War and Peace

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VIGGO:

Well, first of all, Happy Holidays, Cuervo! And best wishes for the coming year to all Cuerva sisters and Cuervo brothers, and to all who still aren´t.

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© Viggo Mortensen.
 
What happened since our last column, Fabián? So much! The good, the bad, the vulgar, the surprisingly noble, improbable, mean, unrepeatable, what might have been inconsequential, what we thought important, what we didn't see, what we feared, the inexplicable. Everything happened. We rejoiced, repented, we were wrong, we connected, we ignored each other, we were cowards, we were brave, we were stupid. As the genius Albert Einstein said, "Everyone must, from time to time, make a sacrifice on the altar of stupidity." What else can you do? Learning continues.

An agreement was reached regarding the damned supermarket and the Return was settled. I received this lovely greeting from our impeccable President Matías Lammens right after the news was made official: "Dear Viggo, after days of much suffering, I came out of Carrefour a while ago. Finally we can shout that WE RETURNED TO BOEDO!!!"

FABIÁN:

A genius. I wrote him today too. Everybody is celebrating here.

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VIGGO:

Now they can't stop us anymore. It's the true beginning of a new era for our club.

CASLA finished two points behind the new champion Boca Juniors in the long tournament, but we are going to play the Argentina Supercup against them next month. Let's see if we can start 2016 by extending our fatherhood over the Bosteros. We want that cup.


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On the other hand, Pampa Biaggio and his San Lorenzo reserve division team came out champìons, playing with an excellent collective consistency. One of the San Lorenzo greats who helps the kids become great. Congratulations!

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Biaggio gave minutes to 40 soccer players during the season of 28 matches: José Devecchi, Alvaro Montero, Gastón Benítez, Brian Mieres, Rodrigo Tapia, Santiago López, Matías Catalán, Gonzalo Prósperi, Ramiro Arias, Rodrigo Córdoba, Marcos Senesi, Lautaro Montoya, Leandro Navarro, Daniel Ibañez, Ezequiel Montagna, Jonas Acevedo, Fernando Elizari, Rubén Darío Ríos, Juan Pablo Gobetto, Rodrigo De Ciancio, Ezequiel Avila, Robertino Insua, Santiago Camacho, Franco Negri, Lucas Robledo, Facundo Quignón, Alan Ruiz, Juan Ignacio Cavallaro, Bautista Merlini, Tomás Conechny, Germán Berterame, Rodrigo Contreras, Lautaro Carrachino, Félix Villacorta, Nicolás Reniero, Alejandro Barbaro, Gonzalo Berterame and Alexis Dominguez. The future of Ciclón looks promising with these Champion Cuervos.

Going back in time to November 13, a night of horror took place in the centre of Paris which marked another before-and-after in the tragic outcome of the endless disagreement between governments, economic interests and Eastern and Western ideologies. It was, overall, another attack on laughter and love. But these things cannot be completely eliminated. The first terrorist acts took place around the Stade de France, while a friendly match was being played between the German and French national teams. The French coach for the national team, Didier Deschamps, and Le Graet, head of the FFF (French Football Federation,) after learning what was going on outside the stadium, decided to continue with the match without telling the players anything. The match was a 2-0 win for the locals, but the decision to complete the match was morally a bigger victory. Life goes on, freedom still prevails, the game continues. Lassana Diarra and his teammates were undoing the champion of the world while the attacks in Paris claimed more than a hundred non-combatant civilian lives, among them a cousin of Diarra, Asta Diakite.

Diarra playing against Germany during the Paris attacks
Diarra playing against Germany during the Paris at...
 
The short letter that this player of the Bleus published the next day is one of the most beautiful, humble and moving messages I've read in my life.

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Another message was hung from a rose that somebody put in one of the holes left by a bullet from an AK-47 in the window of the restaurant where several people died. Someone had written with red ink on the white piece of paper "Au nom de quoi?" (In the name of what?) This question goes for any bombing, shooting or any other way of killing or trying to kill non-combatant civilians. There's no possible excuse for such acts of violence; they are always crimes against humanity, wherever they happen, whoever those responsible are, be they individuals, armies, religious heads, presidents, or anyone representing cruelty and hatred. Somehow I feel we are all victims and we are all responsible.

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Jean Jullien, an artist from Nantes, published a drawing using the peace symbol and the outline of the Eiffel Tower on his Instagram account, and this simple and evocative image has been shared all over the world by millions of people:

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I thought, "I hope that the Western countries don't respond by shelling populated centers in Iraq and Syria, that they don't react as stupidly as the US government did to the terrorist attacks in New York in September 2001." But that's the way it was. France, the USA, Russia, England and others continue to give themselves the political/emotional short term pleasure of destroying the homes, lands and lives of innocent people, thereby facilitating the recruitment of more teenagers who learn daily to hate the northern/western world. "...When will we ever learn, ...when will we ever learn?..." as the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" says, originally composed by Pete Seeger, a legendary anti-war songwriter who died in 2014. The initial lyrics were written by Seeger in 1955, inspired by the novel And Quiet Flows the Don by the Russian Mikhail Sholokhov (who later, in 1965, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.)

Mikhail Sholokhov, 1938
Mikhail Sholokhov, 1938
 
That same year, 1955, Seeger had to suffer through the inquisition of the anti-Communist committee of the stupid, asinine Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, who sentenced Seeger to a year in jail. McCarthy was disgraced a little later, but not before destroying the lives of thousands of his fellow citizens; he died of alcoholism in 1957. Seeger continued composing, singing and fighting for peace for sixty more years.

Seeger answering to the "House Un-American Activities Committee", 1955
Seeger answering to the "House Un-American Activit...
 
Joe Hickerson took up this song that's been sung and recorded so much around the world, adding two verses in 1960:

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the flowers gone?
The girls have picked them ev'ry one.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the young girls gone?
They've taken husbands, every one.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the young men gone?
They're all in uniform.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the soldiers gone?
They've gone to graveyards, every one.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the graveyards gone?
They're covered with flowers, every one.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls picked them, every one.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?


Shortly after the attacks in Paris, the leaders, finance ministers and bank heads from 20 of the most powerful military and economic powers in the world, plus some representatives of other countries specifically invited on this occasion (like those of Singapore and Azerbaijan, for example) met for their annual conference. The shadow of what happened in Paris dominated the beginning of this tenth G-20 summit, normally dedicated to discussing subjects linked to the global economy like the role of multinational corporations, monetary policies, oil prices, inflation, interest rates and I don't know what else that worries bankers and politicians that control and represent about 80% of the global economy. In other words, things over which we as citizens of those 20 countries don't have much control (if not zero control) - except in regard to how we vote in their different national elections - much less the citizens of countries not included in these meetings. The participants expressed their views about the terrorist attacks in France, putting together an agreement that "something has to be done" and that "a forceful response" is needed. Those kinds of statements always scare me. Do what? What is a "forceful response?" It's usually a military attack, a bombardment that ends up being deadly for even more civilian non-combatants, and a political milestone for the leaders that send the planes and the troops to countries much poorer and more vulnerable than theirs. Are we going to see a continuation of the cycles of violence, without the least interest in questions about the reason and the intentions behind the terrorist attacks? Are we going to continue tearing ourselves apart and destroying houses, hospitals and the lives of people already accustomed to suffering terrible acts of violence from all sides? Is nothing going to change substantially? In the name of what will they make or not make important decisions? In the meantime, intentionally ignorant responses, senseless massacres continue.

Some members of the G-20
Some members of the G-20
 
A few days after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the heads of the FFF [French Football Federation] and their counterparts in England decided that they should go forward with the friendly game between their respective national teams on Tuesday, the 17th of November in Wembley Stadium. The English had lost to powerful Spain the previous weekend. The Red [tr. note: the national team] had shown a quality of play that had not been seen for a long time on the team coached by Vicente del Bosque, with good contact soccer, accurate passes and great goals from new talents like Mario Gaspar. It was good that the match in Wembley went forward. France lost 2-0, but that was the least of it. Showing that one continues on with everyday life is the best thing that could be done, showing up and minimizing the effect and consequences for Western society from the attacks of the Islamic State. More soccer, less bombs.

The France and England players gather together before the friendly on 17/11/2015
The France and England players gather together bef...
 
FABIÁN:

Hello Cuervo,
The ISIS thing was terrible, but did you see the French Muslim who was only asking to be hugged? That was moving, almost a work of conceptual art amid the fear and pain.

Today three dogs attacked Rita in the square and I had to take the brawl head on to defend her. Luckily karate helped me a lot and I knocked off two of them with a couple of Mawashi Gueri in the face, but I ended up exhausted from the adrenalin of the fight.

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Then I went home and bathed the children and that calmed me down. I was without a computer for a few days and that's why I didn't check the e-mails. On Saturday I'm going to Peru to present Titanes del coco. Here Macri´s right wing won and people are in shock. On Sunday we had lunch with my brother Juan at my father's and spent the afternoon talking on the terrace. The truth is that I enjoy those moments with my original family very much. How did it go with your old man? Have you returned to Spain? I'm reading a beautiful book by Emmanuel Carrere; it's called The Kingdom and is about the details of the tale of Jesus. I'm a religious person without a church.

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Last edited: 11 February 2016 12:17:45
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