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The trial against Caduca Hoy – Deia

This is a letter to the Editor which I wrote back in 2008, in the midst of the Mitrofán case, which was quite a scandal for me because the State was pretending to take three humorists to trial and imprison them for writing with humor about the King. This is one paragraph from the letter:

“In October 2006 DEIA published its satirical supplement Caduca Hoy with the cover dedicated to the death of the bear called Mitrofán, which had previously been forced to drink alcohol until thoroughly drunk, or so it was said, so that the King could go and hunt it. Also that month Nicola Lococo published his article in DEIA and Gara criticizing the fact and qualifying the King as a “loafer” and a “bloody recidivist tourist”. Because of cultivating humour, these people can end up sentenced to paying up to 11,000 euros. The last time these three humorists went to court I wrote that “humor and humorists have always been watched with suspicion by the powers that be. The powers that be are totally lacking of a sense of humor. Nicola Lococo isn’t the first philosopher to write in a humoristic manner and, besides, humor and comedy have been subjected to analysis since the classic antiquity. The book on Poetics by Aristoteles was originally made up of two books. The first one has survived to the present day and it is an aesthetic reflection by means of the characterization and description of tragedy. The second book, which disappeared during the Middle Ages, presumably was on comedy and dithyramb. Umberto Eco, yet another person with a well-known sense of humor, tells us in his novel The Name of the Rose that that was the book that brought about the death of several monks who dared read it. It is true that it is a novel, but it is a well-known fact that literary narrative feeds on real-life ingredients. I think the underlying problem is clear: power lacks a sense of humor. Power does not like humor, because it is a characteristic of the human being that is beyond its reach and is therefore quite incontrolable. And that it is something that is characteristic of human beings, and, like the rest of our rationality, distinguishes us from animals”. And believe me, I am among those who believe that freedom of expression does not cover everything. For example I understand it does not cover nor should it cover hate speech, and I believe this is good, but it is not the case we are analyzing here now”.

This letter was published in