Life

there is a logic that’s hidden
behind and ahead in time,
in my head and outside my gaze

a thick vellum of skin
with no discernible meaning
that hangs like a sword, that folds like a blanket

and it gives me not
the comfort of warmth
or the lightning of knowledge,

only the cut of the finite.

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„Generații”

Înainte de a repeta obosita formulă a „conflictului dintre generații”, să ne uităm un pic la condițiile sociale și economice de trai ale celor în vârstă.

În 2016, cf Eurostat, 34% dintre cei peste 65 de ani erau în risc de sărăcie și excluziune sociala (în creștere față de 2015, dar a doua cea mai scăzută rată din 2008 încoace). A cincea cea mai mare valoare din Europa (nu doar din UE).

Cheltuim 0.04% din PIB pentru îngrijirea bătrânilor, de 10 ori sub media UE (o valoare aproape egală cu cea a Belgiei, care are însă un sistem de asigurare foarte diferit si a patra cea mai bună îngrijire medicală din Europa, conform Euro Health Consumer Index în 2016). Noi cheltuim puțin și avem servicii proaste (suntem pe locul 35, ultimul)

Europa de Est și Rusia au cele mai mari numere de persoane ce suferă de singurătate. În România, 18.8% dintre cei peste 60 de ani afirmă că suferă frecvent din cauza ei. Deși cea mai mică valoare dintre țările grupei I de studiu (Bulgaria – 18.9, Ungaria – 21.1, Latvia – 18.8, Polonia – 20.1, Rusia – 24.4, Slovacia – 19.6, Ucraina – 34), aproape triplul mediei țărilor din Europa de nord. (Age and loneliness in 25 European nations – KEMING YANG and CHRISTINA VICTOR Ageing and Society / Volume 31 / Issue 08 / November 2011, pp 1368 – 1388 DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X1000139X, Published online: 09 February 2011)

Să trolezi nonșalant cu formulele stereotipice ale tinerilor vs bătrânilor din vechea gardă nu ajută la nimic altceva decât la polarizarea și mai agresivă a unei societăți ce suferă, înainte de orice, de sarăcie și de lipsa speranței că lucrurile se pot schimba în mai bine. Singurătatea explică, parțial, o segregare pe vârste ce limitează comunicarea dintre grupuri de vârste diferite. Totodată, îmbunătățirile la nivelul serviciilor sociale și nu numai (alea care sunt) au loc într-un ritm atât de lent, încât e dificil să percepi că ceva chiar s-a schimbat. Un teren fertil pentru forme de radicalizare anti-democratică.

 

The most disturbing change was a wave of radical attacks throughout England . Radicalism should not have been a surprise for a city that sheltered political refugees like Marx , Trotsky and Lenin , all of whom had lived among the socialists and anarchists in the East End . Bombs were planted to sabotage the water supply . Windows were smashed on Downing Street as well as in government buildings and shops across the country — they used bricks , stones and hammers . A steel spike was thrown through the window of Chancellor David Lloyd George’s cab , striking him inches away from his eye and cutting his face . Winston Churchill was horsewhipped at a train station . Empty houses , garden pavilions and churches were burned . Bombs exploded in Westminster Abbey , in churches , trains , castles and houses . Scotland Yard purchased its first camera to take surveillance photos of the suspects . They were all women . England’s most determined radicals were suffragettes . Despite the decline of the House of Lords , Britain’s politics lagged far behind its culture . Women were earning university degrees , refusing unwanted marriages and becoming financially independent . In 1911 , more than a third of London’s workforce was female — an increase of 22 percent over the past ten years . Women were more important to the empire than ever before only to find that they had no voice in national politics . The suffragettes ’ campaign for voting rights gained momentum when they began disrupting Liberal Party meetings in 1905 . Suffragettes had no choice but to force their way into the democratic process , going beyond parades and Votes for Women banners . In 1910 several hundred women trying to storm Parliament met violent resistance from the police and male bystanders . Several women were injured , and two died . When suffragettes began hunger strikes in prison , the guards put them in straitjackets and used funnels to force – feed them semolina through their noses . At least one woman’s nasal membrane was torn away . The public outcry against force – feeding led Parliament to pass the Cat and Mouse Act , which allowed authorities to release a hunger – striking prisoner and rearrest her as soon as she was healthy again . Officials seized suffrage headquarters and intercepted their letters , but the hunger strikes continued , as did the arson campaign , the window smashing and the bombings . Several suffragettes plotted to assassinate the prime minister .

Birmingham, Kevin. The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses (pp. 39-40). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.