Chile: Can Memes Save a Country from Fascism? | Opinion

On Monday afternoon, after observing for a whole day, and carefully, what feeling the results of the elections in Chile provoked in me, at 11:57 p.m. I finally deciphered it. Or rather, I tasted: bitter. “I just fully understood the term bitterness,” I said to myself, with the nightlight off, and out loud. He was not rich. And it was not just a bad drink, but an intuition; it will last. Above all, it was sad that it was not sadness.

“Bitterness, heck, I always think of it associated with time,” a Chilean friend who lives in Frankfurt replies. “That! That same thing”, I repeated to the wasap: “Bitterness = Old age.”

Let me explain: Kkst, the candidate of the radical extreme right (not my words, but those of the German financier Handelsblatt), he won the primaries and for the next two days, the situation in Chile steals my full attention. Me, that last week chaplineaba with a fit of coughing and laughter in full presentation of my novel in Córdoba. Before I had romantic concerns (mood to love, or talk about love), I also wanted to dye my hair orange, visit the Alhambra and a bar called Alexander. Now everything seems frivolous: I don’t like anyone, I cannot be happy, I must not smile. Especially me, who have been living in Europe for 11 months. So I can’t even free myself in resentment. And since processing the visa has been hell, it doesn’t taste like guilt either.

I go jogging and wonder if I should go back and face fascism. They just invited me to a fair in Bío Bío and I remember Bolaño imprisoned in Concepción. “But Bolaño went to fight for the Popular Unity project, for Allende. He was unlucky enough to arrive a few days before the coup. And he didn’t stay either ”. I pose my mental debate to several friends:

“You don’t know what’s coming,” A, 50 years old warns me (not enough to baby boomer, but he’s one of my oldest friends). “A dictatorship. People are going to disappear ”.

“This country is old,” Diego, one of the youngest, tells me, “If they shot in the eyes with Piñera, now they are going to be unleashed.”

“Don’t go back to Chile, stay there,” all the rest repeats to me. And more than relief from the distance-protection, he feels lacking. Because the decision was made before. I did not think to return.

That same night I dream that a former revolutionary revolutionary comes to look for me in Granada. But it is not a nightmare: the ridiculous and comical of the situation outweighs the anguish.

Then something changes: when I wake up, several funny memes and tweets circulate in favor of the Approve Dignity candidate: Boric with Britney Spears; Keanu Reeves; Björk, Sailor Moon (first smiles).

“You can call me by my name or by a good crazy dog ​​to vote for Boric in the second round, which is the position I have by popular election” (a laugh).

Jokes as encouragement, it makes sense. The first thing is to raise morale. The second: look for ways of understanding between us.

“The left is so divided that we were not going to get anywhere by arguing seriously, but humor is like a universal language or something like that,” he told a friend who does stand up comedy.

The week progresses and new priorities emerge: the fundamental thing is to get out of the bubble and convince the other 65% of the country, about which we have just realized that we know nothing. The strategy intuitively and quickly points to mothers: fill those familiar wasaps in which we never participate with good morning greetings plus an image of Tweety or Chayanne inviting to vote for Boric.

Luckily, I don’t have to convince mine. She got a job as a cashier at a clinic recently, and that night she tells me that when Kkst went for the third dose of the vaccine, all of her colleagues went into hiding. “And who is going to take care of that weon? Because I don’t!”

I imagine the scene, I laugh. Next, I carefully appreciate the taste: sweet and tangy again.

It is possible that the little yellow bird from Looney Tunes, as sweet as he is mocking, will be able to help us with our moms (“Mom, that cat really wants to kill us!”). But can humor save a country from fascism?

The decalogues that appear on social networks to convince the undecided advise against using the term “fascism”. I pay attention, and I also continue to share memes. It seems to me that their humor is becoming more and more sophisticated and that they not only encourage, but inspire others to think creatively: diversify the discursive narratives of the campaign.

My friend what does stand up, insists:

“Hahaha, it’s still true that the country is so divided that we need a common language. But I think of those ugly memes, screenshots of YouTube videos on Android without humor. How to get in there?

I revisit the movie Scarecrow (1973). A clown Al Pacino proposes the true role of the scarecrows: “Look, the farmer puts a doll with a hat and a funny face. The crows laugh and say, wow, Farmer Jones is a good guy, he makes us laugh, we don’t bother him. “

Maybe that’s the challenge now: making the crows laugh.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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