Food for a masked thought
Human Rights Reader 96
On the Human Rights discourse and 'what one-is and is-not'.
1. One-is-what-one-is as long as the disguise lasts. Dropping
the mask of the disguise is an act of re-vindication of our lib-
erty, or an avenue for its exercise and, at the same time, a de-
nunciation of the so many lies we tell ourselves to continue
living at peace with ourselves.
2. What one finds behind one's own mask is always another mask -
- but the mask is you. These masks are the result of what they
taught you to love and reject and that what you now really con-
sciously or subconsciously love and reject. You use those masks,
because you need them to live. Our lives are a complex and re-
fined system of masking ourselves and pretending; wouldn't you
3. But as persons obedient of both the laws-of-physics and the
civic-laws-of-the-places-where-we-live, we cannot at the same
time be the ones who think we are righting-the-wrong and the
ones who naively or perversely 'right-the-actions-of-the-wolves'
in the places where we do not live. We cannot continue to defy
the-apparent, and not the-real order of the world. [Truth is not
just solely what fits inside 'our-small-Chinese-shoe-of-what-we-
consider-rational']. Whatever realism we adopt does not allow us
to escape the grim social realities of the world that surrounds
us. What we see there, requires we crumble the static mentality
that sustains the prevailing social order in what has become a
mirage of progress, or progress without a capital P (or what
some have called 'an ironization of charity').
4. Years pass by and the worthy causes and good hopes die; for-
getfulness ('the-conspiracy-of-forgetfulness') then becomes a
necessary medicine to allow us to live in peace with ourselves
and survive. Therefore, the only thing for which I have a deadly
contempt is forgetting.
5. Arbitrary epilogue: So, speak up (and act) on HR we must --
spilling out the-adrenalin-of-creative-anger we so seldom spill.
[Or, is it true we live in a fear-of-desire-of-seeing-happen-
what-we-so-much-hope-for?] Never leave to think tomorrow what
you can say today. (G. Cabrera Infante)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Adapted from Jose Donoso, El Lugar Sin Limites, Catedra, Letras
Hispanicas, Madrid, 2002.