Habitually in Spain, it’s seen as maleducación to directly tell someone you dislike what they have suggested to you or given to you as a gift. I suppose that to some extent, this practise would be considered maleducación in most cultures. Sadly, its effects are detrimental to a relationship. In fact, the effects are so detrimental that I’d place them on the level of, say, binding one’s friend to an outcropping overlooking a churning sea of pus so that a goat can consume his / her pancreas.
Marisa’s sister, María Jose, bakes a fish cake every xmas for the entire family. Of course, the entire family despises the dish, though they are required to consume it. Why are they required to consume it? Well, they wish to spare María Jose’s feelings, of course! So she prepares it unfailingly each xmas. Wouldn’t it be better to make her feel bad for a short period by telling her the truth so that she can move on and spend her time baking something everyone will enjoy?
The spongy wall of appropriateness only allows certain acts to be criticized. Somehow it is proportional to how original or how traditional the act is.
Miguel suggested a semi-documentary for us to watch the other day. In my opinion, and also in Marisa’s, it is awful, detailing a part of life in the United States that we have no interest in. Miguel can revel in it. I don’t have a problem with that. But I’m not allowed to tell him that I disliked it. He’ll never be able to align his suggestions to what is actually enjoyable for us.
For most, this type of critique is reserved for their closest friends and sometimes family. I task myself to break this cultural more. Fuck um. Humans that are close to me need to know when they are creating something abominable so they can either form it into something more palatable or swap it out for a less abominable abomination.
Other sides to this story exist, of course, especially in the case of art and the importance (or lack thereof) of an audience, and if the point was to create an abomination in the first place. I’ve written about these topics before and shall again. The reader of this particular abomination is now tasked with baking a fish cake that is only moderately abominable.