Thursday, November 19, 2009
Who Will Have The Last Word?
A half-Portuguese, half-English writer, generally known as MEC, once said that the Portuguese hate the past because it's gone and the present because it's not the past.
I don't know which of his halves said that, but they're both right.
Portugal has indeed a glorious past but those glory days of being a major world player are over.
The nearest thing we can expect to achieve currently, is winning a major football competition. At least, that's what every Portuguese thinks is the greatest thing that could happen to this country.
So what if Portugal is again the poor man of Western Europe?
We could turn around and show those snotty neighbors our wonderful, gilded trophy.
The fact is that the Portuguese have a hard time accepting that we are just over 10 million, roughly the population of many big cities, like London.
We still believe we can rub shoulders with the front-runners - and in many fields, we actually do.
However, sometimes we live between a certain schizo-megalomania "of being the best in the world" quickly followed by "we're the pit of the word"...
This schizophrenia is, IMO, the product of many years of political abuse. On one hand we have the government and the politicians sucking up to our deluded side of grandeur, promising us a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; on the other hand, these same people who are suppose to represent the people and the country to the best of our interest, end up selling us out and leave us fetching sticks for our European "masters".
That has been the case in the Madeleine McCann case.
What other country would take all that abuse, all that defamation, all that xenophobic character assassination?
I hate to say it, but I don't think any other European country would!
Being made look like we couldn't tie our own shoes without our "colonial" superiors' aid, was, I think, the worst insult of all. A deliberate one, no doubt, to thwart the course of the investigation. One that shouldn't be allowed at any cost.
There was a reaction from some outraged individuals in the internet, but the silent majority was too much busy getting on with their lives, making a living on the lowest salaries in the EU. People expected the government to handle it, and they were quite right in expecting that they take care of their responsibilities.
So what about the government? The government caved to foreign pressure once again and turns out, people were quite wrong to trust their own government. No wonder Portugal is the European country with lower self-esteem, according to recent studies.
Not only the government let down one of its own, not to mention the entire national institution of justice and the authority of the Police, they let down the victim of an uncertain fate, Madeleine; the country, and the world.
But they are not alone in their ignominy.
The people who contributed to these pressures and to the incident that victimized Madeleine are also to blame, although they all remain pretty satisfied with themselves.
But while there is still people, albeit anonymous, who can see them for what they are and not let these events slip into oblivion, they will never have a moment of peace.