All they have left is the radio. The rebels no longer have any other instrument than this primitive voice machine to make themselves heard. Nor does the entire population understands them—Arabic has become the second language of the Third Republic and its learning has priority over that of Spanish, or that simplified things that is now called “Spanish.”
The official from the communications department of the Ministry of Equity connected the old transmitters and listened in. Soon, from Moscow, the octogenarian Juan Manuel de Prada will sit in front of a microphone to deliver his subversive message to the few remaining listeners in the Peninsular Confederation of Sovereign Republics, once known by the now-forbidden name of Spain (the New Penal Code punishes with fines of six hundred thousand euros those who call the confederate territory “Spain” and those who call themselves “Spaniards”).
Civil servant number 593,582 of the Ministry of Equity was a lucky man. He had obtained his job in a special promotion that included, exceptionally and with great protests from the female civil servants, sixty white and heterosexual men, especially necessary for the maintenance of the facilities and for certain technical matters, such as, for example, the radio.
The radio was the only mass medium that had escaped the Ministry’s checkers, the only voice that was still marooned and wild, unaffected by all the blockades of the computer networks set up by the agencies of the Global Information System.
593. 582—the old Christian names had been replaced by numbers in the Ministry, the initial phase of a project that was intended to be extended to the entire native minority, so that they would not cling to old signs of identity—tuned in to Radio Moscow.
On the other side of the sea of Hertzian waves was a community of six thousand Spaniards of the old days, who had preferred exile when the Confederation made it obligatory to eat seaweed and insects, to be vaccinated twice a week, to speak and write in simplified Spanish, and to read only the books recommended by the Ministry of Equity.
This last measure, apparently of little importance because nobody read, caused costly expurgations of public and private libraries where supremacist texts of all kinds were stored: from Goethe to Plato, from Calderón de la Barca to Gerardo Diego. It took more than a year to destroy millions of volumes that transmitted the values of the old patriarchal culture, an operation that included classical music, which no one had been listening to for more than twenty years by ministerial order.
When the Minister of Equity burned Goya’s Majas, Murillo’s Inmaculadas and Titian’s Danae in front of Madrid’s Botanical Gardens, the long work of multicultural inclusion, initiated at the beginning of the century by Zapatero, was at last completed.
It was then that thousands of Spaniards could stand it no longer and went into exile in the only European country that remained Christian: Russia, the hereditary enemy of progressivism. From Moscow they began to send subversive messages against the Confederation, in which music by Falla and Albéniz was played, where Quevedo and Bécquer were recited, where they explained what the Reconquest was, what the work of Spain in America was, what the war of 1936 was.
The verifiers managed to block all the channels of diffusion of these messages except the radio, which continued with stubborn presence on the airwaves. That is why 593.582 waited for the moment of Prada’s message to begin jamming it, while meditating on the State Plan of Emasculation, an initiative of the Ministry to castrate the Spanish Christian population and thus put an end to any possibility of Eurocentric supremacism in the Confederation.
“It must not be such a bad thing since the youth of the Popular Party have signed up en masse,” he thought. “It is an essential requirement to obtain a position. And in the Confederation the only source of employment and salaries is politics: the last private company closed down more than ten years ago.”
While 593,582 was meditating on whether or not he should castrate himself to get a promotion and stop being a gender pariah, Prada’s unmistakable, Chestertonian voice started to sound over the airwaves…
Sertorio lives, writes and thinks in Spain. this review comes through the kind courtesy of El Manifesto.
Featured image: “A Young Radio Listener,” ca. 1926 (Mary Evans Picture Library).