jueves, 15 de enero de 2015

I don’t know if I am (Je suis) totally Charlie

Maybe this is not the best way to begin an essay, but being politically correct is,  reached this point, nonsense. The truth is the truth, yes, but sometimes it is a polihedron with multiple faces not always as beautiful or ugly as we may think.
The reprehensible shooting of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters has been a truly jab into the heart of the most recognizable nation of freedom in old Europe, but no more than a sharp pain into the chest of a body little accustomed to severe injuries.
Again, opinions could be misunderstood, but statistics never lie. In the 11th  September 2001 terrorist attacks on The Pentagon, The World Trade Center and other places in North America three thousand people died there. The 11th March 2004 bombs in the Madrid train system cost a toll of almost 200 lives. In Paris 12 people passed away and four more are critical or seriously ill. The magnitude goes in decreasing numbers.
Now think about the tsunami of 2004 which drowned 230.000 second-class inhabitants, or the earthquake in Haiti where a hundred thousand natives –maybe more– stopped breathing in the name of poverty. And what about the innocents being killed every day in the African and Asian war conflicts? The figures are so big that it is risky not only to be born there, but also to state an approximate toll number.
The Western World has mobilized with the execrable crime of the satirical magazine, but we have been watching the Islamic State killing people day in, day out and nobody has ever cared about it. It seems that freedom of expresion is more important than third world’s lives.
When these horrible things happen, one can less than reflect critically on them. A teacher or mother brought her pupils/children to Charlie Hebdo house to show them that the artists had been killed for drawing. Well, I won’t say that is false, but I’m afraid this is a huge simplification of the facts.
Shooting somebody because they have shown an image of your undepicted God or prophet seems a bit overfanatic, I admit, but there is much more over the layer than it seems. I mean, we exert economic legal assassination. The developed nations have long helped poor countries to die of inner starvation. This has nothing to do with religion. It’s pure survival. And we first world citizens have forgotten about them long ago. We don’t push triggers. Not in the literal sense. We don’t need to. A good pack of measures and restrictions, greedy politics and interventionism have made the work for us (did I want to say “us” or “U.S.”? I’m not pretty sure).
Isn’t it cruel, insensitive, a total aberration to celebrate our Christmas traditions and compulsive consumerism habits while we turn our backs to those in need of basic help? Perhaps we deserve this kind of suicidal torments, maybe we are much more guilty than we think. Where did autocriticism go long ago? Oh, yes, we don’t need it. It’s all about maniacal followers of Allah and their Holy War. They are the baddies and we, pure saints that unfortunately passed by over there in the worst moment.
I think we are totally mistaken. And still we consider ourselves the paradigm of liberty, egalitarism and fraternity. The Islamic State may deserve a good nuclear bomb under their pants, but we didn’t care a damn until they touched our isolated happiness and remembered us that people are dying violently out there while we suffer depressions because there isn’t much more to undergo when all our basic necessities are covered. If bums are perishing of coldness, bad luck. But my family a new iphone each. 

jueves, 8 de enero de 2015

The worst day of the year

For me, it is today! Maybe for others it was yesterday, their wedding date or the last day of summer holidays. Variety is the spice of life, they say. Well, Christmas holidays have melted like a snowman at the sun of August (in Spain) and we have nothing to hope for.
Yes, you will tell me that we are half in the middle of the academic year, that summer is half way, that there is a ray of light in the midst of January mist, but it is not enough.
People have a lot of good intentions when the year breaks: a good deal of gym torture, re-starting (one more time and it’s the twenty-second time) that rusty English of you –I’m doing it as well, I confess–, giving up horrible vices such as smoking, devouring cakes or criticizing your mother-in-law, taking life seriously, saving some money, avoiding those terrible drunk times with their corresponding hangovers... the list is almost infinite.
I don’t believe about this reset of life. Not now, at least. The commencement of a new year is only a mark in the calendar and a lot of nonsense celebrating that we have overpassed another change of digits –I meant figures, not amputation and reimplantation of fingers–. Things really happen when academic years start again. That is September, the month where everything is new. You come from a long –or short vacation–, even fed up of vegetative contemplation of non practical routines, waiting for something that may indeed change your future. Mankind expectations are made up of dreams and illusory constructions, being only a small part those that will actually come true, sometimes in a completely unexpected way, or to a diminished fulfilment from the predicted result.  
In Autumn you see clearer, the air is still warm, and the harshness of cruel winter is far. There’s time to prepare for its rawness. Now it’s high time for projects and daydreaming. This is more clearly seen in school life. For students, the starting point is always the beginning of a new challenge: brand new mates, teachers, subjects, decisions, habits... For workers, some of the most paramount modifications appear after the summer, although not always. In any case, more and more enterprises tend to big changes when June is over and not with the natural fall of the year –another hint of true conclusion of a whole period.
In January, few features have been altered. Experiments, with coca cola. If the company must swap posts, reorganize departments or reconsider further instructions, they will wait for six more months. For the time being, definite decisions may be reached depending on the final performance of the pieces on the chessboard, but only to be communicated on the edge of vacations. Thus, a forced retirement will be well assumed and new responsibilities, too. In the end, living is going up and down storeys of a big building in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by everything. Which floor are you going to?

jueves, 1 de enero de 2015

¿Are you kidding?

Recently I have heard of Cristiano Ronaldo supporting the narcissistic idea that he is an idol for youth, or better, an example for youngsters. Well, this doesn’t exceed those unforgettable words about being criticised because he was handsome –arguably–, rich –indisputable– and a good player –one of the best, actually, if not the best right now–, but this epitaph renews old flaws in egotistic CR7.
And the blame isn’t his. Not totally, at least. He has been remembered once and again of his almost godlike qualities, much over the reasonable, until the point in which one doesn’t know if he is a demigod or a whole one. A good deal of euros per minute complete the spell and convince the most self-critical one. If a pornographic current account and the vacuous and neverending cheers and raw admiration of mindless fans hungry –if not starving– for epic don’t convert the humblest person on earth into a stupid brat nothing will.
Ronaldo will be another victim of football. A millionaire one, yes, but have a look at him five years from his retirement. There is no other field of failure and collapse like that of former sports men, being idolized and workshipped with interminable inconditional admiration and money just to end up alone, forgotten and bankrupt after a host of bad decisions closely related to luxury, glamour, compulsivity, vice and everything that money and fame can buy.
The twilight of the Gods must be something that no one can bear, that’s true. It makes you blind and deaf, if not completely dumb. And the worst is when you lose perspective, when you really believe that you are an example for others. I won’t deny that the Portuguese striker has got plenty of qualities, that he is one of the best in soccer history, that his pectorals are to be envied and desired, but from that to consider him a referent there is a huge stretch. I admit that his obsessive love for vigorexia, fitting and good shape make him a superhuman athlete, that those virtues can be extrapolated as effort, working hard and insist in life, but no more. The way he handles his fame is selfish, arrogant and childish. He is more a divo and a celebrity than a footballer. In spite of that, he is still a superb one, which makes it clear to what extent Ronaldo has been alienated by a massive overdose of idolatry.
It’s a pity that the youth don’t use common people as referents, but these are the market rules. Take it or leave it. The world will not change in a sigh. Well, maybe, if it is the phenomenon from Madeira who emits it.