I’m indebted to a lot of people as regards my education. It may strike you as quite strange that I’m not right away indebted to teachers, professors or staff members of my faculty, except for my PhD/thesis advisor and some colleges. Well, let’s forget the debitor/creditor relationship for a while. The individual I have in mind today is Prof. Dr. jur. J. Platschek. (I won’t say a word about Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. phil. H. Kaufhold or Prof. Bürge -my thesis advisor- because the former is a long story and the later is a Swiss.) I’ll just call him Dr Platschek -well, that’s the way I used to address him.
You know, by the time you land on German 3N-Dimensional space you should not call someone “Du” (you) unless you’re a close friend. I remember “duding” Dr Platschek. I didn’t feel right going that way.
“Don’t go that way”, he said.
And I was like:
“Oh. Sorry, Prof. Platschek.”
“I’m kidding. But wait, why in the rotting Kingdom of Denmark am I speaking English?”
“Your life’s being vorlesen to the Internet audience. I’m translating the things you say. Be cool like Miles Davis.”
“I’m into Mingus.”
“Whassa saying? I wouldn’t be a dear and collect jazz records if I ever had the chance to publish a paper in Philologus.”
“I did publish a paper in Philologus.”
Well, that’s it. Even as an amateur philologist in my sweet seventeen (for a couple of years, to be more than half precise) I’d dream about late 19th century issues of Philologus, “one of the oldest and most respected periodicals in the field of classical studies”. Even at the time I knew: if you’re in Philologus, you’re no amateur historian. You’re a philologus. I was having lunch with someone who was more than a historian.
“The thing is”, I said, “you’re now on the Internet. You can sue me.”
“Nah. We’d better go back to Mingus.”
So he was into jazz.
Not so sure.
The thing we always did after lunch at the Mensa was to grab some coffee. As jurists and historians we’d discuss the legal issues regarding the Pfand item we’d been given on our first Mensa day. A Pfand is some kind of pledge or deposit: you give money as a means of ensuring the good’s return (the cup, for instance) in the future; in exchange for the money you get a piece of metal or ticket of the same value. (I have a EUR 1.00 Pfand in my wallet.) To make long story short, without a Pfand you’re not entitled to drink coffee. And that was a good topic for jurists.
“How would post-classical Roman Law deal with a case of missing but allegedly given-against-verbal-receipt Pfand?”, someone yould ask, and I’m trying to inside-quote the German syntax here while you take a nap.
And Dr Platschek would make a joke and deliver a sound and complete lecture on the subject with attachèd examples and definitions the details of which I’m in no position to provide the reader with.
Here’s a picture of Dr Platschek. Always in his not so fashionable Jacke -a traditional Bavarian costume which oh my God costs as much as EUR 1,000.00 if you’re out of luck-, Dr Platschek is the perfect instance of the ‘skeptical-illuministic’ breed of Munich that happens to grow and dwell on a clearly bounded district thereof which I won’t mention out of respect for its inhabitants. His weird accent was by no means known to me. They say it is so Platschek-like it’s not even fucking German. Their parents won’t give an account of it. Father and mother Platschek just say he was born speaking like a 18th century Swiss kid who dreamt every night about neverending talks with a Latin-syntaxed Austrian Cicero of sorts. It can’t even describe it. (I just love accents and stuff -I tried and I tried and I tried hard to speak Platschek-Deutsch. But I failed. And I was so stupid as not to record him speaking so that I could practice later or, like, go ahead with my idea of scrutinizing all the features of Platschek-Deutsch or whatnot.)
Does Dr Platschek believe in God?
“Dr Platschek, are you a Catholic?”
“I’m a Münchner, why should I not be a Catholic?”
“So you believe in God?”
“A-ha, a filthy Atheist!”
“Anti-theist Catholic, please.”
You think someone who knew all Cicero’s witty and erudite speeches & letters & essays & all by heart could have given me a clear-cut crystal-clear account of his beliefs? Platschek said he was an agnostic Catholic at the moment (2009), having been a catholic Agnostic back in 2008 and a fearful Jesuit of Reason back in 2007. I’m sure you all get it. (You say “O o o, wait, let’s set this thing straight” and I say “no no no”.)
He’s now in Göttingen, following the steps of our common ancestor Franz Wieacker. I was a witness to his obtaining of the status of Priv.-Doz. (old Dr. habil.). His thesis was absolutely brilliant. Everyone agreed thereupon. His lecture was so demanding that students as well as professors would at random get out of the lecturing room to get some air or puke. (I got pretty nauseous myself, you see.) The last time I saw him he was in his study. T. Johansen, a fine papyrologist girl, an assistant of Platschek’s Doktorvater, said “Hey, Julio’s on his way to Sao Paulo; say goodbye to Julio”.
He was like:
That was his utterly misanthropic way of saying goodbye to a friend.
Muitas instituições financeiras -ai, que homem!- inserem em seus contratos cláusulas de inadimplemento cruzado, também chamadas cross default clauses. Se há vários contratos, o inadimplemento de um deles leva ao vencimento antecipado de todas as dívidas consubstanciadas nos demais contratos. Diz o Dr. Ulrich Eder:
Cross-default means that a default on one loan automatically constitutes a default on all loans covered by this clause. As a result, debt obligations under a credit agreement and indentures could become immediately due and payable even if there is no breach of other covenants or default of payment of the loan.
Se isso não é uma boa metáfora para a sua vida, meu nome é Sebastián. (Ou para a vida do vizinho, que desistiu da metafísica de Ibn-Sina porque se lembrou de que era brasileiro e que, por essa razão, já era hora de ser engraçadinho).
Você pode fazer tudo corretamente. E quanto mais irreprochável for a sua conduta, maior a expectativa de irreprochabilidade futura* a ser causada nos outros. Pensarão que você é indefectível. Todavia, qualquer falha eventual, por pequena que venha a ser, lhe trará ruína imediata. Passe 50 anos acertando e espere pelo tombo iminente. Quando vier, você perderá a família, o emprego, a honra. Só não perderá a vergonha, porque afinal você continuará o mesmo -só para os outros é que será diferente. Outra pessoa. Um monstro.
Não é assim com o canalha. Dele não esperam nada de bom. Eventualmente um acidente feliz levará as pessoas a pensar que ele produziu um feito heróico. De um minuto para o outro, por contraste, a comoção geral, o perdão, a benevolência.
(Observação motivada por um incidente que presenciei hoje: um amigo, que aparentemente nunca tinha cometido um só equívoco, mandou um e-mail com uma sentença judicial ainda não publicada à pessoa errada, por ter digitado o endereço com muita pressa no campo correspondente no Outlook Express).
Não existe amor que não esteja na carne, Sebastián.
Se não está na superfície, não está em lugar algum. Mas se está na superfície, pode habitar o restante do espaço tridimensional logo abaixo dela. Pode chegar até a eternidade ou até o paraíso de Georg Cantor.
Um lógico diz ao outro: “Minha mulher está grávida”. “É menino ou menina?”, pergunta o outro. “Sim”, responde o primeiro.
Na versão intuicionista de Brouwer, que bolei ao descer hoje a Rebouças, a piada fica mais sutil:
Um lógico intuicionista diz a um clássico: “Minha mulher está grávida”. Pergunta então o clássico: “É menino ou menina?”. O intuicionista responde: “Não”.
(Talvez só ela, que hoje declarou a sua intenção de comprar-nos as Brouwer’s Cambridge Lectures on Intuicionism, será capaz de entender a piada. Mas a deixo aí, para a estólida apreciação dos môços.)
A homenagem oculta está num sinal de parêntese colocado depois do ponto final.
* Redundância proposital: toda expectativa diz respeito ao futuro. Dã.