Monday, September 29, 2014

Manual per declarar la independència


Llucia Ramis, "¿Quién dijo que Cataluña no tiene ejército?," El Mundo, 2013.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Upper West Side Stories



I'm spending some weeks into exile. I have temporarily moved to the 90s while they refurbish my new apartment in the lower upper west side. My soul is longing to move permanently to the 70s, where civilization stands--as well as my shul and friends. In the meantime, I can record some curious stories in the upper upper west side:

-Have you noted the existence of the hybrid Episcopalian-Methodist church in 86th St? Are you aware that this is also the place of our neighborhood's vortex?

-91st St with West End Ave looks horribly French. Fortunately, there is a former Presbyterian church, now Greek Orthodox-thing, which spoils the scene.

-An impressive building lasts vacant in 87th St. The former sign reads: "St. Agnes Boys High School." It should be squatted as soon as possible, before New York Archdiocese sell it to some real estate. Please, honor St. Agnes tradition: male-squatters only. Thank you.

-The government should declare 96th St. with Broadway disaster area level 6.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Random Picture


"I don’t know why. I didn’t want the burden of the Valley of Vision, but the burden of being."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

L'adéu al Twitter

Avui [21 de maig de 2014] he tancat el Twitter, aka Twi. No sé si serà un tancament temporal, o serà un tancament definitiu. Era un gest que no volia fer, és massa radical. Tanmateix, el Twi m'és una finestra a un món estrany, cada cop més aliè. Me l'estimo, però és una geografia llunyana, i una població assetjada per ansietats que no són les meves. En planer: hi ha massa comentaris de tietes i nacionaltietisme, melindros, i altres derivats polítics, socials, culturals i esportius de la Catalunya frustrada i utopitzada. Hi ha gent que viu al Twi d'una forma permanent, bona gent, mala gent, i gent fracassada que han venut o perdut l'ànima per deliris, miratges, crisis, o baixa autoestima. Hi ha també els haters, un personal covard que el Twi cultiva amb delit. Després hi ha badocs, gent innocent, i passavolants. En definitiva, el Twi recorda els pitjors anys de la dita ESO, Educació Secundària Obligatòria.

Farà poc més d'un any, em vaig prometre mantenir la meva vida privada fora de les xarxes socials. Ho he aconseguit amb força èxit. Des d'aleshores he controlat activament què deia, i com ho deia. L'espiral del Twi m'ha portat molts de cops al límit dels meus compromisos. He penjat i esborrat fotos, tuits, i comentaris per tal de mantenir l'equilibri de la privacitat. I, sobretot, he dominat el que la gent sabia o deixava de saber sobre mi.

Ara sóc a l'estranger. Visc en un altre país i, per molt que el meu Twi tingui una presència acceptable de gent d'aquest país, el pes majoritari és català. Encara que hagi penjat fotos ocurrents de coses de la gran ciutat, he vist que algun cop travessava les línies de la vida privada que m'havia marcat. Eren només imatges, era excessivament privat. Només em faltava comentar coses que estic fent aquí. I, d'alguna manera, ho vaig començar a fer. Això era inadmissible, estava vulnerant les meves polítiques d'ús de Twi. I els comentaris d'altres, benintencionats o malintencionats, pel davant o pel darrere, han fluït. Per protegir la meva intimitat, i continuar controlant què se sap de mi, m'ha calgut tancar el Twi. Semblantment, no puc participar d'uns debats, d'un estat d'ànim català general que no és el meu i deixar-me'n influir.  Per consegüent, he acabat mostrant una cara i un estat d'ànims que no es corresponen al que visc actualment en el meu nou país. La influència negativa de Twi era massa forta. Calia tallar de soca-rel aquesta mala influència, i deixar de banda tot ço del seu. Adéu Twitter.

Llegiu un altre adéu al Twitter d'un bon amic.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Origins


My father was born in Nanclares de la Oca (Araba, Basque Country), in 1949. Nanclares is a well-known infamous place for its state prison. In fact, my father was born in prison. His father, from Araba itself, had been recently transferred to the prison as officer. He was in the military and state prisons paid much better than being a Captain in the Spanish Army.

The prison was located near a convent of the Brothers of Christian Instruction (Lamennais Brothers). The convent had previously been a spa and casino. At that time, the prison had political prisoners, debtors, and former nazis hidden in Spain after the Second World War. My grandfather used to play chess with Otto Skorzeny, the Waffen-SS Colonel who led the Gran Sasso raid, the rescue mission that freed Mussolini from captivity, after his fall in 1943.

Conditions in Nanclares prison were appalling. Barracks were overpopulated and some inmates were held in the subterranean wells of the spa. Infections and diseases were common among the inmates. My father's family lived in the former spa building, near those same wells. Both inmates and prison officers received assistance and food from the Lamennais Borthers.

My grandfather was born in Armiñon. He was one of the seventeen siblings in a poor family in Araba. My great-grandfather was a teacher, and used to move throughout Araba working in state, provincial and municipal elementary schools. Most of the siblings were sent to Catholic seminaries and novitiates. Parents couldn't afford their education. My grandfather was in the seminary when the Civil War of 1936 broke out. He immediately left it, and joined the nationalist side, like his younger brother, who joined the Carlist requetés in Navarre. My grandfather remained in the army after the war, and his brother came back to the Redemptorist novitiate.

I've never had a strong identification with my Basque origins, and I can't feel proud of them. However, as I said several years ago, these are also my origins and I have to accept them. Perhaps, even I have the opportunity to correct them.