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SPAIN and the public good

Rosa de Pena says: "On the subject of Garcia Lorca's politics, why do we expect artists to be wise in areas that not of their competence? Truly, the story of the II Republic is a depressing read, but the fault was not of the artists, who, we all know, are a bit birdbrained in the subject, but of the politicians, who in theory knew what they were doing". RH: Clearly, politicians had direct responsibility, but Lorca with La Barraca and Picasso with his paintings entered the political arena. The claim of poets to be "the arbiters of mankind" is silly. We spoke of Graham Greene, With his fame he spread a lot of crazy ideas about politics. He was a very mixed-up individual (he attempted suicide several time). and his conversion to Catholicism did not bring with it as far as I know real compassion. He became wealthy and led what is wrongly called the good life, while doing nothing for humanity. Our scale of values in upside down: Sports figures, actors and popular writers (often affiliated, llke Greene, with Hollywood) top our list. In reality, the list should be topped by what I call secular saints: individuals, often unknown, working for the public good. Society depends on them. Forget Lorca, Picasso and co.

Ronald Hilton - 7/8/03