logo, logo comigo. Era Tanguy. Conversámos durante horas nos minutos que estive lá.
«Anything for Jamie. So much devotion, and such pleasure in providing it. What does Billy want? Whatever Jamie wants. What pleases Billy? Whatever pleases Jamie. What absorbs attentive Billy? Jamie! Jamie! Delighting Jamie! Should that worshipful accord unbelievably never lose its power, lucky pair! But should she one day spurn his close attention, withhold her approbation, resist arousal by his passion, miserable, vulnerable, tenderized man! He’ll never spend a day without her without thinking of her fifty times. She’ll ride roughshod over her successors forever. He’ll think about her till he dies. He’ll think about her while he dies.»
Zuckerman about Billy in «Exit ghost», Philip Roth, Vintage, pp. 163
«But isn’t one’s pain quotient shocking enough without fictional amplification, without giving things an intensity that is ephemeral in life and sometimes even unseen? Not for some. For some very, very few that amplification, evolving uncertainly out of nothing, constitutes their only assurance, and the unlived, the surmise, fully drawn in print on paper, is the life whose meaning comes to matter the most.»
Zuckerman in «Exit ghost», Philip Roth, Vintage, pp. 147
I guess I told you already that sometimes, some things happen to me. Today, I was coming to work by tram, like I always do. Not always the best company in the tram, though, but today it looked quiet… for a while.
At a stop, four young guys jumped in. At first, I ignored them as I was reading le Carré with interest. But they started speaking really loud, which is a nice way of saying they started yelling, as if yelling was just their ordinary way of speaking. That upset me because I was really interested in my book. They stood fairly close to me for a while and even though they were speaking in German I started having the feeling that were talking about me and trying me to talk to them, as I heard something about my sunglasses and my book. I ignored it, thinking to myself that sometimes, and I do mean very rarely, it is nice not to talk a language and keep oneself ignorant of some things.
In the meantime, the person sitting next to me left as well as the other two people seating in front of me. By then I felt unprotected with a few bullies ready to annoy me. One of them set next to me and impeded people from sitting in front, as well as in the next bench, so that he would have clear sight to two of his friends. At that time, I was doing nothing else than pretending to read, as I understood they were still trying to mess around.
But it got impossible to ignore when the guy seating next to me decided to put his face really close to mine. I took my sunglasses off and looked at him defiantly. He said something in German I could not understand and I replied, in English, that I did not speak the language. And then he gave one of the best lines I’ve ever heard. He said
"It doesn’t matter because I speak body language. Do you speak body language?"
And while he said that, he put his bare chest really close to my face. I was not expecting he would be bare-chested, with only a wide-open overcoat on. Nice skin and nice tummy. Nice blue eyes in a bully’s face. This became challenging, so I said "I do. I’m just not interested." While I pretended that he hadn’t got my attention, he said something like "Let me look in my dictionary something to say to you." Opening his overcoat even wider and turning pages of an imaginary book, he said "My dictionary says you look good. "
I told you that sometimes, some things happen to me, but I don’t know if ever told you that I like games. This type of games. Liking games made me reply "Well, I do like your dictionary." My commuting journey was by then almost over, but I would have to pass in front of him to leave and he had blocked my way. Calmly, I closed my book, looked at him and said "I have to go now." And then he got me again, but with a rather vulgar line this time
"Where are you going? To my bed?"
I was already standing close to the door and I replied "Too bad, you know? I told you I’m not interested." And I left. Smiling.
[while waiting for results of the Bush vs Kerry election, when democrats were believed to win]
«”These guys would have devastated the country,” he said, “had they won a second term” We’ve had bad presidents and we’ve survived, but this one’s the bottom. Serious cognitive deficiencies. Dogmatic. A tremendously limited ignoramus about to wreck a very great thing. There’s a description in Macbeth that’s perfect for him. (…) ‘a wayward son,’ Hecate says, ‘spiteful and wrathful.’ George Bush in six words. (…) It’s amazing they pulled it off for even one term. It’s terrifying to think what they would have done with a second term. These are terrible, evil guys. But their arrogance and their lies finally caught up with them.”»
Billie in «Exit ghost», Philip Roth, Vintage, pp. 72
[while waiting for results of the Bush vs Kerry election, when little hope existed for a win by the democrats]
«“Oh, the world is so dim,” Jamie exclaimed with tears in her eyes. “Last time it seemed like a fluke. There was Florida. There was Nader. But this I don’t understand! I can’t believe it! It’s incredible! I’m going to go out and get an abortion. I don’t care if I’m pregnant or not. Get an abortion while you can.”»
Jamie in «Exit ghost», Philip Roth, Vintage, pp. 85
Shame on you for thinking
And you used to be everything to me
Shame on you for thinking
And you used to be everything to me
[Dead Star, Muse]
On a Thursday, with the ECB announcing possible details to the monetary policy decisions, in the middle of briefings and other work, my only concern was how Obama’s speech in Cairo would turn out.
Pode ser um discurso cheio de Deus, de deuses, de religião, de religiões. Pode ser um discurso que, como já li, não faz a verdadeira separação entre o Estado e a religião. Pode ser um discurso cheio de citações de textos religiosos.
Podia ser um discurso falhado. Mas não foi. Foi um discurso brilhante.
O que o tornou um discurso brilhante (claro, é uma opinião pessoal) foram as regras básicas do discurso e uma capacidade notável de as pôr em prática, de escolher as palavras certas, as frases apelativas, a retórica apropriada.
Este tornou-se um discurso muito esperado, o discurso “decisivo”. Não podia ser um discurso agressivo, intolerante, mas também não podia ser cobarde, escamoteado. E o Obama e a sua equipa conseguiram um equilíbrio admirável no texto.
Um discurso serve para transmitir ideias. Mas só produz efeitos se a audiência tiver interesse na mensagem. Por isso é que Obama citou com frequência textos religiosos: porque ele precisava de conseguir o interesse da audiência na mensagem. E a audiência era composta fundamentalmente de pessoas religiosas. Quer me agrade ou não, quer partilhe os princípios ou não, eu não vou falar dos glaciares às pessoas do Sahara quando quero que elas embarquem comigo numa viagem por um objectivo comum. Vou falar-lhe dos interesses e preocupações comuns. Vou tentar criar afinidade.
Acho que todos temos que nos lembrar que Obama estava em território hostil. Hostil porque, depois dos últimos anos, é demasiado fácil criticar os EUA. Hostil por causa da relação dos EUA e de Israel. Hostil pela dificuldade que é limpar uma imagem.
E, na minha opinião, Obama conseguiu ultrapassar isso sem abdicar dos pontos fundamentais. Não é por suportar a causa de um Estado palestiniano que deixou de condenar os ataques suicidas. Não é porque o que aconteceu a seguir foi errado, que deixou de relembrar a tragédia do 11 de Setembro. E o fundamental aqui foi (e será sempre) o respeito pelos direitos humanos. E ele conseguiu transmitir isso, seja na maneira subtil como introduziu o respeito pela escolha, seja no modo como falou do direito a viver sem ter um alvo na testa.
Eu sei. Eu sei. Tenho uma simpatia grande por ele. E pelo rapaz que escreve os discursos, se bem que dizem que o próprio Obama trabalhou bastante neste. Mas leiam o discurso. Leiam-no, tendo em mente o objectivo, tendo em mente o passado pesado que os EUA têm em relação ao mundo árabe. Leiam-no e deixem-se inebriar se for esse o caso. Eu li-o assim e se o Obama me aparecesse aqui enquanto o lia e me dissesse que o mundo ia mesmo ser um mundo melhor, eu achava que o Alberto Caeiro estava errado e que feliz seria eu e todos os que vivem a vida a querer inventar a máquina de fazer felicidade.
«Of course, recognising our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.
For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.
This is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared.
That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely.
The issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek – a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God's children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.
I know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn't worth the effort – that we are fated to disagree, and civilisations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country – you, more than anyone, have the ability to remake this world.
All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort – a sustained effort _ to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples – a belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white or brown; that isn't Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilisation, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It's a faith in other people, and it's what brought me here today.
We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.»
Eu passo um fim-de-semana grande (na Alemanha, ontem foi feriado) no meio da Schwarzwald sem internet. Não é o meu enquadramento ideal, mas para ver uma vez parece-me bem. O que não me parece bem é ficar sem saber o que aconteceu ao meu Rafazinho e chegar à uma da manhã de 2ª feira e descobrir!
Tresloucada, tentei procurar os motivos. Quando li as declarações do Rafa fiquei desarmada. Como é que alguém consegue ser tão auto-responsabilizante e honesto? Tenho, pelo Nadal, uma admiração inqualificável e sempre crescente. Mesmo depois de uma derrota na quarta ronda de Roland Garros.