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Mon admiration pour mes héros, Kaliayev et Dora, est entière. J’ai seulement voulu montrer que l’action elle-même avait des limites. Il n’est de bonne et de juste action que celle qui reconnaît ces limites et qui, s’il lui faut les franchir, accept au moins la mort. Notre monde nous montre aujourd’hui une face répugnante, justement parce qu’il est fabriqué des hommes qui s’accordent le droit de franchir ces limites, et d’abord de tuer les autres, sans mourir eux-mêmes. C’est ainsi que la justice aujourd’hui sert d’alibi, partout dans le monde, aux assassins de toute justice.
My admiration for my heroes, Kaliayev and Dora, is complete. I just wanted to demonstrate that action itself has limits. There is no good and just action but that which knows those limits and, if it must cross beyond them, does at least accept death. Today our world shows us a repugnant face, simply because it is made by men who accord themselves the right to transgress these limits, including the right to kill others, without dying themselves. This is how law enforcement today provides cover throughout the world to the assassins of real justice.
–Albert Camus, “Préface à l’édition américaine du théâtre,” in: Théâtre récits nouvelles p. 1733 (R. Quilliot ed. 1962)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”