mercoledì, giugno 23, 2010

La storia di quello che si prese due bombe atomiche in testa

Ho letto da qualche parte (e scusate se non riesco a ritrovare il riferimento) la storia di un Giapponese che, ferito nel bombardamento nucleare a Hiroshima, fu poi ricoverato in ospedale a Nagasaki, beccandosi addosso anche la seconda bomba atomica americana e sopravvivendo anche a quella.

Qualcosa di simile potrebbe succedere a qualche russo che è sopravvissuto al collasso economico sovietico e ora si trova negli Stati Uniti beccandosi invece il collasso statunitense. In effetti, dal blog di Dimitri Orlov "ClubOrlov" arriva un documentino piuttosto agghiacciante. Un suo amico che si chiama Yevgeny gli scrive della sua situazione nel New Hampshire. 

Yevgeny è un russo emigrato negli Stati Uniti dopo aver sposato una donna americana. Si trova bene con lei, ma la situazione è disperata e lui si trova a affrontare il secondo collasso della sua vita - non molto differente da quel giapponese che si è beccato due bombe atomiche addosso. 

La moglie di Evgeny è andata in fallimento e si trova senza più un soldo. I membri della famiglia sono tutti (tranne uno) disoccupati e stanno andando fuori di testa. Vivono in sei in un appartamento in un area dove chi non può permettersi un'automobile è efficacemente segregato nel posto dove abita. Succede a questo punto che gli americani diventano estremisti "teabaggers" e se sono abbastanza giovani si uniscono alle bande di strada. Insomma, disastro totale. 

Non so quanto sia affidabile questo Evgeny, ma ho forte l'impressione che quello che racconta non sia troppo distante dalla realta dei "suburbs" americani in questo momento. Scusate se non ve lo traduco tutto, non ce la faccio. Quelli di voi che se la cavano bene con l'inglese lo apprezzeranno senz'altro; chi non lo mastica troppo, spero si possa contentare del mio breve riassunto.


Dear Dmitry,

I hope you don't mind that this is in Russian. I think that this way I can be more completely honest. I am a relatively recent graduate of one of the many faceless post-Soviet institutions of higher learning, with a degree in philosophy. Last year I moved to the USA and married an American woman.

The question of when the modern capitalist system is going to collapse has interested me since my student years, and I have approached it from various directions: from the commonplace conspiracy theories to the serious works of Oswald Spengler and Noam Chomsky. Unfortunately, I still can't fathom what it is that is keeping this system going.

My wife is a very pleasant woman, but a typical white conservative American. Whenever any political question comes up, she starts ranting about the Constitution and calling herself a libertarian conservative and a constitutionalist. I used to think that she is well-educated and understands what she is talking about. In fact, she is the one who introduced me to the US, and I once believed everything she told me about it. But as I found out later, she understands nothing about politics, and just repeats various bits of populist nonsense spouted by Severin, O'Reilly, Limbaugh and other mass media clowns. Well, I am not going to try to prove to my wife that she is wrong on a subject that I don't quite understand myself. After all, she is a good wife. And so I try to steer clear of any political questions when I am with the family, although I do not always succeed. Perhaps if I had a copy of your book, it would help me explain myself to her better, but our family was one of the first to be flattened by the real estate market collapse. My wife went bankrupt, lost her bank account, house, job and the rest a while before I came here, and so we can't buy anything online.

In the talk you gave at the conference in Ireland you mentioned that there are certain regions of the US where the common people only eat garbage food from places like Walmart, which consists of artificial colors and flavors and corn, and that such a diet makes them "a little bit crazy." To my utter disappointment, I have to entirely agree with you. Various witty Russian commentators love to heap ridicule on the "dumb Americans" and on the USA as a generally stupid country. But if they spent a bit of time living here and paid closer attention, they would realize that it is not the low cultural level that distinguishes Americans from, say, Russians: both are, on average, quite beastly. But even when I've visited here before, as a student, my first impression was of a country that is full of madmen, ranging from somewhat mentally competent to total lunatics. And the further south I traveled, the more obvious this became. At first I even marveled at this, thinking, look at how intoxicating the spirit of liberty can be! But now I understand that this is a catastrophe, that American society is brainwashed and alienated in the extreme, and that all that's left for Americans to do is to play each other for the suckers that they have become.

Unfortunately, I feel the pernicious influence of all this on my own family right here and now. You don't have to be a brilliant visionary to realize that in the current situation all these endless suburbs, built on the North American model, are slowly but surely turning into mass graves for the millions of former members of the middle class. Those that do not turn into mass graves will become nature preserves - stocked with wild animals that were once human. My family is turning feral under my very eyes. Lack of resources has forced us to live according to the Soviet model - three generations under one roof. There are six of us, of which only one works, who is, consequently, exasperated and embittered. The rest of the household is gradually going insane from idleness and boredom. The television is never turned off. The female side of the family has been sucked into social networks and associated toys. Everyone is cultivating their own special psychosis, and periodically turns vicious. In these suburbs, a person without a car is as if without legs, and joblessness does not allow any of us to earn money for gas, and so the house is almost completely isolated from the outside world. The only information that seeps in comes from the lying mass media. And I understand that millions of families throughout America live this way! This is how people turn into "teabaggers," while their children join street gangs.

For me, as for you, this is the second collapse. You had left USSR before it happened, while I was there to observe it as a child. I saw what happened when people were finally told that they were being had for seventy-odd years, and were offered a candy bar as consolation. Now, after all this, Russian society is finished. It grieves me to see the faces of Americans, who still believe something and wave their Constitution about, and to know that the same thing is about to happen to them. I think that the model which you have proposed will allow us to confront and to survive this collapse with dignity.

New Hamshire

3 commenti:

Tre ha detto...

Buongiorno, segnalo la traduzione italiana

"La pazzia del granoturco"

Arturo ha detto...

Non so quali delle due società - quella russa e quella statunitense - collesserà per prima, impossibile dirlo. ma avendo la moglie ex-sovietica, posso dire che i russi, dopo svalutazioni del rublo, default vari e con l'attuale crisi che sta stritolando aziende e pensone, sono più abituati e preparati anche psicologicamente, a periodi di seria difficoltà, molto meglio di noi europei e sopratutto dei cittadini USA. Poi, non posso che confermare tutto quanto riporta la lettera, mi sembra una bella fotografia della società americana.

Arturo ha detto...

Moltissimi russi, dopo la caduta dell'Urss e del relativo stato sociale, dopo anni di svalutazioni del rublo e default vari, hanno visto gli USA come una specie di terra promessa. Non so quali delle due società - quella russa e quella statunitense - collasserà per prima, impossibile dirlo. Ho anch'io la moglie russa, posso dire che loro sono molto più abituati e preparati di noi, anche psicologicamente, ad affrontare periodi di serie difficoltà. Inoltre i russi hanno ancora moltissime risorse naturali, anche se sono "gestite" in modo alquanto parziale, oltre a esserci un'enorme spreco energetico. Per il resto non posso che confermare tutto quanto riporta la lettera dello sfortunato scrittore, mi sembra una fotografia onesta della società americana.