The intelligence crisis is above all a crisis of admiration

And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make those people dance

And maybe they’d be happy for a while

– “American Pie”, Don McLean

Don’t be fooled by the summer outside. Over the weekend, the winter of discontent made it snow here in my soul. So much so that I ran to the computer to pour out all the accumulated gall. I was in the middle of a text amaro (amazing), however, when I was struck by lightning. Or maybe it was an angel that whispered on my shoulder. Whatever it is, I threw it all in the trash (again). And it is in these moments that we notice the lack of a typewriter, Chamex paper and a can in the corner of the office when describing certain scenes.

With the bald head scorched by the thunderbolt and listening to it still echoing the angelic advice, I remembered that I write to make people dance and maybe make them happy for a while. And there’s no way to do that by resorting to cold, rational and cruel analysis, based on perverse sarcasm, of whatever subject has caught people’s attention over the weekend. And by “drawing attention” I mean the revolt, the indignation and the rage that is always considered righteous but rarely is. Those seem to be the only things the news wakes up to these days.

Including me. Don’t think I’m immune. I am also a reader, spectator and listener. I feel offended too – and with increasing frequency. So much so that the text thrown away was called “How difficult it is to be a reader” and it spoke precisely of this feeling of betrayal, of low antagonism that takes over me when I read certain vomit disguised as opinion: no respect, no style, no ambition for elegance and permanence. Oh, what a desire to avenge me! But you have to resist the temptation of confrontation and, moreover, at the beginning of this text that you have in your hands, I used an epigraph in order to say that I write for people to dance. And maybe be happy for a little while.

Sour life

Says the title of this text that “the crisis of intelligence is above all a crisis of admiration”. At least this time I’m right. It is much easier to point the finger and spit out hatred, exposing what is ugly and reprehensible in order to arouse disgust and repulsion in the other. Wow, it’s very easy! Ridiculously easy. No wonder I see so many people drunk with this disgust, in a permanent state of complaint, going through the newspapers in search of another dose of perfidy to satisfy their addiction.

Now try to find people willing to dance to words that extol what is admirable, praiseworthy, fascinating, splendorous, fascinating and divine out there. Try, my God, just try to make them recognize in the other a little hit. Try, on a Monday morning or Friday night, to make the reader crack a half-smile as he contemplates the gifts of his time and that of his fellow men. Try to show that the attempt (sic) sincerely well-intentioned, however failed, is worthy of applause.

It’s hard, believe me. Anyone who dares to deny the apocalyptic spirit that prevails around is seen as an alienated person, an asshole, a passer-by, a sellout. And who wants to walk around with a scarlet letter like that on their back? It is easier, therefore, to turn your nose up and treat the reader/spectator/listener as a hydrophobic ignorant to be contained by the force of words, slogans, insults, expressions of impotent revolt.

Hence why so many abandoned the challenge, giving in to the much more comfortable – and lazy – exercise of cynically virulent criticism. And insistent. And monotone. What they don’t realize is that pointing out the other’s unfeasibility is recognizing their own unfeasibility – something that makes the cynic an incorrigible wretch. And who wants such a sour life for themselves? I definitely don’t.

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