Close to his 90th birthday, this Tuesday, January 11, Tomás Mojarro passed away, The Valedor (1932-2022), broadcaster, writer and, above all, full-time opponent of any government.
Clinging to the beliefs that gave him fame, but not fortune, he lived his last years marginalized from the big leagues of driving and new trends of opinion.
This talk was given in 2001, right at the beginning of a century that never fully understood it.
Writer, communicator, what is The Valedor?
I consider myself a man of his time who seeks to open minds, starting with his own. I want the countrymen to assume responsibilities and become aware of the change and the historical enemy that opposes that change. That is the almond of my journalism.
Does it work for you?
There is an enormous difficulty, because the peasantry is involved in a sadomasochistic relationship with the system where the latter is the sadist, according to certain philosophers of political science. The people surrendered, without illusion, their freedom to the system; therein lies the sado relationship.
Rosseau conceived the transfer of a part of freedom in exchange for the “common good”, one of the foundations of the State. But now the people do not participate in the Republic of command and obey.
People give up their freedom to the system, to the lodge, to a religious creed, to a club, to La Perra Brava in order to say “I belong to…”. This is not Rosseau’s rights session, but the vocation of a slave. We give up our freedom as children and that, to whom we give it, should offer two elements: security and punishment. The current system does not give the first and yes the second. Now someone who is free disobeys and vice versa, but when one decides to keep his freedom, he pays dearly.
Is it the case of Tomás Mojarro?
Of course it is.
You say that a journalist must take sides: either with the fucked up or with the powerful.
It is that there can be no center left. There can be no centers. It is a theory of Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez and he is very right. Either you are with the grinding or with the exploiter.
In the case of philosophy it is understood, but others understand that the journalist’s mission is not to be with either of them.
The one who does not commit, is from the right and is with the exploiter. You have to take sides. He who does not take sides, already did. The apolitical person is deeply political and right-wing, since he renounces and gives up his rights to others who decide for him. Although they say out there: “Everyone their truth”, there is only one uncompromising truth. Hamlet already said: one is or one is not.
Is it your favorite date?
Not always, although, to continue with Hamlet, there is an episode where he is very nervous and still doesn’t know that his mother and uncle killed his father. Walking through the palace, his mother, Queen Gertrude, tells him: “What’s the matter with you that you seem worried?” he stops, looks at her with hatred and replies: “Lady, I don’t know how to look!” Ahhh, what a phrase! I take that quote because it is the response of my personal performance. I don’t know how to seem. I take sides and I am blunt and uncompromising.
Just as he took sides with the General Strike Council (CGH).
There is a splendid criticism for me at that point: the ignoring. I am out of everything. There is a job bank, a table of values… I don’t exist as a writer or as a journalist. But I understand it.
And how do you interpret it?
I interpret that, by taking sides, by “not appearing” I have gained freedom. I started like anyone else, with many possibilities of making a career with little that would place me in the center, where you don’t take sides and let yourself be done, let yourself pass.
Does the revolution really seem viable to you, Valedor?
It is the easiest and the most difficult. The easiest in theory and the most difficult because the person who has to execute it is a sick masochist with 100 million heads. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. For a masochist the most difficult task is to think.
Here in my house I had the leaders of the CGH (General Strike Council) and I told them “you are going to lose if you continue with your assembly and making marches.” They didn’t assimilate it.
Did they ever want to chayotear you? Did you get an envelope there?
Never never. The only thing I knew, through the cartoonists, is that about 20 years ago (1981) my name was on a list of winners.
That was the only one.
Well, on another occasion they sent for a Secretary to see some Pemex affairs, since I was doing television at that time. In that office they left me alone with a gigantic chayo and then they pointed me to a door that led to the parking lot.
When I saw the money, I spoke to them: “Wait for me, wait for me, I’ll go out the front door, the way I came in, and I’ll do it clean.” They just shook their heads.
Why did he hate Miguel de la Madrid so much?
It wasn’t hate, I just applied amazement against this one or that one. I make fun of them, but, human to human, I don’t hate them. They play their part splendidly, I try to do the same, and meanwhile few people want to think; It seems the most difficult exercise of the human being.
Is Tomás Mojarro a good man off the microphones?
I have an aspiration: match my work to my saying. I try to follow that concept of loving my neighbor as myself.
Are you good?
I try to define myself with facts. If my facts do not define me, I will only stay in the statements. And I am going to resemble Fox, who went to London to say that there are fewer poor people since he has lent money for changarros.
How do you live your age The Valedor?
At my age, egos are already tamed. You begin to see the transcendence and the beyond. What the heck will there be beyond the big question mark? What will become of me in the afterlife?
What made you study in seminary?
The seminar clarified for me the concepts of good and evil without nuances; if I’m a rascal, it’s not the seminary’s fault. On the other hand, he taught me grammar. Since we are being given a false reality through deceitful language, finding the verbal traps is something I learned in the seminar.
Why didn’t he stay there?
That was the third wonderful teaching: the seminary told me: “Go to the world, go to the century to live because you don’t have a religious vocation.” Being a fanatic —I say this in a bad way—, of what I believe in, what would have become of me, I who love women so much, knowing that the priest must abide by absolute chastity?
Why did he never give his arm to twist with the politicians?
I don’t dislike them nor are they my personal enemies. But I have no dialogue with them at all. Imagine that at my age I twisted my armor and asked them to let me do a campaign like, for example, not to smoke, I am an ex-smoker. And so I go inffiltering for crumbs.
Well, at this point, you better not do it.
That’s how intellectuals are: for a few crumbs and a little star on the forehead, they enter. By the way, I’ve also turned down the journalism award twice. On the phone they asked me: “Do you want to receive it?” No thanks, not me. On another occasion there was another proposal from the Journalists Club and I also rejected it.
Why refuse the award for a job done?
That is a matter of conscience. There is a very bad poet who lived in Pachuca, Hidalgo. Once a morning newspaper interviewed him and he complained blandly: “Those of us from the provinces steal our prizes.” Or the Cult Cat who, when they gave the awards one of these years, said: “Hooray! One more year and they didn’t give us a culture award.”
How to make the request.
Caramba! If there is a shocking word applied to an adult, it is prize. Public men comment every so often: “they gave me a prize.” There is a man, Jimmy Forston, who introduced himself as: “I’m Jimmy Forston, National Award for Journalism.” Ah, ‘jijos’.
Or the “Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu”.
How terrible! How many things did she lose with that, and let it be known that here at UNAM radio I helped her when she met with the university compás. She was a fighter, very honest, very approachable. Now I have photos of her hugging Carlos Salinas, the same one who held meetings where Amparo Montes sang, whom I do not criticize, since it was her job, but I do criticize the many intellectuals who, around her, sang for Salinas.
What a pretty print! What will the repertoire be?
So which one more? It began and ended with that of “kiss me, kiss me a lot…”.
He has already overcome the fear of being alone because of how he thinks.
I’ve been alone for a long time, but I don’t care, because I chose it. A proof: one day an intellectual received a threat by telephone and a tremendous scandal arose. Instead, the newspaper Reform published a two-page spread where the Peasant Torch threatened me.
Because in a radio program of (Alfredo) Lamont I said that they were rogues, since I have documents that indicate them as murderers. When the ferocious display was published in which my family was threatened, not a single voice of solidarity emerged! Then I see how lonely I am. But it’s not a complaint, it’s my fault. And if I were to be reborn, I would do exactly the same thing.
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I don’t know how to seem. I am blunt and uncompromising: ‘El Valedor’