The caretaker was an old soul with Spanish roots and he brought out some arm chairs. They would alternate between telling stories or being quiet like genuine Flemings. This particular day was a tranquil day at the beach. There were four girls in the water, checking out the faces on the foreigners.
Foreign faces are particularly eye-catching in communist countries. And with that their vinyl record started spinning, animatedly playing back the drivel about the Church that their school had recorded in them. They left these innocent lambs alone without questioning their orthodoxy, and that is why Padre Luciano did not identify them. The girls looked on suspiciously. Yes, there were amusing moments in the life of a priest in Cuba. But enough said. With that we conclude the second part of this story from Cuba, the first free territory in the Americas.
Ya eran las diez de la noche. Demoraba mucho ella y Don Luciano fue a ver. Uno nunca sabe. Ahora vino la prueba contundente. Los amables gringos mandaron dos aviones diarios para trasladarlos. Pues ahora le regalan de todo eso nuevo. Eso viene en nuestras notas? Mejor era no pensar en eso ahora. It was already 10 p. Don Luciano had been visiting some ill parishioners. She was a widow with four children. Regardless, he knew that his visits were always a little spoonful of fresh air for Cachita.
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He stopped and knocked. Her greeting sounded a bit forced and Don Luciano deduced that Cachita had had another difficult day. Cachita disappeared into her kitchen, which was illuminated with a little candle. The lightbulb had failed and another one could not be had anywhere in the city. She was taking a while so Don Luciano went to in to see. Now I have to cook on this pair of tin cans perforated with holes and it takes a little bit longer, but it works out.
Don Luciano sat down. Cachita, just in case, shut the window that looked out to the street. You have seen that there is a house on each city block with a little CDR sign in the window? And immediately, proof appeared. But you know her husband, he lost a leg to bullets from Batista. Twice they tied him to one of the infamous posts at the prison wall to execute him, but they instead shot the prisoner tied on his right and on his left and then took him back to his cell.
You know him, Father, he is the one that sits in the far end of the second pew. Father, what a life! Today has been a day that not even Job could understand. Ana, my sister-in-law, was waiting for me at the door, happy and crying at the same time. I myself have to report to a camp next week to pick oranges. They told me that my son is old enough, at twelve, for me to leave him home alone. This was one of the things that Don Luciano never understood. Instead, the list grew to hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to leave and the kindly gringos were sending two jetliners a day to pick them up.
Anyone who could obtain dollars from family or friends who had previously left flew out on a Boeing via Madrid or Mexico City. Additionally, every night little boats and launches silently left the beautiful beaches of the Pearl of the Caribbean. The requirements to be allowed to leave were easy: You were fired from your job and went to work in the countryside for two years. I assure you, dear reader, that in the Cuban heat, you and I would not be alive at the end of the first day. Out on those farm camps life was lived very rustically, in a way that Hemingway would have enjoyed.
Don Luciano saw many from his congregation, after a month, returning as thin as a rake. That was the near-future that Ana and Cachita were worried about. There was nothing Don Luciano could do to solve their conundrum. Don Luciano had read in a number of articles during his previous vacation in Europe that almost a million people had had the fortitude to leave this island paradise.
This means three years cutting cane and dragging themselves through the mud like the diabolical serpents in the bible. And its gets worse: they are also conscripting married men and they are paying them a cruel salary, seven dollars a month, for them to support their wives and children at home. She was prepared to continue spending half a week, day and night, in line to see if she could find pants and shoes to buy for him.
She was accustomed to this style of amusement.
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Now a days there are two types of soldiers, the trustworthy ones with a Revolutionary mindset, and the rest of them that will be sent off to U. There they bring together the worst of the country: the idle, thieves, homosexuals, etc. You yourself know, Father, that despite shadowy threats from his classmates, Paquito never left the church choir. This was serious, Don Luciano thought, in one of those camps were three Cuban priests that had seen and lived things from the movies. Will that be reported with our grades? Said if He existed, then the poor little Catholics could pray for rain to help with the drought.
But then the day it rained hard and caused that flood she said it was those cursed Yankees that were blowing rain clouds towards Cuba. The Lord is also worried about the harvest in Cuba, whether he is communist or not. His mother went to tuck him back in to bed. While she was away, Don Luciano spied a schoolbook open on the table. Cuban schoolbooks were filled with jokes like those. Cachita moaned, filled another cup with coffee and continued her litany. Can you imagine it? She fell in love with a lad in the Communist Youth. Have you noticed that when she goes to your formation class Saturday evening, he is circling the plaza, and afterwards they take a walk?
Juana, who lives on the corner, saw them once well away from the streetlamp and told me that it was evident they were very familiar with free love. Now he comes by the house every once in a while, and we are as quiet as fish since we what is there to say? Nevertheless, he seems like a good person.
Yesterday he came to see me secretly, as you can image, his mother works with the security police. Christ, believe me, has uttered much more interesting things than the Marx-Lenin-Castro gang. Cachita was not finished with her jeremiad, but Don Luciano stood. It was p. Every day he would have to hear and counsel a different Cachita. There were mothers who could not find a single banana with which to prepare a mash for their baby.
No, gastroenteritis no longer exists in Cuba—the foreign poet famously wrote—but Don Luciano learned, from a nurse, that in the previous month a dozen children died every day from that deadly infection. It was best not to dwell on that. Don Luciano, tired, picked up his breviary and passionately asked for fortitude for his flock. That was what the doctor told him, when after a few night of no sleep, he had to stop and rest up for a while.
And later in dreams, he saw that on a dunghill a few flowers had bloomed here and there, raising their heads to the sky. Yes, there was much Christian life growing in that pile of suffering. And with that we are at the end of this third part from Cuba, the first free territory in the Americas. Otro ejemplo. Claro, esos eran chismes contra revolucionarios, pero, de todos modos, el comentario era general. Don Luciano, cuando algunas piedrecitas golpearon las paredes y cristales. Revolucionariamente, X.
Viernes 8: 00 p. Pero, la cosa no estaba terminada. Don Luciano, con el P. Esto era, exactamente, lo que Don Luciano necesitaba para un reposo tan anhelado, y para reajustar un poco su vida espiritual. A las ovejas de Don Luciano les brillaban los ojos cuan do vieron subir al altar a su Pastor. Entre tanto mandaban a Don Luciano de un lado a otro, unas veces el caso estaba en manos del Ministro de Viviendas y otros en el de Justicia. How Don Luciano familiarized himself little by little with the twists and turns of red law. When, for example, a son reports to the Party that his father or mother are having unorthodox thoughts, it is a considered a good act.
Other ugly acts in this vein are likewise considered good acts in this new reality. Now, the son could first try to find out why what his parents are discussing is considered wrong. But if he tried that he would find that Marxist morality and legality has extraordinary flexibility and creativity when compared with ham-handed capitalist laws.
It would seem that to assist in this moronization of society there would be no need for law faculty in universities, and that lawyers should limit themselves to merely stamping paperwork. There are many unwritten laws you have no idea exist until you unwittingly break them. Like, for example, the law that prohibits catechism teachers from walking their students to church. For that one all it took to enact it was a quiet call to the bishop. Another example. This is illegal because all cows belong to the state and the man was fined pesos.
Almost the same day another man killed his wife and he was fined five pesos. Yes of course, these stories are counterrevolutionary gossip, but similar stories are constantly told. Marxist law clearly states that there is freedom of worship inside the temple, but you have to understand it carefully. Father Antonio, after lending his services to a church for three years was cordially thanked. What a nasty lie! In addition to bread and rice, sometimes the menu varied a bit: no bread, no rice. In the room next to where they were judged were three pine boxes at the ready, and less than 24 hours later it was over.
For weeks following a leaden sky pressed down on Camaguey. Don Luciano spent sleepless nights and the city was expectantly quiet. It awoke in the Cubans certain discouraging images from the first days of the Revolution. As he prayed his breviary in the morning before Mass and some little holes in the ceiling would occasionally catch his attention. That happened in the early days of the revolution. Oh Father! Everyone was praying with great fervor, Father, and when the church filled some men in olive-green uniforms showed up and bullets started to fly.
Everyone threw themselves to the floor and that was the end of that procession forever. You can suppose that the procession smelled politically wrong and had to be stopped—it was contaminating the rarefied air on the Marxist horizon. It was an exception when a bush or flower managed to reach maturity. For a few years Don Luciano counted on the omnipresent eye right across the street—the police station—to take action, but he eventually figured out that he should not expect much help from there. What to do? Don Luciano always carried a small flashlight which provided marvelous results when surprising the children disordering the grounds.
Aiming the mysterious gizmo at eyes, the flickering light would disperse the gang. Don Luciano did nothing to dispel the notion. One late night, Don Luciano was in the church praying in the dark. Wags said that the New Man will have four arms and no stomach. He had just finished a prayer when he heard mirth and laughter outside. He opened the window a crack and, yes, two delinquents had knocked down an entire flowerbed and were crouching behind the low wall that surrounded the grounds, laughing uncontrollably.
Here was the opportune moment. Don Luciano dashed out grabbed the two boys and gave them a good shake. Mumbling something about having proof on photos he let them go. In a fraction of a second they were gone, the darkness having hid his juridical intervention. One day after catechism class all was quiet at the church. Then he heard little stones hitting church walls and windows. Don Luciano solemnly closed his breviary, and dashed out of a side door, did a marvelous somersault and grabbed the culprit, to whom he gave two good slaps on the posterior before sending him on his way with a kick.
The delinquent went flying. This time, the both the crime and the justice happened in broad daylight, and there may have been witnesses. This was the triumphal moment for The Lioness. Don Luciano looked for consolation in the Bible and in the words of the theologian and martyr Lucian of Antioch. Friday at p.
At the head of the assembly was The Lioness, triumphant. But Don Luciano did not appear. He was feeling a bit ill. And he appealed to the Lord that his absence not cause The Lioness a heart attack. His supplication was heard, but he could imagine how hard she took his absence. She and the rabble left disappointed, but the matter was not over. Another appointment was set for few weeks later. This delay allowed the puppeteers from Havana to convert the case into a model Popular Tribunal.
It was almost empty when they arrived but little by little it filled, by some miracle, with actual neighbors and members of the congregation. It began with the reading of an epistle filled with erudite words from a medical dictionary detailing the bruises on that poor boy. But of his posterior, nothing was said; understandably it would have been awkward to show evidence from that part of the body. Don Luciano was planning to speak about his preoccupation with beautifying the city and about the need to hand out eye glasses to those in the police at the station out front, but he was not given a chance.
After three quarters of an hour the court recessed to deliberate the sentence. Don Luciano looked out on the pallid faces of his congregants and calmly blew out smoke from his cigarette as he waited. Do you know what happened? That was exactly what Don Luciano needed, a much desired rest to readjust his spiritual life a bit. Should the case of a teacher hitting a child resulting in three stiches to repair the wound end up in a trial at a Popular Tribunal? That was the question. On the far side of the square Don Luciano had a genuine treasure: an old house owned by the church, almost a ruin, but with plenty of room up front and, around central patio, five rooms as dark as caves.
It was of great value for the catechism group and other classes. One sunny Saturday in the afternoon, two olive-green uniforms were waiting at the door. The guards were there to pleasantly threaten anyone who would dare to mess with the stamp. Don Luciano ran everywhere to try to defend the rights of the Church. He found an old fox, named Sesin, who promised to resolve the problem after Christmas. He wanted to spend the holidays, he said, in Havana. Now this little love dog had a girlfriend in Camaguey who was his connection to inside information.
Sesin was sent to one office, then another. First the case was with the Ministry of Housing, then with Justice. He repeatedly travelled to Havana and on one trip tried to see Fidel himself, but Fidel was conveniently unavailable. Don Luciano walked over to check it out: who could be there? In the middle of the high grass in the central courtyard was The Lioness with some noble women. You might want to write out a complaint. And from there Don Luciano set off to give the bell tower a good cleaning, some fresh paint, and continue with his subversive activities. Someone should write up new dictionary entries with these new meanings for the concepts of law, ownership, liberty, etc.
And with these thoughts we conclude the fourth part from Cuba, the first free territory in the Americas. It is not a goal, but the beneficial product of the social conditions of pure communism. Ese era otro caballo de batalla de Marx: "La sociedad sin clases. El que guardara herramientas de trabajo en su casa era culpable ante la Ley.
El Padre Theo tuvo una experiencia de la eficacia del sistema. Para que matarse trabajando? Don Luciano lo notaba en las bodas en la Iglesia. No obstante, la norma era distinta en algunos casos. Cada ama de casa cubana debe, normalmente, pasar unas cuantas horas haciendo colas: una hora para el pan, otra para un poquito de arroz, un par de horas para recibir un pedacito de carne afortunadamente esto era dos veces por semana. Ay Dios. Y hablando de cuotas de tabacos, tocaban a dos al mes. Parece que esos son tabacos superfuertes que se consumen lentamente Igualdad y voluntario, sobre todo para el magisterio, eran conceptos relativos.
Don Luciano recordaba una nota marginal en el libro voluminoso de G. He tenido que matar diez millones de ellos para que entren en la trampa. Pero esos son casos excepcionales. You may recall the two classes of military service: the usual one and U. Many persons of faith were classified as mentally retarded and sent to U.
P camps. Another significant example was the equality of the economic life of the population. In Camaguey some 50 cobblers where united in one building, their Consolidated. Keeping tools at home was punishable by law. Father Theo had a personal experience with the effectiveness of the new system.
One time he took a pair of shoes for repair and five months later they were ready. Photographers were another joke. Don Luciano noticed it at church weddings. The Consolidated Photographers Company was in charge of photographers and their work, and sent them, in turn, to take photographs. This was not the only change towards equality, things were different in other matters. Every housekeeper would have to, under normal circumstances, spend a few hours in line: an hour waiting to buy bread, another line for a few cups of rice, two hours to obtain a little piece of meat fortunately for them, meat was only available twice a week.
But the men and women of high rank in the uniformed services had their own stores where there were no lines and with access to goods that to the rest of the Cubans were only memories: butter, cheese, etc. With regards to transportation, equality was colorful. A trip to Havana was always an adventure, like the one that first year medical students recounted to Don Luciano.
After spending the day at the bus terminal waiting, the bus finally boarded and left, and that in itself was reason for rejoicing. Naturally, they lost more hours due to loose wheels and temperamental engines and 20 hours later they completed their mile journey. How to mobilise and maximise openings in our movement-perception-memory ecologies? Metatopia is my name for an indeterminate account of space as open memory, as non cartesian space emerging from the bodies and foregrounding indeterminacy in the ecology.
Metatopias are intra-active playgrounds or metagaming environments developed in the Metabody project, consisting so far of 4 aspects, techniques or layers that may operate independently or together: the Flexinamics metastructures flexible and dynamic physical structures which constitute a dynamic and indeterminate technique for architecture , the Disalignments movement techniques focusing on proprioception, the Amorphogenesis digital environments focusing on non representational spaces and non linear interactions and the Microsexes camera based environments acting as antiperspetival machines where vision becomes tactile and mobile.
Metatopias are nomadic spaces of intra-action for infusing indeterminacy and openings in spaces that have frozen under the pressure of perspectival metamedia. Metaformance in turn is the process of ongoing opening up of metabodies and memories by continually mobilising perceptual relations beyond any abstract hierarchy like perspective that tries to freeze the relational field.
Metatopias and Metaformance are means of enacting what I call minor ecologies, i. Minor ecologies are openended memories, rhythms and reverberations conforming metabodies: openended fields for ecologies to come. Metatopia: Flexinamics metastructures and Amorphogenesis digital architectures - Toulouse , rehearsal of performance with 4 dancers. For over one week in September I was at the Pikpa "Lesvos Solidarity" refugee Camp, in Lesvos, Greece, interacting with the people living there, building new mobile flexinamic metastructures with materials from the camp bamboo canes, white fabric, etc.
The final performance in the Dome was also attended by some 30 participants from the Contested Borderscapes conference that was happening in parallel at the nearby University of the Aegean , in an athmosphere of amazing concentration where both the participating children and audience did astonishing improvisations with the structures and projections.
Pikpa is the oldest Refugee Camp in Lesvos, from , before the massive arrivals in led to the emergence of other camps and the arrival of NGO's. Since more than half a million people have arrived in Lesvos fleeing the war in Syria and other situations in Middle eastern countries and Africa mostly.
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In a constantly changing situation, due to the dreadful treatise between the EU and Turkey, by which Turkey would hold migrants in its territory in exchange for benefits and money from the EU, the flow had gone down but now again increased in the last month since Turkey was fulfilling its threats to the EU by opening up the border again. The Metatopia workshop of movement with structures proposed to generate a playground for collective creation in the PIKPA Camp, proposing ways of connecting to one another using non verbal communication, creating a collective space, recycling objects and materials, transforming space and objects into dynamic playgrounds, building and moving with translucent structures and projections which could be a chrysalis for a collective rebirth or an alien collective bride dress for and a celebration of the joy of living , opening up possibilities for transforming our spaces through collective action, appropriating our bodies, movements and perceptions.
The workshop was not only a support action for the refugees but also a becoming with them, a playing and building with not for or about them , an attempt to generate means for more livable lives for those in difficult and transitory situation, and at the same time a raising of awareness of the importance to generate new tools for freedom-as-openings in a moment where old nation borders and new algorithmic borders try to categorise each of our behaviours Maybe also an attempt to heal the traumatic memories of war and torture, uncertain nomadic and precarious situations and futures?
Healing memories as opening up of perceptual borders? The workshop happened 27thth September, with preparations 21stth September, both indoors and outdoors, and had day sessions in the Dome, the meeting place in front of the office building and shop, the football camp and the beach, and evening sessions with projections and sound, at the dome, and the meeting place. Metatopias are fragile spaces of encounter for collective intra-action across multiple kinds of borders of states, bodies, cognitive paradigms, ontologies and politics in which rather than following a given methodology, a number of elements for collective creation through movement and building or reappropriating objects, are provided as starting points for an unforeseable emergent process of becoming-with, in which borderscapes, as zones of conflict and violence, expose also their potential for openings, for minor ecologies in the Algoricene.
Occupying a borderscape implies the possibility to not only shift the border, but also blur it. Playing and cocreating with the refugees, rather than doing research about them or professional activism for them, appears as a mode of solidarity and of enabling more livable lives, while exposing the fragility of such borderscapes, as zones for potential openings, in face of multifaceted bordermaking, and the need to listen and take care of each other in the process of sustaining such places of encounter. A subject who speaks at the border of the speakable takes the risk of redrawing the distinction between what is and is not speakable, the risk of being cast out into the unspeakable.
Judith Butler, Excitable Speech. Borderscapes are not only the conflictive zones around existing borders between nation states where migrations are controlled, they are also zones where existing limits can be renegotiated, not just in terms of shifting or redrawing the line that defines a boundary but of blurring it and opening it up. How can one generate the conditions for a fragile coming together that does not operate on the assumption that certain boundaries and memories need to be redrawn or simply shifted?
How can the transitory occupation of a borderscape become a zone for generating openings? Pikpa is the common name for the Lesvos Solidarity camp. It has been in operation since , occupying the former chidren's camp called Pikpa. In with the massive flow of refugees -and an also very big flow of international NGOs- other camps came up, like Moria, where thousands of refugees live in very bad conditions.
As of September Pikpa hosts about refugees, cases considered vulnerable from lgtb and injured people to families and pregnant women which are brought from Moria, the dreadful camp where they are taken upon arrival to the coast from Turkey. In Pikpa the living conditions of the refugees are much better than in other camps, they have medical assistance every day and individual houses, good food and clothes are provided, and there is overall a loving athmosphere cultivated over five years by the volunteers that setup and have sustained the camp.
Pikpa is itself a metabody of healing memories built over five years of care. There is even a unique Disco-Laundry, where Simo, the volunteer taking care of the laundry since the beginning, plays music with coloured lights and live streaming video. Indeed Simo lended his sound system for my workshop. And there is a beautiful Dome with wooden floor among the trees, ideal for dance, where activities can be hosted.
With the help of Nikos the translator I went house by house inviting people and whole families to participate in the first session, after spending already several days in the camp getting to know the people, the spaces and starting to build structures to play with, using local materials: bamboo canes from the nearby field and some white fabric that was not being used for other purposes, while Katerina helped me to use the excellent sewing machine.
Overall it was a very selforganising situation, with Pikpa's loving metabody of memories, accumulated over five years of thousands of people passing by, and some volunteers remaining in the process , as background affording potential interactions.
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Thus eventually an unforeseen intra-action landscape emerged in which new kinds of structures with interesting unforeseen properties came up in a co-creation together with the participating people and the spaces, who were also bodily involved in the testing and playing with the structures: a non goal oriented process, an open-ended process in which gestures could come together generating a provisional field of resonance.
I was around, building, playing myself, as an invitational gesture to afford situations happening if they would, eventually affording a potential space of intra-action. Meanwhile I kept questioning my position as white, seemingly male, apparently neurotypical and abled, european artist coming to share his work, in the difficult attempt to avoid colonial reinscriptions of authority or paternalistic moves, which implied putting myself in an uncertain fragile position, while opening up myself in the process.
This connects to my multiple histories in connection with Lesvos, the significance of this trip, the first reencounter with Greece after the trip I did with my expartner, the profound ritualistic and personal resonances it therefore had, and how the whole trip was a deep ritual of mourning, healing, passing away, celebration and rebirth I gradually opened up to becoming an intra-active participant rather holding onto the position of anan external observer.
In parallel at the nearby University of the Aegean was running the conference called Contested Borderscapes. My talk there was about the notion of border as ontologic anomally in a world made of movement. Their emergence I trace in the millenia long process of articulation of algorithmic ecologies, which I call the Algoricene. Static borders Macroborders , whether at the level of nation states or of bodies, genders, sexes, normative behaviours, cognitive ability, or onto-epistemic, animal and multispecies affect, disciplinary and political landscapes, are the offspring of static geometries and algorithms of social organisation, reaching culmination in biopolitics, disciplinary society and profiling of behaviours in state racism.
Currently and since the birth of cybernetics after World War II we assist the emergence of more dynamic algorithms generating emergent and unknowable profiles of populations that account for a new kind of unknowable and dynamic hyperborders for management of risk and preemption of the future, in conflictive feedback with the static macroborders of previous regimes.
Macro and hyperborders, as algorithmic borders, effect of algorithmic organisations of movement, are ontological borders that are grounded on a fundamental subject-object split, and of geometric relations that afford calculability, whose mature form and most radical expression, still pervasive today, was instantiated by Renaissance perspective.
I thus propose to question borders not at the level of the content, of the map that we see or trace from our ontologically split subject position, but rather open up the field to redefining the whole relational ecology so as to stop being an ontologically split subject that looks onto the world from such an external position, thereby challenging the very condition of possibility of borders at an onto-epistemological level.
Metatopias are my onto-aesthetic, artistic and pragmatic proposal for such spaces for renegotiation of perceptual ecologies beyond the perspectival framework, bringing to the front the irreducible dynamism of bodily sensations, multisensorial proprioceptive swarms of sensation moving across what I call the transmodal sensory continuum. The work developed in Pikpa I can now retrospectively see as the elaboration of fragile and transitory zones of opening happening in transitory borderscapes, which are violent effects of existing borders at the same time as uncertain zones for openings.
The Algoricene as dominant frame with its old static algorithms and its newer dynamic algorithms generates the ontological foundations for the different kinds of violence that refugees, as well as neurodiverse, indigenous people, queers, homeless, dogs, etc This was potentially my experience in PIKPA, how in such a situation fragile spaces for becoming-with can open up occasions for elaborating what I call minor ecologies in the Algoricene and the Chthulucene.
Abstract borders are very real. Algorithmic borders are abstractions that impose themselves on bodies-territories becoming violent realities. But they are ontologic anomalies in a much more diffuse world of movements. How can borderzones become zones of opening will be different in every border situation.
Epistemic and affective borders are often hardest to deal with, especially in the context of eurocentric colonialism, which has affirmed the power of the perspectival frame even -one would say more than ever- in critical fields of inquiry.
Minor ecologies, like the one potentially established in Pikpa, need to happen also at the level of academic, activist and other fields. Imagined memories would feed my own multisensory and affective experience in Eressos, as something irreducible to a narrative or identity nexus. Geopark of unique biodiversity and beauty. Como dice Atilio, tiene el Brillo de Brigitte Bardot.
Nuestros valores. Te estoy diciendo que entre nosotros no hay cabida para los muecines, para los minaretes, para los falsos abstemios, para su jodido medievo, para su jodido chador. Con su escultura, su literatura y su arquitectura. Una ciencia que ha descubierto muchas enfermedades y las cura. Yo sigo viva, por ahora, gracias a nuestra ciencia, no a la de Mahoma. Empezando por el respeto a la diversidad. Lo he escuchado de neutrales criollos o de descendientes de europeos.
Tanto tiempo imponiendo su cultura en otras regiones del planeta, para dejarse ahora imponer una moral que en sus mejores momentos no fue la suya. Quienes no tenemos Rabia ni Orgullo por ninguna raza ni por ninguna cultura, sentimos nostalgia por los tiempos idos, que nunca fueron buenos pero tampoco tan malos. The West appears, suddenly, devoid of its greatest virtues, constructed century after century, preoccupied now only with reproducing its own defects and copying the defects of others, such as authoritarianism and the preemptive persecution of innocents. Virtues like tolerance and self-criticism have never been a weakness, as some now pretend, but quite the opposite: it was because of them that any sort of progress, both ethical and material, was possible.
Both the greatest hope and the greatest danger for the West can be found in its own heart. And if their husbands are so idiotic as to not drink wine or beer, idem. A race of hypocrites. It makes me uneasy. If they are really so poor, who gives them the money for the trip on the planes or boats that bring them to Italy? Might Osama bin Laden be paying their way, at least in part? Protestant churches are also more beautiful. As if what we really needed was to get wrapped up in a discussion of which is more beautiful, the Tower of Pisa or the Taj Mahal.
Our values. I am telling you that among us there is no room for muezzins, for minarets, for false abstinence, for their screwed-up medieval ways, for their damned chador. And if there were, I would not give it to them. Least of all that I participate in vain polemics.
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What I needed to say I have said. My rage and pride have demanded it of me. But I do not possess a name as famous as Fallaci — a fame well-deserved, we have no reason to doubt — and so I cannot settle for insults. Since I am native to an under-developed country and am not even as famous as Maradona, I have no other choice than to take recourse to the ancient custom of using arguments.
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