sexta-feira, fevereiro 20, 2009


"This will distress you," said Karellen. "But remember that your standards no longer apply. You are not watching human children."
Yet that was the immediate impression that came to Jan's mind, and no amount of logic could dispel it. They might have been savages, engaged in some complex ritual dance. They were naked and filthy, with matted hair obscuring their eyes. As faras Jan could tell, they were of all ages from five to fifteen, yet they all moved with the same speed, precision, and complete indifference to their surroundings.

Then Jan saw their faces. He swallowed hard, and forced himself not to turn away. They were emptier than the faces of the dead, for even
a corpse has some record carved by Time's chisel upon its features, to speak when the lips themselves are dumb. There was no more emotion or feeling here than in the face of a snake or an insect. The Overlords themselves were more human than this.

"You are searching for something that is no longer there," said Karellen. "Remember-they have no more identity than the cells in your own body. But linked together, they are something much greater than you."

"Why do they keep moving like this ?"

"We called it the Long Dance," replied Karellen. "They never sleep, you know, and this lasted almost a year. Three hundred million of them, moving in a controlled pattern over a whole continent. We've analysed that pattern endlessly, but it means nothing, perhaps because we can see only the physical part of it-the small portion that's here on Earth. Possibly what we have called the Overmind is still training them, moulding them into one unit before it can wholly absorb them into its being."


So this, thought Jan, with a resignation that lay beyond all sadness, was the end of man. It was an end that no prophet had ever foreseen - an end that repudiated optimism and pessimism alike. Yet it was fitting: it had the sublime inevitability of a great work of art. Jan had glimpsed the universe in all its awful immensity, and knew now that it was no place for man. He realized at last how vain, in the ultimate analysis, had been the dream that had lured him to the stars.

For he knew, as no-one else had ever known, that Karellen spoke the truth when he had said: "The stars are not for Man."

Arthur C. Clarke, The Childhood's End, 1953

56 anos depois, isto e isto.

sábado, fevereiro 07, 2009

A mais pura verdade

Hoje, ao ligar a televisão, o fio enrolou-se em torno da minha perna boa. A que faz bem aos mendigos na rua e põe o lixo na reciclagem. A outra, a má, não partilha os rebuçados com ninguém e ri-se sem piedade das pessoas gordas que passam ao lado.

O fio, portanto, enrolou-se na perna mais doce. E arrancou-a pela coxa, arrastando-a em seguida para dentro da televisão.

É claro que fiquei desapontado mas, principalmente, fiquei surpreendido por não ter caído.

Foi nessa altura que vi que alguém me tinha atarrachado a perna má ao chão. Talvez o comando da televisão. Ou a dona da loja das gomas. Talvez o fio tenha sido um cúmplice, distraindo-me com o arrancar da perna boa.

Pior que estar atarrachado ao chão pela perna má é ter de ouvir os impropérios que ela não pára de lançar ao gordo que, de vez em quando, aparece na televisão.

Acreditem-me quando digo que a televisão faz mal à saúde.

[Há cerca de um ano... a ler demasiado Daniel Harms...]