It sounds like bad Brazilian rock lyrics, but it’s the purest reality: every day, when opening the newspapers and social networks (unavoidable rhyme alert), someone tries to convince me that mine, yours, ours life is a nightmare. Is not. Here and there, I recognize that I get scared and, if I close my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me, I live less than perfect days. But I am fully aware that my problems are consequences of my choices. Including this habit of closing my eyes.
Despite Alexandre de Moraes, for example, I am free. As much as it is possible to be really free these days. In the essay “Inside the Whale”, by the way, George Orwell makes reference to the freedom experienced by Thoreau and Whitman, an extreme freedom that has no parallel today. I might as well opt for the nostalgic nightmare and complain about not being able to commit the stupidity of calling a member of the Supreme Court a Nazi. But if I am free, and I am, it is precisely because I do not measure my freedom by the mistakes I am prevented from committing. I am free in a deeper way – but this is not a religious text.
Yes, it’s true. Freedom of expression is not what it used to be. It’s not ideal. Or rather, it is not freedom that I consider the ideal. But that’s what you have for today. And it is necessary to know how to tie a knot in the ideas of the toga tyrants, in the same way that the leftists did with the military. That clever metaphor, you know? That irony so subtle it will leave you with a bald spot flea-spattered.
But I don’t even know why I’m talking about it. What I really mean is that, as a society, we do not live the nightmare touted to the right and to the left. We will not be witnesses of any apocalypse. And the decay we feel around us is a sensation. For there to be decadence, it is necessary to have reached some kind of peak, right? Brazil has been better in some aspects, it is true, but it has also been worse in many others. There has already been Guimarães Rosa, for example, but there has also been slavery. There’s already been 200 a thousand people to see a Fla x Flu, but there’s also been, I don’t know, Serra Pelada. And so on.
The point is that we all become experts in something and tend to stick to a specific aspect of society. No, of life! Then we are sucked into a whirlpool of nostalgia and idealization and we invariably come out on the other side with the fateful realization that everything is worse. So, we live in a nightmare. Or even a dystopia, as some exaggerate.
Maybe I’m under the effects of an auspicious dawn, I don’t know. But the impression it gives me is that it’s not just the election polls that are out of touch with reality. Almost every headline seems to feed a pessimism (sometimes disguised as caution) that is just despair – in the sense of “hopelessness”. The threats are many, I recognize, from judicial activism to gender ideology, through economic interventionism and banditry, not to mention meritocracy, which is a completely empty word. But it’s important to keep in mind that focusing on these threats is tantamount to idolizing fear.
No matter how sharp canines they display, all these woes are not enough to overshadow the discreet but consistent glow of everyday life. . Only fools (among which I sometimes include myself) allow the frightening words of a Lula, a José Dirceu or a Luís Roberto Barroso to silence the thanks of a friend, the good wishes of a boss, the ‘afternoon of an unknown, the wife’s I-love-you.
And only the most foolish, those who want to fix the world, are those who cling to the misery (in several senses) that surrounds them, instead of giving thanks for the abundance (in many ways) that also surrounds you. No, we are not living a nightmare. At least we, who dare to open our eyes to witness the miracle of one day and another day and another day.