Ego trip with no return

stateaffairsHonestly, I’m not enjoying it at all, and I must say: I’m truly bothered.

Since the tragic accident with the Germanwings Airbus in the French Alps, last Tuesday, every time I surf the internet, or watch the news, it feels like a sharp stick in the eye.

You’re probably not aware of it, and I would better keep it that way, but the wretched co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is almost my homonymous, considering my maiden name, Lubicz, a rare and almost unknown name, until… last Tuesday. I stepped into the shoes of thousands of Silvas in Brazil today, since the Rousseffs and Fosters[1] must be in a much smaller number, less than the minimal Lubicz.

In the good old times, I used to claim a hypothetical kinship with my “uncle” Ernst, the film director I’m so proud of even if we’re not related at all, besides the phonetic similarity of our last names — Lubitsch, in his case. Now, figure that, even my poor uncle Ernesto will end up, post mortem, associated with the despicable German criminal. Well, that’s the price you pay for unusual names… There are pros and there are cons.

Let me reassure you that I know nothing about this nightmarish Andreas, except that he is, was, a 27 year-old German pilot, described, in the beginning, as totally capable for the job, but not much later, as clinically disturbed — it was discovered that he took leave from his flight training due to severe depression in 2009. The man could be my cousin, a cousin whose existence I wasn’t aware of (if I were, I would deny it at all cost and hide it from the world), an eternal expatriate, an unfortunate fellow like myself. We could have shared some roots in Lodz, or in some shtetl in Poland, some little town that is no longer on the map or changed its nationality, moving from one country to another — some ancestors who emigrated in the past to escape hunger or persecution. If it were the case, all my alleged incorruptible honesty, my praised mental balance, my adored rationality would go down the drain in a heartbeat.

Considering the witch-hunt underway in Brazil, I shouldn’t make fun of such a subject, and I mean it. Take the money, for example. Despite my modest assets, mostly inherited from my mother, since you are all aware of the constant struggle of a writer to barely make ends meet, I openly took the side of some Swissleaks Brazilian victims (among them the famous communist writer Jorge Amado). After all, having money abroad is neither a crime under Brazilian law, nor a legal infraction; provided, of course, you declared these assets to the IRS. It’s a typical case of mixing up the wheat with the chaff, affecting a few good people who have nothing to hide.

As I’ve mentioned communism, I went far enough to compare this new modality of moral harassment to McCarthyism, of shameful memory; but Alan cut me off immediately, with his encyclopedic culture: According to a recent documentary, all Hollywood icons accused of communism by the vengeful Senator were, in fact… communists. Go figure. They really intended, in the name of a spurious loyalty to the Pinkos (remember that Stalin deceived us all), to destroy the American capitalist democracy, with its criminal love of money, I mean, of free enterprise. And they probably planned to do it brilliantly, writing scripts that would captivate us.

What’s not precisely clear is whether professing a certain political ideology really constituted a crime — a failed ideology, by the way, a conceptual faux pas that time itself ended up eliminating.

Back to co-pilot Lubitz: Who, in fact, if not a mental patient, would in his (right?) mind kill himself and take 149 unfortunate people with him to a painful, 10-minute long crash in the Alps, among them some children and newborn babies?

Who, in his (right?) mind, would silently, intentionally destroy a huge country like Brazil and uncountable reputations, only to accumulate a few pennies and feed their fantasy of power? When I say “a few pennies,” I’m being kind, of course.

The point is, in this convoluted world, information confuses us, we’re no longer sure of anything. For example, while I was writing this, people who “know it all” affirmed that the Saudis attack on Yemen — or in defense of Yemen, I’m not sure —, against rebels sponsored by Iran,  is orchestrated by the US — same country that is hammering out a controversial deal with Iran in Switzerland.

It is too much to understand.

Who is actually making a killing from these agonizing situations is, as always, the big media. On one hand, they play an essential role to protect freedom of expression; but, on the other, they’ve been aggrandizing this freedom to such an extent as to give voice to the worst minds of our time — thus reinforcing their toxic influence as I’ve already mentioned.

And what can we say about “post-Hollywood fiction” (if I can say so, since most TV writers are still in L.A.)? Internet series are the new movies, and it is quite difficult to define if reality inspires them or is inspired by them.

Last weekend, for example, Alan and I stayed wide awake into the night — these TV authors are so good, they know exactly how to addict you on the spot. We couldn’t go to sleep until we were done watching the whole 13 episodes of “State of Affairs”, an exhausting leisure marathon.

The series’ setting is disturbingly similar to present life in the US: The president is a black woman; and the top CIA analyst is an extra charming Katherine Heigl, who goes from pearls, fashion dresses and a sophisticated bun to messed-up hair, dirty jeans and machine guns — but none of these well-planned merchandising clichés is able to hypnotize me.

What has truly bothered me, and deeply distressed me, was the main plot, where the secret service constantly fails in its efforts to dismantle an Islamist terrorist group (a quasi-redundancy) invisibly entrenched on American soil. They hide under the sheep’s clothing of regular American college students, ordinary people, like our children or grandchildren, compulsively ensnared in a misplaced idealism and up to their necks in the Weltverbesserung — “the mending of the world.”

In one of the most poignant episodes, around the middle of the series, a sweet blonde girl, with the eyes and the hair of an angel, carries a bomb in her backpack into the CIA director’s house. As she detonates it, using a discreet, well designed and over advanced remote, she smiles a sweet smile and explodes herself uttering a Jihadist “prayer.”

It creeps the hell out of me to barely imagine a similar scene taking place in that sealed cockpit as the Airbus crashed.

And it’s not the worst yet, because everything can get worse, as it has been proved lately. As the investigation goes on, they discover the terrorist group never existed; the mass murders and the general sense of insecurity were in fact fabricated by a private security company in order to generate a few dollars (yes, I’m being kind when I say “a few”), not to mention their crazy fantasy of manipulating the power of the US.

The rise and fall of Andreas Lubitz will become a movie, I guarantee, you just wait and see.

Have a nice week!


[1] “Silva” is a reference to Lula da Silva, ex-president of Brazil; “Rousseff”, to the president in office; and “Foster” to the ex-president of Petrobras — all characters in the biggest corruption scandal in Brazilian History.

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