the imaginary epic

The inexplicable presidential spokeswoman continues to do her thing. It was not enough for him to have given that unnecessary and hurtful slap to a society that has a very important portion of it still mourning the 130,249 official deaths after the pandemic, when he said: “The right wing laid stones for the deaths of COVID.” She did not have the slightest record of the atrocity that she said, being the spokesperson for a government that showed an amoral and even almost genocidal performance in handling the pandemic. Nor was it enough for him to have uploaded a false and scatological video to his networks before the end of the year. Now, in yet another example of his lack of luminosity, he said: “The Argentine people are going to recognize the true epic of this government.”

I confess that each of his sentences leaves me stunned. This time I was taken aback by the confusion. According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (21st edition), an epic is, and I transcribe: “Extensive narrative poem, of high style, large and public action, heroic or extremely important characters, and in which the supernatural or marvelous intervenes . I 2. Set of poems that form the epic tradition of a people. Il 3. Fig. Set of glorious facts worthy of being epically sung”. Epic refers to epic poem. Thus, the epic would have been created by Homer, author of “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”; even though Homer’s very existence is uncertain. There are many famous epics; none argentinian

The second meaning speaks of epic story; perhaps the closest meaning to what this government does every day. The third meaning, “glorious deeds worthy of being epically sung” does not apply in any way either.

Do they know the difference between governing gloriously and carrying out glorious deeds that deserve to be sung in an epic way, and breaking everything day by day or doing damage on purpose, through lack of expertise, or through ignorance? Do they know the damage they cause to themselves and to all of us by issuing with so much self-confidence and apparent certainty loose phrases without rhyme or reason, and without the slightest factual correlation with reality? Feat? Feat? Gesture? Really?

A phrase from Delphine De Vigan’s disturbing novel, “Loyalties” came to mind: “One night, the news broadcast a report about an oil slick caused by a crashed oil tanker. We were sitting at the table. I looked at those birds, smeared with oil, and I immediately thought of us, all of us, those images represented us better than any family photo. It was us, it was our blackish and greasy bodies, deprived of movement, dazed and poisoned.” It’s true. We are those greasy, brownish, stunned birds, unable to move, poisoned and doomed. The oil slick spreads through our country like evil over the Lands of Mordor. And no one manages to do or say anything while we listen, undaunted, to the presidential spokesperson say, very loose of body: “The Argentine people are going to recognize the true epic of this government.”

let’s fake dementia

The spokeswoman shot this sentence just the day before the president of the Nation said: “It is not necessary to mistreat us anymore; we must lower the shouting.” Or when he said, later, “that their ministries work like the «Scaloneta», they work very well. Isn’t what was said by both another form of mistreatment, even though everything was said in a low voice?

It is not clear to me if they are not alienated, or if they are not trying to make us feel crazy. Or if we do not reach, without realizing it, a state of generalized insanity from which we cannot return. Or if we don’t feign a state of general insanity so we don’t have to take care of anything and can move on as if nothing had been said. As if nothing had happened. But we must rescue two important words: dementia and pretend. Whether we are insane or if we feign that insanity; whether we are aware of it or whether we play at not taking charge; We are a broken society. We are those birds condemned by the oil slick.

In another stretch of the novel, De Vigan returns to the image and reflects: “Yes, perhaps I was a seagull smeared by the oil slick, but now I resemble the crow in the story my grandmother told me, that rough-hewn bird of plumage of ebony who dreamed of being a white bird. For so the fable goes: the bird rolls first in talcum powder, then in flour, but the subterfuge is short-lived and soon disappears. Then it is completely submerged in a pot of white paint , of the one who remains prisoner. I am that black bird that wanted to be white (…) But I have also lost the use of my wings, and where I am it is useless to fight”.

Perhaps we are that black crow that plunges, on purpose, into the bucket of white paint, seeking to be what cannot be.

Perhaps, after all, it is true that we have no choice but to feign insanity and move on. I don’t know.

the imaginary epic