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The 20th century died. Long live the 21st century!

The other day, Jô Soares died. It was as if a friend had died. In the rush of everyday life, however, I left the tribute for later and later and later and, when I saw it, the text had fallen into the well of lost intentions. But the feeling remained that it wasn’t just the death of one person that amused and, in my case, taught. It felt like the death of something bigger. From a time.

Last week, Gorbachev died. In this case, I felt as if a statue had died. Or an encyclopedia character. That guy with that spot on his forehead that they compared my father to and who was featured on the news. By chance, I was also forced to remember the death of a friend who had the privilege of interviewing Gorbachev. It was thus, tangentially, that I also suffered the death not only of a statue or encyclopedia character. Again it was a time that died.

The diffuse sensations gained strength with the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Now it is possible to better define this “a time” that breathed its last. It is the 20th century that is gone. And, with it, two wars that – thank God – I didn’t live, tragedies that I didn’t suffer, revolutions that I didn’t face, the landing on the moon that I didn’t follow on TV. E and the last generations to spell the century with Roman numerals.

One hundred years of eloquent dramas from which I only took advantage of two decades and a few broken ones. During which I saw the two powers of the Cold War unite to save two whales; the Berlin Wall fall; the Soviet Union reverting to the old wartime Russia; Romario score that header against Sweden; and a handful of other major historical events that I don’t remember at the moment.

Not to mention the events of, shall we say, intimate history. All concentrated between 1977 and 2000. First steps, first letters, first kiss. Teenage existential crises, academic dramas with no present relevance. And, already in the throes of the century, the pinky of the foot plunged into adulthood. Although in the year 2000 I didn’t even have a beard.

With the 20th century (or 20, for the younger ones), the North American cultural hegemony in the West also dies. And I don’t miss the irony that I realized this because of the death of a British monarch. In a way, all sorts of centralized information dies. Thus, absolute celebrities and cultural icons also die. The music I learned to listen to dies. What was left of the feeling of being an individual surrounded by a society, and not a society suffocating an individual, dies (and here you will forgive me for a pessimism that, I admit, does not suit me or the Sabbath). )

I recognize myself as a man of my time, which is a past time. A century past. It is to this preteritude that I turn to when I need to reveal myself “attuned” to the present in order to envision the future. And you, an attentive reader, must have noticed that the “attuned” there denounces not only the age, but also the seniority of the writer. The 20th century was one of sowing. Now I’m in the middle of the harvest. At least there is plenty!

To say that the 20th century will be missed would be absurd. Just as it would make no sense to call him irreplaceable. On the contrary. With its colored hair, ear plugs, fluid sex and ultranihilism, the 21st century has already presented itself to fulfill the functions of the present time – and for that it chose the name of century 1977 . They say that, unlike the tragedies and very human dramas that marked its predecessor, the new time-king wants to be recognized for the ultimate triumph of technique over the imperfection of such Homo sapiens.

We can only hope that he has some sense, the new sovereign. And maybe some sense of humor. On my mini-mini-mini-tiny part, I pray that the new century will at least be aware of its own finitude – which unfortunately I will not have the pleasure of witnessing. I pray that this century ends not with a bang or a groan, but with a sigh of those who know they have fulfilled their role in Eternity.

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