We are in crises!

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By JOÃO PAULO AYUB FONSECA*

Life lived in an increasingly poor, violent, backward place, with aging and conservative ideas

Middle age is fire. We pass forty and suddenly, when we wake up, life is all wrong. How had I not noticed this before? Is it just the post-birthday moodiness? Or the boredom provoked by the same repeated candle (the one that seems to have been left over from the Last Supper) and the usual sugary cake? I don't think that's the case... anyone who has a small child knows that the best part of the party is the one where, for a minute, genuine joy is stamped on the child's face, waiting for the overwhelming breath that puts out the fire and covers the cake with a layer more than saliva.

The truth is that, after 40, I am no longer old enough for melancholy. Let's fight! I got out of bed and refused to listen to that old Cazuza record one more time. Towards the mirror, I leave with everything for a self-analysis! Starting with the hair. I look at myself in profile and the silhouette is very familiar. I shudder! I see in myself the hair shape that was fashionable in the 1980s: the front part of the hair has lost strength, the back part grows full steam ahead. I see myself as that musician from the outfit Nova. Does that mean then that it wasn't a question of fashion, just middle age? Creed!

My teenage nephew bet I would do better with an account at do what, Instagram ou tiktok. Staying out of the virtual universe, according to him, does not go over well with younger people. With his poor language resources, or even laconism and adolescent laconism, he didn't say why, just that it was like that. Ah, okay… that betrays age, I thought. Still in front of the mirror, I must say that my clothes don't look good either. It's decided: I'm going to give in to the tight shin jeans and permanently retire the… never mind.

The truth is that what really gets me is the desire to change country. I feel like leaving... The uneasiness that inhabits me is the legitimate result of life in an increasingly poor, violent, backward place, with aging and conservative ideas, controlled by a morbid group that assaulted the State and does not want to leave whatever it takes.

Since I'm not really going anywhere, maybe there's still a chance to try something else to do, I don't know, change jobs, be an artist. In that sense, I see in myself a certain talent for tragicomedy. Then I could think of a glorious exit. A way out that appeased my discouragement and the impotence of being able to do almost nothing in the face of the damage done to Brazil.

I'm going to dedicate myself to the arts, do workshops and launch a theater play later this year, before I'm 41. I already have a title and everything: it will be called “The Nutty President”. It will generate controversy, cause a fuss, be on the cover of newspapers. Imagine a character from Jesus Christ, a presidential metaphor, saying: “I don't rape you because you don't deserve it!” Or else, in another scene, set in a pandemic context, Jesus would say: “It's just a little flu…” and “Go buy a vaccine at your mother's house!”. This one is even better: Jesus himself being tortured by Roman soldiers, some powerful local walks by and shouts: “I am in favor of torture!”

I decided to take the new project to the house of a friend of mine, a famous artist. I rang the bell. He took a while to open it and said smiling that he imagined a group of Jehovah's Witnesses at his door. He asked me why I didn't notify him earlier via whatsapp, since it is no longer customary to show up or call like that anyway. Again this age thing, I thought. I swallowed hard and got straight to the point: “I want to try, finally, a career in the theater. I already have the part and everything. will be called The crazy president!"

After carefully reading and examining the production details, my friend was deeply discouraged. When he was also past 40, he said that the idea was very good, but that it certainly wouldn't catch on. He also said that the arts market was in crisis. There wasn't as much room for politicized surrealist humour. There were people doing the real thing. In the can! According to him, nowadays, that phrase that is said to be from Oscar Wilde, “Life imitates art much more than art imitates life…” does not make much sense. Everything has changed. See you writing something so common… Patting me on the back with a pat that was somewhere between ironic and resigned, he finally said: “You're late, it's already late”.

I went back home and realized that the best thing to do is listen to that Cazuza CD. And that maybe this 40 crisis thing is a big nonsense. When the State itself is in crisis, there is much more to regret.

*Joao Paulo Ayub Fonseca is a psychoanalyst and doctor in social sciences from Unicamp. author of Introduction to Michel Foucault's analytics of power (intermediate).

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