A prop epic to avoid an unbearable truth

A French illustrator, in his sixties and disenchanted, resentful of his wife and perplexed by this world crossed by new technologies, receives a strange gift: his son signs him up for a “time travel”, an original service provided by a company run by an ineffable filmmaker for high-end clients. This peculiar company uses theatrical techniques to accurately reconstruct special moments in history and false evenings with famous characters. Based on research, meticulous set construction, period costume rental and the action of actors and extras with a rehearsed script but open to improvisation, it fulfills the dreams of people who want to spend New Year’s Eve with Hemingway or have dinner at Marie Antoinette’s Palace. The illustrator first rejects that invitation, but then he enters the game and asks to return to the most relevant day of his life: forty years ago he met his great love at the café “La Belle Époque”. The film, which premiered at Cannes, had two mature and irresistible stars: Daniel Auteuil and Fanny Ardant, although the original idea was perhaps superior to its bittersweet result. I thought of her many times during these turbulent days, when many Kirchner supporters who did not live through October 17, 1945, but pray to her every night, are really excited about traveling through time and finally acting in a fictional reconstruction staged for the chance. And for the impunity of Cristina Kirchner. Let us remember, by the way, that the first time it was a popular mobilization —more modest than was later reported— against a fascist dictatorship whose main ideologue had been Perón himself, and that this time it is a violent parody to save a venal group and rise up against the rule of law. All this, without the intention of ruining anyone’s sleep.

Something similar happens with the former patron saint of Jujuy, although with some disturbing addition: she allows the Argentine progressive to play defense of the original towns and to the rescue of political prisoners

Although it is hotly topical, this mental procedure of apocryphal restoration has been repeated for decades: the story is epic and is encouraged as a liturgy; To that we must add a bad conscience (I did nothing then and now I regret it) and what Sabina defined with an anthological verse: “There is no nostalgia worse than longing for what never, ever happened”. This is how for those who had not had the opportunity to fight against the systematic mechanism of the disappearance of people, Maldonado was “their disappeared.” And it still is today, against all scientific evidence; there are people who display a sticker in his office or on their cars: “Where is Santiago Maldonado?” It is already a rhetorical question, but it remains as an active denunciation and as a souvenir of personal pride, because the campaign was not about the craftsman who drowned in the river fleeing from the Gendarmerie, but about the chance that the case gave many to star in a “heroic resistance”, although without consequences and as a lie; therefore, don’t bother me with the 55 experts or with the evidence in the file, let me enjoy that illusory ritual. Something similar happens with the former patron saint of Jujuy, although with some disturbing addition: it allows the Argentine progressive to play the defense of the “original peoples” and the rescue of “political prisoners.” She defends herself with a successful psychopathy: they are not persecuting her for being corrupt or violent, but for being a woman and being “black” (sic). No one sees Hebe de Bonafini as “white” and Milagro Sala as “black” —for this columnist they have no color; yes, an ideology in common: both are left-wing fascists. But it is noticeable that those skin tones do exist for sympathizers, which actually reveals their own racism, repressed and projected, and allows them to exercise a paradoxically xenophobic paternalism. The evidence and the lapidary testimonies of venal acts and gender violence that exist in the courts do not make a dent in the conscience of the “dreamers”, because once again: it is not about the fate of the leader of Tupac Amaru, but about the identity and the narcissistic desires of those who pretend to safely exercise a role of moral superiority. This journey through time, proposed by the national and popular narrative, delights the boys of La Cámpora, who in a single week called the US ambassador “the new Braden” and celebrated having gone from the gray mediocrity of the fourth Kirchner government to this new and vibrant 125. What it meant then, seen from a historical perspective, an ideological agglutination, but also a political hecatomb. It is the same operation that they carried out to revive the “Peronist resistance” against the Cambiemos administration, a constitutional government that was characterized as a new Liberating Revolution and, at the same time, as a continuation of the Videla dictatorship. The “kids for liberation” play at being heirs to the “wonderful youth” and that is why they admit that the Orga of our era is a tribute to the Orga of the machine gun. The factory of recreated universes makes it possible not to see authoritarianism and misery in Venezuela or Cuba, but rather the endearing paradises once declaimed in the La Paz bar and never realized in the realm of reality, since those criminal models failed pitifully . We already know that when the right becomes totalitarian, it forms a reprehensible dictatorship. On the other hand, when the left installs that same authoritarian regime, it is not a dictatorship but a revolution, and it is romanticized to the point that it is visited, sung about and defended, and it is quietly allowed to shoot, imprison, torture and censor without problems. At the height of time travel and political role-playing games, even the militants of the Egyptian architect can participate during these days of rare euphoria in “open town halls” (sic), distribute rosettes in the squares of the republic and taking selfies to sometimes remember this “patriotic” battle waged for the fortune of a sudden landowner named Lázaro Báez.

The monarch of Juncal street, who has a crown, does not hesitate to drag all the justicialismo to save her skin since her project has always been one-person, hardly dynastic

It will be necessary to admit that Peronist oral literature is very effective for refuge and anathema; as an amusement park, but also as a protective shield and as a stigmatizing sword. So that the truth, comrades, does not necessarily have to be reality; such an exhausting and anachronistic premise, with pardon of the caudillo. These days we observe several of these semantic operations of denial, flight and disguise, and a de facto uprising against the Judiciary, not because of a ruling but because of the simple allegation of two prosecutors. How frightened the Egyptian architect and her battalion of lawyers must have been when they received that long-winded accusation for nine days; what an implicit homage to Luciani and Mola’s research lies beneath all this organized hysteria. The monarch of Juncal Street, who has a little crown, does not hesitate to drag all of Justicialism to save her skin since her project has always been one-person, hardly dynastic: first the boss, then the son, then the Movement and finally the country, which is coincidentally going through a gorge of superinflation and galloping poverty, with pure and simple adjustment (they call it “fine tuning” again), danger of a mega-devaluation, generalized bad mood and latent breakdown of social peace. It is thus confirmed that in this detonated Argentina the only privileged ones are not the children but the Peronists, and that when someone touches its matrix of corruption, the system falls. They will try to revive with this severe antagonism and this brutal process of public intimidation, the militant epics of some chosen past. But it will always be a cardboard cutout simulation, because the belle époque of Kirchnerism ended a long time ago.


*Article published in the newspaper The nation from Buenos Aires

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A prop epic to avoid an unbearable truth – Zenda