13 December 2018, Thursday, 8:17
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Retiree With a Certificate

Iryna Khalip

Mr. Superfosfatov, save the certificate for the court.

When gloomy retired propagandists flopped along leaving their former offices, one of them stopped for a while in hope that someone would talk to him. And he was talked to. I can't absolutely get why his colleagues gave him a word (this is the prerogative of the court, not the one of journalists, not at all). Although the logics of the resigned editor Yakubovich is clear to me. He decided if he played an idiot, in a brave Szwejk-soldier style, it would be a variant and it would be taken in future as an extenuating circumstance. Please, recall: "Yes, sir. I'm an idiot. I even have a certificate. I am officially declared an idiot". People will lap it up, Pavel Izotovich has some hope.

And he plays like a devil wearing a bell-tripped cap, dancing and winking mysteriously. And he hopes it will work. He is wondered whether he remembers things he wrote after 19 December 2010. He actually says that he did not write it, and he is only responsible for things he wrote on his own. He believes that they say: "What can we do, if this person has failed to understand how a newspaper works? He's failed to come up with the thing that the phrase "I did not write it" is acceptable only if it was voiced by a columnist of the office." But they will not say it. They know that he pretends, dances, and adjusts his bell-tripped cap in a rush.

My colleague from Radio Svaboda says: ok, was it his initiative to write about the "White Legion" case? He is responsible. Why did he write all that crap? On TV he says that once he saw guns he decided to write it answering the call of the heart. He was worried about the country. Please notice the resigned propagandist, according to him, has almost fit into the cherished image. He saw it on BT TV channel and immediately burst into writing, he used to believe everything shown on TV. And he confirmed he had the certificate to finally persuade everyone and dispel any doubts. It happened when he told how he had been haunting Jana Palyakova. And the way she committed suicide the day after a dirty publication of Ksenofont Superfosfatov. And this is what Superfosfatov says: "Prosecutor's investigation found that the suicide committed by Palyakova had nothing in common with the article in a newspaper. I tell about it for the first time. I was silent all these years. I even have the certificate.

Bingo! Here's the catharsis, the climax, the final point. Yakubovich has the certificate. Let's turn to the source and quote Szwejk: "Yes, sir. I'm an idiot. I even have a certificate. I am officially declared an idiot". This is what Yakubovich wants - to be declared an idiot with the certificate. To be capable of saying: "I have drunk a steam-powered thrashing-mill, but I do not care. Yesterday my attorney stated if I was once recognized a week-minded, it would work on my favor for a lifetime."

But it's useless. He will not be recognized. Because people remember Jana Palyakova, December 2010, the "White Legion", and so on. And it's better for him not to pretend, but to wait patiently when he is brought to justice. Patience and obedience is the part of every official's DNA. If there is lack of it, then they are quickly blackballed. If there is enough of it, then they are retired after twenty years of service. And they can be even finished after resignation. After all, Yakubovich had a reason to repeat several times that he knew too much. To really drive the point home, it would be better, of course, to add something like "everything I know is recorded and is safe, and if anything is wrong with me...". It is also one of the peculiarities of the Belarusian state structure: a position is revoked, the fear remains. Fear which is constant, invincible, beyond sleep and alcohol. There is also envy about those who risked to remain free.

Believe me, the happiness of people resigned several days after the blocking of the Charter was true. They rejoiced, yep. During all those years in the office they were desperately jealous of journalists who remained free. Journalists who were beaten, intimidated, arrested, killed. And now this feeling is getting stronger.

Mr. Superfosfatov, do not waste your words, do not try to play an idiot, it won't work. And do not show off your certificate, save it for the court. And now get jealous.

Iryna Khalip specially for Charter97.org