21 March 2019, Thursday, 3:29
A Challenge for Everyone

Schrödinger's People

Iryna Khalip

What happens to our society?

Within recent weeks I have had a feeling that the entire country is only crowded with dismissed propagandists. It looks like there is nothing more at all in the information space. And everyone is happy: independent journalists willingly ask them questions like "Tell us, please, how your work biography started" or "what you are especially proud of after years of civil service". And they willingly tell how all these years they worked nonstop in the name of the Belarusian independence and fought aggressive Russian propaganda. In general, they risked their lives.

Yakubovich tells all Belarusian websites and even one foreign newspaper how he waged an information war with Kiselev and Solovyov. When not in the war, he hid his machine gun in a root cellar with potatoes and defended Kurapaty. The dismissed Uladzimir Berazhkou compares Yakubovich either with Akhmatova or Zoshchenko. He reasons about braces and recalls his dreams of blocking the Charter and outranking it with his "SovBel". "As the result, we managed to do it, because the Charter was blocked. It was a bad joke." Oh yes, that was a joke. I think we should start laughing. But we can't.

We used to laugh our head off at jokes of Vovka Berazhkou, our fellow-student. He was a talent and a witty fellow, a clever guy and a leader, unless he turned to braces and other people's shoes. However, it is not about it.

This story is not about these propagandists, but about the society. About our society with lost spatial coordinate, dead lighthouses and turned-off lights. It used to be impossible to learn how in 1964 the Russian "Radio Svaboda" interviewed Soviet ideologist Suslov to find out the way he imprisoned Brodsky. Now it is possible. We provide you with airs, websites, you just need to talk. Is there any problem? No comments on the case, but tell us about your creative and propaganda career. Meanwhile, one can reason about, for example, the blocking of the Charter. It is so annoying, isn't it? And let these propagandists keep kidding, they do it really well.

The society resembles Schrödinger's cat. If you do not remember what is it, it will remind you. This is how physicist Erwin Schrödinger described his thought experiment in the 30s of the last century. A cat is penned up in a chamber, along with a small flask of hydrocyanic acid and a Geiger counter, and a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none. If it decays, the counter tube discharges and a chamber breaks, and the cat will die. If it is not, the cat will stay alive. If this entire system is left to itself for an hour, in accordance to the laws of the quantum world, the cat in the chamber can be both alive and dead at a time.

And we are in the same chamber. Either alive or dead. Fifty-fifty. When you look at happy faces of dismissed propagandists and those who rejoice over the blocking of Charter, you understand - they are people of Schrödinger. No one knows for sure whether they are alive or dead. Unless the radioactive atom splits, no one will understand it. However, we do not always get either we are still alive or died long ago and now live in hell. We forgot how to breathe, to perceive odours and tastes. And it might be the reason why this public kicked aside by the ruler feels quite confident. We are either alive or dead, just like them.

Soldier Korzhych was hanging in the noose for seven days, the Defence Minister says. And we have been hanging for 20 years and believe we're alive. We are hanging on squares of our cities and towns, in old courtyards, on nailed-up outdoor performance stages and old dusty dancefloors. I'm the fourth from the left hanging in the noose. You're the third in the fifth row. Are we jumping down?

Iryna Khalip specially for Charter97.org