If The Rain Gets Here
9 October 2014
Hi, Fabián. After two consecutive victories, I'd started to watch the charts again, calculating in my head the distances that separate us from the top of the ranking and the end of the tournament. With some two or three good wins in a row, it would have been possible to re-enter the fight and dream of us going to play the Club World Cup in December as national champions, I thought. Real Madrid, which began the League tournament very badly despite being the European champions, have turned the situation around and now go on winning games by high scores. I thought that Ciclon was taking the same path, righting the ship and gathering positive energy after the post-Libertadores mental slump. But clearly, after selling players like Angel Correa and Ignacio Piatti, San Lorenzo doesn't have the money to bring in players like Toni Kroos, Keylor Navas, Chicharito Hernández or James Rodríguez. Nevertheless, lately San Lorenzo had shown eagerness and mental strength; it seemed we were playing well again. And then we played at home against Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata. They were coming from Bajo Flores with the need to turn over a new leaf after being eliminated from the Sudamericana [tr. note: Copa Sudamericana] by Pincha [tr. note: Estudiantes' nickname], their neighbourhood rival. Like us against Defensa y Justicia, after being eliminated by them from the Copa Argentina, Lobo [tr. note: Gimnasia y Esgrima's nickname] came out focused and hungry. Last night San Lorenzo fought, but without much intelligence. They looked like the CASLA of three years ago - quite eager but with little idea of how to transform the collective game into a consistent and overwhelming attack. The absence of Piatti as a driving force, as a substitute for Pichi Mercier and combining at the front to unsettle the opposing team, is increasingly noticeable. Cuervo, did you see the match?
Another unexpected defeat
With Lisandro we presented Jauja in San Sebastián. The journalists we met spoke well of the movie. It looks like in general the initial reaction in Spain has been positive. However, a woman who was coming out of the premiere yelled to me at the top of her lungs on the street, "What a dreadful film!" And a guy nearby contradicted her. "What are you saying woman? It's a masterpiece!" I thanked both quickly for having gone to see our film and left. They went on arguing. It seems like a good, healthy sign to me that people sometimes have different and conflicting reactions after seeing Jauja.
Hello Cuervo, it's great what you are telling me about the couple arguing with conflicting opinions. It seems they nominated us for the Premios Fénix [Phoenix Prizes] in Mexico for our film. Actually every day I'm happier and prouder of having been part of Jauja. In Buenos Aires, they are continually asking me when we're going to premiere it. On the weekend, I was at the Poetry Festival in Rosario, reading poetry and reading the new, young poets of the continent, of whom there are many and very good ones. I´m travelling again on the weekend but this time to the Mendoza Book Fair. Saturday night in the hotel, I watched CASLA against Gimnasia. I think, as you said so well, it makes us remember the earlier CASLA, playing with dedication but without clarity. Like you, I think that maybe we have to wait. This championship is already lost - River is a machine that plays really well - and it seems to me that we have to use it to enjoy ourselves - winning against Boca, for example - and test players in view of the match with Madrid and the next tournament. Right now I'm more worried about our first opponent in the Club World Cup than about Madrid itself. Will we get past them?
Are we going to get to the Final in Morocco? No one knows. Playing like CASLA is playing now, I think that all Cuervos fear the worst - going straight to the match for third place. But I think that these matches are ones San Lorenzo can win, frustrating those that don't know The Feeling that you, I, and innumerable Ciclón supporters share. I still haven't given up on the local tournament. Mathematically we could fight to be at the top of the ranking. But we'd have to win all or almost all of the remaining games in our schedule. A time for the brave. We have to sweat blood.
They are taking aim at me in the conservative media in the U.S. - and in some more liberal - for having responded honestly to a question about the government of Israel from a gringo journalist while I was in New York giving interviews for the promotion of The Two Faces of January (and, indirectly, for Jauja and Far from Men). This has happened to me before, I only said that there has been obvious censoring, for many years, with respect to those who dare comment on the behavior of the government of the state of Israel. One can criticize the jihadist terrorists who shoot rockets into Israeli territory, as I've also done, but you can never criticize the state terrorism of the government of Israel. In Argentina, the U.S. and other places, many who support the government of Israel no matter what happens have treated me like dirt and pounded me for simply saying that it seems unfair and counter-productive not to permit journalism and an open, popular dialogue based on the facts. The same thing happened to me in North America around 2002 when I began to criticize the obvious plan of Bush Jr's government to invade Iraq.
On North American TV, 2002
There are artists, politicians and other people relatively well-known by the public who've tried to speak openly on the subject of Israel's foreign policy and aggressions and who then have felt obliged to ask for forgiveness for having had the temerity to speak up - or for the mere fact of having asked intelligent questions - about the subject. In general, in my view, they have said they were sorry because they wanted to protect their personal income, their influential positions, their work and, possibly, their personal security. It's a shame, but I understand it, because there are consequences: one can lose work, not be recognized, be dropped by the media, by colleagues. There are also very brave people, like Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who was almost the only politician in the U.S. who opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning.
Kucinich has balls
It's complicated. I think that you have to be able to speak without fear, that one can, and at times must, name things, facts, freely speak your mind. Free discussion without fear of anyone or anything. We can disagree, but we need to try to learn what's going on, what others think - everyone - in order to maintain a more or less sensible conversation, a healthy dialogue. It's no good saying that there is much more brutal censorship in some countries of the world than in our country. That is not a valid excuse for threatening and censoring our fellow citizens. We have to set an example; we have to live as freely as possible. What's your opinion, brother?
Look how some people are traveling these days. It seems they want to know absolutely nothing about what's happening around them, something that is perfectly understandable:
© Viggo Mortensen.
Hi, Viggo. Several things. After I wrote you, I kept thinking about an argument that Eugenio Montale and Passolini had in their time. The latter was criticizing Montale because there was no social criticism in his poems; he was asking for more Marxism. Montale answered him in a great poem: Malvolio, don't get angry. One must not confuse the transitory with the essential.
And that has to do with what I wanted to say: what's essential is that CASLA is a loyal team, that always goes on the attack, that is a terrific neighborhood club, with a beautiful shirt and with an extraordinary history, that one is a supporter and would continue being even if they never won anything - I don't like supporter friends of the Champion. And what's transitory are the matches, the championships, those things. For all that, I think that even though they leave us for dead, I would not be so sure about CASLA; they always end up crushing it and imposing their soccer and the warmth and ingenuity of their people. That's how it is, Viggo. We are very fortunate to be for Ciclón. Now, with respect to what you said about your position about the state of Israel: I think the same way you do. It's necessary to speak out, it's necessary to argue and it's necessary to dare to challenge your own thinking, too. This Saturday an interview came out in La Nación
, in the Canchallena supplement.
Try reading the comments they inflicted on me and you'll notice how there's a lack of comprehension and a carelessness about any subject, however small and insignificant it may be. I think that the best thing that could be done for Israel, for the individuals of those people that died, massacred in the Holocaust, is precisely to be very critical of those that govern them from the right today, causing genocides similar to those they criticize and that they suffered. The truth, Viggo: I believe that there is a peaceful Islam and a peaceful Judaism. The aggressive ones are hidden within those movements but they always look the same; they are those that, as Bob Dylan sang, call themselves, "Masters of War."
The interview you gave to La Nación
was terrific! You made my morning. It's true what you say about those who use people as tools in their violent game, their theatre of cruelty. Although it's possible that the vast majority of people don't think about it every day, don't want to know that The Masters of War are the ones who heat up and every so often completely invent highly stressed socio-political situations in the Middle East, Latin America and other places on the planet. That's how it is. The increasing proliferation of all kinds of lethal weapons is a business which is doing very well. A state of endless war, of little armed conflicts everywhere in the world, is what fills the pockets of those who make and sell weapons and of those who resell them. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about this in his farewell speech talking about the Military Industrial Complex.
Here´s the whole speech (and at the end of this e-mail, I will add the entire text):
The politicians bought by the arms industry in the countries that make weapons and the politicians in the countries that buy them also do their part so that hugely expensive and enormously destructive warlike situations flourish and persist everywhere. They all fill their pockets, one way or another, almost always speaking about their loyalty to their country and to the people. Frequently they go hand in hand with those who want to dominate access to oil reserves, mineral resources, water for drinking or for agricultural irrigation etc. It´s a question of controlling zones of economic interest in order to enrich a few well-connected guys, and of having made war a self-sufficient industry with predictable cycles. The new weapons have to be used for the first time so the next year's ones can be sold. It doesn't matter whether they are sold to this or that government, a terrorist organisation, "moderate rebels" or an alleged "army of liberation." In the same way that, deep down, the barrabravas don´t care about how games are played or how the players are doing, mercenaries and merchants of war don't care about people's well-being or the functioning of society.
Last night I could see on my laptop that we had a good win against Olimpo, a brave team that has a good counterattack. San Lorenzo didn't play that well, and they were not consistent, but their game was better. Most important to me was that Mercier was important again in recovering the ball and building the attack. As I say, [even] without the drive train working properly, the team moves all over the place. There was cohesion. The prospects are good. Remember that in October 2008, Boca was eight points behind CASLA and they caught up with us to access the Triangular [tr. note: three teams fighting for the top position] along with us and Tigre. Right now, at the beginning of October, we are eight points behind River.
Look at the crow and the colours surrounding it in this painting that I saw in a shop during the shoot in the USA last month. I admired it, but I didn´t try to buy it. I thought it was better that it stayed on display, with its heart and midday sun, for all those who pass that way.
A bird on a wire.
© Viggo Mortensen.
I include here the text from Eisenhower´s speech in 1961.
Hello Viggo, here I am packing my luggage to go to the Mendoza Book Fair (the never-ending tour that began in Chile goes on.) I couldn't watch the match against Olimpo because that was a very long day full of personal incidents. As you know, Guadalupe is pregnant, and that day we went to have a chat with her obstetrician and we ended by cutting off our relationship with her, with everything that this entails, two months away from giving birth. Why don´t obstetricians wait? That's the big question. From the moment Guadalupe arrived at her office, that woman has told her that because she already had a previous C-section, because of the thinness of her body and several more etc.'s, she would have to have another C-section. What she didn't say is that in this way, obstetricians program their work day without problems - there's no labour to ruin their holidays or the movies - and the lethal post-operative period has to be dealt with by the woman who has just given birth. "Obstetrician" comes from the Latin, obs tare
, and it means "to be waiting," but it now has become a business and the true ontology of that profession is disappearing. Nobody is waiting any longer and least of all with a vocation of service to others.
I began that day of the argument with the obstetrician with an argument with my daughter who didn't want to get dressed to go to school. When I managed to leave her there, I went to a government office in town where they were considering whether to cancel a traffic ticket I'd gotten for presumably parking in a place reserved for a hotel. The truth is that the place where the hotel parking is has faded and nobody can perceive that they are leaving the car there. They still hadn't done a visual inspection and I have to wait until next Thursday. I need a registration with no violations in order to renew it by the end of the month. I told the judge that there was a film called Relatos Salvajes
[Wild Tales] that I hadn´t seen, where they nail a guy - the character is played by Ricardo Darín - with a traffic ticket like me, and the guy suffers the helplessness [caused] by the police and bureaucracy and cannot defend himself. These past weeks many articles have appeared in the newspapers about how a tow truck takes your car with no rhyme or reason in order to raise money. Since you have to pay first and then complain, things get difficult. The judge said to me that she doesn´t speak about things she hasn't seen (because I had told her I hadn´t seen the film,) so I asked her "Do you believe in God?" "Of course," she said. "And where the hell did you see him?" My talk ended there and I rushed to meet my wife and the obstetrician who doesn´t wait. Things like that.
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Last edited: 5 December 2014 09:06:44