Friday, March 28, 2003


“Well, says Raven, “I feel vindicated.”

How’s that, Rave?

“Remember the conversation we were having yesterday—about the law of the jungle?”

A little hard to forget it, You raked my species over the coals.

“Yeah, well, I’m not the only one doing the raking. In La Jornada there is a piece about José Saramago receiving an honorary doctorate in Madrid from the Universidad Carlos III. He gave a speech entitled Democracy and the University, and—it says here—after observing a minute of silence for the victims of the war in Iraq, added ‘We are living, THEY are living, an unjust, illegal and disproportionate war, and we, the so-called public opinion—what we are doing is searching for the way to change the luck of the human being and change what we have been throughout history: wolves that kill each other, offending even wolf consciousness—because wolves respect each other, and human beings don’t know how to do that.’ So, another person realizing that these comparisons to the animal kingdom are, in fact, insultingly unfair to us animals.”

What else did he have to say?

“That it’s necessary to ‘reinvent democracy and break it loose from the immobility to which it has been condemned by the routine and the incredulity of different political and economic powers—for whom it’s convenient to maintain the decorative facade of the democratic edifice that is preventing us from verifiying if there is really something behind it.’”

And how does he suggest doing that?

“He appealed to the university, to provide free education—on the basis that the new model needs to come from that before it is too late. He says: ‘The university needs to be—more than an institution that dispenses knowledge—the space for the formation of the person educated in the values of human solidarity and peace; educated also for freedom, critical spirit and responsible debate of ideas.’”

What we struggle to implement here in this educational community on the edge of the sea. Or the edge of the earth. With marginal results.

“Also in Spain there seems to have been cloned the cancelation of cultural events.” Raven continues reading.

Poets against the war again?

“It says, ‘While Saramago showed his preoccupation for the democratic process, the Executive of the Spanish government, right-wing politician José María Aznar, ordered the suspension of the televized gala with which annually has been celebrated World Theater Day, and which according to the actors was due to the fear on the part of the authorities that it would be converted into a new proclamation against the war, critical of the posture of Aznar in regard to the conflict.’”

Bush barring Walt Whitman all over again, Rave.

“The actors made a very articulate statement, though: ‘Theater is a political art, done by way of an assembly—convoking the people and dialoging with them. Only in the meeting of the actors with the citizens—only then theater takes place. It is not possible to do theater without politics, given that it was born to question the gods and unmask the men who disguise themselves as gods. It’s an ancient vice—a government which thinks it’s God.’”

Right, Rave. We´ve got politicians thinking they are God, but behaving like the worst examples of animals. Confusion on a grand scale. I’m glad you feel vindicated, but where does that leave me?

“I think we need to look back at where we were a few days ago: Stuck inside of Mobile, with the Memphis Blues....”


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