Cuando la lectura no sirve de nana

El amor turbulento de Oliveira y la Maga no me dejaba dormir. En la vigilia yo me preguntaba ¿Por qué ella tiene que ser tan humildemente ignorante, tan dada a lo sobrehumano y tan incapaz de vivir en la realidad? ¿Por qué él tiene que ser tan arrogante en su desesperanza y su pesimismo? ¿Por qué él tiene que reventarle su circunstancia tanto que es incapaz de hacer nada más que cavilar en su inacción?

Si la Maga y Oliveira fueran seres reales de mi entorno los abría mandado a la mierda hace mucho tiempo, pues mi impaciencia así me lo habría dictado. ¿Pero qué digo? La realidad era que sí había tal pareja en mi vida y, nada más lejos de mis pretensiones, yo seguía alimentando su compañía. ¿Era esa la verdadera razón de mi insomnio? ¿Me torturaba la proximidad con tales seres?

No estaba todo perdido, me decía a mí mismo. Pero a la vez no podía evitar pensar que todos somos en el fondo Oliveira y la Maga, víctimas de nuestras circunstancias, más o menos conscientes de ello y de nuestra impotencia. A todos nos gusta regodearnos en nuestras miserias, tal vez, porque es lo que nos ayuda a no sentirnos mal por no ayudar a los que lo tienen peor.

¿Qué era verdaderamente realidad y ficción? Yo ya no discernía, y todo por culpa de esta pareja urugaya-argentina. Lucía, la Maga y Horacio Oliveira. Montevideo y Buenos Aires. Lo mismo daba que daba lo mismo. Ambos caracteres estaban rotos. Y tal vez porque yo me sentía identificado con esa rotura, no paraba de pensar y de pensar tanto, y mi mente era incapaz de desconectar.

Lo peor no era el amor de La Maga y Oliveira. Lo peor era la consciencia, o más bien la cognosciencia de que todo era inútil, empezando por mí. Eso era lo que me impedía dormir en la noche.

 

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1 fact, 3 fiction

On the 1st of September of 1945 the second World War ended. That was also the date of the proclamation of the Third Republic of Sevain. It was a surprise for everybody, but even more surprising was that the Republic was abolished three months later. Some say it was due to a notorious mayhem across the administration regarding the decision of how to celebrate Christmas – being it a Catholic tradition, and being the Third Republic founded upon non-denominational basis. Anyway, a coup d’état followed that mayhem and a fascist regime took over Sevain for more than thirty years.

Deshojando margaritas

La vida era eso: margaritas junto a la piscina en un hotel de cinco estrellas en la costa este del país y un deseo incomparable de holgazanear día y noche.

No había nada más irritante que una bebida aguada a causa del hielo deshecho o el servicio de habitaciones a deshorsa. Afortunadamente aquel hotel era excelente y se había preocupado por conocer sus rutinas y preferencias. El hielo, por otro lado, era responsibilidad suya.

Y eso que todavía no se había bronceado lo suficiente como para lucir torso a gusto. Aun así se resolvió a disfrutar lo máximo posible de la hamaca, el sol y el cóctel y actuar como si no fuera superficial en absoluto. Tampoco había demasiadas mujeres atractivas alrededor, así que tampoco era una gran pérdia. Tiempo al tiempo. Sol y cielos azules. Ni una nube.  Y la promesa de su esculpido cuerpo moreno en breve.

De pronto una ligera brisa.

Thank you, Internet

ALERT TO THE READER: This is a very sad article, despite of it being a First World problem (lovely term, very PC and all). If you don’t want to get upset with this kind of issue… Tough, you probably are so already.

Hello, my name is Anabel and I am an Internet addict. This has caused me one or two problems. Maybe more. I can’t say for sure, since my ability to keep concentrated has decreased enormously and so I can’t think straight. Still I will try my best, for my therapist told me it could help me.

My lack of concentration has caused me, for instance, more than one discussion with my friends and family, and, of course, with my boyfriend. He has this absurd theory that I don’t listen to him. Yes, I do! True, not for too long, but I do. In fact, what he says is interesting most of the time, therefore I am interested in what he is saying most of the time. Only, not for too long, but that is not my fault…!

In the working context, Internet has also affected me. Whenever I am teaching to my students, they have this problem too. I don’t take it personal, since I understand what they are going through. Still I admit it annoys me, and at some point I always end up yelling at them. Of course this has implications and consequences: we do not like each other. But then I think that that’s life, is it not? We will always find people that we don´t like, and I am doing my part by teaching them now.

On the other hand, when trying to do something useful with my free time, I think of my main hobbies: books, films, series, hiking… Hill walking is OK, I think. Mainly because it is outdoors. But then there is this taking and sending photos everywhere and letting everybody know that I am somewhere lovely. Posing, I think they call it. But is it really posing? Is it!?

Of course reading has become an increasingly difficult passtime to keep, since so many letters one after the other ask of so much of my concentration. It often happens that I read the same phrase over and over again. It often happens that I read the same phrase over and over again. Do you see? I am not the only one with this problem!

And then I think: OK, let’s go for a movie… only I can’t really be bothered because as it happens, they are too long or too not interesting. Two hours of my time is a looong time to dedicate to the same thing. And as it happens again, I never find good movies anymore. Series are apparently a better option, timewise, since the episodes last an average of 45 minutes – a very reasonable amount of time, when we are talking of being told a story (partially). But an episode is never an episode. It often follows another and so on, and the prospect of being in front of the screen for that long is not as appealing as when I was younger.

In any case we are still facing another big problem: what if the thing we end up watching is not as thrilling and gripping and interesting and funny and clever from the very beginning to the very end? Well, this links me to another problem: my phone is always, unmistakably, demanding my attention, and since my brain is not entirely satisfied with what it has in front of it, it will be totally divided between the two screens.

Ah, so sad! And the worst will be that the person I am interacting with in the social media of turn, at some point, will probably complain that I am not paying him or her my total attention. Well, that may be true, but then I want to ask, almost yelling visually with capital letters, whether he or she is truly in the disposition of asking such a question: ARE YOU PAYING COMPLETE ATTENTION TO ME?

And since I do’t think so but it and it doesn’t bother me that much because I know that we all do the same – Come on! Even my mum is keeping an eye on TV when we skype! -, and because I probably love that person and it is not their fault anyway, I will end up making something up like: “I was doing something else, but now I am only talking to you”. It may be true. It may not. In any case you are not to blame, because you mean well, and you have to do what you have to do, to keep peace in your little circle of life. But of course, for how long can you do that when you are virtually unable to focus on something for no longer than 30 minutes?

My therapist says that it doesn’t have to be like that. That if I really try I can go back to focus on one thing and one thing only and do it with all my will and ability. I don’t entirely believe her. Ah, those old days when the multitasking didn’t exist… And the internet is to blame, no doubt!

It is so sad that I almost feel it – sad, I mean – but it will not last long before I find five things to do at a time! In fact, my friend who is sitting beside me with her own laptop is informing me, very happily, that she has found a very useful site where they explain Judith Butler with cats. I did not know that you could do such a thing. I did not know who Judith Butler is. Oh, wait! New discovery: Michel Foucault explained with hypsters. Incredibly I understand these terms and I feel like smiling – she is very pleased herself while says aloud: thank you internet!

Well, thank you, Internet, thank you for ruining my life.

Alice’s Restaurant

Disculpas a aquellos cuyo inglés está siendo a prueba con esta entrada. Pero si entendeis, aguantad y reíd!

That’s probably one of the funniest stories I have heard in some time and that’s why I put it here. The singer is Arlo Gurthrie, an American folk singer-songwriter, who, like his father, Woody Guthrie, is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. All the links go to Wikipedia, in case you want to know more.

Ese milagro…

Quiero resaltar citar aquí este párrafo de Elvira Lindo porque precisamente el otro día hablaba con una amiga a la que los 80 le pilló en plena juventud sobre música. Ella me decía lo que he oído cincuenta mil veces de que la música de hoy en día ya no es lo que que era. Y yo me revolvía en el asiento y le decía que sí, que aquella era genial, así como la de los 70 y antes, pero que, de verdad, hoy también había música excelente… Ahora leo esto y pienso que condensa estupendamente el problema existente.
“[…]Suele decir Woody Allen que la música que ilustra sus películas es la que él escuchó de niño en la radio. Para sus oídos infantiles, ni Ella Fitzgerald ni Louis Armstrong eran músicos elevados difíciles de comprender, al contrario, resultaba muy sencillo aprenderse y cantar sus melodías. Tuvo la suerte de haber crecido cuando la música popular que sonaba en la radio al alcance de cualquiera era excelente. También lo fue cuando llegaron otros ritmos en los 60 y en los 70. Y podría ocurrir ese milagro hoy en nuestro país si los medios públicos fueran fieles a su esencia y promocionaran el talento.[…]”
(Elvira LINDO, “La cobra del pueblo”, publicado en El País Cultura, el 5 de Noviembre de 2016, http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2016/11/04/actualidad/1478275593_940240.html?id_externo_rsoc=TW_CC).

Before the Flood

Climate change is a reality, and it affects not only us, but all the planet’s living forms. It is extremely selfish to tink otherwise or just ignore it.

This film made by Leonardo Dicaprio, as UN Climate Ambassador, and in collaboration with National Geographic, gives a very general but instructive approach to the climate change problem – or how we have ruined our panet -. It shows lots and varied perspectives of different personalities and experts, as well as showing different effects and situations around the planet as a result of the climate change – which is, by the way, a result of our industry system, which is sustained not only by the big companies and lobbies, but also by us, consumers, who keep buying what they sell, regardless of how it is produced. Hence, the film makes you realise how ignorant we are, but also – and most of all – how oblivious and reckless, while responsible for it all.

I must say some parts of the film are quite disturbing and it made me think how, despite the belief of me being somehow respectful with the environment, there’s loads more I can do.

It is, indeed, up to all of us. As the film says in repeated occasions…

Consume differently:
– What you buy
– What you eat
– The way you get your power

Keep watching until the very end. It is all worth it. And I think they are right by suggesting that we

Vote for leader who will figt climate change by
– ending fossil fuel subsidies
– investing in renewables
– leaving fossil fuels in the ground
– supporting a price on carbon