Sunday, May 31, 2015

Celebración de la lectura y elogio de la lentitud

Por JOSE ANDRÉS ROJO
Tienen razón todos los que se lamentan. El negocio del libro no va bien. Cada vez resulta más difícil agotar las tiradas de las ediciones, y eso que se han reducido considerablemente. En estos tiempos de penurias económicas, además, no está entre las prioridades de nadie acercarse a una librería para gastar unos euros en esos cachivaches de papel que, para tantos, forman ya parte del pasado. También está lo de la piratería y la competencia desleal de las nuevas tecnologías. Más cosas: ¿quién tiene tiempo hoy para zambullirse en una novela o para liarse en los vericuetos de un ensayo o para andarse con un montón de versos que tratan de vanos amoríos o del desastre de vivir? Claro que hay razones para lamentarse. Alguna más: ¿qué pinta un libro si con el móvil se puede recorrer el mundo en un instante, recibir la mejor información, acceder a los análisis más sesudos, encargar las mejores viandas o establecer vínculos con las damas y los caballeros más competentes, guapos e inteligentes?
(…) George Steiner, unos de los maestros de la crítica literaria, se ocupó en su ensayo Pasión intacta de una obra de Chardin, el fínísimo artista francés del siglo XVIII, en la que retrata a un filósofo leyendo. Paso a paso, va reflexionando sobre cada uno de los elementos que aparecen en el cuadro e intenta de ese modo explicar lo que significa la honda felicidad de leer. Es verdad que se refiere a un filósofo y, por tanto, a alguien familiarizado de sobra con los libros.
Sea como sea, hay un detalle que hoy resulta particularmente significativo. Steiner llama la atención sobre lo bien vestido que va el personaje del cuadro y observa que, cuando Chardin pintaba, la lectura se entendía como “un encuentro cortés”. Una oportunidad que no podía dejarse al azar, por tanto, y a la que convenía presentarse de manera impecable. Luego entra en otras consideraciones y apunta que, para Chardin, leer “es un acto silencioso y solitario”.
Y es verdad. Con demasiada frecuencia se pretende disfrazar el acto de leer con la fórmula que pueda estar más de moda: el entretenimiento, el suspense, la utilidad, la excitación, cualquier suerte de refinamiento especial. Pero al final de todo, leer no es más que eso: apartarse del ruido y entrar en otro mundo habitado por palabras. Siempre toca hacerlo solo y con tiempo, eligiendo la lentitud frente a la velocidad de nuestras circuntancias.
Merece la pena. Ese “acto silencioso y solitario” está tan lleno de riquezas y placeres que quizá tenían razón aquellos antiguos cuando se esforzaban en arreglarse para vivir un momento tan especial. (El País, 30 de mayo de 2015)

Friday, May 22, 2015

#hometovote: Irish abroad return to vote in gay marriage referendum

Irish people living overseas have been tweeting news of their journeys home to vote in same-sex marriage poll.



Irish citizens have been sharing photographs and stories on social media as they travel home to vote in the gay marriage referendum.
Ireland could become the first country to legalise same-sex marriage through a referendum. More than 3 million people are eligible to vote, including 60,000 expats. Those who have left the country less than 18 months ago are able to vote in the referendum, but need to show up at a polling station in person.
Before the vote on Friday, Twitter was filled with pictures of people returning home to have their say on gay marriage, with some decorating their trains accordingly. Others, upon their return, found their parents had decorated for them. 
The account @gettheboat2vote Twitter account has been encouraging Irish citizens overseas to travel home and has also been sharing their stories. According to these tweets, Irish expats have been travelling from far and wide to vote. Some who were unable to vote because they could not get back to Ireland have been encouraging others to vote yes with the hashtag #BeMyYes
The referendum result is expected to be announced on Saturday afternoon. The Guardian


Yes supporters gather in Dublin Castle square as the referendum on same-sex marriage has been massively approved by Irish voters. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Ireland becomes first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote

Irish voters have decisively voted in favour of marriage equality, making Ireland the first country to do so through the ballot box. Only one of the 43 constituencies voted against the proposal – Roscommon-South Leitrim – while the yes vote exceeded 70% in many parts of Dublin. The no campaigners have paid tribute to their opponents, and the archbishop of Dublin has said the result should be a wake-up call for the Catholic church in Ireland.
All the results are in, and the returning officer, Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile, has declared that Ireland has passed the same-sex marriage referendum by 1,201,607 votes to 734,300. That’s 62.1% yes to 37.9% no. The total turnout was 60.5%. The Guardian

+Ireland says yes to same-sex marriage -in pictures

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Digital Censorship on Fox Channel

'Sexually sick' Fox News covers up breasts and genitals in Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers

Painting sold for record $179 million (€161 million) at Christie's in New York
ADAM WITHNALL, The Independent, Thursday 14th May 2015
Art experts have become the latest group to be offended by Fox News, after the US broadcaster covered up the depiction of women’s breasts and genitals in a report on the sale of a Pablo Picasso masterpiece. The Women of Algiers (Version O) became the most expensive painting sold at auction on Monday when it went for $179 million (£114 million) at Christie’s in New York.
But in reporting on the setting of this new world record, someone in the Fox newsroom apparently decided that life painting was in fact offensive or sexual rather than simply artistic.

Three sets of breasts were blurred out in the report, while other bits deemed too rude by Fox were covered by the strategically-placed Fox News strap line.
Jerry Saltz, a senior critic at the New York magazine, wrote on Twitter that the decision to blur parts of the masterpiece betrayed the “sick minds” of those reporting. “How sexually sick are conservatives and Fox News?” he said.
The artist and author Gonzalo W Benard said it was “pathetic”, while art writer Aruna D’Souza said sarcastically: “Glad Fox News is protecting its audience from Picasso’s smutty mind.” Another Twitter user commented with the hashtag “#FreeTheNipple”.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Top British Athlete Tom Daley Comes Out



Traditionally, celebrity coming-out announcements have been carefully stage-managed, dramatic and definitive. But Tom Daley's YouTube video, in which he reveals that he is in a relationship with another man, represents a new, more nuanced, way of coming out. It was a personal, heartfelt statement that said: My life has changed. I've met someone. I've fallen in love. Oh, and it's a man! He has been praised for his courage and hailed as a role model. Tom Daley's video is definetely touching (and hopefully inspiring for others). Daley responded to the positive feedback from fans and celebrities with a Twitter post on Monday afternoon: "Overwhelmed by all the support! Means the world! Thanks so much, guys." 
Congratulations, Tom! Well done for sharing it. It takes guts.
Related full article on The Guardian  
+Tom Daley praised as role model...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

GLASS ANIMALS_Gooey (audio + live)





Think of this wonderful song as simple back-n-forth talk between two lovers, comfortable with each other as they are with themselves.... smiling, laughing and joking as they share emotions, feelings and are aware of every little thing. The meaning of the song's lyrics? Who knows exactly? Yet, somehow, two lovers perfectly attuned always know each other's thoughts.