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black friday cu carti. endless rabbit hole din care nu mai iesi altfel decat sleit de puteri si falit. bucuros de achizitiile facute sau nefericit de cele nefacute. in functie de limita cardului sau de ce negot ai cu continutul paharului. in sus sau in jos. una din cele mai intense bucurii ale mele este cand termin o carte si devin astfel liber sa incep alta. altele. mana mea mangaie torsul cartilor eligibile, intrate acum de pe lista de asteptare in cursa ultima pentru a fi citite si rasfatate. ma uit prin ele indecis inca, le rasfoiesc paginile avid si sunt coplesit de promisiunile orgasmelor livresti oferite. memorialistica. istorie. psihologie. biografie. teologie. filozofie. politica. o vreau si pe asta. si pe asta. si pe asta. vreau sa cunosc si sa aflu toate lucrurile alea de acolo, daca s-ar putea, in acelasi timp. sa citesc si povestea asteia. si a asteia. si a asteia. si a asteia. da, stiu, sunt un curvar incurabil. nu reusesc sa scap niciodata de promiscuitatea asta academica de a citi mai multe carti in acelasi timp. de a trai mai multe vieti simultan. visez la o vreme in viitor, cand o sa pot, gratie tehnologiilor, sa imi pot face nush ce implanturi high tech si ma vad pe o canapea ca un junkie carturaresc, cu ochii dati peste cap, clipind ca un neon stricat, plin de catetere, perfuzoare, tuburi prin care cartile isi pot injecta continutul lor miraculos. at the same time. carpe librum.

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Procrastination-1

I am a slow learner. It’s not that I don’t see what’s coming or that I don’t hear what people are saying. It’s just that it takes me a great deal of time to take the foreseen threat all in and get ready to take a hit. Once I come across something stressful I find myself moving and thinking in slow motion, playing for time. I’m rather a freezer or a flighter to quote a classical reference from ethology. Never a fighter. I’m a hopeless procrastinator, so kicking the can down the road comes naturally to me. Hoping against all odds that the bitter pill will be taken away from me. But it never does and I know it all too well, I am no fool – anything but. Eventually the painful truth catches up with me. Eventually I give in to the gathering storm.

At any point in time I have a couple of unpleasant realities and truths I am in no hurry to acknowledge, even though like I said I am not oblivious to them and I know I will bow to truth eventually. Looking back at my recent years I realized there’s a common thread running through these off-putting truths, a leitmotiv easy to discern, so here they are:

Friendship. For some people friendship extends only to the point where you burst their bubble. Once their frail narrative is exposed they solve the cognitive dissonance that comes with it not by aligning themselves with truth but by deserting the friendship and leaving. If walking on eggs was never your strength you know you would eventually get tired of dancing around the truth. As much as you try to avoid speaking truthfully outright at first, sooner or later you put your foot in it. You might as well stop even trying and be straightforward from the very beginning. If a friendship requires calling a spade something else than a spade then maybe that friendship is not for you or is not worth saving. While it’s true that bursting someone’s bubble and ripping off the mask people decide to put on for whatever reasons is none of our business it’s also true that we cannot distort the truth to the point where that friendship becomes a farce.

Death. It’s in the order of nature that children survive their parents. It’s natural that parents go first. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in a position where you raise a pet like a member of your family, that law of nature is broken and the order reversed. Eventually all these beautiful creatures are leaving and contrary to the order of nature parents survive their offspring. You subject yourself to a devastating event for there’s nothing more agonizing in this life than burying your child. I knew this all along, from the moment I kept her, but there was no need to dwell on this unnecessarily so I pushed that nagging apprehension to the back of my mind for years. Cancer short-circuited this convenience abruptly and left me no respite. Cancer is a monstrous machine that turns future to present. It brings that end from an indefinite future and makes it real. It makes it now. You can’t procrastinate cancer for long for cancer is like a nuclear bomb to your conscience. It doesn’t give a shit that you are not ready to face the dire reality just yet.

Family. For some siblings kinship ends where the inheritance begins. The idea of relatives fighting over a house or a plot of land is so preposterous and alien to me that I never thought this could possibly happen to me. And so when it did it shook me to the core. Coming from a rather close sister and one that happens to obey the same God made all this even more appalling. As a result I spent a couple of years struggling to come to terms with her pettiness and meanness of spirit. I was in no way ready to accept that people close to you  can be sheer evil and do you harm on purpose so I kept trying to justify her sordid behaviour in any reasonable ways. Given that I am a rather judgemental beast I should be quite proud of my self-restraint. Once again I procrastinated accepting the obvious truth: being born by the same mother is irrelevant to ethics.  Consanguinity doesn’t mean we all share the same moral compass. Your closest kin can be farther than a stranger. Trying to empathize with people when not at their best and making excuses for them is one (honourable) thing, seeing goodness in some deeds where there’s none is entirely another matter. At the end of the day, you are not responsible for their reputation but your own and so you shouldn’t see things through the coloured lens of your feelings for them. A bad thing is a bad thing and the fact that is perpetrated by your kin or someone you love doesn’t make it a good thing.

Love. Some people marry down and some people marry up. Some people are better than others, for we are not equal, obviously. It’s a common fact of life. But it’s also true that in many cases people marry down and marry up at the same time. It’s just that it happens on different levels. Because in these many cases, people are neither exceptional nor awful throughout. They are better than their partners in some respects and worse than them in other respects. So unbalanced relationships are more common than we think and that’s perfectly fine. The only time when this becomes critical is when you marry someone beneath yourself on something that is fundamental to you. For instance, I don’t give a damn about money, wealth, professional status, paygrade, education degrees, age, even looks up to a point, but I do give one about intellect, reliability, morals, set of values, authenticity etc. If I happen to enter a relationship that is not well balanced on the later, on the things that really matter to me, then it could be a dealbreaker. I could never stress enough the importance of having the same set of values and worshipping the same gods (i.e. admiring the same things). In my past relationships these differences put a huge strain on them and made them vulnerable to the point people felt like walking away. You might find in the great works of literature that love trumps everything, but in real life, as I found in my last relationships, social ambition trumps love. Different set of values leads to different paths in life.

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***

As you can easily tell, the common theme running through all of these foreseen outcomes is loss. In the first case I tried to delay the loss of a friend by being less outspoken at first and handling him with gloves for a while. In the second I tried to put off dealing with loss and death but cancer shattered my oblivion and left me no choice in the matter. In the third case I tried to avoid the loss of a sister by sugar-coating her transgression and making excuses for her. In the last one I tried to avoid the loss of a lover by letting the dust settle when the feel of inadequacy kicked in.

When loss starts to rear its ugly head and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it from happening you could throw yourself into it and be done with it. You can put your suicide vest on and detonate yourself. Or you hold fire and brace yourself for the expected loss. You freeze. You go in sloooow motion. At the end of the day, if you are a believer a miracle could still happen. You make haste slowly for “the hurrier you go, the behinder you get“…

 

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(9/11 – freeze response)

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“Two nurses led me into a cold, gray room with a big mirror, morning light. They asked me to undress. It seemed excessive. I did not understand why I needed to reveal my skin, but my hands began removing my clohes before my mind approved the request. Listen to them. They held open a white paper lunch bag and I placed my beige padded bra with the worn straps inside. My gray dress went into another bag, never to be seen again. Something about checking for semen. When everything was gone, I stood naked, nipples staring back at me, unsure where to put my arms, wanting to cross them over my chest. They told me to hold still while they photographed my head from different angles. For portraits I was accustomed to smoothing my hair down, parting it on the side, but I was afraid to touch the lopsided mess. I wondered if I was supposed to smile with teeth, where I should be looking. I wanted to close my eyes, as if this could conceal me. One nurse slid a blue plastic ruler from her pocket. The other held a heavy black camera. To measure and document the abrasions, she said. I felt latex fingertips crawling over my skin, the crisp edge of the ruler pressed against the side of my neck, my stomach, my butt cheeks, my thighs. I heard each click, the black lens of a camera hovering over every hair, goose bump, vein, pore. Skin had always been my deepest source of  self-consciousness. I froze, magnified beneath the lens.

(Chanel Miller – Know my name. A memoir)

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Gabriel Liiceanu  – Continentele insomniei

De la prostia individuala la prostia ca stare a lumii. Toti suntem prosti.

“Pozitia lui Musil in privinta prostiei se suprapune intocmai peste cea a lui Socrate. Ea este de o simplitate deconcertanta, dar tocmai de aceea greu de sesizat. Suntem prosti cu totii de indata ce, iesind din perimetrul competentei noastre, emitem cu aceeasi siguranta opinii despre orice alta tema ar aparea in discutie. Serenitatea acestei sigurante este semnul prostiei. Or, in lume, in societate, iesim in mod obisnuit din perimetrul competentei noastre. Avem opinii despre educatie, cultura, medicina, arhitectura, politica, poezie, despre bine si rau… Asta se intampla cu atat mai mult cu cat epoca, punandu-ne la indemana toate mijloacele imaginabile, ne incurajeaza pe toti, indiferent de pregatirea pe care o avem, sa ne exprimam opiniile.

Toata viata, Socrate se straduise sa-i convinga pe cei din jurul sau ca nu trebuie sa faca pasul acesta: ca nu se cuvine sa-si extinda increderea de sine, pe care le-o da competenta intr-un anumit domeniu de cunoastere, asupra tuturor obiectelor cunoasterii si, in nici un caz, asupra domeniilor in care cunoasterea nu e strict posibila. Poti fi un excelent navigator, constructor de corabii, crescator de cai, gimnast, cantaret din flaut, conducator de osti, negutator, olar, tabacar, dar de ce, in virtutea acestui fapt, ar trebui sa-ti arogi competente in domeniul politicii sau al valorilor (curaj, adevar, dreptate, virtute, frumusete, bine etc)? E drept, viata noastra se misca si respira in atmosfera acestor valori, dar asta nu inseamna ca, intrebati fiind in privinta lor, suntem in stare sa dam seama de ele. Prostia echivala pentru Socrate cu nestiinta nestiintei proprii (cu prezumtia de stiinta acolo unde stiinta nu era cu putinta), asa cum inteligenta echivala cu constiinta nestiintei proprii. Or, vanitatea ii impiedica pe oameni, mai ales cand e vorba de o autoritate intr-un domeniu anume, obisnuita sa fie onorata de ceilalti pentru competenta ei, sa accepte ca sunt ignoranti in privinta lucrurilor care pun in joc optiunile fundamentale ale vietii. Aeasta vanitate a cunoasterii pe nimic intemeiate este prostie. (…)

Musil nu face decat sa amanunteasca pozitia socratica sau, mai bine zis, sa arate in ce masura prostia intra in lume cu masca. Caci, spune el, daca nu ar fi asa, deghizata, n-ar mai exista prostie, pentru ca nimeni nu ar vrea sa fie prost. De aici rezulta ca ea prolifereaza in toate directiile si se ascunde sub cele mai inselatoare aparente. Prostia iriga, vascularizeaza toate produsele spiritului: stiinta, artele, politica. Tot. Ea paraziteaza orice produs al mintii si orice comportamente si, astfel, ia nenumarate chipuri. In timp ce inteligenta, neavand ca reper decat adevarul, e dezavantajata, pentru ca adevarul e unul si singur si ca atare, in fata multiplelor masti ale prostiei, din capul locului perdant. Razboiul intre prostie si inteligenta e de aceea, de la bun inceput, nedrept. (…)

Dupa ce declara ca e incapabil sa defineasca prostia, Musil observa ca nu poti evita capcana in care cazi de indata ce te apropii de subiect: “Dificultatea care te intampina din capul locului cand vrei sa vorbesti despre prostie vine din faptul ca esti obligat sa pleci de la premisa ca tu nu esti prost si, implicit, ca te consideri destept, desi trece drept semn in genere admis al prostiei sa faci asa ceva.” (…)

Cert e insa ca prostia nu are o gazda privilegiata, o adresa precisa, un adapost separat, nu salasuieste compact in corpul prostului, nu e depozitata in personalitatea cuiva, desemnandu-l ca prost, prostul prin excelenta, ci paraziteaza in mod natural mentalul oricui sau, mai bine zis, insoteste inteligenta asemenea umbrei pe care o arunca trupul. Si acolo unde e vorba de judecata si ratiune, nu te poti oare astepta sa intalnesti si surorile lor mai mici, multiplele chipuri ale prostiei?” Astfel incat cu totii suntem pana la urma prosti, de vreme ce “orice forma de inteligenta promoveaza o forma de prostie specifica”. Fiecarui tip de performanta ii corespunde un tip de prostie. Autorul insusi, atunci cand se incumeta sa infatiseze un imbecil, trebuie sa ajunga sa-si spuna: “asta sunt in parte si eu insumi”.

Mai mult, teritoriul ei nu se limiteaza la operatiunile mentale, la actele intelegerii, la “prostiile scoase pe gura”, ci si la modul cum ele se aplica la viata reala. Prostia e vizibila deopotriva in efectele ei, cand trece la fapte.  (…)

Pentru ca este un cuvant depreciativ azvarlit celuilalt, noi nu realizam ca prostia este un constituent al speciei umane. Or, tocmai acesta e pasul pe care-l face Musil: trece de la stigmatul individual si aleatoriu (X e prost) la stigmatul universal (toti suntem prosti). Prostia face parte din structura noastra de fiinta si e o conditie de posibilitate a felului nostru de a experimenta lumea. Noi suntem, ca subiecti cunoscatori, prevazuti in chip a priori (deci dinaintea oricarei experiente) cu grile de cunoastere prin care structuram materia oferita de simturi. Prostiile sunt erori operate in mod spontan de judecatile intelectului nostru, asumate ca adevaruri. Facultatea noastra de cunoastere nu e dispusa in mod spontan doar in directia adevarului, ci, deopotriva, chiar inlauntrul stradaniei catre adevar, in directia generarii de falsuri luate drept adevaruri. Prostia ca pseudo-intelegere premerge experienta si, ca dereglare, este un concept pur al intelectului. Din cunoasterea a priori despre obiecte face parte in mod esential si prostia. Asadar suntem prosti orice am face.  Prostia e latura incetosata a mintii noastre, principiul negativ al dereglarii ei, deci capacitatea noastra de a genera eroare prin failibilitatea innascuta a operatiunilor intelectuale.  Fiind a priori (facand parte din dotarea originara a intelectului nostru), acest principiu negativ se poate manifesta in cele mai neasteptate forme, in cele mai neasteptate locuri sociale si la cele mai stralucite minti, generand cele mai neasteptate si aberante experiente. “Cine gandeste pe picior mare va gresi pe picior mare” spune Heidegger undeva. In termenii lui Heidegger din Fiinta si timp, Musil realizeaza ca prostia este un element constitutiv al existentei umane (Dasein), o structura care articuleaza constitutia de fiinta a omului, asadar un “existential”. (…)

Cuvintele imbecil si cretin folosite ca injurii trimit la ceata vanitoasa care persista in mintea celor care, neputandu-si detecta si evalua capitalul lor de prostie, se ignora ca prosti, neintelegand ca toti suntem prosti.

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Cand mariajul lui se impotmolise, in lipsa de sens, de perspectiva, de fuel, mi-a fost usor sa vad ce lipsea si sa pun un diagnostic adecvat. Si desi am stiut ca solutia insemna impingerea mea din centru spre periferie, i-am spus-o. “Give her a child and give yourself a family”. I knew it would be the end of me and of our relationship as it was but I did it nonetheless. That is love.

Cand s-a trezit in anticamera mortii m-am rugat lui Dumnezeu sa il tina in viata. Si pentru ca arhetipul negotului religios dintre om si zeu a presupus intotdeauna un pret oneros, un sacrificiu cu care sa pecetluiesti intelegerea, i-am spus lui Dumnezeu sa ia zile din zilele mele, ani din anii mei ramasi, timp din timpul meu, si sa i le dea lui. Transfuzie de timp. Firul vietii lui derulat din ghemul vietii mele. Even if that will prove to be not for my benefit after all. And it wasn’t. But I did it nonetheless. That is love.

Dupa ce mi-a facut vant pe scarile relatiei, ca sa folosesc o metafora tampita, a revenit dupa un an, deprimat, descentrat, demolat, fara nicio noima, asking for help. Ce situatie mai paradoxala and rewarding at the same time decat sa vezi un abuser intr-o groapa implorand mana victimei sa iasa din ea. As fi putut sa ii intorc spatele like he did. Karma is a bitch rhetoric. Nu sunt un sfant masochist care se mortifica facand bine celor care l-au ranit. But I did it nonetheless. That is love.

It beggars belief that once he grabbed the throw rope and climbed out of the hole he had digged himself into, he left again, after two months, without any explanation or any sign of gratitude or remorse. But again I’m glad that I could help and that he got better. Despite the pain he inflicted upon me again and despite his ungratitude, the greatest sin of all, I do not have any regrets over my kindness. Because the principle is simple: you don’t kick people when they are down but help them rise. I would do it all over again nonetheless. That is love.

Love never paid off. Love never paid back. Love never paid dividends. But I did it nevertheless. For I never regret the love I invested in people.

Trust is another matter altogether.

 

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Just laid my hands on a copy of The Mueller Report. As everybody knows by now, while it doesn’t state that Trump himself colluded with Russia in order to tilt US elections (even though they don’t use the term collusion, apparently it’s Trump’s defensive term), the report doesn’t exonerate him either. “The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.“  I started reading the report out of curiosity and with the idea in mind that, giving its complexity and technicality, it could take my mind off personal anguish. I ended up dnfing the report as a whole (after all I don’t need to read 450 pages of technicalities in their entirety in order to get over somebody, one or two chapters will suffice) ( kidding) but I did have a flick through the rest of it. And boy, I cannot believe the extent to which the Russian meddling in the 2016 election is documented in the report. How on earth the cosmical joke that is Trump could say: “People came to me, they think it’s Russia (n.m. behind hacking DNC’s emails). I have president Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” It’s beyond my understanding why the hell after such a professional, thorough and well-documented report about the Russian interference (some clearly linked to the government) the president of United States fails to take a stand and publicly condemn Russia. I wonder what all Trump’s supporters will do now while the official report is out. They could live in denial ignoring one huge elephant in the room, but they cannot ignore a room filled up with them trashing their resistance to truth.

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pe principiul daca ai prieteni primesti flori in saptamana patimilor. daca nu ai ti le cresti singur prin beciuri si patimeste taica-tu dupa. 😀

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Nu cred in mezaliante. Nu cred in puterea care vine din diferenta. Cred in principiul asemanarii. Daca oamenii se instraineaza, de vina este tocmai mezalianta fondatoare. O relatie rezista in timp printr-o matematica simpla. Ceea ce ii uneste si ceea ce au asemanator depaseste ceea ce ii desparte si ceea ce este diferit in ei. A – D > 0 Daca rezultatul ecuatiei e negativ, daca diferentele depasesc asemanarile, poti sa pui cata iubire vrei, relatia e sortita esecului. Inegalitatea intelectuala, de status, de varsta, principiala, caracteriala, financiara, fizica etc nu sudeaza relatiile. Le destrama. Am trait-o pe propria mea piele. Geometric. Tridimensional. X.Y.Z. N-ai cum sa faci o relatie sa creasca in adancime cand unul e inteligent, iar celalalt nu este. N-ai cum sa faci o relatie sa creasca pe orizontala, cand unul e ingalat si lipsit de ambitii, iar celalalt descurcaret si competitiv. N-ai cum sa faci o relatie sa creasca pe verticala, cand unul are caracter, iar celalalt doar ambiguitati morale. Daca iti compari pozitia coordonatelor tale, cu ale celuilalt, poti descoperi perplex ca nu sunteti in acelasi loc. Iti trebuie un teritoriu comun vast, ca sa anulezi forta centrifuga a diferentelor. Iti trebuie interese si valori comune ca sa mentii relatia in viata si s-o feresti de virusul instrainarii. Cand unul trebuie sa-i explice celuilalt ca aporia nu este o boala si redundanta nu se refera la vehicule, in timp ce celalalt nu stie pe ce scula sa puna mana cand i se cere cheia franceza, poate sa nu fie sfarsitul lumii, dar poate fi si semnul unei inadecvari care poate produce in cele din urma distanta si uzura. Principiul complementaritatii are sens, dar nu cand acopera intreaga relatie, ci doar o parte din ea. Daca unul e inteligent iar celalalt analfabet functional, daca unul e onest iar celalalt un mincinos compulsiv, daca unul e un chefliu veselnic iar celalalt un pustnic domestic, daca unul e un veleitar snob iar celalalt un genuin boem, daca unul e un ateu luminat iar celalalt fundamentalist religios, daca unul e un narcisist self-centered iar celalalt un filantrop magnanim, daca unul e aratos iar celalalt urat cu spume, daca unul e grav si serios ca temperament iar celalalt frivol si indolent, daca unul e un extrovert flamboiant iar celalalt un timid introvert, daca unul e loial sexual iar celalalt promiscuu incontinent etc etc nu se cheama ca sunt complementari, se cheama ca sunt nepotriviti. Ca sa evit confuziile, nu fac apologia identicului (desi ii cam dau tarcoale). Nu neg beneficiile alteritatii in a crea dinamism si a repune in discutie atitudini / opinii / valori / modele / reflexe / naratiuni care se fosilizeaza daca nu sunt contestate si reinventate constant. Cred doar in primatul asemanarii. Asemanarea trebuie sa aiba un edge.

Bineinteles ca in practica lucrurile nu sunt atat de simple. Nu practicam intotdeauna ce predicam. Daca ajungi sa iubesti pe cineva, faptul ca stii ca intri intr-o mezalianta, nu te opreste sa o faci. Doar ca esti constient de ce tribulatii urmeaza. O stiu prea bine din propria experienta. Din care, evident, nu am invatat nimic. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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de vreo doua saptamani omor cu o satisfactie compulsiva cohorte de demoni in Diablo III. legiuni. legiuni. legiuni. cum omori o hoarda cum apar alte doua in plus. cum omori un demon burtos cum apar trei scarnavii din burta lui care se reped spre tine. astia nu pot exista decat in progresii geometrice. uneori sunt atat de overwhelmingly outnumbered ca n-am ce sa fac decat sa alerg ca apucatul printre ei sperand sa gasesc vreo gaura in care sa ma ascund.

unul din demonii care hinghereste omenirea de la facerea lumii izvoraste din Lucifer si este pasat omenirii prin Cain. orice incercare de a-l exorciza se loveste de neputinta noastra. once you have it it eats you up. am regasit o buna descriere a lui intr-un banc est-european povestit de Alina Mungiu. “Ivan capata de la Dumnezeu trei daruri, dar numai cu conditia ca rivalul lui va capata totul dublu. Ivan cere intai un Jeep, dar vecinul lui capata un Hummer, apoi o vila, si vecinul capata un castel, iar a treia oara, disperat, nu ii mai ramane decat sa-i ceara lui Dumnezeu … sa ii taie o mana.” trista nivelare in jos. animal vesnic nemultumit, omul nu este niciodata fericit cu ce are, ci cu ce nu are vecinul. cand omul va sti sa rezolve teribila aporie prin deplasarea in sus, de la referinta relativa la cea absoluta, isi va regasi inocenta si paradisul pierdut. pana atunci va continua sa dea foc corabiei care il duce la tarm in speranta ca astfel va scapa de inamic.

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You know that ridiculous and embarrasing situation when the nature calls and after having done your business you flush the toilet and you face the undignifed terror of seeing your turd looking back at you. Holy crap! No matter how much water you throw the stubborn turd doesn’t go away and keeps coming back. This so much resembles the Brexit drama and it was best summed up by the Conservative MP Steve Double when saying to the House of Commons “this is a turd of a deal which has now been taken away and polished, and is now a polished turd … but it might be the best turd that we’ve got.” For the love of God, does anybody know how to get rid of that bloody British crap once and for all? They are surrounded by water after all. Somebody ought to flush it away for good…

 

(English subtitles included)

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what do you get when you give a voice to an idiot? some might say you get democracy, but that might go against Plato’s ideas on democracy who had something else in mind. but when that idiot is Nigel Farage you most certainly get a lot of unflushable bullshit.


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literatura e efortul inepuizabil de a transforma viaţa în ceva real

The priest: Aren't you afraid of hell? J. Kerouac: No, no. I'm more concerned with heaven.

literatura e efortul inepuizabil de a transforma viaţa în ceva real

The priest: Aren't you afraid of hell? J. Kerouac: No, no. I'm more concerned with heaven.