The unspoken benefits of neutrality

In Brazil, as of September 2022, talking about politics will make people fear for the upcoming months, days and hours; or it will produce a contagious exhilaration around the prospects of winning or losing a battle that this or that side might have chosen. Maybe you’ll notice relative apathy in other situations, not particularly here; but some people stayed on the job during this now predominantly controlled pandemic, with vaccinated people who took at least 3 shots in their arm, like myself, and in some cases go out in the street still rarely, but with tranquility. We think that going out is safe again, but the reasons are related to public health and what’s not so often discussed: instead of working from home, living your life in front of a computer or staring at your phone, at home. You go out, everyone has a different thing to do, and you think that’s fine, but who are they, completely unaware that you’ve started fights with 30 different businesses in the past 2 hours, retweeted journalistic vehicles of great and historical circulation, making acid comments and ironic, often insensitive and disrespectuful remarks on credibility and people’s assumed character? Why aren’t they all doing the same, to fight the power and take it back, and you seem to be the only one concerned with the battle for winning the internet debate, elected medium and modus operandi of the attention economy? And now you can watch candidates debate on the internet, and that is literal; but everyone else is already commenting, and you’ve lost on this one, because it doesn’t matter what you have to say. The frontline is the frontline. Fireworks at midnight, no big deal — there’s soccer every day. Neighbors turned crowds of possible perpetrators of property damage, and subtweetibg in real life, in the form of shouts. It seems pressing to ask: “what the hell is happening?”

What’s happening is that people are put to a test every four years in the majority of the countries of the world. But hang on: our most important elections are in a month, and Britain just changed the Prime Minister. The American elections are held in the midterm of Brazilian elections, for example. The selection for governors happens right before, and I should say that between Charlie Crist and Ron deSantis, at least the latter is able to fulfill his agenda; he’s just lame, while the other candidate is partnering with a “god-fearing” woman (as per Twitter bio) who’s supposed to change the deSantis program against gender ideology and critical race theory, all the while banning masks in schools because it has never required them in the first place — which is way too hard to believe, but seems to be the truth. DeSantis calls his opposers “The Woke Party”. Nobody told him that maybe Florida isn’t a dream, and we know Trump properties are being targets of investigation. I would go further, talk about Disney and Miami, mention Orlando, basketball, soccer and a Netflix series called Startup. I would tell personal stories, and give a shoutout to my old colleague now living in Auburn, not Jacksonville, saying “how’s your hacker friend and the gay gossip column guy?” But we’ve heard some of these things before. One day, on LinkedIn, I saw an old student of mine repost a video saying that Disney knows how to “enchant” like nobody else, and then you had an intervention in some kind of commercial center where people were interacting with the shadows of Disney characters who mimicked them, behind a panel. For each person in front of the screen, a specific character would show up as a sort of reflection of them. At the end, they’d reveal themselves and everyone would applaud. But in college, some other facts came to my knowledge, like work exploitation and a friend who dreamed of working there, but was the first person I met to be following Bloomberg. I won’t get into detail, because that involved another niche: the foreign music exoticness judges and who they give praise to. For the average Brazilian, does any of that matter?

In your family, you learn to suck it up. You stay quiet to avoid conflict. But sometimes, you do pick up a fight. An uncle is never going to be actually phisically aggressive with a nephew, is he? Sorry to break it to all, but my personal history tells otherwise, very clearly. And so do my conversations with teenagers, who report abuse in the family with a certain frequency. And the answer doesn’t seem to be a short story that does not mention this fact at all. It’s like posting fake news — because the narrative has been manipulated from the very starting point, not as of yesterday. You’re just a dummy. To wrap it up, and I refuse to talk about Europe: if you don’t take a stand on the internet, you have a chance to take a stand in real life. How does that sound to you? Because, to me, it sounds like a good plan. Except I know what Brazil would say: “Elogio é caridade”. Care to translate? Of course you don’t. And that’s fine. But maybe we should focus on the good instead of the bad, and real life sucks, while the internet can lead you to a better place. Are we voting on that?

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