(Недовършен превод) Томас Маколи за авторското право (1841 г.)

През 1841 г. Томас Бабингтън Маколи изнася реч пред Камарата на общините на британския парламент относно новопредложения тогава закон за авторското право. Тази реч често бива цитирана, но рядко бива четена. Което е срамота, защото тя е брилянтна. (И забавна.) Един от удивително проницателните моменти е когато Маколи предупреждава, че максимализмът на авторското право ще доведе до необуздани незаконни действия, тъй като всеки с лекота би нарушил един закон, който отдавна е загубил всякаква нравствена легитимност.

Понастоящем, държателят на авторското право разполага с обществената съпричастност. Тези, които нарушават авторското право, се възприемат като негодници, които отмъкват залъка от устите на заслужили мъже. Всеки изпитва задоволство, когато те бъдат скастрени от закона и принудени да възстановят нечестно припечелените средства. Нито един търговец с добра репутация не би си позволил да свързват името му с подобни позорни транзакции. Приемете този закон: и обществената съпричастност ще приключи. Мъже, доста по-различни от настоящия тип пиратски книгопродавачи, скоро ще престъпят границите на този нетърпим монопол. Огромни количества капитал ще бъдат впрегнати в оскверняването на този закон. Всяко изкуство ще бъде употребено с цел да се избегне преследването на юридическа отговорност; и цялата нация ще бъде въвлечена в тази интрига… Помнете също, че, щом веднъж нахлуването в литературната собственост спре да бъде смятано за грешно и непочтено, никой не би могъл да определи рамките на тази инвазия. Обществото рядко прави деликатни разлики. Благоразумното авторско право, което съществува днес, ще сподели позора и заплахата на новото авторско право, което се каните да създадете.

Коя по-точно промяна в закона има предвид той? Удължаването на авторското право до абсурдния период от 50 години след смъртта на автора.

Днес законът за авторското право в САЩ важи за цели 70 години след смъртта на автора; до 120 години за корпоративно авторство. За справка: Законодателният акт за удължаване на периода на авторското право, влязъл в сила през 1998 г., известен на английски като Mickey Mouse Protection Act или Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, в памет на конгресмен Сони Боно, един от активните защитници на този закон. Преди да влезе в политиката, Сони Боно развива кариера в развлекателния бизнес, като музикант и звукозаписен продуцент. Заедно с втората си съпруга сформират популярното дуо „Сони и Шер“. Макар официално да определя себе си като католик, Сони Боно проявява открит интерес към сциентологията.

Това е третата от поредица публикации на тема „интелектуална собственост“, част от свободно достъпния за обществеността сборник с казуси, изготвен от академичните специалисти в областта на интелектуалната собственост и авторското право – проф. Джеймс Бойл и Дженифър Дженкинс. Двамата работят в насока да освободят труда на изкуството и науката от оковите на закостенели институции и да го направят обществено достояние – така, освен, че всеки може да се образова свободно, всеки може и да допринесе с нещо в развитието на сферата, която го вълнува. Ако темата за авторското право ви вълнува, както мен, препоръчвам да се запознаете подробно с текстовете на Джеймс Бойл от сайта му thepublicdomain.org, а сборникът с казуси може да свалите безплатно оттук – thepublicdomain.org/2014/08/26/open-coursebook-in-intellectual-property – за сравнение, един подобен учебник струва около 200лв. Други публикации от сайта на Бойл по темата „интелектуална собственост“ включват: Виктор Юго: пазител на общественото достояние (на английски) и Марк Твен за нуждата от вечно авторско право (на английски).

Считана за един от важните трудове покрай нашумелия дебат за авторското право, книгата на професора по право Джеймс Бойл може да бъде свалена свободно от сайта му.

Считана за един от важните трудове покрай нашумелия дебат за авторското право, книгата на професора по право Джеймс Бойл може да бъде свалена свободно от сайта му.

 

Томас Бабингтън Маколи
Първата реч към Камарата на общините относно авторското право

5 февруари, 1841 г.

Трудно ми е да изкажа становище, което може да бъде разбрано накриво, като враждебно спрямо интересите на литературата и хората на книгите. За мен е мъчително, ще добавя, да

It is painful to me to take a course which may possibly be misunderstood or misrepresented as unfriendly to the interests of literature and literary men. It is painful to me, I will add, to oppose my honorable and learned friend on a question which he has taken up from the purest motives, and which he regards with a parental interest. These feelings have hitherto kept me silent when the law of copyright has been under discussion. But as I am, on full consideration, satisfied that the measure before us will, if adopted, inflict grievous injury on the public, without conferring any compensating advantage on men of letters, I think it my duty to avow that opinion and to defend it.

The first thing to be done. Sir, is to settle on what principles the question is to be argued. Are we free to legislate for the public good, or are we not? Is this a question of expediency, or is it a question of right? Many of those who have written and petitioned against the existing state of things treat the question as one of right. The law of nature, according to them, gives to every man a sacred and indefeasible property in his own ideas, in the fruits of his own reason and imagination. The legislature has indeed the power to take away this property, just as it has the power to pass an act of attainder for cutting off an innocent man’s head without a trial. But, as such an act of attainder would be legal murder, so would an act invading the right of an author to his copy be, according to these gentlemen, legal robbery.

Now, Sir, if this be so, let justice be done, cost what it may. I am not prepared, like my honorable and learned friend, to agree to a compromise between right and expediency, and to commit an injustice for the public convenience. But I must say, that his theory soars far beyond the reach of my faculties. It is not necessary to go, on the present occasion, into a metaphysical inquiry about the origin of the right of property; and certainly nothing but the strongest necessity would lead me to discuss a subject so likely to be distasteful to the House. I agree, I own, with Paley in thinking that property is the creature of the law, and that the law which creates property can be defended only on this ground, that it is a law beneficial to mankind. But it is unnecessary to debate that point. For, even if I believed in a natural right of property, independent of utility and anterior to legislation, I should still deny that this right could survive the original proprietor. . . . Surely, Sir, even those who hold that there is a natural right of property must admit that rules prescribing the manner in which the effects of deceased persons shall be distributed are purely arbitrary, and originate altogether in the will of the legislature. If so. Sir, there is no controversy between my honorable and learned friend and myself as to the principles on which this question is to be argued. For the existing law gives an author copyright during his natural life; nor do I propose to invade that privilege, which I should, on the contrary, be prepared to defend strenuously against any assailant. The only point in issue between us is, how long after an author’s death the state shall recognize a copyright in his representatives and assigns; and it can, I think, hardly be disputed by any rational man that this is a point which the legislature is free to determine in the way which may appear to be most conducive to the general good.

We may now, therefore, I think, descend from these high regions, where we are in danger of being lost in the clouds, to firm ground and clear light. Let us look at this question like legislators, and after fairly balancing conveniences and inconveniences, pronounce between the existing law of copyright, and the law now proposed to us. The question of copyright. Sir, like most questions of civil prudence, is neither black nor white, but gray. The system of copyright has great advantages and great disadvantages; and it is our business to ascertain what these are, and then to make an arrangement under which the advantages may be as far as possible secured, and the disadvantages as far as possible excluded. The charge which I bring against my honorable and learned friend’s bill is this, that it leaves the advantages nearly what they are at present, and increases the disadvantages at least fourfold.

The advantages arising from a system of copyright are obvious. It is desirable that we should have a supply of good books; we cannot have such a supply unless men of letters are liberally remunerated: and the least objectionable way of remunerating them is by means of copyright. You cannot depend for literary instruction and amusement on the leisure of men occupied in the pursuits of active life. Such men may occasionally produce compositions of great merit. But you must not look to such men for works which require deep meditation and long research. Works of that kind you can expect only from persons who make literature the business of their lives. Of these persons few will be found among the rich and the noble. The rich and the noble are not impelled to intellectual exertion by necessity. They may be impelled to intellectual exertion by the desire of distinguishing themselves, or by the desire of benefiting the community. But it is generally within these walls that they seek to signalize themselves and to serve their fellow-creatures. Both their ambition and their public spirit, in a country like this, naturally take a political turn. It is then on men whose profession is literature, and whose private means are not ample, that you must rely for a supply of valuable books. Such men must be remunerated for their literary labor. And there are only two ways in which they can be remunerated. One of those ways is patronage; the other is copyright.

There have been times in which men of letters looked, not to the public, but to the government, or to a few great men, for the reward of their exertions. It was thus in the time of Maecenas and Pollio at Rome, of the Medici at Florence, of Louis the Fourteenth in France, of Lord Halifax and Lord Oxford in this country. Now, Sir, I well know that there are cases in which it is fit and graceful, nay, in which it is a sacred duty to reward the merits or to relieve the distresses of men of genius by the exercise of this species of liberality. But these cases are exceptions. I can conceive no system more fatal to the integrity and independence of literary men than one under which they should be taught to look for their daily bread to the favor of ministers and nobles. I can conceive no system more certain to turn those minds which are formed by nature to be the blessings and ornaments of our species into public scandals and pests.

We have, then, only one resource left. We must betake ourselves to copyright, be the inconveniences of copyright what they may. Those in­con­ve­ni­ences, in truth, are neither few nor small. Copyright is monopoly, and produces all the effects which the general voice of mankind attributes to monopoly. My honorable and learned friend talks very contemptuously of those who are led away by the theory that monopoly makes things dear. That monopoly makes things dear is certainly a theory, as all the great truths which have been established by the experience of all ages and nations, and which are taken for granted in all reasonings, may be said to be theories. It is a theory in the same sense in which it is a theory that day and night follow each other, that lead is heavier than water, that bread nourishes, that arsenic poisons, that alcohol intoxicates.

If, as my honorable and learned friend seems to think, the whole world is in the wrong on this point, if the real effect of monopoly is to make articles good and cheap, why does he stop short in his career of change? Why does he limit the operation of so salutary a principle to sixty years? Why does he consent to anything short of a perpetuity? He told us that in consenting to anything short of a perpetuity he was making a compromise between extreme right and expediency. But if his opinion about monopoly be correct, extreme right and expediency would coincide. Or rather, why should we not restore the monopoly of the East India trade to the East India Company? Why should we not revive all those old monopolies which, in Elizabeth’s reign, galled our fathers so severely that, maddened by intolerable wrong, they opposed to their sovereign a resistance before which her haughty spirit quailed for the first and for the last time? Was it the cheapness and excellence of commodities that then so violently stirred the indignation of the English people? I believe. Sir, that I may safely take it for granted that the effect of monopoly generally is to make articles scarce, to make them dear, and to make them bad. And I may with equal safety challenge my honorable friend to find out any distinction between copyright and other privileges of the same kind; any reason why a monopoly of books should produce an effect directly the reverse of that which was produced by the East India Company’s monopoly of tea, or by Lord Essex’s monopoly of sweet wines. Thus, then, stands the case. It is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good.

Now, I will not affirm that the existing law is perfect, that it exactly hits the point at which the monopoly ought to cease; but this I confidently say, that the existing law is very much nearer that point than the law proposed by my honorable and learned friend. For consider this; the evil effects of the monopoly are proportioned to the length of its duration. But the good effects for the sake of which we bear with the evil effects are by no means proportioned to the length of its duration. A monopoly of sixty years produces twice as much evil as a monopoly of thirty years, and thrice as much evil as a monopoly of twenty years. But it is by no means the fact that a posthumous monopoly of sixty years gives to an author thrice as much pleasure and thrice as strong a motive as a posthumous monopoly of twenty years. On the contrary, the difference is so small as to be hardly perceptible. We all know how faintly we are affected by the prospect of very distant advantages, even when they are advantages which we may reasonably hope that we shall ourselves enjoy. But an advantage that is to be enjoyed more than half a century after we are dead, by somebody, we know not by whom, perhaps by somebody unborn, by somebody utterly unconnected with us, is really no motive at all to action. It is very probable that in the course of some generations land in the unexplored and unmapped heart of the Australasian continent will be very valuable. But there is none of us who would lay down five pounds for a whole province in the heart of the Australasian continent. We know, that neither we, nor anybody for whom we care, will ever receive a farthing of rent from such a province. And a man is very little moved by the thought that in the year 2000 or 2100, somebody who claims through him will employ more shepherds than Prince Esterhazy, and will have the finest house and gallery of pictures at Victoria or Sydney. Now, this is the sort of boon which my honorable and learned friend holds out to authors. Considered as a boon to them, it is a mere nullity; but considered as an impost on the public, it is no nullity, but a very serious and pernicious reality.

The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers. The tax is an exceedingly bad one; it is a tax on one of the most innocent and most salutary of human pleasures; and never let us forget, that a tax on innocent pleasures is a premium on vicious pleasures. I admit, however, the necessity of giving a bounty to genius and learning. In order to give such a bounty, I willingly submit even to this severe and burdensome tax. Nay, I am ready to increase the tax, if it can be shown that by so doing I should proportionally increase the bounty. My complaint is, that my honorable and learned friend doubles, triples, quadruples, the tax, and makes scarcely any perceptible addition to the bounty. Why, Sir, what is the additional amount of taxation which would have been levied on the public for Dr. Johnson’s works alone, if my honorable and learned friend’s bill had been the law of the land? I have not data sufficient to form an opinion. But I am confident that the taxation on his dictionary alone would have amounted to many thousands of pounds. In reckoning the whole additional sum which the holders of his copyrights would have taken out of the pockets of the public during the last half century at twenty thousand pounds, I feel satisfied that I very greatly underrate it. Now, I again say that I think it but fair that we should pay twenty thousand pounds in consideration of twenty thousand pounds’ worth of pleasure and encouragement received by Dr. Johnson. But I think it very hard that we should pay twenty thousand pounds for what he would not have valued at five shillings.

* * *

But this is not all. I think it right, Sir, to call the attention of the House to an evil, which is perhaps more to be apprehended when an author’s copyright remains in the hands of his family, than when it is transferred to booksellers. I seriously fear that, if such a measure as this should be adopted, many valuable works will be either totally suppressed or grievously mutilated. I can prove that this danger is not chimerical; and I am quite certain that, if the danger be real, the safeguards which my honorable and learned friend has devised are altogether nugatory. That the danger is not chimerical may easily be shown. Most of us, I am sure, have known persons who, very erroneously as I think, but from the best motives, would not choose to reprint Fielding’s novels or Gibbon’s “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Some gentlemen may perhaps be of opinion that it would be as well if “Tom Jones” and Gibbon’s “History” were never reprinted. I will not, then, dwell on these or similar cases. I will take cases respecting which it is not likely that there will be any difference of opinion here; cases, too, in which the danger of which I now speak is not matter of supposition, but matter of fact.

Take Richardson’s novels. Whatever I may, on the present occasion, think of my honorable and learned friend’s judgment as a legislator, I must always respect his judgment as a critic. He will, I am sure, say that Richardson’s novels are among the most valuable, among the most original, works in our language. No writings have done more to raise the fame of English genius in foreign countries. No writings are more deeply pathetic. No writings, those of Shakespeare excepted, show more profound knowledge of the human heart. . . . Sir, it is my firm belief, that if the law had been what my honorable and learned friend proposes to make it, they would have been suppressed.

I remember Richardson’s grandson well; he was a clergyman in the city of London; he was a most upright and excellent man; but he had conceived a strong prejudice against works of fiction. He thought all novel-reading not only frivolous but sinful. He said,—this I state on the authority of one of his clerical brethren who is now a bishop,—he said that he had never thought it right to read one of his grandfather’s books. Suppose, Sir, that the law had been what my honorable and learned friend would make it. Suppose that the copyright of Richardson’s novels had descended, as might well have been the case, to this gentleman. I firmly believe that he would have thought it sinful to give them a wide circulation. I firmly believe that he would not for a hundred thousand pounds have deliberately done what he thought sinful. He would not have reprinted them.

And what protection does my honorable and learned friend give to the public in such a case? Why, Sir, what he proposes is this: if a book is not reprinted during five years, any person who wishes to reprint it may give notice in the London Gazette: the advertisement must be repeated three times: a year must elapse; and then, if the proprietor of the copyright does not put forth a new edition, he loses his exclusive privilege. Now, what protection is this to the public? What is a new edition? Does the law define the number of copies that make an edition? Does it limit the price of a copy? Are twelve copies on large paper, charged at thirty guineas each, an edition? It has been usual, when monopolies have been granted, to prescribe numbers and to limit prices. But I do not find that my honorable and learned friend proposes to do so in the present case. And, without some such provision, the security which he offers is manifestly illusory. It is my conviction that, under such a system as that which he recommends to us, a copy of “Clarissa” would have been as rare as an Aldus or a Caxton.

I will give another instance. One of the most instructive, interesting, and delightful books in our language is Boswell’s “Life of Johnson.’’ Now it is well known that Boswell’s eldest son considered this book, considered the whole relation of Boswell to Johnson, as a blot in the escutcheon of the family. He thought, not perhaps altogether without reason, that his father had exhibited himself in a ludicrous and degrading light. And thus he became so sore and irritable that at last he could not bear to hear the “Life of Johnson’’ mentioned. Suppose that the law had been what my honorable and learned friend wishes to make it. Suppose that the copyright of Boswells “Life of Johnson” had belonged, as it well might, during sixty years, to Boswell’s eldest son. What would have been the consequence? An unadulterated copy of the finest biographical work in the world would have been as scarce as the first edition of Camden’s “Britannia.”

. . . Sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd Acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue Acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers.

At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as “Robinson Crusoe” or the “Pilgrim’s Progress” shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living.

Източник: http://www.thepublicdomain.org/2014/07/24/macaulay-on-copyright.

Превод: Димитър Кръстев.

Кой е Томас Маколи?

© Photos.com/Thinkstock

© Photos.com/Thinkstock

Томас Бабингтън Маколи, барон Маколи от Ротли, е британски есеист, поет, историк и политик, живял в периода 1800-1859 г.

Изключителните умствени заложби на Маколи никога не са били, както при много гении, източник на беди и мисловни терзания. Стига да го бе пожелал, той би могъл да се издигне до високо политическо място, вероятно до най-високото; вместо това, той избира да посвети силите си в изобразяването на английското минало. Владеенето му на литературата е ненадминато. Гръцките и римски творби, съхранени в невероятната му памет, били близки до него от ученическите му години; към тях той добавил литературата на собствената си страна, на Франция, на Испания, на Германия. Притежавал известни ограничения. В по-късната част от живота си той никога не дава индикации за каквито и да било религиозни убеждения, и никак не почитал достойнствата на духовното, за разлика от етичното. Всевъзможните религиозни и философски спекулации са далечни на ума му, и не проявявал никакъв интерес към откритията на науката, с изключение на техническите. Относно изкуството, той сам се определя като невежа, а към музиката бил напълно глух. В игрите, спорта, и физическите умения – дори бръсненето и връзването на вратовръзка – некомпетентността му била пълна. На външен вид, той бил нисък и набит, с ясно изразени черти, които отразявали могъщ ум и откровен характер.

Източник на описанието: Енциклопедия Британика.

За „пиратството“ и любовта към книгите

Огромна част от образованието си (онова живото, което се обновява всеки ден) дължа на Интернет и възможността за свободно споделяне на информация. Благодарение на сайтове като ЧитанкаThe Pirate Bay, /sci/ и благодарение на градската библиотека в Пловдив, тези и други храмове на познанието, които съхраняват стотици хиляди книги, възпитавах и подхранвах у себе си любовта към четенето. А колкото повече четях, толкова повече ми се четеше. И същевременно държа да притежавам в книжен вариант творбите на любимите си автори. Може би, защото така се чувствам по-уверен, че няма да забравя написаното, ако чисто физически се намира близо до мен. Все пак, след четенето на „пиратски“ книги, гледането на „пиратски“ филми, слушането на „пиратска“ музика, определено се възбужда интерес да инвестираш повече време и средства в изкуство, да купуваш повече книги, да ходиш на концерти и кино. Това е едно съвсем естествено явление, което вече е добре познато на голяма част от хората, но, за съжаление, все още се срещат алчни ръбати типове, които смятат, че на човешкото любопитство може да бъде сложен таван. Писателят Нийл Геймън не е от тях.

Ако ви харесва какво говори в това видео, почерпете се с неговата книга „Американски богове“, която той няма против да свалите безплатно от Читанка. Ще ви се услади!

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Записки на един животохолик

Някъде през 2007-ма, когато бе създаден, този блог бе предвиден за личен дневник, достъпен само за ограничен брой приятели и познати. Тогава той носеше работното заглавие ексцесии/любов/прогрес – грубо описание на онова, което ме вълнуваше по време на ранните публикации. Впоследствие започнах да пиша неща, засягащи обществени въпроси и съответно разреших достъпа до предоставената тук информация на всеки непознат интернет-потребител.

Като се има предвид, че почти всяка обществена тема е спорна и противоречива, заради различната степен на информираност на хората, които я разглеждат, съвсем естествено предположих, че много от тях биха възприели първосигнално някои мои публикации като неуместни, обидни, скандални и прочие. Винаги съм бил отворен за критика и дискусии, но самоцелното сипене на омразни реплики по мой адрес ме плашеше и то много, сега вече не толкова. Та, може би, това беше причината да прекръстя блога на ироничното бездарни излияния – заглавие, което имаше две основни функции: първо, да смири гордостта ми и да ми напомня колко незначителен съм действително аз, живеещият върху „една прашинка, уловена в лъч светлина“*; другата функция на това заглавие бе да отблъсне всеки, който съди прибързано и да предотврати изявата на всеки, който буквално би нарекъл труда ми с тези думи.

Но с времето започнах да се замислям как всички ние съдим прибързано и че това всъщност не е порок, а естествена реакция на способността ни за съждение – реакция, която служи за интелектуалното израстването на всеки индивид, като засилва скоростта на прием на нова информация. И все пак, често скоростта е за сметка на качеството, като на свой ред това оставя огромни празнини в хорското познание, а празнините биват запълнени от фалш и откровени лъжи. Вредите от бързото хранене (с информация) се натрупват и биха могли да доведат до трайни увреждани на (общо)човешкия организъм.

Всеки публицист е длъжен да се съобразява с условностите на човешката природа, ако държи да бъде разбран от своите читатели. Самоиронията е възможна само от позицията на нравствена сила – качество, което много хора биха сгрешили (а вероятно припознали правилно) с надменност, нарцисизъм, арогантност. Затова самоиронията отблъсква, предизвиква жлъч, когато е явна, когато изглежда като натрапено остроумие. Колкото по-деликатен e сарказмът, с риск да остане незабелязан, толкова е по-ценен. Всеки непринуден жест рано или късно се превръща в заповед, а вероятно е заповед от самото начало. Може би всеки жест е предназначен да бъде открит и удостоен с подобаващо реципрочен жест? Тоест, всеки жест, по същество, е принуда.

Затова реших да предам по-представителен вид на този блог и затова отново сменям заглавието. Този път с нещо, което (привидно) не е породено от афект и съответно е (привидно) неафектиращо. Последното заглавие бе в рязък дисонанс с някои по-сериозни публикации и вероятно е създавало пречка за постигане на внушението, което съм търсил чрез тях. Сегашното заглавие е по-зряло и неутрално, както целя да бъдат възприемани и онези по-сериозни публикации. Също така, новото заглавие крие алюзия за една от книгите на любим автор** – именно тази (недодялана и мръснишка) книга ми разкри необятния свят на литературата, вдъхнови ме да чета и да пиша повече, запозна ме с художествени похвати и автори, които продължават да ме удивляват със своята прямота и своя усет за психологическата действителност, която ни изпълва.

Съдържанието на блога остава същото: смес от величествените ми писмени творения и пълнеж от чужди трудове на бездарни автори, занимаващи се с култура, наука, изкуство, философия, скептицизъм. И ако у вас остане дори грам съмнение за уважението, което изпитвам към личностите, на чиито трудове се позовавам… нека Аллах да ви накаже! Защото аз ви прощавам. Толкова съм великодушен.

ПИЙТЕ от живота и за живота!

НАЗДРАВЕ!

* Карл Сейгън, "Бледа синя точица"
** Чарлз Буковски, "Записки на стария мръсник"

Портрет на хипстъра (Недовършена чернова)

Izto`nik

На снимката: Danielle Sipple (@FierceKitty). Източник: How to Be a Hipster

Несравним дар на съдбата е когато добрият вкус бъде съчетан с приятна визия и добра хигиена. Дима Петева умело и с чувство за хумор обрисува образа на съвременния хипстър в статия за вестник „Капитал“, озаглавена „Хипстър Петър: Кратка история на една интересна субкултура по света и у нас„:

Хипстърът е като порното: ще го познаете, когато го видите. Той е човек, чиито вкусове, социални умения и гледни точки се считат за куул от хората, които са куул. Ако го срещнете във всекидневието си, незабавно ще се отличи от обичайната маса от хора, защото избягва или довежда до крайност всичко, което мейнстриймът обожава.

Но, както отбелязва читател(ка) с псевдоним bombichka в гневния си коментар под статията:

С една дума – ужасни сноби. Които са дотолкова сноби, че биха си причинили концерт на Оркестър „Кристали“ и биха си турили фланелка на Веселин Маринов, само защото е „иронично“ и защото никой друг от техния кръг познати не се е сетил пръв да направи това. Преситена, консуматорска, повърхностна и нарцистично вгледана в себе си „субкултура“. А едно време hipsters са се самонаричали хора като Уилям Бъроуз, Керуак, Нийл Касиди, Кен Киси… Истинските!
Това видео перфектно илюстрира кое поражда гнева на bombichka:

Нужно е да се върнем три поколения назад, за да разберем откъде всъщност произлиза понятието „хипстър“:

Hipster, hepster или hepcat, както са казвали през 40-те години на 20 век, се отнася до любители на джаз музиката, в частност бибопа, който става популярен в началото на 40-те. Хипстърът усвоява житейския стил на джаз музиканта, включително някои или всички от следните елементи: дрехи, жаргон, употреба на канабис или други наркотици, лежерно отношение, саркастичен хумор, самоналожена бедност и разкрепостен сексуален живот.

(Hipster (1940s subculture) – Wikipedia)

А сега представям на вниманието ви подробен критичен анализ на това социално явление, публикуван за пръв път през юни 1948 в американския тримесечник Partisan Review. Този журнал е бил поле за изява на автори като Сол Белоу, Т. С. Елиът, Джордж Оруел, Сюзън Зонтаг и други утвърдени писателски имена.

The Partisan Review’ and 8 Other Great Online Magazine Archives (on Flavorwire.com) – списък с емблематични списания, особено полезни за онези, които се вълнуват от тенденциите в писателското изкуство.

Портрет на хипстъра

Автор: Анатъли Бройард.
Превод: Димитър Кръстев.
Източник.

Тъй като е незаконнороденият син на Изгубеното поколение, хипстърът действително се озовава никъде. И точно както хората с ампутации чувстват силно своя липсващ крайник, така и хипстърът копнее, от самото начало, да принадлежи някъде. Той е като бръмбар, обърнат по гръб; животът му представлява усилието да се изправи. Но законът за човешката гравитация го държи в своя власт, защото той принадлежи винаги към малцинството – противопоставяйки се по раса или усет на онези, които притежават машината за признание.

Хипстърът започва своето неизбежно дирене на самоопределяне като се увлича намусено в един вид зародишна престъпност. Но този отказ от изпълнение на социалния дълг е само негативен израз на неговите нужди, и, тъй като това поведение води до отворените обятия на вездесъщия закон, хипстърът бива принуден да формализира своето негодувание и да го изрази символично. Така се ражда една нова философия – философия за принадлежност-към-нещо-някъде (somewhereness), наречена джайв (jive), идващо от jibe: съгласявам се или хармонизирам [такава е по-скоро разговорната употреба на думата в американския английски; сходната по смисъл дума, която се изписва gibe буквално се превежда като „подхождам с насмешка“ – бел. пр.]. Като освобождава символично заряда на своята евентуална агресия, хипстърът съгласува себе си с обществото.

Джайвът намира поле за гласова изява в естествената сцена на своя растеж. В началото било задоволително само издаване на звуци – физиономичен разговор – но по-късно джайвът развива свой език. И, както подобава, този език описва света през очите на хипстъра. Всъщност, това е неговата функция: да прередактира света с нови определения… джайв дефиниции.

Тъй като артикулативността (articulateness) е състояние на тревожност, ако не и причина за нея, хипстърът облекчава своята тревога като деартикулира себе си. Той стеснява обемите на света – пренася всичко върху една малка сцена с малко реквизит и завеса от джайв. С речник от дузина глаголи, прилагателни, и съществителни той може да опише всичко, което се случва в този свят. Така хипстърът опитомява непредсказуемостта. (It was poker with no joker, nothing wild.)


Така звучат и изглеждат оригиналните хипстъри.

Now, don’t you be that ickeroo,
Get hep, come on and follow through,
Then you get your steady foo,
You make the joint jump like the gators do,
The jim, jam, jump on the jumpin’ jive
Makes you like your eggs on the Jersey side,
Hep-hep!
Hep-hep!
The jim, jam, jumpin’ jive,
Makes you hep-hep on the mellow side.

В този речник няма неутрални думи; той работи по смисъла на идиомния израз put up or shut up: източникът на всяко неудобство или се изкарва ясно наяве, за да бъде елиминирано неудобството, или изтърпяваш неудобството без да се оплакваш. Това е чисто полемичен език, в който всяка дума има оценъчна и указателна функция. Всяко понятие има дихотомен характер: солиден, знаменит, извън този свят или никъде, тъжен, победен, в тежест.

Вътре (in there) означава, разбира се, принадлежността към нещо, някъде (somewhereness). Никъде (nowhere), любимият пейоративен израз на хипстъра, е заклинанието (abracadabra) да накараш нещата да изчезнат. Солиден (solid) включва в себе си значението на реалността, същността на съществуването; означава конкретност в един главозамайващо абстрактен свят. В тежест (drag) е нещо което носи усложнения, нещо, което бива вметнато в неделим, сложен, двусмислен — и така, вероятно заплашителен — контекст.

Заради полемичния си характер, езикът на джайва е богат на агресивност, много от която бива положена в сексуални метафори. Тъй като хипстърът никога не прави нищо самоцелно, и тъй като той се отдава само на агресията в един или друг вид, сексът се подразбира чрез агресията, и предоставя речник за механиката на агресията. Употребата на сексуалната метафора е също така форма на ирония, подобно на навика на някои примитивни народи да пародират цивилизованите способи на интимно общение. Човекът в края на сексуалната метафора се възприема като печално изигран; т.е. очакващ, но неполучаващ.

Една от основните съставки на езика на джайва е априоризмът – схващането за придобиване на познание, независимо от опита. Предположението a priori е кратък път към състоянието на приобщеност. То произлиза от отчаяна, неутолима нужда да знаеш всички важни факти в дадена ситуация; то е добро убежище, главна самоподдържаща се предпоставка. То значи „на нас ни е отредено да разберем.“ Смътното пълномощие, което то осигурява, е като могъща първооснова или инстинктивно напътствие за посока сред един застрашителен хаос от сложни взаимовръзки. Честата за хипстъра употреба на думи и жестове с преносно значение (например, допир на дланите вместо ръкостискане, повдигане на показалец, без повдигане на ръка, като форма на поздрав и др.) също загатва за предварително разбиране, няма нужда от пояснения, I dig you, man (схващам, човече), и пр.

Рокабили от 50-те, просто защото е яко…

Въоръжен със своя език и своята нова философия, хипстърът се отправя на поход към покоряване на света. Той застава сред тълпата и започва да дирижира човешкия трафик. Влиянието му е безспорно. Лицето му — „напречното сечение на един импулс“ — е замръзнало в „характерното отракано изражение“. Проницателно присвити очи, уста, отпусната в израз на висше разбиране, той държи под око своята среда, като подозрителен разпоредител. Той стои винаги малко встрани от групата. Краката му са стъпили здраво, раменете му са леко повдигнати, лактите и дланите му са притиснати към тялото, той е стълб, около чиято непреклонност светът раболепно се върти.

Понякога той раздвижва подплатените си рамене в предупредителен жест към човечеството да му освободи пространство. Възторжено размахва дългите си крака, подобни на мотовили. Ръбовете на панталоните му са изгладени в перфектна симетрия. Тази точност е символ на неговото умение да контролира, неговата власт над случайността. От време на време се оглежда във витрината на някоя сладкарница, и, с езотеричен жест, намества своята яка, която се е вдигнала твърде високо на врата му. Той действително е затънал до шия в състоянието на възвишеност.

He affected a white streak, made with powder, in his hair. This was the outer sign of a significant, prophetic mutation. And he always wore dark glasses, because normal light offended his eyes. He was an underground man, requiring especial adjustment to ordinary conditions; he was a lucifugous creature of the darkness, where sex, gambling, crime, and other bold acts of consequence occurred.
At intervals he made an inspection tour of the neighborhood to see that everything was in order. The importance of this round was implicit in the portentous trochees of his stride, which, being unnaturally accentual, or discontinuous, expressed his particularity, lifted him, so to speak, out of the ordinary rhythm of normal cosmic pulsation. He was a discrete entity—separate, critical, and defining.
Jive music and tea were the two most important components of the hipster’s life. Music was not, as has often been supposed, a stimulus to dancing. For the hipster rarely danced; he was beyond the reach of stimuli. If he did dance, it was half parody—“second removism“—and he danced only to the off-beat, in a morganatic one to two ratio with the music.
Actually, jive music was the hipster’s autobiography, a score to which his life was the text. The first intimations of jive could be heard in the Blues. Jive’s Blue Period was very much like Picasso’s: it dealt with lives that were sad, stark, and isolated. It represented a relatively realistic or naturalistic stage of development.
Blues turned to jazz. In jazz, as in early, analytical cubism, things were sharpened and accentuated, thrown into bolder relief. Words were used somewhat less frequently than in Blues; the instruments talked instead. The solo instrument became the narrator. Sometimes (e.g., Cootie Williams) it came very close to literally talking. Usually it spoke passionately, violently, complainingly, against a background of excitedly pulsating drums and guitar, ruminating bass, and assenting orchestration. But, in spite of its passion, jazz was almost always coherent and its intent clear and unequivocal.
Bepop, the third stage in jive music, was analogous in some respects to synthetic cubism. Specific situations, or referents, had largely disappeared; only their „essences“ remained. By this time the hipster was no longer willing to be regarded as a primitive; bebop, therefore, was „cerebral“ music, expressing the hipster’s pretensions, his desire for an imposing, fulldress body of doctrine.
Surprise, „second-removism“ and extended virtuosity were the chief characteristics of the bebopper’s style. He often achieved surprise by using a tried and true tactic of his favorite comic strip heroes:

The „enemy“ is waiting in a room with drawn gun. The hero kicks open the door and bursts in—not upright, in the line of fire—but cleverly lying on the floor, from which position he triumphantly blasts away, while the enemy still aims, ineffectually, at his own expectations.

Borrowing this stratagem, the bebop soloist often entered at an unexpected altitude, came in on an unexpected note, thereby catching the listener off guard and conquering him before he recovered from his surprise.
„Second removism“—capping the squares—was the dogma of initiation. It established the hipster as keeper of enigmas, ironical pedagogue, a self-appointed exegete. Using his shrewd Socratic method, he discovered the world to the naive, who still tilted with the windmills of one-level meaning. That which you heard in bebop was always something elsenot the thing you expected; it was always negatively derived, abstraction from, not to.
The virtuosity of the bebopper resembled that of the street-corner evangelist who revels in his unbroken delivery. The remarkable run-on quality of bebop solos suggested the infinite resources of the hipster, who could improvise indefinitely, whose invention knew no end, who was, in fact, omniscient.
All the best qualities of jazz—tension, élan, sincerity, violence, immediacy—were toned down in bebop. Bebop’s style seemed to consist, to a great extent, in evadingtension, in connecting, by extreme dexterity, each phrase with another, so that nothing remained, everything was lost in a shuffle of decapitated cadences. This corresponded to the hipster’s social behavior as jester, jongleur, or prestidigitator. But it was his own fate he had caused to disappear for the audience, and now the only trick he had left was the monotonous gag of pulling himself—by his own ears, grinning and gratuitous—up out of the hat.
The élan of jazz was weeding out of bebop because all enthusiasm was naive, nowhere, too simple. Bebop was the hipster’s seven types of ambiguity, his Laocoön, illustrating his struggle with his own defensive deviousness. It was the disintegrated symbol, the shards, of his attitude toward himself and the world. It presented the hipster as performer, retreated to an abstract stage of tea and pretension, losing himself in the multiple mirrors of his fugitive chords. This conception was borne out by the surprising mediocrity of bebop orchestrations, which often had the perfunctory quality of vaudeville music, played only to announce the coming spectacle, the soloist, the great Houdini.
Bebop rarely used words, and, when it did, they were only nonsense syllables, significantly paralleling a contemporaneous loss of vitality in jive language itself. Blues and jazz were documentary in a social sense; bebop was the hipster’s Emancipation Proclamation in double talk. It showed the hipster as the victim of his own system, volubly tongue-tied, spitting out his own teeth, running between the raindrops of his spattering chords, never getting wet, washed clean, baptized, or quenching his thirst. He no longer had anything relevant to himself to say—in both his musical and linguistic expression he had finally abstracted himself from his real position in society.
His next step was to abstract himself in action. Tea made this possible. Tea (marijuana) and other drugs supplied the hipster with an indispensable outlet. His situation was too extreme, too tense, to be satisfied with mere fantasy or animistic domination of the environment. Tea provided him with a free world to expatiate in. It had the same function as trance in Bali, where the unbearable flatness and de-emotionalization of „waking“ life is compensated for by trance ecstasy. The hipster’s life, like the Balinese’s, became schizoid; whenever possible, he escaped into the richer world of tea, where, for the helpless and humiliating image of a black beetle on its back, he could substitute one of himself floating or flying, „high“ in spirits, dreamily dissociated, in contrast to the ceaseless pressure exerted on him in real life. Getting high was a form of artificially induced dream catharsis. It differed from lush(whisky) in that it didn’t encourage aggression. It fostered, rather, the sentimental values so deeply lacking in the hipster’s life. It became a raison d’être, a calling, an experience shared with fellow believers, a respite, a heaven or haven.
Under jive the external world was greatly simplified for the hipster, but his own role in it grew considerably more complicated. The function of his simplification had been to reduce the world to schematic proportions which could easily be manipulated in actual, symbolical, or ritual relationships; to provide him with a manageable mythology. Now, moving in this mythology, this tense fantasy of somewhereness, the hipster supported a completely solipsistic system. His every word and gesture now had a history and a burden of implication.
Sometimes he took his own solipsism too seriously and slipped into criminal assertions of his will. Unconsciously, he still wanted terribly to take part in the cause and effect that determined the real world. Because he had not been allowed to conceive of himself functionally or socially, he had conceived of himself dramatically, and, taken in by his own art, he had often enacted it in actual defence, self-assertion, impulse, or crime.
That he was a direct expression of his culture was immediately apparent in its reaction to him. The less sensitive elements dismissed him as they dismissed everything. The intellectuals manqués, however, the desperate barometers of society, took him into their bosom. Ransacking everything for meaning, admiring insurgence, they attributed every heroism to the hipster. He became their „there but for the grip of my superego go I.“ He was received in the Village as an oracle; his language was the revolution of the worldthe personal idiom. He was the great instinctual man, an ambassador from the Id. He was asked to read things, look at things, feel things, taste things, and report. What was it? Was it in there? Was itgone? Was it fine? He was an interpreter for the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the insensible, the impotent.
With such an audience, nothing was too much. The hipster promptly became, in his own eyes, a poet, a seer, a hero. He laid claims to apocalyptic visions and heuristic discoveries when he picked up; he was Lazarus, come back from the dead, come back to tell them all, he would tell them all. He conspicuously consumed himself in a high flame. He cared nothing for catabolic consequences; he was so prodigal as to be invulnerable.
And here he was ruined. The frantic praise of the impotent meant recognition—actual somewhereness—to the hipster. He got what he wanted; he stopped protesting, reacting. He began to bureaucratize jive as a machinery for securing the actual—really the false—somewhereness. Jive, which had originally been a critical system, a kind of Surrealism, a personal revision of existing disparities, now grew moribundly self-conscious, smug, encapsulated, isolated from its source, from the sickness which spawned it. It grew more rigid than the institutions it had set out to defy. It became a boring routine. The hipster—once an unregenerate individualist, an underground poet, a guerilla—had become a pretentious poet laureate. His old subversiveness, his ferocity, was now so manifestly rhetorical as to be obviously harmless. He was bought and placed in the zoo. He was somewhere at last—comfortably ensconced in the 52nd Street clip joints, in Carnegie Hall, and Life. He was in-there…he was back in the American womb. And it was just as hygienic as ever.
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