Feliz día de san Valentín, te odio

Una idea curiosa, y habitual, es creer que el pasado fue más ingenuo. No se nos ocurre pensar que en realidad, el mundo pasado fue igual de malo que nuestro presente e incluso, en muchos aspectos, peor. No me refiero en lo material, donde habitualmente somos conscientes de que las cosas han mejorado. Hablo del trato mutuo, con una llamativa tendencia a considerar que en el pasado todos se comportaban como caballeros victorianos, exhibiendo una educación y un gusto exquisitos.

Evidentemente, no fue así. De hecho, muchas de las aflicciones modernas hunden sus raíces en el pasado. Y no hay mejor ejemplo que la idea de “vinegar Valentine”, tarjetas enviadas por san Valentín expresamente para insultar a alguien:

Happy Valentine’s Day, I Hate You

Collectors Weekly: And they were intended to reject romantic overtures?
Pollen: Yeah, but not only that. There were so many different kinds. You could send them to your neighbors, friends, or enemies. You could send them to your schoolteacher, your boss, or people whose advances you wanted to dismiss. You could send them to people you thought were too ugly or fat, who drank too much, or people acting above their station. There was a card for pretty much every social ailment.

Lo que recuerda mucho a uno de nuestros modernos trolls de internet. Uno se imagina con facilidad cómo el deseo de justicia acaba convirtiéndose en un ataque indiscriminado a todo lo que se mueve y te “molesta”.

showoff-756x1024

Y lo que decía antes del pasado:

Collectors Weekly: Do you think contemporary recipients would be surprised at their tone?

Pollen: Yes, some are quite shocking. The cards are quite a surprise to those who think the past was always so safe and the present is so very daring, and that we’re much more libertarian now than we have ever been in any other period in time. I think we only have to look back at this sort of stuff to see that that’s not the case.

Nobody was safe, really, from Vinegar Valentines. There are some that insult alcoholics in a way that we would find completely unacceptable. Today, few would send a mass-produced card to someone they know is an alcoholic. We are fine with irony, but insulting someone for their drinking habit and actually meaning it? That’s the difference.

There are a lot of the comic cards produced now, but they are not meant to be taken seriously. That’s why you can call somebody a bitch in a card, because you don’t actually think they’re a bitch. But in the Victorian valentines cards, it seems that you would send it to somebody who you’d actually have a serious problem with. That’s how I read them, anyway.

Incluso destaca en la entrevista el poder, en este caso, del anonimato. Da la impresión de que en el presente la tecnología se limita a amplificar lo que siempre ha sido una constante humana.

Eran tarjetas que se producían en masa a partir de 1840 (con altos y bajos hasta los años 40 del siglo XX) y, en las primeras épocas del correo, era el receptor el que pagaba por recibirlas. Se pueden imaginar la cara que se les quedaba.

Al final del artículo hay una buena colección de tarjetas, para su deleite.

Categoría: Silva

Pedro Jorge Romero

No comments yet. Be the first.