THIS JUST IN
FROM RAYMOND FEDERMAN
This slogan is very popular
these days, from Washington to Bagdad with a little stop everywhere
else in the world. It's so nice of the high authorities
to reassure us this way. The more you hear it the more you understand the
worst is yet to come. And I am not talking about the price of gasoline.
Because, until now, fear was the cement of our societies [the fear
of the cops, the
fear of unemployment, the fear of the IRS, the fear of AIDS, the fear of
the Muslims who make the Christians happy to have found themselves], this
don™t be afraid, proffered like an invitation
from the hypnotist ready to pounce on his prey, should make us suspicious.
It's 100% trick à la Lenin : You stroke gently the neck of
the bull you are leading to the slaughterhouse while whispering kind words
his ear. Or better yet, let twelve cardinals all decked up in their splendid
outdated costumes tell us don™t be afraid we'll get you a new
pope. Or even better, let a half dozen
TV animators tell us about the terrible things happening in the world but
don™t be afraid Bush is going to
solve everything especially your social and political security so don™t
be afraid. And anyway, all those who are not running around burning candles
are snoring away in front of their TV screen [except the terrorists]. It's
been quite a while since humanity pointed its telescope toward a better
future. Don™t be afraid also means close your eyes.
We should not allow ourselves
to drift into such abandon. We should rather open our eyes and look
at our fears, stare at the
menaces that are being formatted for our anguish. If only literature could
still make us aware of our fears. But no, literature has become a mere
supplement of culture which peddles the same message, don™t
be afraid, it's just words.
What is irritating about
this don™t be afraid
slogan, it's that it removes all
possibility of deepening the meaning of our existence. This don™t
be afraid is really scary. It's a very
smart slogan. It screens another alternative. While pretending to give
us a choice between not being afraid and being afraid, it sweeps under
the carpet the possibility of frightening the slogan-maker.
May Day 2005