Tras años de lucha contra el cáncer, Steve Jobs anunció ayer que dejaba la dirección de Apple. Eso hace presagiar lo peor.
Mi torrente de noticias en Facebook, en Google+, en Google Reader está saturado de comentarios y referencias a Jobs. Entre ellos, aparece repetidamente su discurso en la ceremonia de graduación de los alumnos de Stanford en 2005 (vídeo; texto), donde pronunció la famosa frase "Stay hungry, stay foolish". También figura junto a otros en este artículo sobre los cinco mejores discursos de graduación en una web muy interesante que descubrí hace poco, Brainpickings. Acabo de escuchar el de Meryl Streep, el año pasado en el Barnard College de la Universidad de Columbia, una institución solo para mujeres a las que la actriz se dirige con franqueza y con la experiencia que dan los años.
Recomiendo escucharlo y leerlo entero, porque no tiene desperdicio, pero copio aquí su parte más jugosa:
(A partir de 11 min 14 s)
"Empathy is at the heart of the actor's art. And in high school, another form of acting took hold of me. I wanted to learn how to be appealing. So I studied the character I imagined I wanted to be that of the generically pretty high school girl. I researched her deeply, that is to say shallowly, in Vogue, in Seventeen, and in Mademoiselle Magazines. I tried to imitate her hair, her lipstick, her lashes, the clothes of the lithesome, beautiful and generically appealing high school girls that I saw in those pages. I ate an apple a day, period. I peroxided my hair, ironed it straight. I demanded brand name clothes, my mother shut me down on that one. But I did, I worked harder on this characterization really than anyone I think I've ever done since [...]
"Often success in one area precludes succeeding in the other. And along with all my other exterior choices, I worked on my —what actors call— my interior adjustment. I adjusted my natural temperament which tends to be slightly bossy, a little opinionated, loud, a little loud, full of pronouncements and high spirits, and I willfully cultivated softness, agreeableness, a breezy, natural sort of sweetness, even shyness if you will, which was very, very, very effective on the boys. But the girls didn't buy it. They didn't like me; they sniffed it out, the acting. And they were probably right, but I was committed, this was absolutely not a cynical exercise, this was a vestigial survival courtship skill I was developing. And I reached a point during my senior year when my adjustment felt like me, I had actually convinced myself that I was this person and she, me, pretty, talented, but not stuck-up. You know, a girl who laughed a lot at every stupid thing every boy said and who lowered her eyes at the right moment and deferred, who learned to defer when the boys took over the conversation, I really remember this so clearly and I could tell it was working, I was much less annoying to the guys than I had been, they liked me better and I like that, this was conscious but it was at the same time motivated and fully-felt this was real, real acting."
(A partir de 18 min 58 s)
"This is a huge deal because as people in the movie business know the absolute hardest thing in the whole world is to persuade a straight male audience to identify with a woman protagonist, to feel themselves embodied by her. This more than any other factor explains why we get the movies we get and the paucity of the roles where women drive the film.
"It's much easier for the female audience, because we were all grown up, brought up identifying with male characters from Shakespeare to Salinger. We have less trouble following Hamlet's dilemma viscerally, or Romeo's, or Tybalt's, or Huck Finn, or Peter Pan —I remember holding that sword up to Hook, I felt like him. But it is much much much harder for heterosexual boys to identify with Juliet or Desdemona, Wendy in Peter Pan, or Joe in Little Women, or the Little Mermaid, or Pocahontas. Why? I don't know, but it just is.
"There has always been a resistance to imaginatively assume a persona, if that persona is a she. But things are changing now and it's in your generation we're seeing this. Men are adapting... —about time!— they are adapting consciously and also without realizing it for the better of the whole group. They are changing their deepest prejudices to regard as normal things that their fathers would have found very very difficult, and their grandfathers would have abhorred, and the door into this emotional shift is empathy. As Jung said, «emotion is the chief source of becoming conscious». There can be no transforming of lightness into dark, of apathy into movement, without emotion. Or, as Leonard Cohen says, «pay attention to the cracks because that's where the light gets in»."