Careful! There are people taking advantage of your political despair
Political despair. I don’t even know if it’s a concept. If not, it is now. It is, in this very improvised definition, the act of getting up every day thinking that the country is going to end. That there will be hunger. That opponents of the government will be sent to gulags. That policemen will break into our homes looking for subversive books. And so on.
From what I could see overhearing other people’s conversations in the long queue at the Madalosso restaurant on Mother’s Day, here in the fascist Republic of Curitiba we are experiencing an epidemic of political despair. The irony of the scene does not escape me. Faced with plenty, with a mouth full of polenta and fried chicken, instead of thanking and celebrating, people express fear.
I can barely concentrate on the plate in front of me. I keep asking myself what is legitimate and false in this despair. I go further and punish myself: am I contributing to the promotion of this fear that, until now, does not find support in reality? Hope not. But if anyone out there thinks so, please can you pull my ear.
Not that the country is so wonderful. Just look around. No, not here in Madalosso! When I say “look around”, I mean a broader look. The Lula & Alexandre de Moraes duo is really disgusting. The economy is showing unmistakable signs of imminent fatigue. With the PT back in power, there’s a hint of revolution in the air. No one else seems to be ashamed of past, present, and future corruption. Etc.
Not to mention the moral decay that surrounds us. And now, at the risk of sounding older and more grouchy than I am, I’m going to mention here the contempt for beauty, the incessant pursuit of success (whatever that may be), the cynicism that is shamelessly confessed, the epidemic of atheism and the various types of sexual pride (jeez, revealing word).
I warned you, huh?!
But it’s shortsighted – both political and spiritual – to think that life boils down to everyday political scandals, to the stupid lines of the ex-convict, to the wild decisions of the bald guy, to the gaudy dresses of the dazzled cutie. Or to funk, to unattainable goals, to perverse humor, to excessive idolatry, to rainbow vulgarity.
No, not at all, under no circumstances does life come down to these things that we absorb half-intentionally and that compose an absolutely false scenario of a non-existent catastrophe. Which leads me to the somewhat hasty conclusion, as befits a chronicle, that there are smart guys taking advantage of all this despair. And I don’t just mean venal interest. The profit, in this case, usually goes far beyond the financial reward.
The profit (the advantage, the surplus and even the pleasure) is in seeing the prevalence of a cosmovision that I won’t call diabolical because… Ah, I will call it diabolical, yes! A worldview that ignores the clear manifestations of love around us. Which ridicules love. Who calls love “hokey”. For some, it is interesting to foster an absolutely artificial idea of chaos just for the pleasure of saying “I was right!” today and “I told you so!” tomorrow.
Are you afraid of the future because of… Lula? Can you not see the sense in the daily effort to be a better person, or do you think that life is all about working to pay taxes and finance the privileges of people “smarter” than you? Do you believe that Alexandre de Moraes is going to force him to be mean? Careful! You may have been inoculated with the virus of political despair. (Which no one is immune to. Neither am I).
But do not worry. There is treatment: just contemplate the reality that surrounds us. The real-reality of blue skies or pregnant clouds. From the hearty plate in front of you. The soft, warm bed. From the toast of friends. From the cat that spreads its little fingers when it stretches. Of improbable and gratuitous solidarities. Of the infinite facilities that modern life provides us. Damn, the real reality of being alive and that, regardless of the political, social and economic circumstances of Lula, Alexandre de Moraes and anyone else you want to mention, we are capable of achieving Salvation.
I know the news is sometimes depressing. And it’s depressing because it goes against our will. But rejoice! (It’s Monday). Don’t be carried away by those who have an interest (venal or otherwise) in convincing you that life is hell. It is not. Lula, Alexandre de Moraes & Co. one day they will pass. This war that keeps you up at night will end. Dictatorship will be viewed with due derision. And, with any luck, a few years from now you’ll be able to look back and say that you not only survived, but were able to admire the storm.
Paulo Polzonoff Jr.
Paul Polzonoff Jr. is a journalist, translator and writer. **The columnist’s texts do not necessarily express the opinion of Gazeta do Povo.