Lazarus the Lazarus

Face of Senwosret III, ca. 1878-1840 BC


The media spectacle surrounding his hunt and his death reveals its origin: identification. An identification that is unbearable

In recent weeks, Brazil has been afflicted by a serial killer, who stealthily moves at night, destroys families and threatens order. He caused fear by spreading death among the peaceful community.

This serial killer is me, you, your neighbor, some football players and the President of the Republic. They are all those who, in the dead of night, were found at clandestine parties or, in broad daylight, clustered unnecessarily in the middle of the pandemic. They were all those responsible for spreading a virus in a sneaky, irresponsible way, contributing to the more than 500 deaths from covid-19. All of us, without exception, woke up one day with the sad news of the death of someone dear to us the day before.

Lázaro is a subject that has roots in an adjective, “larazento”, whose meaning in the dictionary, among many others, is “unbearable”. The media spectacle surrounding his hunt and death – which involved almost three hundred police officers – reveals its origin: identification. An identification that is unbearable.

The so-called serial killer from the Federal District, whose extermination was desired by the whole country, represents the unfamiliar, that which for Freud is extremely strange, distant, unbearable and, at the same time, close and familiar. In his brutal acts, repeatedly explored by the media, he outlines our own brutality.

Imagine if Lázaro wasn't murdered and, shortly after his arrest, granted an interview to Fantástico. Imagine if he said, on national television, that the right thing “was to machine gun the population of Goiás”, that “he didn't rape a woman because she didn't deserve it”, that he doesn't care about the people he killed, because “he's not a gravedigger” or that if he could “he would have killed 30 thousand people”, something that the military dictatorship did not do. It certainly would have made us angry. An aversion to identification.

The media construction of a serial killer fulfills a specific social function, by personifying the malaise that is currently so normal, familiar and unbearable to us. The television coverage of a body targeted by 40 shots, being driven away in an ambulance like a disposable object, stages as something distant and alien the many preventable deaths that were hastily buried in mass graves, like dangerous objects, for which we are directly responsible or indirectly. On the other hand, that scene reminds us of what we can become (or have already become): disposable.

In this way, the death of Lázaro, the lazarento, the unbearable, brought us a denied security, by giving personal contours of race, class and regionality to our diffuse and familiar social violence, throwing it to a distant place, in the middle of the Mato de Goiás, in the unfamiliarity of an imaginary figure produced by the cultural industry. With the outcome of his death, we even forget that there is a pandemic in the country, that we have a genocidal president and that Lázaro served the interests of the economic power of landowners in the Midwest, all responsible for silenced deaths in the country.

Therefore, it is not surprising that as soon as the firecrackers fell silent and many already forgot the reason for the celebration.

* Thiago Bloss de Araújo is a doctoral student at the School of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences at UNIFESP.




See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis