In praise of barbarism

Juan Cristóbal says: – Several readers have chastised me for using sexist language in two of my stream-of-consciousness posts today. I called Cilia Flores a whore and I also called Luisa Estella Morales hormonal and menopausal, and it was probably unnecessary (I’ve fixed the language on both posts to avoid further offense). I apologize for that. I live as the lone male with five women, so I’m no sexist – I’m a slave to women! Still, the comments were juvenile, petty and sexist and readers were right in calling me for it. And yet…

There is something about what each of them said that made me go for something really hurtful. Whether it’s the way Head Justice Morales treats enquiring journalists who are only doing their job, or the way Ms. Flores uses homophobic taunts and petty name-calling to frame an issue that is actually the subject of serious discussions the world over, well, let’s just say it makes me want to go for the jugular. Because we’ve all been told we should take the high road, we’ve all been taught to walk away from a street fight. But is that always the best recipe?

I went to an all boys’ school, and one of the first things you had to do there was caerte a coñazos, get into a fist fight. It was a rite of passage that even the nerdiest of us had to go through at least once in your life. You were simply looked down upon if you didn’t get into a fist fight, as if something was wrong with you. How dare you follow your gut instinct to prefer reasoning to violence? Talk to the knuckles, dweeb.

Well, so it is with chavista hoodlums. Our first instinct when they drag us down to the gutter is to resist, to stay above the fray, to use reason and logic and rely on our values and our belief that we can be better than that. But isn’t it true that, once in a while, you have to fight fire with fire? And wouldn’t it be nice if every time, say, Chávez said something outrageous and offensive, someone in the opposition snapped back at him with something even more outrageous and offensive?

Anyway, that would be a disaster. What I did today was wrong, it was uncivil and uncalled for. But I can’t deny there is a primal part of me that is glad I did it. I’ll do my best to keep that part under wraps.

Post 18 of 20 … I’m hittin’ 20 posts before the clock strikes twelve even if it’s the last thing I do