And how is your pool?

/ 16 June, 2015

Something stinks in Madrid, and elsewhere, at the time that a common and wild half a glass of water (water more purified than pure, after passing all the filters that civilization imposes, because there is not clear water in nature) is displayed as if being art. Something is seriously fucked up when from any voice it is intended that this gesture (as empty as the other half of the aforementioned glass) to be accepted as art; when all those who should say something shut up or just open their mouth to say yes, yes, yes, that is art, or could be, maybe … and that, by the way, is stated sottovoce, timidly, with afraid, poorly told and measuring the words, glancing around, taking care of who may be listening to, then, at that moment, wisdom is, clinically and definitely, surrendered.

Did I put “surrendered”? Maybe I should put “sold”, which is another form of surrender, worsen now by taking the form of an unconditional and unnecessary capitulation. But I will not go that far. It is just enough to suffer the embarrassment to tolerate the juggling with which are defended that glass and many others, which have come to supplant the creation, imagery, passion and wonder with which artists used to amaze the world and men with miracles that seemed to come from the hand of God.

When you want to raise to a philosophical diatribe the trivial dichotomy between the glass half empty and the glass half full, when that mental emptiness is intended to become into metaphysical speculation, it lays bare, if you want to see, the total absence of content, the total shortage of continents and the enormous, huge memory gaps with which huge amounts of pools, not only glasses, can be filled. It is not about this or that glass: it is a lot of heads, and for more, heads turned upside down.

One glass more or les is not important in a world where books are bought and sold per square meter, or by dozens. And it’s true, or it might almost be true, only that books still, yes, still suffer from the need to at least be written, conceived, made, and that need is already something; necessity which with impunity does not reflect much of what is now displayed and proclaimed among the categories of the artistic realm.

It has been said forever, and it is a deceptive nonsense, that the look of that child that saw and smiled freely before the vanity of the naked king, was an innocent look. No, that was not an innocent look in any way. The only thing that can be said about the gaze of that child is that it was a uncompromising look. The truth is not in innocence; innocence at this point is sin. The plain truth is in the no compromise.

During McCarthyism someone already said, and from my poor memory I extract the quote in fits and starts: “They, those who betrayed their own people, were not defending with treason their own lives, which were never in danger. No: they were defending their pools “. In the renovated McCarthyism, which the market imposes with impeccable white glove by these days, the question remains the same: Do you have a pool? Is your pool is half full or half empty?

Ernesto Pérez Castillo

Ernesto Pérez Castillo

La Habana, 1968. Escritor. Premio de Novela de la UNEAC por Haciendo las cosas mal (2008). Ha publicado los libros de cuentos Bajo la bandera rosa (2009), Filosofía barata (2006) y las novelas Medio millón de tuercas (2010) y El ruido de las largas distancias (2011).

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