Everything is bullshit. Albert Boadella contemplates the world in which he has had to live and does not hide his contempt for it. The university is a factory of idiots. Progressive ideas and their "infantilism" have turned citizens into minors. The theater is dominated by public subsidies. Non-figurative art is a monstrosity and the fault lies with Picasso. Today's music hurts the ears, because only Beethoven is worth it. The bulls, well, that is an art, not like the cinema. Like Homer Simpson's dad memeBoadella yells indignantly at the clouds.
The 79-year-old actor and theater director publishes a book whose title –'Young man, don't piss me off'– part of an incorrect premise. He is always pissed off. No need for someone to try to anger him.
The play is a dialogue with a young man who is doing a doctorate on theater and who comes to see him to exchange opinions. The boy is a factory of stereotypes and speaks like a robot: "I seek to capture a semiotic expression of the truth-lie relationship or more specifically of the revelation-concealment in order to shake the mental laziness of this society anchored in exhausted values".
Obviously, Boadella writes the opponent's sentences and does his best to make him look like a pedantic ass. Like when Fox News chooses a not very bright journalist in its television talk shows so that the others shake him at ease. If you caricature your rival, it is always easier to beat him.
Boadella founded the Els Joglars theater company in 1962, of which he was its director until 2012. The play 'La torna' sent him to prison in 1977 already court-martialed. He made the smart decision to flee to France. His works were a leading theatrical reference in the seventies and eighties and a permanent provocative sting against the bourgeois nationalism of Jordi Pujol. Without many possibilities to act in Catalonia –the institutions controlled by CiU took care of that–, the group had to look for other latitudes. Els Joglars fired against all forms of power. The critics adored them.
"The closest and most restricted power is usually the most oppressive, which is why it is essential to rely on the liberating tradition of humor, satire and sarcasm in order to compensate for arrogance," Boadella wrote on account of the premiere of 'Ubú President'.
Over time, he was adopted by Esperanza Aguirre to direct the Teatros del Canal between 2009 and 2016 and his stark satire began to point in one direction. Boadella assumed the speech of the PP of Madrid to denounce the leftist-nationalist collusion. He did it with more grace than Aguirre, but he was still the same thing he had criticized: another artist who pleases the boss who employs him, making fun of the enemies of that power.
That is why Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo likes it so much that she writes the book's prologue: "The pages that follow are an exhibition of wisdom, good sense and a sense of humor." Like when Boadella launches one of his diatribes against the educational system and the state in which he leaves his students with the already well-worn mention of the decline of Western civilization: "Not only the Chinese, even the Moors are going to eat them ". A bit of colloquial racism and the usual ignorance about the imminent fall of Rome at the hands of the barbarians.
Few issues provoke debates as intense and exaggerated as those in which they fight with the word about what is or is not culture. Boadella dives into them with the intolerance of someone who thinks that only he can establish the canon.
Logically, it is not enough to praise Beethoven or Velázquez with all reason. He also has to ridicule what came after. The Prado is wonderful, because "incites life." Therefore, its supposed nemesis, the Reina Sofía Museum, "is the funeral home where the death of art in our time is exposed."
He is not thinking exclusively of the art supported by Spanish public museums. It encloses Kandinsky, Miró, Rothko and Tàpies in the section of "children's doodles and framed dirt". He only sees rubbish on the walls of contemporary art museums.
What won't he say about music then? There the human being has gone back to the times of the Neanderthal: "Today's tribal music will not do you any good. They are primary and rude screams." The funny thing is that he puts into the mouth of the young co-star a protest that includes examples of music that does have value in his opinion. "There's Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga." It is not that you have to make fun of these interpreters to be able to laugh at Boadella's bad arts. I'm sure he had to Google the names. All three are women, of course.
In an interview in El Mundo, she complains that one of her latest works, What if we fall in love with Scarpia?, which deals with "feminist issues", was not performed outside of Madrid. The program cites "the current wave of McCarthyism in the United States." You don't have to read much more to know that she is talking about the fight for women's rights.
Coming from someone who said that "the hands of a male are not to be quiet precisely" when commenting on the accusations against Plácido Domingo, it is easy to imagine his opinion on the relations between men and women, on who should be on top and who should be on the bottom.
Boadella has an elaborate vision of theater. But he is on account of life about what he has thicker opinions and with which he gives the last piece of advice to his apprentice: "You have to have balls!". All that remains for him is to lean on the bar, shout for a cognac and wait for a girl to walk by to plant a hand on her ass.