To Be Thankful / Fernando Dámaso

When I read or hear the opinions of citizens who worked in radio, television or publicity before 1959, earning great salaries that allowed them to own their homes and cars, travel and live comfortably, railing against the hands that fed them, and criticizing everything done, as if something that was against the state and the people had been manipulated, I feel embarrassed for them.

If there is something that ennobles a person it is knowing to be grateful. Also, and much more important, not to lie. To write and say silly things and to use their past like floor mats, doesn’t seem to worry these characters, as they reaffirm their political legitimacy and stay afloat, despite the vagaries of life and the passing years.

They remind me of some acquaintances who, having been brought up in wealthy families, studied in good private schools and enjoyed a pleasant childhood and youth, present themselves in their memoirs for popular or institutional consumption, as poor from birth, almost the children of beggars, uneducated, and having to work from childhood to survive in an exploitative society, where their families were the most exploited and miserable.

Some other cases seem to come back into fashion. In hard times it is like a return to roots, and also like a closing at the end of life. It seems as they intended to leave a palatable vision for other generations, filing and polishing here and there, looking for a false perfection.

Writing this depressed me, but I see it repeat itself so much in our media, that more than a personal catharsis, it seems to me like a collective insanity. Who was rich was rich and who was poor was poor, and neither one nor the other should be ashamed, as it determines neither the good nor bad feelings.

November 11 2010