sábado, 7 de abril de 2012

Blast from the past

My ex just recently added me on Facebook but this story has nothing to do with that. He added me, I accepted his invitation and checked his profile. No surprises. I knew him well, I knew exactly who he was going to be in ten years and that’s why I dumped him; we were on different paths, we still are and that’s good. While his profile wasn’t surprising, you can’t say the same about his best friend’ timeline. The name of his best friend – lets call him Bernardo – appeared on my timeline today, because of one message my ex and him exchanged. Out of pure curiosity – what lead us to look on Facebook’ profile if is not that? – I clicked and checked.

I remember Bernardo as a plain, regular and quite nice guy. In the two years that the relationship with my ex lasted, Bernardo and I surely had a lot of talks and movies and nights out. He had this cute girlfriend, younger than me, whom I also liked a lot. I’m trying to figure out if I’m remembering things correctly. It’s been so long. It was 2003… our first year of the university; 2005 when we lose touch. But as far as I can remember, he did not liked the current government. He even went with the group to a couple of demonstrations against it.

>So back to Facebook. By looking at his profile picture (and cover photo as well) you know he got married but not with the cute girl he used to date, although his wife looks cute and happy; wearing a long white dress with long lace sleeves and both posing next to a 50’s car on their wedding day. The next visible picture is one of a tiny baby. Good for him. So far, everything seems normal.

But then, more and more weird comments appear on his wall. The comments he make are 100% “Revolutionary”. He mocks at the opposition comparing Capriles in a photo to an ape. He disregards opposition’ primary results. He shares many links from prominent pro-government sites and calls United States, “The Empire”. As a final touch, he sends sentimental get better “pa’ lante comandante” wishes to the president. You can’t possible doubt his political inclinations.

I’m absolutely shocked and amazed. I tell my boyfriend about it – “You know I added my ex on Facebook the other day” – My boyfriend replies with a “Yeah… yeah…” – Obviously he doesn’t want to hear about anything involving my ex – “And I just discovered that his friend is now a Revolutionary” – “Was he when you were with your ex?” – “Of course not!” – I reply. Next, we have a conversation about lost hopes, about how things like that can happen. How can someone we believe to be in their best judgment support all this madness? Specially considering he did not support it before.

My boyfriend throws an hypothesis: it is all about the money. He’s probably getting a lot of money from the government – “who knows what’s he’s doing” – I never thought Bernardo could be corrupted that easily. Of course, we were 18- 20 years old, our characters were probably not fully developed yet neither tested back then. Still, I find it hard to believe. If it was all about the money, and nothing else he wouldn’t have the need to publish all that on Facebook; would suffice with keeping his account private and acting low profile. I will never know how and why did he change his mind. I keep wondering if something similar has happened to other people my age but there is no way to know that either.   

Facebook can’t give us much information about how a person really is. But it seems that he really believes on everything he posts, he is convinced this is the truth.

I know all this is so politically incorrect that you don’t know where to start. But it strikes me that even through we have the same age, come from a similar environment, similar education background; can’t share a vision of our country. For me, our country is falling apart: our salaries are a joke, food and medicine shortages make our daily life even harder and I don’t need to start talking about the insecurity situation. For most of this, government policies, as far as I’m concerned, are responsible for action or omission. If you add all the endless threats and actions against freedom and democracy; this post will be endless.

But Bernardo – if I’m allowed to judge only by what I saw on Facebook – sees everything differently. He likes the way things are. I don’t know which things. Maybe he’s focused on government social’ policies if any has worked. Maybe he’s aware of all the madness but doesn’t blame the government and believes in all the official justifications you hear on TV. Maybe he blames the old governments or the opposition instead.

It’s ok, I suppose. I do not own the truth and I can only speak from my own experience. My life experience has shaped somehow my political views. I’m not an experienced political analyst and on these matters, there is no science. I’m just, like I said before, shocked and amazed. When you get news from an old friend you tend to wish that all surprised you are going to get are about his relationship status, if he has children or not, family situation, career. You expect your old friends to be living different lives. But you don’t expect them to change their believes that much.

I don’t know if Bernardo was that committed to the opposition like I was. Perhaps he just went with us to the protests because he didn’t wanted to be the “different one”. I’m drawing, as you can see, many theories. But I will never get the answer of why my hell can be a paradise to others. 

7 comentarios:

  1. Well, hello there, nice to see you posting again! :)

    I'll reply here to your last two posts :p

    Regarding "Bernardo", I also find it quite odd, because usually it's the other way around, they start chavistas and when they realize the truth they're not chavistas anymore. I have some friends that at least somewhere in the past, were chavistas (one of them, even hardcore), when the shortages started and when their relatives' enterprises were starting to get fkd up htye realized that this gvt was even worse than "la cuarta republica", and the few that dind't go oppo, at least are not voting for chavez anymore.

    Also, I have a couple of friends that work on state owned companies and a lot more waiting for jobs on those companies, they are (politicaly speaking) low profile but 7-O they'll vote capriles all the way.

    Now, regarding the USA, yes, everything tastes weird over there... last time I was there I was 12-13, I remember cooking something with onions, and the onions were SO big but didn't taste like anything... pure water, like my mom said, same goes with eggs

    One of my closests friends came back recently from Europe, like you, she wasn't used to all the "drama" that our county is and like you "driving there is so peaceful!", she said to me "if our governors, mayors and such keep travelling overseas to these beautiful places, how come they dont try to make this place look like those places?" and I told her that as long as our people have "el rancho en la cabeza" (a shanty inside their heads :p) there's nothing we can do for it... sad but true...

    I think one of they key points you talked about was customer service, my best shefriend worked at a clothing shop and she was simply outraged because most of the girls who worked with her spent more time with their blackberries (or playing solitaire on the computer) than taking care of the customers, like one time, a custome asked for a dress that was on sale, but in a bigger size for her, the girl said "no, we don't have it" and later when my friend went to storage to do inventory, she found several dresses like the ones the customer wanted: aka: bigger :p

    If people don't care anything about anything... there's nothing we can do :p

    On other, more happy news, let me congratulate you once more for your wedding... yes, I don't know you at all, true, but the simple fact that two people in love, lasting one, not the kind of a-week-then-we-got-married kind of "love", may finally come to the point of sharing their lives... it's simply inspiring and "aaaaaaaaawwwwwwww-ing"... you have no idea how much I long for the day when I can finally be with my gf, specially if you take into account that we have almost 4 years together, she went to peru when we had 10 months and I hanv't seen her since 2010, in part because her parents are literally, well, medieval :p

    Anyways, to sum it up, as Spock would have said: live long, and prosper! :)

  2. Kernel

    It is nice to talk to you again. The reason why I haven't post in a while is because, well, to be honest, I'm sitting on a cloud with all these wedding planning stuff, I'm so excited about it that usual news and ups and downs do not affect me as much as they used to, and do not provide any inspiration to write.

    Only something out of the ordinary (and when I say "ordinary" you know there is nothing normal about our lives...) like "Bernardo" could make me sit again and write here. Your comment proves that it is an odd situation. I'm also familiar with cases of people who once supported the government and now they vote for the opposition, but not the other way around...

    As for the US, well, everything is not perfect over there; but costumer service... we do need to learn a lot about that!!!

    Hope you and your girlfriend can figure things out. It is all worth it

    Thanks for everything, keep stopping by

  3. No problem, I understand you perfectly, I was a member of a student asociation in which I was FULLY commited, that was until my gf told me she was moving to peru... as of that I resigned and devoted my existence to studies and her, so I could graduate sooner to get a job and be with her sooner... not even my closest friends saw me much for 3 months... also, since then, I stopped blogging...

    I sure hope she can figure things out,she's almost 25 and has always been her "daddy's 10yo little girl", her father is a total (and hipocrite) caveman, her mom is a bitter,frustrated wannabe nun and she is too afraid of disappointing and upset them by living her life how she REALLY wants it because that will upset mom+dad. In short: she is afraid of making them mad and feels guilty about doing something she likes/would like because her parent's won't

    Any advice? :p from woman to woman? :p :$

  4. Well reading this, It saddens me that someone would allow themselves to be brainwashed with such rubbish. There could be many factors in what has happened here, be it the money, new wife, or even the fact that some decided to pretend after being listed after the referendum.

    If brainwashing is not the case, then he probably was never truly against the government. I myself, being surrounded by liberals in the States, had to play along as a liberal of sorts. Not necessarily because I didn't want to be the outcast, but just so I could pass my history and government classes with flying colors. Of course when I went to college I dropped the charade. I couldn't pretend to be like so any longer. It made me angry that so many were ignorant to the reality of how Americans really feel, and that schools literally taught us how to think. I have lost friends because of what I believe, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I am a conservative person, and I always have been.

    Either way, your story is very sad to hear. I understand in this day and age in Venezuela that the people are deeply divided over Chavismo. My boyfriend has told me the horrible tales of how he has lost friends and how his friends' families have been torn apart by this "revolution". I feel that even after Chavez, Venezuela will never be what it once was.

    I hope that my story can possibly give you some insight into what happened with your friend, if any at all.

  5. Your questioning has an easy answer: ASK HIM. What happened to change his political views?

    If you are a journalist, it should be THE thing to do so that you can report what went/is going on.

    Interesting post.

  6. Julia,

    A comment from an avid reader from far away....

    I am very interested about the analysis you made, as the means for an analysis of how views are skewed due to single sided perspectives.

    In your essay you say: "But Bernardo – if I’m allowed to judge only by what I saw on Facebook – sees everything differently. He likes the way things are."

    I have to disagree with you. Supporting something/someone/status quo does not mean at all contempt or liking the situation, just making the best of a situation.

    Because, you see, we humans are always adapting to the circumstances to survive the environment.

    Therefore no matter how bad the ruler is, there always be a large population that will prefer to follow the lead(er), just due to the fact that avoiding conflict with the ruling party/elite/controlling group of society is more beneficial.

    I think judging someone by their political affiliations is not really conductive to a strong case.

    After all, we need all types. Today the Chavismo is ruling, and quite frankly doing a terrible job at it. But do remember that tomorrow after power shifts, they will be needed, if only to maintain a balance.

    Thanks for your writings.

  7. Ramonchis, I agree with your comment. But I need to clarify a few things.

    First, tt is better to look at my blog as a testimony rather than an analysis of the current situation. I often write about how I feel, which is not always how things really are or should be look at. Of course, I cannot use this as an excuse for making wrong statements. But in those wrong statements sometimes resides the value of a testimony.

    Second: In the hope to be better understood I must say that I based my views on Bernardo considering not only his political afiliations, but also, the comments he makes on his Facebook page. There are many Chavez' supporters who are critical with the system, but continue to support him fiercely. Bernardo, if you see it, again only by his Facebook page, is not one of them. His page is filled of comments of how good things are, how well the government do everything and if there is anything wrong, you have the opposition to blame.

    Last but not least - I'm not judging Bernardo in what we call "the bad way" (as condenming him for what he thinks and follows) - my words are simply the words of someone surprised, of someone trying to understand what happened.

    I'm aware this is a delicate topic, and with a story like this, in the context of this blog, it is hard to be politically correct all the way. I must confess I thought a lot about publishing this or leaving it out because of that.

    Either way, hoped this helped and thanks a lot for stopping by and reading


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