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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed

The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed
Bertrand Russell

ONE of the persistent delusions of mankind is that some sections of the human race are morally better or worse than others. This belief has many different forms, none of which has any rational basis. It is natural to think well of ourselves, and thence, if our mental processes are simple, of our sex, our class, our nation, and our age. But among writers, especially moralists, a less direct expression of self-esteem is common. They tend to think ill of their neighbors and acquaintances, and therefore to think well of the Sections of mankind to "which they themselves do not belong, Lao-tse admired the "pure men of old," who lived before the advent of Confucian sophistication. Tacitus and Madame de Stael admired the Germans because they had no emperor. Locke thought well of the "intelligent American" because he was not led astray by Cartesian sophistries.

A rather curious form of this admiration for groups to which the admirer does not belong is the belief in the superior virtue of the oppressed: subject nations, the poor, women, and children. The eighteenth century, while conquering America from the Indians, reducing the peasantry to the condition of pauper laborers, and introducing the cruelties of early industrialism, loved to sentimentalize about the "noble savage" and the "simple annals of the poor." Virtue, it was said, was not to be found in courts: but court ladies could almost secure it by masquerading as shepherdesses. And as for the male sex:

Happy the man whose wish and care
A lew paternal acres bound.

Nevertheless, for himself Pope preferred London and his villa at Twickenham.

At the French Revolution the superior virtue of the poor became a party question, and has remained so ever since. To reactionaries they became the "rabble" or the "mob." The rich discovered, with surprise, that some people were so poor as not to own even "a few paternal acres." Liberals, however, still continued to idealize the rural poor, while intellectual Socialists and Communists did the same for the urban proletariat - a fashion to which, since it only became important in the twentieth century, I shall return later.

Nationalism introduced, in the nineteenth century, a substitute for the noble savage the patriot of an oppressed nation. The Greeks until they had achieved liberation from the Turks, the Hungarians until the Ausgleich of 1867, the Italians until 1870, and the Poles until after the 1914-18 war were regarded romantically as gifted poetic races, too idealistic to succeed in this wicked world. The Irish were regarded by the English as possessed of a special charm and mystical insight until 1921, when it was found that the expense of continuing to oppress them would be prohibitive. One by one these various nations rose to independence, and were found to be just like everybody else; but the experience of those already liberated did nothing to destroy the illusion as regards those who were still struggling. English old ladies still sentimentalize about the "wisdom of the East" and American intellectuals about the "earth consciousness" of the Negro.

Women, being the objects of the strongest emotions, have been viewed even more irrationally than the poor or the subject nations. I am thinking not of what poets have to say but of the sober opinions of men who imagine themselves rational. The church had two opposite attitudes: on the one hand, woman was the Temptress, who led monks and others into sin; on the other hand, she was capable of saintliness to an almost greater degree than man. Theologically, the two types were represented by Eve and the Virgin. In the nineteenth century the temptress fell into the background; there were, of course, "bad" women, but Victorian worthies, unlike St. Augustine and his successors, would not admit that such sinners could tempt them, and did not like to acknowledge their existence. A kind of combination of the Madonna and the lady of chivalry was created as the ideal of the ordinary married woman. She was delicate and dainty, she had a bloom which would be rubbed off by contact with the rough world, she had ideals which might be dimmed by contact with wickedness; like the Celts and the Slavs and the noble savage, but to an even greater degree, she enjoyed a spiritual nature, which made her the superior of man but unfitted her for business or politics or the control of her own fortune. This point of view is still not entirely extinct. Not long ago, in reply to a speech I had made in favor of equal pay for equal work, an English schoolmaster sent me a pamphlet published by a schoolmasters' association, setting forth the opposite opinion, which it supports with curious arguments. It says of woman: "We gladly place her first as a spiritual force; we acknowledge and reverence her as the 'angelic part of humanity'; we give her superiority in all the graces and refinements we are capable of as human beings; we wish her to retain all her winsome womanly ways." "This appeal" that women should be content with lower rates of pay "goes forth from us to them," so we are assured, "in no selfish spirit, but out of respect and devotion to our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. . . . Our purpose is a sacred one, a real spiritual crusade.

Fifty or sixty years ago such language would have roused no comment except on the part of a handful of feminists; now, since women have acquired the vote, it has come to seem an anachronism. The belief in their "spiritual" superiority was part and parcel of the determination to keep them inferior economically and politically. When men were worsted in this battle, they had to respect women, and therefore gave up offering them "reverence" as a consolation for inferiority.

A somewhat similar development has taken place in the adult view of children. Children, like women, were theologically wicked, especially among evangelicals. They were limbs of Satan, they were unregenerate; as Dr. Watts so admirably put it:

One stroke of His almighty rod
Can send young sinners quick to Hell.

It was necessary that they should be "saved." At Wesley's school "a general conversion was once effected, . . one poor boy only excepted, who unfortunately resisted the influence of the Holy Spirit, for which he was severely flogged. . . ." But during the nineteenth century, when parental authority, like that of kings and priests and husbands, felt itself threatened, subtler methods of quelling insubordination came into vogue. Children were "innocent"; like good women they had a "bloom"; they must be protected from knowledge of evil lest their bloom should be lost. Moreover, they had a special kind of wisdom. Wordsworth made this view popular among English-speaking people. He first made it fashionable to credit children with

High instincts before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised.

No one in the eighteenth century would have said to his little daughter, unless she were dead:

Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year
And worships't at the temple's inner shrine.

But in the nineteenth century this view became quite common; and respectable members of the Episcopal church or even of the Catholic church shamelessly ignored Original Sin to dally with the fashionable heresy that

. . . trailing clouds of glory do we cone

From God who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy.

This led to the usual development. It began to seem hardly right to spank a creature that was lying in Abraham's bosom, or to use the rod rather than a high instincts "to make it "tremble like a guilty thing surprised/' And so parents and schoolmasters found that the pleasures they had derived from inflicting chastisement were being curtailed and a theory of education grew up which made it necessary to consider the child's welfare, and not only the adult's convenience and sense of power. The only consolation the adults could allow themselves was the invention of a new child psychology. Children, after being limbs of Satan in traditional theology and mystically illuminated angels in the minds of educational reformers, have reverted to being little devils not theological demons inspired by the Evil One, but scientific Freudian abominations inspired by the Unconscious. They are, it must be said, far more wicked than they were in the diatribes of the monks; they display, in modern textbooks, an ingenuity and persistence in sinful imaginings to which in the past there was nothing comparable except St. Anthony. Is all this the objective truth at last? Or is it merely an adult imaginative compensation for being no longer allowed to wallop the little pests? Let the Freudians answer, each for the others.

As appears from the various instances that we have considered, the stage in which superior virtue Is attributed to the oppressed is transient and unstable. It begins only when the oppressors come to have a bad conscience, and this only happens when their power is no longer secure. The idealizing of the victim is useful for a time: if virtue is the greatest of goods, and if subjection makes people virtuous, it is kind to refuse them power, since it would destroy their virtue. If it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, it is a noble act on his part to keep his wealth and so imperil his eternal bliss for the benefit of his poorer brethren. It was a fine self-sacrifice on the part of men to relieve women of the dirty work of politics. And so on. But sooner or later the oppressed class will argue that its superior virtue is a reason in favor of its having power, and the oppressors will find their own weapons turned against them. When at last power has been equalized, it becomes apparent to everybody that all the talk about superior virtue was nonsense, and that it was quite unnecessary as a basis for the claim to equality.

In regard to the Italians, the Hungarians, women, and children, we have ran through the whole cycle. But we are still in the middle of it in the case which is of the most importance at the present time namely, that of the proletariat. Admiration of the proletariat is very modern. The eighteenth century, when it praised "the poor," thought always of the rural poor. Jefferson's democracy stopped short at the urban mob; he wished America to remain a country of agriculturists. Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams, power stations, and airplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age. Considered in human terms, it has as little in its favor as belief in Celtic magic, the Slav soul, women's intuition, and children's innocence. If it were indeed the case that bad nourishment, little education, lack of air and sunshine, unhealthy housing conditions, and overwork produce better people than are produced by good nourishment, open air, adequate education and housing, and a reasonable amount of leisure, the whole case for economic reconstruction would collapse, and we could rejoice that such a large percentage of the population enjoys the conditions that make for virtue. But obvious as this argument is, many Socialist and Communist intellectuals consider it de rigueur to pretend to find the proletariat more amiable than other people, while professing a desire to abolish the conditions which, according to them, alone produce good human beings. Children were idealized by Wordsworth and un-idealized by Freud. Marx was the Wordsworth of the proletariat; its Freud is still to come.

On paying for software vs blocking ads on websites/in software

Me: I gifted a US$1.49 game to the guy who never pays for anything he can pirate
459 ratings, 5 stars
king of dragon pass
gotta e good
my note was "this may just possibly be the first digitally available game that you own that has had money paid for it"

Someone: ask your... friend
if he thinks software developers are subhuman and do not deserve to be paid for their work

Me: I think it's similar to your "my bandwidth, my rules" rule for blocking ads

Someone: ha
ads are not quite the same as stuff being made and sold directly by the same person

Me: eh
you think there's a direct link between the developer and the purchase meh
developer is paid by game company
game company is paid by publisher
publisher is paid by store/online platform
website is paid by ad company
ad company is paid by advertisers depending on views/clicks
so the link is shorter for ads even

Someone: when it comes to apps
developers paid directly by google
and do you honestly think writing an app for users is the same as advertising
i'm all of blocking ads in apps
there's a difference between providing a service
and brainwashing

Me: how are ads brainwashing
ads are an alternative way of supporting a product/service
it's the same as a list price. just a different model

Someone: using an app without paying for it and blocking ads is different

Me: when you write an app for users you either sell it and get $1 upfront from user X
or you make it adware and get $0.01 a month (assumption) from user X

Someone: yes,
and i think adware is scum

Me: then dont use it

Someone: i don't
but we aren't talking about this
why do yuo keep changing
i am saying
your friend who doesn't pay for his ads
er
apps

Me: well I was talking about downloading games

Someone: does he think the people who writes them don't need to be paid for their work

Me: it's all the same
ars technica wrote something on this
I'm sure you know

Someone: ads
is not the same
as writing a program
good god
if yuo honestly think it's the same
then let's just agree to disagree
i'm not trying to sell you someone else's product when i write an application
i don't try to change your perception of anything
when i offer you my service as an app developer

Me: no they're not the same
ads <- way to get paid writing an app <- service ads are to the price of an app as writing an app is to maintaining a website err. like that when I talk to you about this issue I'm also trying to change your perception of the issue Someone: yes, but it's a two way discussion

Me: you seem to view advertising as coercive

Someone: advertising is coercive
????

Me: no it's persuasive
there's a difference

Someone: a very fine one
and if you let htem have their way
it would be coercive
so don't
compare my living
with advertising

Me: anyway if you don't like apps with ads, don't use them
if you don't like websites with ads, don't visit them

Someone: we aren't talking about whether i like apps
or use htem
if they're supported by ads
for the last time
we are talking about your friend
paying app developers
for their apps

Me: and I am using the same principle in a different context

that's like saying it's not ok for A to kill B with a chainsaw
but it's ok for C to kill D with an axe

Someone: but we aren't discussing that context

i am saying
that writing an app and putting it on sale
is not the same as writing an article on the net and showing it with ads
do you hoenstly not see the difference

Me: nope

Someone: the second one involves the premise that your content is freely accessible
it's like giving out newspapers
the app itself is not accessible without paying for it unless you pirate
or if it's ad supported
it's a all or nothing thing
if you want the app you buy it
and at no point in this process do i say, hey, i think you need to buy these products from some 3rd party
it's just, do you want this app?
yes? give me some money
and you can use it
there are apps that are ad supported
by all means block those ads

Me: ad-supported websites are like places which require an admission fee to enter
but there's no ticket control, just a box for you to deposit your admission fee

Someone: no, yuo don't need to deposit any admission fee...
sigh
when you enter
someone gives you a flyer that says
buy this shit
at no point in this do you give anyone any money
also they take your photograph and fingerprints
enough for lousy analogy yet?

Me: well in that case it's wrong to kill someone with a chainsaw because it's motorised
but an axe is okay because it's human powered

Someone: your latter analogy i completely do not understand whatsoever
how is killing people got anything to with this

Me: if you don't want to get the flyer or be photographed or get fingerprinted, don't go in
dont break in

Someone: it's not breaking in
no one loses anything
digital media
is not the same as traditional media

Me: if you break in without breaking locks, doors etc no one loses anything either

it's an opportunity cost in both senses
killing people <-> paying people for their work
axe <-> paying for apps
chainsaw <-> ads

Someone: there are different penalties for theft and murder...
haiya ok i want to play game
but you should think about this a bit more

Me: yes it's different for new media
so it's ok to pirate apps also
I have thought about this
that's why months (years?) after you told me you block ads I'm talking about it

Someone: no it's not, the fundamental difference is
i don't try to sell you
someone else's product
and i don't give you my app for free
blocking ads is not because
i'm opposed to giving websites my money

Me: yes so as I've said if you philosophically disagree with the funding model just dont use the product
instead of using the product without paying
while condemning those who use products without paying in other instances

Someone: i honestly can't believe you think advertising and revenue sharing from appstore are the same
i think you are far mroe intelligent than that
and you are being contrary for hte sake of being contrary

Me: the issue is not whether they are the same
the issue is whether pirating paid apps is the same as blocking ads on ad-supported websites
it may be faster to kill someone with a chainsaw than an axe
but in both cases the person ends up dead

Someone: and i'ts not
sigh
yeah okay look
we clearly fundamentally disagre about this

Me: yes
just go play your game
just accept that intelligent people can disagree over issues without being contrary for the sake of being contrary

Someone: i do

Me: well you just claimed that I was being contrary for the sake of being contrary
I suspect people think I;m trolling when I say I support incest

Someone: but you haven't rebutted my point about selling someone else's product either

it's not the same, is it?
we're talking about different things
you're talking about how the website is being killed
i'm talking about differnet kinds of revenue streams
but somehow
you have conflated both topics
i'm only interested in the appstore

Me: so dont use ad supported websites/apps

Someone: yesw
yes i agree w
don't use them w

Me: so why do you have an ad blocker?

Someone: because i can't get away from ads
can i?
it's not as easy as don't use them
do you see the difference?
i try my best
not to use ad supported software
and websites
and i pay for those that i do
btu i can't
stop
myself
from seeing ads
even then
again
my use of an adblocker
is not because i'm opposed to giving websites my money

Me: so in that case it's more of a practical issue than a philosophical one
like a vegetarian will eat meat if the alternative is death

Someone: and what about the sites that have no alternatives?
facebook doesn't let me pay to get rid of ads
that's pretty lousy, isn't it?

Me: ok. so the we have found the root of the disagreement

Thursday, June 20, 2013

PSI

If the PSI now (or at 9am, anyway) is 131, what would 321 (from last night) look like in the day? Rolling fog?

Friend's theory: if the real PSI is released, construction sites would grind to a halt and BTOs would be delayed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Links - 18th June 2013

New IU study: 'How' often is more important than 'why' when describing breakups - ""It wasn't until after I had collected many breakup stories that I realized my students had told me something quite revealing that would come up time and time again. ... American undergraduates focus on the 'how' of a breakup when describing their breakups, not the 'why' or the 'who,'"... "The medium used for the conversation mattered enough to be almost always mentioned," Gershon said. "People would invariably mark when a different medium was used, explaining when communication shifted from voicemail to texting to Facebook and then to phone." Her results differ from other ethnographic research done elsewhere, such as in Japan and Britain, where the story often focuses on justifying why the relationship had to end. Character was the emphasis overseas, not the method... In many cases, the young people Gershon interviewed were looking for validation that it had been a bad breakup and the medium was crucial evidence."

Hey Danish tourists, stop pissing on our roads! : Shanghaiist - "How very dare they! Don't they know that only locals are allowed to piss and shit in public?!"

Your Instagram photos may be hurting the feelings of the Chinese people - "some Chinese users feel "upset and betrayed" when she'd post photos "they thought didn't represent China in a good way." Users especially objected to her focus on hutongs, while they make for beautifully gritty images of old China, the odd garbage man or demolished house seems a far cry from the lightning-paced modernization in downtown Beijing and Shanghai."

Parents in Singapore love extra tuition - "Madam Teo has signed her daughter up for tuition six days a week. The girl's classes start after school at 4pm and end at 9pm. But more than just time, Madam Teo has also invested a considerable amount in her daughter's tuition - $3,000 per month. Kiasu? She's not the only mother worried about her child's grades. Parents here collectively spend US$680 million (S$840 million) on tuition in a year, a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) showed. The ADB report, quoting 2012 figures, said the amount spent on private supplementary tutoring has been on the rise and has doubled from just a decade ago. Close to one in two Singaporean parents spend on tuition for their children, MasterCard's latest survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities - Education showed"

Gif's inventor says ignore dictionaries and say 'Jif' - "The OED told the BBC that it was beyond the software engineer's control to determine how the word should be said... The Gif Pronunciation Page has long catalogued evidence that Gif sounds like Jif. The site suggests the reason for this was to make it sound like a popular brand of American peanut butter - "one of the principal three programmer foods (the other two being Pepsi and nacho cheese Doritos)"."

'Ghost Tits': Olivia Munn Loses Her Cleavage In Horror Movie Parody From Paulilu Mixtape (VIDEO)

s/pores » Blog Archive » Imaginary Frontiers and Deferred Masculinity: Singapore Working Class Men in Batam > Terence Chong - "In light of their subordinated masculinities, working class men generally speak of two things when they travel to Batam for sex. Firstly, they talk of being pushed or squeezed from the metropolis... Secondly, they speak of seeking new spaces – both territorial and cultural – as necessary to regain their sense of self... It is Batam, an imaginary frontier away from the unforgiving metropolis, where the deferred masculinity of these working class Singaporean men can be articulated heteronormatively. In short, sex in Batam is “an escape into the fantasy of men-as-men and women-as-women, an uncomplicated distribution of roles which provide a refuge from life, because nobody has to step outside the prescribed exchanges and dialogues”... Dan’s feelings of friendship suggest that the sexual encounter, though premised on economic power, may be characterised by more than just “libidinal bonds”... The imaginary frontier has allowed the sexual encounter to develop into a more socially complex relationship where money purchases the opportunity for men like Dan to display certain traits like care and concern which may otherwise not be required from his emotionally-distant wife or busy teenage daughters... The imaginary frontier is thus a space for the men to play out certain emotional needs and familial desires while the sex worker may willingly subject herself to such male imaginations, either because of the rewards at stake, or because her own imagination of a caring, perhaps even lovelorn, boyfriend offers a comforting counterbalance to the uncertainties and dangers in her profession... Sex is part of a collective experience and cannot be simply isolated as an act of hegemonic masculinity or exploitation of women. Interestingly, Khairun’s ability to treat the girl to meals, drinks and cigarettes in Batam is a simultaneous reminder of his inability to do the same in Singapore"

How The Human Face Might Look In 100,000 Years - "Kwan based his predictions on what living environments might look like in the future, climate and technological advancements. One of the big changes will be a larger forehead, Kwan predicts – a feature that has already expanding since the 14th and 16th centuries. Scientists writing in the British Dental Journal have suggested that skull-measurement comparisons from that time show modern-day people have less prominent facial features but higher foreheads, and Kwan expects the human head to trend larger to accommodate a larger brain."

Photographer captures daily life inside the lonely legal brothels of rural Nevada - "What he saw was shockingly mundane. The sex trade raises moral and political hackles and evokes an emotional response in most Americans. But, McAndrews often captured women preparing for just another day of work."
The women don't at all look like what you'd expect them to

Egypt Islam Center Freezes Dialogue With Vatican - "The Islamic Research Council of the University of al-Azhar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam, is freezing dialogue with the Vatican in protest of Benedict XVI's defense of Christians in Egypt... Last week, Egypt recalled its ambassador to the Holy See, Lamia Aly Hamada Mekhemar. This came after the Pope on Jan. 9 and 10 referred to the Alexandria attack... Thursday's announcement of a dialogue-freeze from Al-Azhar follows a protest from the great imam there, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, who took the Holy Father's references as an "unacceptable intervention in Egypt's affairs"... al-Tayyeb will not be attending the Assisi interreligious meeting convoked by Benedict XVI for October. The Pope announced Jan. 1 that he would personally participate in the Assisi gathering, which marks the 25th anniversary of the first interreligious prayer for peace event held there by Pope John Paul II. "These meetings, ultimately, are not bringing any good to Muslims, and they don't do good to the East but only to the West," declared al-Tayyeb. "And in all the conferences in which we took part in the past, we said clearly that the West is not serious in its way of approaching the nature of Islamic civilization and the civilization of the Middle East and of Easterners." "We hold ourselves to our relationship with the Vatican, but we also have the right not to be in agreement with the Vatican," he added, "and we hope that Benedict XVI, as a religious who appeals for peace, will address a word to Muslims apologizing for the Crusades and acknowledging the richness that the Islamic civilization has contributed to European civilization.""
Islamophobia!

The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar criticises Pope Benedict double standards - ""I disagree with the pope's view, and I ask why did the pope not call for the protection of Muslims when they were subjected to killings in Iraq?" he said at a news conference. The Vatican immediately rejected the accusation, saying the head of the Roman Catholic Church had shown solidarity with the Coptic community as well as concern for the consequences of the violence for the Christian and Muslim population. "Therefore we cannot see how the pope's approach to bring everybody to accept non-violence can be considered meddling""

58 seconds of white people getting dunked on - YouTube - "An in-depth look at the United States' pursuit of isolationism in the early stages of World War I, though the footage has been slightly altered to look like a bunch of white guys getting clowned in the NBA."

BANNED Adam and Eve, the gay version - YouTube

Did men create menopause by chasing after younger women?

SYABM — Michael Legere: Do you even know what feminism... - "Michael Legere: Do you even know what feminism is?
Bernd Jendrissek: Sure, it’s that thing that when you are one, you can’t be Scottish, because no true Scotsman would be a feminist."

David Jones - Google+ - In The Netherlands a few days ago I thought of the… - "Richards apparently thought 2 guys at a conference were being inappropriate when they made a joke of the word 'dongle'. Perhaps this neo-prudery originates in 60s separatism; but the claim that very mild innuendo and joking is a no-no in the workplace just hasn't been my experience in any company I've worked at, anywhere, ever. And it seems the amusing dick jokes date back quite some way and really can be found everywhere. While I was hunting out the misericords in the cathedral I noticed these decorations on the choir stalls. Long-necked creatures on their haunches, obviously. Is anyone offended? I doubt it, if they notice. Are they inappropriate? Well, this is where we might not want to let humourless po-faced ideologues define what's appropriate. These choir stalls date from the 16th century and no member of the congregation has yet taken an axe to them and nobody's tweeted the Bishop demanding their removal"

Liz Hurley 'safety pin' dress voted the greatest dress

Prosthetic Fingers for Ex-Yakuza Members - "If you can get out of the yakuza alive and want to live a normal life, how can you avoid the stigma of missing fingers and all that they imply? Dr. Shintaro Hayashi's solution was to construct highly realistic prosthetic fingers"

Kinder crime: Why a traveler was busted because of a chocolate egg - "Marmite and Vegemite, Denmark
The preferred yeast-extract spreads of Britons and Aussies were banned in Denmark on the basis that Marmite and Vegemite are products that contain “enhanced vitamins.”"

British Tabloid Apologizes to Aliens for Linking Them to Scientology

Elles nous emmerdent avec ses corps nus

- Ouvrez-moi, dit M.Jo, très doucement. Je ne vous toucherai pas, je ne ferai pas un pas, simplement je vous regarderai, ouvrez-moi.

Suzanne s'immobilisa et fixa la porte de la cabine obscure derrière laquelle se tenait M.Jo. Aucun homme ne l'avait vue vraiment nue, sauf Joseph qui montait quelques fois se laver les pieds au moment où elle prenait son bain. Mais comme ça n'avait jamais cessé de se produire depuis qu'ils étaient tout petits, ça ne pouvait pas compter. Suzanne se regarda bien, des pieds à la tête, regarda longuement ce que M.Jo lui demandait de regarder à son tour. Surprise, elle se mit à sourire sans répondre.

- Rien que le temps de vous voir, soupira M.Jo, Joseph et votre mère sont de l'autre côté. Je vous en supplie.
- Je ne veux pas, dit faiblement Suzanne.
- Pourquoi ? Pourquoi ma petite Suzanne ? J'ai tellement envie de vous voir, à force de rester près de vous toute la journée. Rien qu'une seconde.

Immobile, Suzanne attendait toujours de savoir s'il le fallait. Le refus était sorti d'elle machinalement. Ç'avait été non. D'abord, non, impérieusement. Mais M.Jo suppliait encore tandis que ce non lentement s'inversait et que Suzanne, inerte, emmurée, se laissait faire. Il avait très envie de la voir. Quand même c'était là l'envie d'un homme. Elle, elle était là aussi, bonne à être vue, et il n'y avait que la porte à ouvrir. Et aucun homme au monde n'avait ecore vu celle qui se tenait derrière cette porte. Ce n'était pas fait pour être caché mais au contraire pour être vu et faire son chemin de par le monde, le monde auquel appartenait quand même celui-là, ce M.Jo. Mais c'est lorsqu'elle fut sur le point d'ouvrir la porte de la cabine obscure pour que pénètre le regard de M.Jo et que la lumière se fasse enfin sur ce mystère, que M.Jo parla du phonographe.

- Demain vous aurez votre phonographe, dit M.Jo. Dès demain un magnifique Voix de son Maître. Ma petite Suzanne chérie, ouvrez une seconde et vous aurez votre phono.

C'est ainsi qu'au moment où elle allait ouvrir et se donner au monde, le monde la prostitua. La main sur le loquet, elle arrêta son geste.

- Vous êtes une ordure, dit-elle faiblement. Joseph a raison, une ordure.

Je vais lui cracher à la figure. Elle ouvrit et le crachat lui resta dans la bouche. Ce n'était pas la peine. C'était la déveine, ce M. Jo, la déveine, comme les barrages, le cheval qui crevait, ce n'était personne, seulement la déveine.

- Voilà, dit-elle, et je vous emmerde avec mon corps nu.


--- Un barrage contre le pacifique / Marguerite Duras
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