Γνωρίζω πως είμαι ένας απ’ τους πιο ασήμαντους των ανθρώπων. Αναμφίβολα το πρόσεξες, αλλά γνωρίζω και κάτι ακόμα: όσο πιο ασήμαντο είναι ένα πλάσμα, τόσο πιο ευτυχισμένο είναι που ζει, γιατί δικαιούται τη ζωή τόσο πιο λίγο. Για σένα, το να είσαι άνθρωπος είναι απλώς μια συνήθεια. Για μένα, είναι χαρά και γιορτή.
via Lenin Reloaded
The growing perception of the family as a natural group harboring a special class of beings—children—put more comprehensive limits on public expression. The discovery that two centuries ago people discovered childhood is the work of Philippe Ariès, in his Centuries of Childhood: this book opened up a whole new field—the study of the family as a historical form, rather than as a fixed biological form in history. Ariès found, and his findings have since been expanded and refined by David Hunt and by John Demos, that by the middle of the 18th Century adults were beginning to think about themselves as fundamentally different kinds of creatures from those who were their children. The child was no longer thought a little adult. Childhood was conceived as a special and vulnerable stage; adulthood was defined in reverse terms. The evidence Ariès uses is mostly from the family records of urban people in the middle and upper reaches of society. There is a reason for this; this same articulation of life stages served these people in defining the limits of public life. What was occurring in the cosmopolitan centers was that the mature people who inhabited them began to think of the public life, with its complexities, its poses, and, above all, the routine encounters with strangers, as a life which only adults were strong enough to withstand, and to enjoy.
The limiting of public life to adults had an interesting genesis; it came in part from the gradual distinctions made between childhood and adult forms of play.
Until late in the 17th Century there were few lines between the games amusing to children and games amusing to adults; that is, there were few childhood pleasures which adults considered beneath their own interest. Dolls dressed in elaborate costumes interested people of all ages. Toy soldiers similarly amused people of all ages. The reason for this sharing of games, dolls, and toys was precisely that sharp demarcations between stages of life did not then exist. Since, in Philippe Ariès’ phrase, the young person was an “incipient adult” from a very early age, his amusements had nothing self-contained about them. At the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th Century, with lines between childhood and adulthood being drawn more sharply than they had before, certain kinds of play were reserved to children, certain kinds forbidden to them. By the middle of the 18th Century, children were prohibited from engaging in games of chance, which the authorities believed suitable only for people with a knowledge of the evil rampant in the world. In 1752 tennis and billiard masters throughout France were forbidden to give classes while children’s schools were in session, because a great deal of gambling went on during these games. Children were too naive, it was thought, to cope with this.
To understand the tandem growth of childhood and the belief in natural expression within the family, we have to start with the odds against it at the time. When one reads statements like Turgot’s that “one is ashamed of one’s children” or Vandermonde’s (in an Essay on the Means of Perfecting the Human Species) that “one blushes to think of loving one’s children,” the strength of family feeling two centuries ago appears, if anything, faint. Gibbon wrote of the accident of his own survival at the hands of indifferent parents (he was actually rescued by an aunt); Talleyrand never slept in the same house with his parents. The higher one moved up the social ladder, the more frequently would one hear that direct maternal care and expression of love for an infant was a sign of vulgarity. In both Paris and London, children from the middle-middle and upper-middle classes were often handed directly from nurse to “college”| an institution charged with the care of those from seven to eleven or twelve—“care” being usually interpreted as continual physical chastisement. The leading pediatricians of the mid-18th Century, James Nelson and George Armstrong, berated their readers for “unnatural neglect and disregard” of their offspring. There can be no doubt, in sum, that Swift’s contemporaries read A Modest Proposal with more than a little shock of recognition.
1. Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood, trans. Robert Baldick (New York: Vintage Books, 1965), pp.87-88.
2. See Bogna Lorence, “Parents and Children in 18th Century Europe”, History of Childhood Quarterly, II, No. 1 (1974), 1-30.
Sennett, Richard. The Fall of Public Man. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.
I’ve often remarked that, just as certain animals piss on their territory so that it stays theirs, many men mark and dirty the things they own by shitting on them, in order to keep them, or shit on other things to make them their own. This stercoraceous or excremental origin of property rights seems to me a cultural source of what we call pollution, which, far from being an accidental result of involuntary acts, reveals deep intentions and a primary motivation.
Let’s have lunch together: when the salad bowl is passed, all one of us has to do is spit in it and it’s all his, since no one else will want any more of it. He will have polluted that domain and we will consider dirty that which, being clean only to him, he now owns. No one else ventures again into the places devastated by whoever occupies them in this way. Thus the sullied world reveals the mark of humanity, the mark of its dominators, the foul stamp of their hold and their appropriation.
A living species, ours, is succeeding in excluding all the others from its niche, which is now global: how could other species eat or live in that which we cover with filth? If the soiled world is in danger, it’s the result of our exclusive appropriation of things.
So forget the word environment, commonly used in this context. It assumes that we humans are at the center of a system of nature. This idea recalls a bygone era, when the Earth (how can one imagine that it used to represent us?), placed in the center of the world, reflected our narcissism, the humanism that makes of us the exact midpoint or excellent culmination of all things. No. The Earth existed without our unimaginable ancestors, could well exist today without us, will exist tomorrow or later still, without any of our possible descendants, whereas we cannot exist without it. Thus we must indeed place things in the center and us at the periphery, or better still, things all around and us within them like parasites.
How did the change of perspective happen? By the power and for the glory of men.
The Natural Contract / Michel Serres ; translated by Elizabeth MacArthur and William Paulson, p.33
Στα ελληνικά @ http://takseis-ithikh.blogspot.gr/2012/10/blog-post_5.html
Με τα παρακάτω θέλω να ξεκαθαρίσω ορισμένα σημαντικά σημεία σχετικά με την απεργία στη Χαλυβουργία. Δυστυχώς παρατηρώ εκτεταμμένη παραπληροφόρηση γύρω απο το θέμα της απεργίας, η οποία οφείλεται κυρίως στη μονομερή κάλυψη του θέματος απο τα ΜΜΕ, η οποία βρίσκει εύφορο έδαφος στην τυφλή αποστροφή που νιώθει ενός σημαντικού μέρους του κόσμου προς ο,τιδήποτε σχετίζεται με το ΠΑΜΕ ή το ΚΚΕ.
Σχέση Σωματείου και απεργίας με το ΠΑΜΕ:
Αποφάσεις του Σωματείου:
Υλική και οικονομική στήριξη της απεργίας:
Νομικό καθεστώς της απεργίας:
Διαπραγματεύσεις και “αδιαλλαξία” των απεργών:
Σχέση Χρυσής Αυγής με την απεργία
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot — “Little Gidding”
The Art of Boring Others with your Travel Stories,
by Matthias Debureaux
Amateur translation/blatant re-write by n2j3, based on the Greek translation of Vana Chatzaki.
Original title: De l’art d’ennuyer en racontant ses voyages, Editions Cavatines 2005
Travelling is used primarily to become obnoxious to others.
Whoever travelled around the globe has the ability to speak for an extra
quarter of an hour.
Upon the traveller’s return, now purified by the majestic imagery and magical encounters of his journey,there is but only one thing in his mind: how to rivet your imagination by his stories, how to provide lessons in life and high ideals. He will paint the most beautiful and remotest gardens of Eden. Yet the result is always the same: boredom, boredom.
Travelling nowadays is neither a privilege nor a heroic act. […] Its novelty lies in the fabrication of a special, particular interest, as some sort of alibi to accusations of being a simple tourist. An ersatz explorer gloating in the mirror plumed in feathers is a thousand times more dangerous than the common low-profile tourist. As Edward Dahlberg put it, all these rodents are boiling in the same pot anyway: “When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.”
This is the concise manual of the ideal explorer-ballbuster. Or a manual on how to successfully, with art and dexterity, assist others in wearing a mask soaked in the chloroform of your adventures.
On the plane home, revise the most interesting stories of your journey, let the person sitting next to you be your lab-rat. Glue him to the edge of his seat with the elephant in a traffic jam incident in New Delhi, or the small monkey incident in Singapore that almost cost you a banana.
On landing, ignore the flight-attendant’s instructions and start bombarding everyone with your oncoming arrival, via your cellphone of course. A short summation of your repertoire is in order, and do take advantage of the height of the moment by briskly recounting some of your stories, fresh off the oven as it were. Put your recollections in order while you wait for your luggage. On the same night, gather your prospective hostages for a fuller account. Wet their appetite by promising plenty of gifts.
Recount your voyage at all times and nonstop so as to improve and perfect your narration to an optimum level. A good story should find use in every situation, like a good backpack.
Proclaim your thirst for the Other. Your intention: meet other civilisations and witness their authenticity. Have a preference for the human element instead of the sterile marble and rubble, your sole desire being total immersion. After a week diving in Patmos, consider yourself half-Greek. Even if the only company you had there was a programmer from Luxembourg and a Computer Science student from Manx, praise the symbiotic relationship you had with the country: “I came for India, I will return for the Indians”.
Select a moment of ‘divine grace’ for each country. Like that remarkable encounter with a blind shepherd in Atlanta, the Yogi offering tea brewed with Ganges water at dawn, the Old Mexican lady talking about the stars for a whole night or the blowgun lessons taught by an Orang Asli in Malaysia. Confide to your audience that nobody had to speak: communication was possible thanks to eye-contact and smiles.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, bring back thousands of photographs. […] Forget unnatural posing and prefer an emblematic theme: a chinese skiff on Hong Kong’s skyscraper-laden backdrop, old american vehicles in Cuba, Renault 12 knock-offs in Bucharest or the pastel-coloured victorian houses of San Francisco.
In conclusion, talk about how the voyage changed your life and the way you engage with the everyday. The everyday that leaves nobody unscathed. Finally in possession of inexhaustible treasure, perform your coup de grace by extrapolating a moral dictum from the whole experience. The key, the Holy Kraal, the Rosebud of your mission. The climax of your quest in a land so poor yet at the same time, so rich. And when you are done illuminating the world with your presence, opt for a denouement along those lines: “finally, one realises… human nature is universal”, “…we may have material happiness, but down there, they have true happiness and a real sense of living”.
Let there be an intermission, a long pause. Calmly walk towards a window. Look far ahead in the horizon and declare: “The world is an open book, with so many pages yet unread. Isn’t the most beautiful journey, the one we have not yet travelled?” –