a nation like no other

Римські історики записали, що полководці (адже їм лише б загарбувати) радили першому імператорові Августові війною колонізувати нашу державу Велику Україну, брати зерно та інші товари безкоштовно. Будуть і податки. Він заперечував: не хоче більше втратити, ніж скористати, бо українська нація особлива, не знае рабовласництва, не була ще ніким поневолена. Підкорити її важко. Крім того, війна знищить землеробство, і зерна все одно не буде.
    Почалася 300-літня “легка колонізація” наших морських портів Римом. Були і війни, бо імператори після Августа посилали полководців чи й самі вели легіони колонізувати українську землю і націю, але нація завжди, хоч і з великими матеріальними і людськими втратами, відбивалася від могутнього Риму. Нація не підкорилася наймогутнішому колонізаторові античності. Українська нація не скорена!
    Цей урок з античної історії нам потрібно вивчити, запам’ятати і взяти до уваги.

Roman historians recorded that the generals (who think of nothing but conquests) advised the first emperor Augustus to wage war in order to colonize our country, the Great Ukraine, to confiscate her grain and other goods. There would be taxes, too. He demurred, not wanting to lose more than he would gain; for the Ukrainian nation is like no other: it does not suffer slavery, it never has been dominated by anyone else. It would be hard to conquer. Besides, warfare would destroy agriculture, and grain could not be had anyway.
    Thus began the 300-year long “light colonization” of our seaports by Rome. There were wars, because emperors that followed Augustus sent their generals or themselves went to command legions to colonize the Ukrainian land and nation; but our nation always, albeit at great material and human costs, repulsed the mighty Rome. Our nation defied the most powerful colonizers of antiquity. Ukrainian nation is unconquered!
    We must learn, memorize, and heed this lesson from ancient history.

— Mykola Halychanets, The Ukrainian nation: The Origin and Life of the Ukrainian Nation From the Ancient Times to the Eleventh Century, Mandrivets, 2005

tempus judex rerum

I am thinking about a good way of saying “Time Judged All” in Latin. Curiously, the literal formulation appears not to be attested in literature until its late 18th century use by August Ludwig von Schlözer: “Judex rerum omnium tempus, diligensque Tuorum ministrorum inquisitio, multa inopinata, quae adhuc latent, modo Deus intersit, nobis aperient.” The traditional way of expressing the underlying thought is the Greek “Χρόνος τὰ κρυπτὰ πάντα πρὸς τὸ φῶς ἄγει”, time brings to light all hidden things, of Menandri Sententiae 592, or the more concise “πάντ’ ἀναπτύσσει χρόνος”, time reveals all, of Sophocles’ Fragment 301. In Latin, this thought is rendered by Aulus Gellius in Attic Nights, XII.11, as “Veritas temporis filia”, truth is the daughter of time. Erasmus cites a paraphrase of this thought, “Tempus omnia revelat”, time reveals all things, as Adagia II.iv.17. Francis Bacon amplifies the formulation of Aulus Gellius as “Recte enim Veritas Temporis filia dicitur, non Authoritatis”, truth is rightly called the daughter of time, not of authority, in Novum Organum I.84. Thomas Nashe paraphrases it in English: “Veritas temporis filia, it is only time that revealeth all things.” Shakespeare is more prolix in The Rape of Lucrece 990-1010:

Time’s glory is to calm contending kings,
To unmask falsehood and bring truth to light,
To stamp the seal of time in aged things,
To wake the morn of sentinel the night,
To wrong the wronger till he render right,
To ruinate proud buildings with thy hour
And smear with dust their glittering golden towers;

To fill with worm-holes stately monuments,
To feed oblivion with decay of things,
To blot old books and alter their contents,
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens’ wings,
To dry the old oak’s sap and cherish springs,
To spoil antiquities of hammer’d steel,
And turn the giddy round of Fortune’s wheel;

To show the beldam daughters of her daughter,
To make the child a man, the man a child,
To slay the tiger that doth live by slaughter,
To tame the unicorn and lion wild,
To mock the subtle in themselves beguiled,
To cheer the ploughman with increaseful crops,
And waste huge stones with little water drops.

Few mortal judges enjoy such abounding authority.

A more ominous sense of judging is captured by Ovid in Metamorphoses XV.234-236:

Tempus edax rerum, tuque, invidiosa vetustas,
omnia destruitis, vitiataque dentibus aevi
paulatim lenta consumitis omnia morte.

As rendered by Arthur Golding in 1567:

Thou tyme the eater up of things, and age of spyghtfull teene,
Destroy all things. And when that long continuance hath them bit,
You leysurely by lingring death consume them every whit.

“Tempus edax rerum” is proverbial, e.g. as employed in the slogan “le temps détruit tout” at the portentous ending of the movie Irreversible by Gaspar Noé.

odi et amo

λέγει που Ἡράκλειτος ὅτιπάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει,” καὶ ποταμοῦ ῥοῇἀπεικάζων τὰ ὄντα λέγει ὡςδὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης.”

Though you cannot step twice in the same river, no force of nature debars you from pissing in the same sewer time after time.
Likewise the ease of rekindling an old hatred contrasts with the difficulty of renewing an old friendship.
In this regard, love affairs are more akin to sewers than rivers.

troglodytic pussyfooting

Some time ago, touristic extravagances of the POTUS elicited a great deal of waggish hand-wringing:

Obama arrives in India at the start of a ten-day tour of Asia. At the heart of the White House caravan is ‘The Beast’, a gigantic, ‘pimped-up’ General Motors Cadillac which security experts say is, short of an actual battle tank, probably the safest road vehicle on the planet.
    But an outlandish car is only the start. Mr Obama will fly, of course, on Air Force One, the presidential private jumbo jet, which, boasting double beds and suites, is fitted out more like a luxury yacht. Some reports suggest it costs around $50,000 (£31,000) an hour to operate.
    Of course threats can come from any direction, so a squadron of U.S. naval ships will patrol offshore. Some reports have claimed that 34 ships, including two aircraft carriers, will be involved (not far off the size of the Royal Navy’s entire Surface Fleet) but the White House has denied this.
    On land, as well as The Beast, Mr Obama’s entourage will travel in a fleet of 45 U.S.-built armoured limousines, half of which will be decoys. He will also travel with 30 elite sniffer dogs, mostly German Shepherds.
    The White House has, according to some reports, booked the entire Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, the city’s most luxurious. It is not uncommon for the grander heads of state to reserve a floor or two, but a whole hotel is unprecedented. This hotel was the main target of the 2008 attacks by Pakistani militants which left 166 dead.
    As to the cost of all this, the White House will not reveal details – which has allowed Mr Obama’s political foes to bandy about sums including a widely-quoted $200million (£123million) a day. Whatever the figure, it makes the costs associated with the Royal Train and the late Royal Yacht Britannia seem like small change.
    It is also reported that a bomb-proof tunnel will be erected for Mr Obama ahead of his visit to Mani Bhavan—the Gandhi museum—on Saturday.
    According to Daily News & Analysis, U.S. secret service agents visited the museum on Monday to plan Mr Obama’s security during his tour.
    They were accompanied by Mumbai Police officers and civic officials of the D ward where Mani Bhavan is located.
    While they were inspecting the route and the buildings lining the path to the museum, U.S. security officers noticed a nearby skyscraper in the highly populated area that could pose a threat.
    To the amazement of the Indians accompanying the U.S. agents, it was apparently decided to erect a bomb-proof over-ground tunnel, which will be installed by U.S. military engineers in just an hour.
    The kilometre-long tunnel will measure 12ft by 12ft and will have air-conditioning, close-circuit television cameras, and will be heavily guarded at every point.
    It’s being built so it is large enough for Mr Obama’s cavalcade to pass through and will be manned at its entry and exit points.
    The material that the tunnel would be made of has not been released but officials said that the structure would be dismantled immediately after Mr Obama and his party leaves the area.

The Daily Mail, 6 November 2010

Two weeks earlier, Obama’s storied subaltern opined: “If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar.” Strangely enough, the potentate so anointed evaded on this occasion another favorable comparison to his illustrious predecessor:

Germanico bello confecto multis de causis Caesar statuit sibi Rhenum esse transeundum; quarum illa fuit iustissima quod, cum videret Germanos tam facile impelli ut in Galliam venirent, suis quoque rebus eos timere voluit, cum intellegerent et posse et audere populi Romani exercitum Rhenum transire. […]
    Caesar his de causis quas commemoravi Rhenum transire decreverat; sed navibus transire neque satis tutum esse arbitrabatur neque suae neque populi Romani dignitatis esse statuebat. Itaque, etsi summa difficultas faciendi pontis proponebatur propter latitudinem, rapiditatem altitudinemque fluminis, tamen id sibi contendendum aut aliter non traducendum exercitum existimabat. […]
    Diebus X, quibus materia coepta erat comportari, omni opere effecto exercitus traducitur. […]
    Caesar paucos dies in eorum finibus moratus, omnibus vicis aedificiisque incensis frumentisque succisis, se in fines Ubiorum recepit atque his auxilium suum pollicitus, si a Suebis premerentur, haec ab iis cognovit: Suebos, postea quam per exploratores pontem fieri comperissent, more suo concilio habito nuntios in omnes partes dimisisse, uti de oppidis demigrarent, liberos, uxores suaque omnia in silvis deponerent atque omnes qui arma ferre possent unum in locum convenirent. Hunc esse delectum medium fere regionum earum quas Suebi obtinerent; hic Romanorum adventum expectare atque ibi decertare constituisse. Quod ubi Caesar comperit, omnibus iis rebus confectis, quarum rerum causa exercitum traducere constituerat, ut Germanis metum iniceret, ut Sugambros ulcisceretur, ut Ubios obsidione liberaret, diebus omnino XVIII trans Rhenum consumptis, satis et ad laudem et ad utilitatem profectum arbitratus se in Galliam recepitpontemque rescidit.
The German war being finished, Caesar thought it expedient for him to cross the Rhine , for many reasons; of which this was the most weighty, that, since he saw the Germans were so easily urged to go into Gaul, he desired they should have their fears for their own territories, when they discovered that the army of the Roman people both could and dared pass the Rhine. […]
    Caesar, for those reasons which I have mentioned, had resolved to cross the Rhine; but to cross by ships he neither deemed to be sufficiently safe, nor considered consistent with his own dignity or that of the Roman people. Therefore, although the greatest difficulty in forming a bridge was presented to him, on account of the breadth, rapidity, and depth of the river, he nevertheless considered that it ought to be attempted by him, or that his army ought not otherwise to be led over. […]
    Within ten days after the timber began to be collected, the whole work was completed, and the whole army led over. […]
    Caesar, having remained in their territories a few days, and burned all their villages and houses, and cut down their corn, proceeded into the territories of the Ubii; and having promised them his assistance, if they were ever harassed by the Suevi, he learned from them these particulars: that the Suevi, after they had by means of their scouts found that the bridge was being built, had called a council, according to their custom, and sent orders to all parts of their state to remove from the towns and convey their children, wives, and all their possessions into the woods, and that all who could bear arms should assemble in one place; that the place thus chosen was nearly the centre of those regions which the Suevi possessed; that in this spot they had resolved to await the arrival of the Romans, and give them battle there. When Caesar discovered this, having already accomplished all these things on account of which he had resolved to lead his army over, namely, to strike fear into the Germans, take vengeance on the Sigambri, and free the Ubii from the invasion of the Suevi, having spent altogether eighteen days beyond the Rhine, and thinking he had advanced far enough to serve both honor and interest, he returned into Gaul, and cut down the bridge.

—C. Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, IV, 16, 17, 18, 19, translated by T. Rice Holmes

John Soane, Caesar’s Rhine Bridge, 1814
It is hard to do justice to the moral and political superiority of the tunnel conveying Obama to the shrine of non-violence, over the bridge bearing Caesar to the next occasion of belligerency. Perhaps the most effective contrast obtains in juxtaposing prudential concerns of our 44th President with vulgarian bluster of Number 36:

During a private conversation with some reporters who pressed him to explain why we were in Vietnam, Johnson lost his patience. According to Arthur Goldberg, “LBJ unzipped his fly, drew out his substantial organ and declared, ‘This is why!’”

Lyndon Baines Johnson and Senator Richard Russell
By supplanting LBJ’s phallophoric aggressiveness with troglodytic pussyfooting, Barack Obama has established and exposed himself as the first Vaginal President of the United States.

мы зато все в белом

    Не удивительно, конечно, но никогда не лишнее получить подтверждение догадкам, что публика — дура.
    А мы зато стоим, все в белом.

    очень жаль, что нельзя продемонстроровать, как мой второй американский босс парировал вопросы, знает ли он то, что он очевидно не знал:
    Он слегка выдвигал подбородок, вздергивал брови, слегка вылупливал глаза и позволял им остекленеть:
    — Нет, а что!?
    Так и я:
    — Да, а что!?

    Однако, белое в крапинку.

    Попробуем иначе.
    Я вот представил себе, что некто стоит передо мной и разглагольствует о том, что всякому пожилому человеку, всё ещё усердно работающему на своего второго (или же третьего, четвёртого, пятого, и т.д.) американского босса, надо быть жидовской мордой без страха и упрёка, пидором, выкованным из чистой стали с головы до пят. Представил себе и свою словесную и телесную реакцию на подобную тираду, никак не зависящую от моего исконного и последовательного утверждения и соблюдения её содержательной составляющей. Поскольку в предполагаемый момент я по умолчанию причисляю себя к публике-дуре, в отличие от предполагаемой референтной группы докладчика, подразумеваемой латинскими местоимениями типа “nos alteros”, “vos alteros” и “illos alteros”.

    Дорогой мой. Я понимаю ваш пафос демократического централизма, и осмеливаюсь возражать только чтобы не осрамиться перед тенью полководца Суворова, который говорил “Смелость города берет”.
    Видите ли, говоря “публика дура”, я могу причислять себя к ней, или нет, – утверждение остается в силе. Мы же термодинамики с вами. В чем тогда состоит моя ошибка, сахиб?

    Сила Вашего первоначального утверждения, в отличие от значения его истинности, зависит от области его применимости. Дабы не выставить себя на чужое посмешище своим «odi profanum vulgus et arceo», требуется быть если не Квинтом Горацием, то по крайней мере Жорой Байроном или Осей Бродским. В Живом же Журнале подобных ораторов пока не наблюдается.

    Знание – сила.
    Знать бы в чем значение, пересилил бы любую область применимости.
    Думал я запираться и тушеваться — типа, я такая же дура, как и публика, мы с ней два сапога пара. И вообще я ее часть, даже не лучшая. Но вы уже потратили столько усилий, чтобы доказать мне, что я поставил себя над ней, одевшись в нарядное белье, что я вынужден соответствовать:
    Да, я не принадлежу к “публике”. Я из другого теста.
    Ну выставьте же меня на посмешище, чтобы другим неповадно было.
    Что же до бытия Квинтом ли Терцием ли, нет, я не Байрон, я другой, и что — уже и в туалет по большому не сходить?

    Ну и прекрасно, что Вы не принадлежите к “публике”, и что Вы из другого теста. Выставлять же я Вас никуда не стану, ибо сказано “iussisti enim et sic est, ut poena sua sibi sit omnis inordinatus animus.

No wonder that Frank reacted as he did at the Albert Hall, with a rejoinder that found its way onto Burnt Weeny Sandwich and into Zappa folklore. When attendants hustled fans invading the stage at the end of the performance back to their seats, bovine voices from the back of the hall shouted, amongst other things, “Get the uniforms off the stage, Frank!” His reply, “Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform and don’t kid yourself,” drew applause but didn’t silence the lowing cattle.

—Neil Slaven, Electric Don Quixote: The Definitive Story of Frank Zappa, Omnibus Press, 2003, p. 138

А про вписание в квадрат прогрессивной общественности всё написано здесь.

    Вы не можете не признать (даже без моей голодовки), что я спорю с вами скорее для роскоши человеческого общения.
    Давайте же оставим в покое мою географию по отношению к народу — или не оставим:
    Мне предстаявляется, что отношения с народом у личности складываются на нескольких уровнях. Про биологический, этнический, социальный, экономический, политический говорить особенно не нужно — это все нюансы массовой психики, взгляд на отношения с точки зрения народа. Иное дело психология этого отношения, взгляд со стороны личности. Здесь ничего не усредняется и не взвешивается. И на мой взгляд, если личность начинает взвешивать свои психические особенности, подгонять их под народные, то потеряет в результате народ.
    Что на эту тему думает Св.Августин?

    Взвешивать свои особенности—ещё не значит, что должно или можно подгонять их под народные. В этом вопросе народ разберётся намного раньше и лучше личности. А в личном плане, даже если не всякому офицеру мундир к лицу, отнекивание от подразумеваемого обмундирования не освобождает служащего от бремени очевидной подобострастности. В противном случае, народ потеряет больше всего в результате прихода к власти голимой матери-героини в порядке массового противодействия политике личной особенности.

the right to arms

Agreeing with John Rawls to define civil disobedience as “a public, nonviolent conscientious yet political act contrary to law usually done with the aim of bringing about a change in the law or policies of the government” is not self-interested and is always performed in public, nowise implies that smashing a fleeing intruder’s head cannot qualify as such. If and when the man accused of taking the law into his own hands comes forward to face the consequences of his actions in a court of law, its public proceedings suffice to ground the common interest in the effective means of self-defense, vested in his ostensible infringement of refusal to defer to the state monopoly on the legitimate use of violence.

Sesquipedalian persiflage ahead!

the idea of order at key west

As disabled 37-year-old Megan Mariah Barnes was shaving her pubes for the benefit of her new boyfriend in the driver’s seat of her 1995 Ford Thunderbird, her ex-husband Charles Judy took the steering wheel while riding bitch. Thus conjoined in harmonious operation of her automobile across the Florida Keys, they slammed into the back of a 2006 Chevrolet pickup driven by David Schoff. Barnes was charged with the misdemeanor second offense of driving with a revoked license and the felony of leaving the scene of a crash involving injuries. Judy, who had switched seats with his ex-wife in a futile attempt to claim responsibility for her offense, was not charged: “iussisti enim et sic est, ut poena sua sibi sit omnis inordinatus animus.For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every inordinate affection should be its own punishment.

dum spiro sputo

Elaborating on his fascination with Che’s will, Soderbergh explained: “His ability to sustain outrage is what is remarkable to me. We all get outraged about stuff, but to sustain it to the point of putting your ass on the line to change what outrages you, to do it consistently year after year, and to twice walk away from everything and everybody to do it—it’s not normal.”

Soderbergh’s treatment explains the cult of Che Guevara for me. Its grounds are not to be found in the fighter’s altruism looking out for the victims of oppression contrary to their will welcoming its violation. Neither is the would-be liberator morally disqualified by the resistance of his potential beneficiaries; for what good is his intelligence, if not to warrant his authority to speak and act on their benighted behalves? Be it due to sacrificial selflessness or intellectual vanity, Che’s capacity for staying pissed off makes him stand out.

Anticipating his own political martyrdom, Cicero commented on an earlier occasion of noble failure: “ut aegroto, dum anima est, spes esse dicitur”. (Letters to Atticus 9.10.3.) To the sick, while there is life there is hope. Proverbial wisdom condensed Ciceronian dicta to expand their purview: “dum spiro spero”; while I breathe I hope. But to the truly outraged, hope is beside the point. Suffice unto them to spew forth. Dum spiro sputo.