Blast from the past

My ex just recently added me on Facebook but this story has nothing to do with that. He added me, I accepted his invitation and checked his profile. No surprises. I knew him well, I knew exactly who he was going to be in ten years and that’s why I dumped him; we were on different paths, we still are and that’s good. While his profile wasn’t surprising, you can’t say the same about his best friend’ timeline. The name of his best friend – lets call him Bernardo – appeared on my timeline today, because of one message my ex and him exchanged. Out of pure curiosity – what lead us to look on Facebook’ profile if is not that? – I clicked and checked.

I remember Bernardo as a plain, regular and quite nice guy. In the two years that the relationship with my ex lasted, Bernardo and I surely had a lot of talks and movies and nights out. He had this cute girlfriend, younger than me, whom I also liked a lot. I’m trying to figure out if I’m remembering things correctly. It’s been so long. It was 2003… our first year of the university; 2005 when we lose touch. But as far as I can remember, he did not liked the current government. He even went with the group to a couple of demonstrations against it.

>So back to Facebook. By looking at his profile picture (and cover photo as well) you know he got married but not with the cute girl he used to date, although his wife looks cute and happy; wearing a long white dress with long lace sleeves and both posing next to a 50’s car on their wedding day. The next visible picture is one of a tiny baby. Good for him. So far, everything seems normal.

But then, more and more weird comments appear on his wall. The comments he make are 100% “Revolutionary”. He mocks at the opposition comparing Capriles in a photo to an ape. He disregards opposition’ primary results. He shares many links from prominent pro-government sites and calls United States, “The Empire”. As a final touch, he sends sentimental get better “pa’ lante comandante” wishes to the president. You can’t possible doubt his political inclinations.

I’m absolutely shocked and amazed. I tell my boyfriend about it – “You know I added my ex on Facebook the other day” – My boyfriend replies with a “Yeah… yeah…” – Obviously he doesn’t want to hear about anything involving my ex – “And I just discovered that his friend is now a Revolutionary” – “Was he when you were with your ex?” – “Of course not!” – I reply. Next, we have a conversation about lost hopes, about how things like that can happen. How can someone we believe to be in their best judgment support all this madness? Specially considering he did not support it before.

My boyfriend throws an hypothesis: it is all about the money. He’s probably getting a lot of money from the government – “who knows what’s he’s doing” – I never thought Bernardo could be corrupted that easily. Of course, we were 18- 20 years old, our characters were probably not fully developed yet neither tested back then. Still, I find it hard to believe. If it was all about the money, and nothing else he wouldn’t have the need to publish all that on Facebook; would suffice with keeping his account private and acting low profile. I will never know how and why did he change his mind. I keep wondering if something similar has happened to other people my age but there is no way to know that either.   

Facebook can’t give us much information about how a person really is. But it seems that he really believes on everything he posts, he is convinced this is the truth.

I know all this is so politically incorrect that you don’t know where to start. But it strikes me that even through we have the same age, come from a similar environment, similar education background; can’t share a vision of our country. For me, our country is falling apart: our salaries are a joke, food and medicine shortages make our daily life even harder and I don’t need to start talking about the insecurity situation. For most of this, government policies, as far as I’m concerned, are responsible for action or omission. If you add all the endless threats and actions against freedom and democracy; this post will be endless.

But Bernardo – if I’m allowed to judge only by what I saw on Facebook – sees everything differently. He likes the way things are. I don’t know which things. Maybe he’s focused on government social’ policies if any has worked. Maybe he’s aware of all the madness but doesn’t blame the government and believes in all the official justifications you hear on TV. Maybe he blames the old governments or the opposition instead.

It’s ok, I suppose. I do not own the truth and I can only speak from my own experience. My life experience has shaped somehow my political views. I’m not an experienced political analyst and on these matters, there is no science. I’m just, like I said before, shocked and amazed. When you get news from an old friend you tend to wish that all surprised you are going to get are about his relationship status, if he has children or not, family situation, career. You expect your old friends to be living different lives. But you don’t expect them to change their believes that much.

I don’t know if Bernardo was that committed to the opposition like I was. Perhaps he just went with us to the protests because he didn’t wanted to be the “different one”. I’m drawing, as you can see, many theories. But I will never get the answer of why my hell can be a paradise to others.