In Madrid I talked with people from Galicië to Azerbeijan, from Peru to Bangladesh and I saw an enormous power of positivity. I read anouncements for meetings. I met an artist that made wunderful work (and I invited him for that evening in the 'Enclave'), I bought some from him for one euro each and he said he would come for free to make wall-art if someone buys a ticket to come over. He already did so in Berlin. In the search, I mentioned before, for traces of what was Madrid thirty years ago, I ended up in a factory of tobacco. It turned out to be occupied since ten years. I could walk in for free and inside there was a huge place full of music and art. (Hopefully I'm not offending anybody saying I enjoyed this lively, lived kind of art instead of The Prado). There took place several meetings. Smoke and drugs were not allowed. I made a trip by bike through 'Rio'. Certainly an expensive project, but how couragious to spend so much money for a public space that apparently has no measurable economic value for itself? There was a walk of hundreds, maybe thousands old men and women that made 'kilometros para recordar'. Youth laughing while taking a shower between the trees and skaters on the bridges over the Manzanares. I ended up occasionally on a exhibition of Grafico de Buenos Aires in the thirties.
Things that you, Norberto, saw around you were quite different as what I saw. You mentioned three times the child that in your opinion was already an orphan, as her parents where both looking on their smartphones. The thing that astonished you the most, was the father 'playing with balls' on his screen. Let me be clear, I'm not a fan of using smartphones day and night. But dear Norberto, I saw them too, parents looking on their screens. And in my case the child was happily playing with the towels on the table while her parents were occupied with their own stuff. She took advantage of the situation. Finally she had the oportunity to play without danger of a repreminand not to do so, what people might think, how to behave properly and so on. I just want to say that 'spending time' with children do not has te be always a positive thing. Sometimes it can feel free for children to explore the world around them without intervenience of adults. (the 'invention' of the 'fragile child' with whom we should play with, is also quite new). That does not make them orphans.
On the other example you gave, I tried to discuss already at the meeting but I do it here again. You seemed to be shocked about an artificial, turquoise penis they sell in a shop around the corner. (I do not get the exact clue of what demontrates us this penis about living in postmodern times but anyway). It was equiped with a part that could directly massage the G-spot. I think that is not so much to be shocked about. In previous eras and still now, men (and most women) had no idea of the existance of a G-spot at all. Mostly not even that of the clitoris. Sex in general was -and still is- something that woman should give to their husbands. Enjoying it, is quite a recent thing. So, if a woman in this postmodern era has the oportunity to buy something (with her own loan) that gives her joy without giving pleasure to her husband first, I don't see what could be so 'value-less' about that.
In my opinion, despite of the overheating things happening in the the financial world, making us replacing things always faster, or as Cristina Marina said before you, 'se tratta de portar consumadores al producto' there is not so much to fear. 'Anxiety is a bad adviser', we use to say in Holland. If anxiolyticum is the medicine of the postmodern times -as you claimed- maybe we should look different at this era. It offers us vast opportunities To think. To invent. To explore. To create joy and pleasure. Nowhere I saw this 'state of alienation' where people should be held in.
To conclude I would mention the two men I saw kissing passionatelly on the entrance of the metro. It seemed me a exposure of hopeful times. The freedom to love the one we want instead of what society has in mind for us to be properly. I'm pretty sure that this was not possible -or thinkable- at the time you or I were born.
In answer on the question if we should find a way to recover or, at the contrary, discart values that seemed obsolete, I would say: There might be new values. The challenge is to find out what those are. Possibly you could ask it the new generation represented in your students. I'm anxious to hear about their answers. Probably they will mention things that make life worth living.
Norberto, thank you for the presentation and for the lesson in Spanish. I certainly come back to Madrid, 'Ciudad lleno de possibilidades'