06/29/2019 00:56 Updated to 06/29/2019 02:48
The ritual fire and the processions of torches almost always symbolized transcendences and the like. Usually. Then, the Inquisition arrived and used the bonfires as a tool of torture. And some Germans, enough, rose again and profaned the bonfires and processions of torches on dark or black nights. Like our Sant Joan bonfires, which have also begun to be desecrated by certain inquisitor apprentices. If the thing continues like that, those bonfires of ours will only be found in that song by Joan Manuel Serrat that tastes like coca, smells like gunpowder and sounds like peep and garibaldi matches. All these people who manipulate the things of fire ignore that it cannot be trivialized. This was told to me in a certain dream by Sir Kay, King Arthur’s steward. You know: the dragon on his banner spewed real fire.
This year, in a bonfire, in a pyre that was built in the neighborhood of Fort Pienc in Barcelona, several photographic portraits of politicians, a magistrate and a king were condemned to the flames of Sant Joan or the summer solstice. It is not the first time that something similar happens, but that they also want to steal from us the most popular Catalan verbena is too much abuse. I do not care if some invent a certain itinerant flame with the excuse of some verses of the poet, priest and very unhappy Verdaguer, who ended up almost stoned by the bourgeoisie of Barcelona. I do not care, but that their propaganda desire does not rest for a while even in San Juan night is excessive and harmful to the mental health of many.
Until now these citizens of persistent propaganda entertain themselves with flags and portraits. They have not yet dared with books, but everything will come. When they dare, perhaps one of the first that will end up in the flames will be the Report on Catalonia, written by José Enrique Ruiz-Domènec. This professor of Medieval History says that the attitude of the Catalans in the face of power is trivialized when it is said that it is due to the grievances by the decision of the Constitutional Court about a certain statute of autonomy. And he wonders how you can say that when the trail of protests is detectable throughout the centuries with few variations. “I think I discover in the way of being Catalan from the early Middle Ages a complex amalgam of feelings and emotions, which oscillate between common sense and the passionate outburst, between memory and forgetfulness, but always looking at the future from the past”.
While watching the inquisitorial pyre of Fort Pienc I thought of some verses of the Irish poet W.B. Yeats which I know Ruiz-Domènec likes: “The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of frank daring”. The latter, says the historian, when they ask for freedom, more freedom, they are actually asking for privileges, more privileges.
Only for themselves, of course.