Urban artists

[originally published in catalan in Línia Vallès, #59. Mollet del Vallès (Spain): 01/16/2004]

In a corner of Barcelona, at the end of Enric Granados Street, a bench has been upholstered. It is one of these benches that have lately been installed in the squares and circuses of our cities, with metallic legs and wooden sit and back and that, quite often, they are arranged as a three-piece suite: a large bench and two individual ones. The main character of this tale is an individual one.

The upholstery has been performed by a non-amateur: tough cloth, printed with a yellow and orange squares pattern according to the buildings around and the surrounding trees; filled with foam cut the same size of the constituting boards; and stapled professionally and with the most care and technique required.

And I’m still amazed: someone has bothered to upholster a street bench! I explain it to my friend and one of them says “it must have been some of these urban artists, what a sort of crazy people they are”. I guess these craziness is quite productive: instead of break, burn or sign the urban furniture, someone is wasting his precious time in improving it in the name of art: the roles have gone upside down and patrons of the arts in the society are, now, the artists themselves.

Let’s put it clear: facing facts like these, we must absolutely forget calling the Administration and other benefactors for grants and subsidies for art and culture. Artists have all their needs covered and, more, they even have time and money to devote to public works. I wonder why they don’t just fix some routes, build nurseries or avoid the erosion of the coast. In the end, I think all of these are priority actions before the comfort of street benches.

By the way, the Administration should keep on with his policy of encouraging whatever freak that might come with the aim of modifying the physics or chemicals of whatever thing he might find, in the name of nationalism, football or his or her political confusions. We should avoid paying our taxes and, on top of that, paying the unemployment subsidies of these people that, against odds, try to get us off the beastie prose.

Geneva matters

[originally published in catalan in Línia Vallès, #53. Mollet del Vallès (Spain): 10/17/2003]

Elite israelian pilots not wanting to take part in selective killings in palestinian zones brings us an interesting debate. Is it moral objection? Or is it wanting things to be well done? Do they have the right of choice? Some of them, belonging to Courage to refuse, say they have been trained to protect the state of Israel and that “the missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose”.

This is an opinion that, of course, is not shared by Ariel Sharon, who doesn’t see the attacks as selective killing but the protection of the israelian territory, the same way the three kings of the Azores saw Iraq’s invasion a defensive strategy. Thus, the accomplishment of the law is subjected to a few men’s arms that, taking some powers they ought not to, trial and sentence as illegal the commands of their Government.

A Democracy is based on a bunch of laws one has to follow uncompulsory, and the State can punish whoever does not follow them or force this command. The police is intended to do this. And so does the Army. It seems evident to think, then, that this Army regards doubtlessly the actions focused to maintain the correct application of the legal code.

Forever and ever, and yet far before the Geneve Agreement in 1863, we have set lots of “laws” to play war in a fair way and make it more human (ain’t it human enought to build doom machines with the only goal of self-destruction?). Thus, we have pilots with moral hazard when bombing cities, atomic countries preaching others against mass destruction weapons and right handed and government-friendly NGOs benefiting from official cooperation for developement (and Iraq reconstruction) funds. .

Stop cinism: correctspeech politics are the instrument of the most ancient propaganda in order to destroy the smallest dissidence with the Power with the minimum effort: the least one can do is not kneel and follow as lambs. Honesty will leave us time to other thoughts and pleasures. Though making love, not war, is becoming one simple thing to stay awake in some blackout nights.