[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
- To: [email protected]
- Subject: Why?
- From: Anonymous <[email protected]>
- Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 22:19:09 -0400
- Comments: This message was remailed by a FREE automatedremailing service. For additional information on this service,send a message with the subject "remailer-help" [email protected] The body of the message will bediscarded. To report abuse, contact the operator [email protected] Headers below this point wereinserted by the original sender.
- Sender: [email protected]
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Jim Choate wrote:
>> However, it appears that part of the problem with the remailers is
>> that nobody uses them. We should be making a concerted effort to do
>> so, and not just for cpunk traffic. We should use them for
>> everything. It won't take that many people to reduce the message
>> delays substantially. It will also advertise the remailer network to
>> our friends who may not yet be cypherpunks.
>> The tools exist to do this.
>Yes, but why would I?
- From "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera
Part 4, Section 2:
It was a program about Czech emigration, a montage of private
conversations recorded with the latest bugging devices by a Czech spy
who had infiltrated the emigre community and then returned in great
glory to Prague. It was insignificant prattle dotted with some harsh
words about the occupation regime, but here and there one emigre would
call another an imbecile or a fraud. These trivial remarks were the
point of the broadcast. They were meant to prove not merely that
emigres had bad things to say about the Soviet Union (which neither
surprised nor upset anyone in the country), but that they call one
another names and make free use of dirty words. People use filthy
language all day long, but when they turn on the radio and hear a
well-known personality, someone they respect, saying "fuck" in every
sentence, they feel somehow let down.
"It all started with Prochazka," said Tomas.
Jan Prochazka, a forty-year-old Czech novelist with the strength and
vitality of an ox, began criticizing public affairs vociferously even
before 1968. He then became one of the best-loved figures of the
Prague Spring, that dizzying liberalization of Communism which ended
with the Russian invasion. Shortly after the invasion the press
initiated a smear campaign against him, but the more they smeared, the
more people liked him. Then (in 1970, to be exact) the Czech radio
broadcast a series of private talks between Prochazka and a professor
friend of his which had taken place two years before (that is, in the
spring of 1968). For a long time, neither of them had any idea that
the professor's flat was bugged and their every step dogged.
Prochazka loved to regale his friends with hyperbole and excess. Now
his excesses had become a weekly radio series. The secret police, who
produced and directed the show, took pains to emphasize the sequences
in which Prochazka made fun of his friends - Dubcek, for instance.
People slander their friends at the drop of a hat, but they were more
shocked by the much-loved Prochazka than by the much-hated secret
Tomas turned off the radio and said, "Every country has its secret
police. But a secret police that broadcasts its tapes over the radio
- there's something that could happen only in Prague, something
absolutely without precedent!"
"I know a precedent," said Tereza. "When I was fourteen, I kept a
secret diary. I was terrified that someone might read it, so I kept
it hidden in the attic. Mother sniffed it out. One day at dinner,
while we were all hunched over our soup, she took it out of her pocket
and said, 'Listen carefully now, everybody!' And after every
sentence, she burst out laughing. They all laughed so hard they
Part 4, Section 4:
She came out into Old Town Square - the stern spires of Tyn Church,
the irregular rectangle of Gothic and baroque houses. Old Town Hall,
which dated from the fourteenth century and had once stretched over a
whole side of the square, was in ruins and had been so for
twenty-seven years. Warsaw, Dresden, Berlin, Cologne, Budapest - all
were horribly scarred in the last war. But their inhabitants had
built them up again and painstakingly restored the old historical
sections. The people of Prague had an inferiority complex with
respect to these other cities. Old Town Hall was the only monuyment
of note destroyed in the war, and they decided to leave it in ruins so
that no Pole or Germans could accuse them of having suffered less than
their share. In front of the glorious ruins, a reminder for now and
eternity of the evils perpetrated by war, stood a steel-bar reviewing
stand for some demonstration or other that the Communist Party had
herded the people of Prague to the day before or would be herding them
to the day after.
Gazing at the remains of Old Town Hall, Tereza was suddenly reminded
of her mother: that perverse need one has to expose one's ruins, one's
ugliness, to parade one's misery, to uncover the stump of one's
amputated arm and force the whole world to look at it. Everything had
begun reminding her of her mother lately. Her mother's world, which
she had fled ten years before, seemed to be coming back to her,
surrounding her on all sides. That was why she told Tomas that
morning about how her mother had read her secret diary at the dinner
table to an accompaniment of guffaws. When a private talk over a
bottle of wine is broadcast on the radio, what can it mean but that
the world is turning into a concentration camp?
Almost from childhood, Tereza had used the term to express how she
felt about life with her family. A concentration camp is a world in
which people live crammed together constantly, night and day.
Brutality and violence are merely secondary (and not in the least
indispensable) characteristics. A concentration camp is the complete
obliteration of privacy. Prochazka, who was not allowed to chat with
a friend over a bottle of wine in the shelter of privacy, lived
(unknown to him - a fatal error on his part!) in a concentration camp.
Tereza lived in the concentration camp when she lived with her mother.
Almost from childhood, she knew that a concentration camp was nothing
exceptional or startling but something very basic, a given into which
we are born and from which we can escape only with the greatest of
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----