June 21, 2021

Juan Cueto, the interpreter of progressivism | Culture

Juan Cueto, the interpreter of progressivism | Culture

Back in the eighties of the last century, when the history of Spain trembled with the bars of the bars of Malasaña, I wrote of Juan Cueto as I can do now that he has died. He was the most true interpreter of the neurosis of a generation that called itself progressive, the one that in this country premiered modernity. Here's the key: the best thing was to be crazy, but above all be intimate of the pharmacist. Cueto deciphered the meaning of the social myths of the moment, the subliminal messages of consumption, the whisper of the detergent gods with the cold scalpel, with the same one that crushed the ice of the gin tonic. He made his way between the soothing and stimulating towards the last strands of the brain, which already bordered on his neck covered with a hair that combed with his fingers, and from there drew a quick, imaginative, surprising response to everything. What I wrote about Juan Cueto, then, could sign him now that he has gone to occupy a preferential chair in the history of journalism. Among all that litter was the one with the revolver ready to shoot whenever the bullet was silver and worth using it, but never to hurt naively, frivolously and gratuitously. It happened a strange thing: you said a witty phrase and from it Cueto began to navigate, surpassed it on the left, recreated it, reordered it, broke it, removed the excipient and finally threw it into the absurd. As a cowboy of modernity, he was undoubtedly the fastest to draw, with one foot in the stirrup at Boccaccio's bar, the horse tied at the door neighing for the desire to share the gin tonic of the seventh hour. That horse was a motorcycle of great displacement, in whose silver exhaust pipes the black lips were painted the punkis kneeling on the asphalt.

He was a fine intellectual without sparing himself some savagery from the north, between seduction and sarcasm, back from all the universes. Here's the question, said Hamlet: I do not know whether to kill myself or take a Coca Cola. This is for me Juan Cueto, with his Nietzsche mustache, the one of the old laughter before the Spanish grotesque, the one who saw everything come first, the one who taught a generation to snap his fingers to make fun of Kant or call waiter.


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