The Blue Whale, the failure of culture

  • Italiano
Liu Xiaobo

The question is “Why?”. And the answer is out of my reach. And apparently even out of the reach of all the others. At least for now. I talk about the “Blue Whale”. A phenomenon, apparently inexplicable, which, this year, caused the death of more than 150 teenagers only in Russia, the country in which it was born.

What is it? A tragic game, which – through an exhausting ritual of trials to overcame, blackmail and threats – leads young people to commit suicide. It seems that it has been invented by a student of psychology. A twenty-one years old boy that provokes his compatriot adolescents to take their own life to “purify society.'” The mode is maybe new, but motivations, techniques and outcomes are as old as the world. I will not point my finger against the Internet and the social media. It is an easy exercise, useless and now even cloying. Death has always been fascinating for certain consciences. Long before computers were born. Even from before the tablets of clay. The “cupio dissolve” – understood as “refusal of existence” and “masochistic self-destruction desire” – was born with man. Life and death are fighting since always within us. And always will be. Those ideas, therefore, do not come in our heads because of Internet and the social media. Also because we are the one giving ideas to the network and not vice versa. Internet and the social media, if ever, multiplied the diffusion, the speed and the number of insanities in an inconceivable manner. But the insanities are ours. Death draws us. Obviously more than life in certain cases.

We live between two magnets: a positive pole – life and its beauty; a negative pole – death and its devastating power of destruction. If we feel hopelessly attracted by the second, it means that the first is not capable of pulling us towards it. Nature failed. We are insensitive to its charm. But above all culture failed. Because it failed to give us sufficient reasons to reject death. God failed with his promise of eternity. Are we sure, however, that He was the one who died and not man?  Homer, Dante and Shakespeare failed; Bach, Mozart and the Beatles failed; Giotto, Leonardo and Michelangelo failed; Galilei and Newton, Erasmus and Thomas More. Family, friends, school failed. The others failed. All the others. That is us, that we did not want to or that we have been not able to see, listen, understand, support, encourage and motivate. In a word: be there.

The Moby Dick of nihilism and of self-destruction swallowed the beauty of the world, dragging it at the bottom of the abyss. And we – abandoned in this deaf, blind, dumb and insensitive desert – we could not do anything else that dive to reach it. The thousand still green ears mown down by the blade of a monster without faiths, moral and values, weigh on the conscience of those who snatched the future from the eyes of the youth, throwing them in a “non-hope” that leaves no escape. The conscience, absent and guilty of an entire generation of bad teachers, that forced those who were entrusted to them to choose between no life and a death that knows how to wear the most seductive masks, impelling them to follow the Blue Whale in its depths, with the illusion of being able to get rid of their own.

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