Opinion by Michael Royster
RIBERÃO PRETO, BRAZIL — The latest pronouncement from stargazer Olavo de Carvalho (aka Oily Oakentree) was that he would stop shaking scatological acorns down into Belindia, where the Bad News Bairns (aka Zero 1, Zero 2 and Zero 3) could read, mark and inwardly digest them before Tweeting or Zapping them off to bamboozled Bozominions.
Perhaps it’s true; perhaps he really will climb back inside his ivory tower, having earned the Order of the Grand Cross Award from his disciple. However, there are disturbing signs that his influence will not lessen.
In fact, one could argue that Oily Oakentree, though ensconced in Richmond VA, has, by dint of metempsychosis, transmigrated into the souls of the Bad News Bairns, from whence he shall, periodically, ringwraithly re-emerge.
Recent news relayed Bolsonaro’s hint that a tsunami was coming; most semioticians could not decode the underlying seismic sense—what can it mean? Is the sky falling? Is the end, in fact, nigh?
The Curmudgeon submits that the end may well be nigh indeed.
Yesterday’s news was an anonymous diatribe, re-posted on WhatsApp, exalting Bolsonaro’s efforts but decrying them as bootless, given the overwhelming opposition of the evil system. The author’s conclusion is that Brazil is ungovernable; Bolsonaro later admitted he has the same feeling of impending doom as he felt just before his near-fatal stabbing.
The Curmudgeon, until this morning, was certain that he who penned the anonymous diatribe was none other than the Oakentree himself. It could have been his farewell to arms, his “morituri te salutant”, his “stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off”.
The Curmudgeon may be mistaken, as a previously unknown professor in Rio has today come forward to claim authorship. If he did, he was certainly imbued with the spirit of Oily Oakentree.
He may also have been imbued with the spirit of Brazil’s former President Janio Quadros, who came into office in January 1961 brandishing a broomstick with which to sweep out the “occult forces” controlling Brazil but who, only eight months later, admitted he had been vanquished; he resigned, consigning governance to his Vice President.
The anonymous diatribe refers not to “occult forces” but to “corporações”, closely-knit cohorts of criminally complicit cronies, seeking nothing but personal gain. Oily Oakentree’s blog has long railed against all those forces—Congress, the courts, the military—who oppose “O Mito” (the Legend) and his messianic mission to save Brazil from global Marxism.
The anonymous diatribe holds there is no possibility of success against the system and is thus both an invitation and a justification for Bolsonaro to imitate Janio and decamp, leaving Brazil in the lurch.
Given the next few people in line to assume Brazil’s presidency, that would be a veritable tsunami, and we should all be very, very worried about Brazil’s future as a democracy.
To close, the Curmudgeon will quote Hunter S. Thompson, the original gonzo journalist, who, some 50 years ago, presciently penned these words:
“In a nation ruled by swine, all the pigs are upwardly mobile—and the rest of us are [screwed] until we can put our acts together.”