” Have Your Say ” vs ” Cale -Se”

For people who do not speak Portuguese, Cale-Se means shut up. My mother used it on me all the time. I objected to it at the time but I can see the point now.

I write daily weblog columns – some for fun and some for money. The money ones require me to say what other people think – the fun ones allow me to say what I think. The very best ones require no thinking at all.

Yet…why write if there is no thought to it? If I were to switch of all critical faculties and just slump in front of reality television, what would become of me. I should sink to the level of screen life. Even more so if I followed sports as a spectator or gambled my money away on horse races in public houses.

Those who do so may feel aggrieved at this treatment of their culture. Don’t feel that I am attacking you. You are safe from anything I can say or do – what you value will always be there for you and you need not read my essays. We can exist in harmony in parallel universes.

But back to shutting up. I still haven’t decided whether to speak up more or shut up more in the future. A basic stoic attitude would feature both of these responses – a wise one would know when to apply each. I am only lately come to any wisdom, and that by the route of constant error. I cannot tell you when I shall be free of the latter and grasp the former…please be patient.

In the meantime you may read anything I write with safety. None of the really dangerous things I do are announced beforehand or admitted to afterwards. Anything you see on your screen is safe for work.

On the other hand, I’m retired…

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