Guillermo Garabito: Against the Intellectual Weather



The columnist is a guy who spreads himself every morning in the newspapers so that the reader warms up his fingers turning the pages. Columnism does not consist of making a pool the afternoon before, while writing, about what will be important tomorrow. It is precisely the opposite: to choose consciously where to put what is important. And this can be in the European funds, in the lack of transparency of the government in power, in Pedro Sánchez’s coral-colored shirt or in the Retiro’s chestnut basket, as Ruano knew. Because a woman roasting chestnuts is more important, resisting the century with her fingerless gloves that fan the embers, than all the politicians with their rattle.

The important thing is very far from what they constantly talk about, what they want us to talk about. The important thing is usually a flash, an unnoticed corner in the middle of the present.

I think of the columnist because I theorize with Rebeca Argudo about the job. «If there is a big ego, it is that of the columnist… And it must be like that, without that you cannot be good. The columnist needs a big ego to have enough bad milk that the genre in Spanish demands. And since this is the word of Juan Carlos Girauta, we work on the ego. The ego, which has nothing to do with moral superiority, but with the need for hands, hands reading newspapers, hands that read us from top to bottom. The ego is a good cloth coat, one of those that passes in perfect condition from one generation to another, against the intellectual elements. The ego is a brand new bulletproof vest to get into the puddles without thinking too much and speak from them with sincerity to the reader. Because the columnist is a suicide who gets into all the messes of today without another possibility. And the article is his suicide note; new note every day. Hence the need for the director, the reader or whoever to recognize it in order to continue committing suicide every morning.

Opinion articles are written to stop that constant stream of news that overwhelms and does not allow anything to be assimilated. So that the reader can take a breath between misfortune and misfortune, between the fall of the Ibex and when Putin invades Ukraine. The opinion piece is an oasis in the middle of nowhere that is today. I write opinion articles because between two – the one who writes and the one who reads – one thinks better. I write to give voice to lost causes, to the days when the sun set over Los Torozos without anyone looking at these high ceilings in Castile, or the years that we did not live, that passed on tiptoe, because they had us confined. I write against the weather. Nothing more.

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