The writer Marcelo Mellado (Concepción, 1955) talks from his own subjectivity, with scribbles, laughter, ironies, representations of characters and, deep down, from a freedom and originality nothing common among his colleagues: “We are in such a solemn moment, of certainties, of truths,” he humorously criticizes in this conversation by Zoom with Newsfresh. To start with, Mellado lives in Placilla de Peñuelas, “the backyard of the port of Valparaíso, where there are matching motels, truckers – which are the worst plague – and a population with a rural spirit,” describes the author of titles such as Tapia Report or The mayor boy . From that place where he plants native trees, recycles, makes community life and makes some beautiful wooden canes – “from time to time, I write,” he jokingly says – he talks about the hours before the second round of the presidential election, where he will face the leftist Gabriel Boric and the rightist José Antonio Kast.
Question. You are from the left…
Answer. I am left, which means nothing. The left achieved something that it had not previously achieved: institutionalize itself in a powerful way. Before being on the left was a bit subversive, but not now. But I have a community perspective, I am not from institutions and I work from my locality. I have a very great distance with what I would call the left asshole or Santiago or metropolitan, which is practiced from the municipalities of Providencia, Ñuñoa or Parque Bustamante. They believe that being a writer or belonging to the world of culture implies having a certain behavior, repeating certain more or less obvious themes of habitability and manner. For example, when I have a Zoom, I have no libraries behind. They are imposters who use politics.
Q. How do you see the environment in Chile?
R. At the level From subjective perception of the environment, in the area in which one moves, there is anguish. There is an agonizing conflict, a sense of defeat. At least tactical defeat and, perhaps, strategic defeat. There is not a good atmosphere, because it went back a lot. Apparently there had been progress at the level of demand, but something happened. And that something happened is something that we have to work on and see. Sure, there are all the arrogance crises of the speeches of the left, although it is difficult not to be arrogant when they are in the fight.
Q. In what way?
R. The soldiers want to prove themselves gorillas, fighters. They have to show power, because humility doesn't work in war or politics. But, apparently, there was an ideological triumph of certain positions on the left, at the cultural level, and suddenly this happens. I insist: something happened.
P. Something that perhaps explains the unexpected emergence of Kast …
R. Probably, it has to do with a mismanagement of those tactical triumphs from the time of Las Thesis 'Rapist on your way', the installation of the feminist theme and diversity. When two years ago you have succeeded with progressive values, but you don't know how to manage. The left sinned with a lot of gorillaism and infantilism. A maximalism of certain sectors. And suddenly, in the cultural struggle, the right-wing toxifies the environment, because it becomes very toxic. It toxifies it we know how.
R. Here the conspiracy theory works, which is evident and noticeable. And that toxification shows that the left is not that powerful, that it has a lot of arrogance. And that the left depends on the right. In short, there is a softness in which it was not known to administer a disruptive discourse. And the restorative moment began to emerge. And all revolutionary processes seem to have this restorative moment, and I mean it from a literary point of view. Today in Chile certain things have been installed that everyone has assumed, there is no doubt, despite the fact that femicides continue. But there is a macho, conservative restoration of national values. And who does that restoration? Fascism. The restoration of the original value of the terroir. And that was taken by fascism. And the anarcho-fascist, anarco-hueón, anarco-asshole Chilean pendejismo gave it to fascism on a platter.
Q. Could you give an example?
R. I have a friend who told me: “I have to go and recite for Boric in the Aníbal Pinto square” in Valparaíso. And I said to him: “Hey, the poets are to blame. That really is ordinary ”. Poets reciting Boric Who cares? Not even the poets care. There we scrub. And all the jerks reciting to themselves. You know that there is an arrogance and a psychotic narcissism that goes nowhere.
Q. Apart from Boric and Kast, there are the voters of Franco Parisi. How is the Parisi voter?
R. They are pure guathons grillmen who get together to peel [hablar mal] the women who abandoned them. Is a feeling. Guatones piscoleros [que les gusta la piscola, el trago de pisco con Coca-cola]. But yes, there is a restorative feel.
P. And the gorillas are everywhere?
R. On the left there are also gorillas, who are the ultra or those who work with slogans and do not do politics, but rather work with pure values. They are not to think. They are there to move you forward. “Mate, here, we are in the fight.” An attitude that has to do with very thick things and that dominated a lot at some point. Above all, anticoncertationism, which I think has value.
Q. Are you also an anti-center-left Concertación?
R. I am also anti Concertación, which is very guilty, because it generated this world of consumption. The Concertación installed itself with everything in the neoliberal project and developed and perfected it. And now Ricardo Lagos blames the ultra. But the moderate who defends keeping the line is also ultra.