Keep the change

“Life goes in circles”, people say, but that is not true. In fact, life goes like a spiral. The circle gets smaller and smaller until it’s a single dot. Which is your grave. I am in a happy mood today, as you can see.

In the same way, people don’t really change. People think they change, because they change jobs, houses, relationships, favourite bands, salad dressings, and ketchup brands. I once met a guy on a boat party who didn’t agree with me. He had a friend who used to be married with a woman until he fell in love with a man, divorced and married him. “Don’t you think that’s a change?” he asked. Of course it’s not. If his friend was on the receiving end before with his wife, he still will be now with his husband, and if he preferred cleaning dishes above vacuum cleaning before, I am sure, he still does now. A guy who used to be a right-wing skinhead, then sees the light and becomes a reborn christian working night and day for Greenpeace; is still the same fanatic. Saul, the persecutor of christians, became Paul, the holier-than-thou Apostle of the christian church, but he was still an self-righteous bastard.

In the same way, humanity does not really progress. Things like cars, computer operating systems, sound recordings (from vinyl to CD to mp3) or Rolling Stones albums have gone consistently worse over the past 50 years. The West-European social welfare dream is on its last legs. After centuries trying to get rid of Christianity, not only is it still around, but it has gotten company of the Islam, and people who don’t believe in either, have gone back to the middle-ages and started to believe in homeopathy, astrology, quantum-karma-massages and photonic dream analysis therapies. The names have changed but it is still horse urine sold as medicine. The only thing science has achieved, on a cultural level at least, is that people think quantum mechanics is a Zen thing, and Einstein was some kind of Neil claiming that everything is like, yeah, relative man.

Even on a generation by generation base, the boat just rocks back and forth without really going anywhere (poetically put, even if I say so myself). In Western-Europe, after the terribly suppressing fifties (protestants in the northern and dictators in the southern countries), the annoyingly optimistic sixties (Beatles, Kennedy, Vietnam…, oh well, so much for naive optimism), the depressingly lost aftermath of the seventies (brown and orange?!), came the terribly suppressing eighties (the atom bomb, Reagan, Thatcher, new-wave music), the annoyingly optimistic nineties (new-age, the internet, extacy, techno…, oh well, so much for naive optimism) and the depressingly lost aftermath of the first decade of the 21st century. I am sure the first steps of another annoyingly optimistic era are already in the making (Yes We Can! just came, saw and disappeared before its time).

Nescio already said it in 1918(!): God’s purpose is aimlessness. But no one has been given the ability to realize this continuously.

Revisited Debate about Catalan Nationalism

A long and interesting discussion which in the end, as all good discussions do, touched all aspects of life, the universe and everything (42), made me reconsider a few things. It’s a process similar to having a drink with your fellow colleagues, band members or family: little iritations are not so important as they seemed, life is not so much about what’s going on in your head and after all the most important things in life are basic and obvious.

The whole debate about Catalan nationalism and Catalan independence, which keeps on being a basic ingredient for politicians to avoid talking about real issues: economy, housing, security, general well-being, is just another “brick in the wall“, a political wank.

The beauty is that I live in a city where two languages (probably in the future three) live side by side. Since I came to live here, I have marvelled at the spontaneous capacity of people here to switch from one language to the other, not only during a conversation but even in mid-sentence. I think that is something to be celebrated, a rare example of “mestizaje” (“linguistic mix”) that shows flexibility and social coherence. One thing that always struck me of Spain as a whole, be it Andalucia, Madrid, the Basque countries or Catalunia, is that at the core of its culture (or cultures, if you wish) is “pasárselo bien”, a desire to have a good time for all, having a drink or a meal (food being an important part of its culture) together and making sure everyone is feeling comfortable.

The fact that some people want to turn this into a problem (Catalanists or anti-Catalanists, both), a source of anger, antigonism and obnoxious stupidity, should not be taken as a proof that having different languages and cultures in one country is a problem (because it isn’t a problem) but rather as a proof that wherever you go, there are always people (luckily, only a few) that have the need to fuck things up and create imaginary problems.

Differences between people or groups of people are real, but instead of a clash, it should be a celebration. I am beginning to sound like a hippie, and I admit to still enjoying a slight afterglow after a night of drinks, so I stop now.