(First, I need to recognize that the silent majority understood what there was to understand. And I can only thank them not only for their generosity, but also for their trust. Because that is what this text is about: the importance of establishing relationships of trust. Even with strangers like me. Without a minimum of trust there is no Civilization. No laughter.
I spent the holiday thinking about the best way to react to my fear in the face of the realization that the magic did not materialize and, therefore, several readers stoned me for the irony of the text “A day in the life of Jair Bolsonaro, the fascist monster and whatever else you want”. So it is. Despite the asterisk, in itself a confession of defeat, the glorious telepathy necessary for a healthy relationship between text and reader did not happen between me and a minority of angry readers.
My first reaction was the one I live charging from Hamlet: inaction. Or, in this case, silence. “The amendment can come out worse than the sonnet” and “the reader who does not understand the obvious irony is already lost” were two of the reasons I mentioned in my first choice. And perhaps wiser. A friend, however, told me that silence could be interpreted as arrogance. “Especially coming from you, who already have that prank up there!”, he said. The solution, for him, was to explain very slowly what irony is, the difference between irony and sarcasm, the importance of always highlighting the ridiculousness of hyperbolic narratives, etc. “Yes, that would be arrogance. And condescension!”, I argued, more out of stubbornness than conviction.
Would it be a case of apologizing? Pray the 11º. Contemporary Commandment that “You don’t apologize to the maddened mob”, right? And, moreover, why should I apologize if the chronicle was written with the best of intentions and the clear purposes of (i) making people laugh, (ii) making the reader, for a brief moment, put himself in the place of the another and (iii) realize how ridiculous we are when we create a monstrous version of someone, be it our neighbor or the president? Not necessarily in that order, of course.
Instinctively – and instinct is a bad counselor – of course I was taken by indignation, which tempted me pointing the finger in all directions and using impolite words (“Paulo Freire!”) to refer to those who dared not to understand me. With a little patience, however, I resisted the temptation, shooing her away to the place she should never have left. And I started to practice one of my favorite sports: trying to understand the origin of this aggressiveness, this insistent noise, this pathological distrust, this feeling that we are always surrounded by enemies or traitors.
While I don’t open the score, however, I propose to explain what leads me to the always risky option for irony. After a thousand texts only in Gazeta do Povo, I believe that between me and the readers a relationship of trust has already been established that allows me to have a warmer and lighter dialogue. . That is, without the coldness and objectivity present in the work of other authors – who have their place and function. And especially without the virulence and fleetingness of the pamphlets I once wrote and which, between us, I regret a lot.
In addition, I repeat here something I’ve been saying for at least five years, since I decided that my cross was inseparable from words. Not infrequently, when I say what I’m going to say at the beginning of the next paragraph, I find sneers, as if I were an idealistic pimply young man who urgently needs to go to the bookshelf and read Balzac’s “Lost Illusions.” But I say it anyway. And I say. And re-redial. Also because repetition is also a way of convincing me never, ever, under any circumstances to belittle anyone who has spent (but not wasted) a few minutes of the day to, in the depths of their braincase, hear what I have to say.
Here’s what I say and I’ll say it again: I don’t belittle the reader. Furthermore, I recognize that, in the lack of understanding, there is much more than mistrust, ignorance and, from some, even a little bit of bad faith that does not go unnoticed. There are, indeed, bad days and hastily written and read sentences; there are unfathomable traumas; there is above all the fear of being deceived. And there is, unfortunately, the contemporary cynicism, to which no one is immune and which covers all surfaces with a not always very thin layer of the saddest nihilism, for which the quest for excellence is a ridiculous chimera. Is not.