Berkeley, 50 anys després


L’escriptor Manuel Vázquez Montalbán explicava sovint una anècdota divertida de la seva visita al campus de la Universitat de Berkeley els anys 60s. Durant la seva estada a Califòrnia un bon dia, mig de casualitat, va aguantar la porta i va cedir el pas a una noia. Però la noia en qüestió va resultar ser una activista feminista i al veure que Vázque Montalbán li cedia al pas el va insultar i li va deixar anar un “ fuck you man!”. Per a Vázquez Montalbán la contradicció de ser acusat de reaccionari devia ser immensa. Ara mateix sóc al campus de Berkeley, uns 50 anys després, i l’altre dia em va passar la mateixa anècdota però exactament a l’inrevés . Quan entrava en una sala de seminaris una noia alemanya em va cedir el pas, va somriure, i va dir “endavant, que jo sóc una dona alliberada” –els temps han canviat. La Universitat de Berkeley a mitjans dels anys 60s va ser l’hepicentre de l’anomemant “Free Speech Movement”. Les protestes estudiantils, en el context de la guerra del Vietnam, reclamaven autonomia universitària i llibertat per organitzar activitats polítiques. De fet aquells anys Berkeley i San Francisco es can convertir en la capital de la contracultura, que havien iniciat alguns anys abans els escriptors de la “Beat Generation” (com Kerouac o Allen Ginsberg) i més tard continuaria amb el moviment hippie i els concerts del “San Francisco Sound”. D’aquells temps data el fabulós poema “America” d’Allen Ginsberg, amb versos hilarants i llibertaris que reclamaven retòricament “America Sacco and Vanzetti must not die”. I una part de la contracultura va viatjar més tard cap a Europa, cosa que alguns antiamericans sovint semblen oblidar. I avui passejant pel preciós campus de Berkeley em pregunto; què n’ha quedat de la revolució contracultural? El campus encara conserva un cert activisme polític, almenys comparat amb altres universitats nordamericanes, però és obvi que moltes coses han canviat. D’aquell moviment hem rebut un barreja de valors contradictoris, tot i que alguns d’ells destacables, com ara la creativitat individual, la militància política i social, un cert individualisme àcrata o fins i tot un apreci pels espais públics. Però també altres valors dubtosos com el tot s’hi val, la falta de jerarquies, l’absència de compromís o una nul.la cultura de l’esforç. Personalment, de tot allò em quedo amb l’actitud creativa i llibertària del “Free Speech Movement” i amb poetes com Allen Ginsberg.

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