The Right to Dissidence
José A. Pérez – An immensely talented and witty screenwriter, author of the famous Spanish blogs Mi Mesa Cojea and Risas Enlatadas at Público. Es is the guest author of today.
In December 2008, the sensationalistic British press mentioned a Spanish screenwriter referring to him as a ‘sick comedy writer’. They did it through the daily tabloids The Sun and The People.
The motive: the author had published, in his personal blog, a satirical interview with Madeleine McCann’s ghost, in which he criticized the treatment that certain media had given (and are still giving) to the case.
The sick writer, as you can imagine, was me. I firmly believe in humour as a tool to divulge dissidences, to propagate reflexion, criticism and self-criticism. I believe that the net is, at the current moment, the sole platform where this type of content can progress in freedom.
Since I’m not a cop or an investigator, I cannot nor do I want to judge the McCanns' actions. However, as I work in the media and I am human being, if I can I want to judge the role that the media has played in this case.
In that polemical fictional interview, Madeleine told me: ‘They've sold more T-shirts with my face on than with Mickey Mouse’. Unquestionably, the McCann Case was rapidly converted into an international soap opera (merchandising included), with all the necessary elements: two attractive upper middle class parents, a beautiful missing little girl, a paradisical location, wine, heat and heaps, loads of holes in the justifications.
It was inevitable that the less scrupulous media would convert it into a long-standing melodrama, with its unexpected plot twists and an eternally postponed ending.
As an European Citizen, I am ashamed of the attitude of certain European media outlets. And shame, as it is known, is not a voluntary option, so I hope that the ones implied do forgive me.
We live in a wellness society [bienestar] and it is better that we think why isn't contradiction [dissidence] being allowed.Where the criticism to the strongest is sanctioned with marginalization and with an imposed silence.
Initiatives like this one, of Joana Morais, represent a light in a world of obscure propaganda. For that, it deserves my full respect and admiration.
The great philosopher Ortega y Gasset wrote: ‘As long as there is someone who believes in one idea, that idea lives’ [En tanto que haya alguien que crea en una idea, la idea vive].
The idea which unites us here is freedom of expression and the right to dissidence.
Even if that bothers several people, that idea has survived up to today. And it will survive, we believe, for years to come. It just takes one to person to believe in it.
En Castellano original aquí a Mi Mesa Cojea [My Table Wobbles]