The fantastic language

Stories and News No. 1108

In an era when populist semantics feeds on fear and lies, there is a need for a new language, capable of nourishing hopes that have never been completely defeated.

“Mary,” said the man, seeing the sad tones in his daughter's eyes.
What's going on with you?”
“Nothing.”
“Well, tell me about nothing, then.”
She looked at the crazy parent with a tattered brain that life had given her, but he was present. And if that far from obvious eventuality was guaranteed, one can be patient even in the face of daily meaningless conversation.
“Today, during the in-class essay I remained mute. I delivered a blank sheet.”
“Why? Did you not even make a drawing?”
“Dad ... I'm sixteen, I'm in high school.”
“What’s the problem? You can’t make drawings in high school?”
The girl snorted bored and mechanically grabbed the phone.
“What was the topic?” Her father insisted, sitting on the bed’s edge.
List the main problems of modern society,” she quoted. “And try to suggest solutions.”

“Wow, easy stuff.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Yup. No. Both, maybe.”
Mary scanned the nightstand for headphones, but the man did not give up.
“Please...” he said in a broken voice.
Don’t erase me.”
“Dad, I'm not erasing you, I just want to hear some music.”
“And I would like to hear you.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Why you left the paper blank.”
“Do you really want that?”
“You have no idea how much.”
“Okay, okay,” she replied, emphasizing the surrender by placing the phone on the bed.
The truth is I'm tired.”
“About what? Me?”
“No, dad, what are you thinking? I’m tired of the problems of the world, I am tired of bad news, which are the only ones, I’m tired of hearing about hate and gratuitous malice, inhumane politicians and people without empathy, I’m tired of ugly words, because that’s all we read and hear around.”
“Except the songs.”
“Exactly, except the songs.”
“And stories.”
“Yeah, as you say, the stories too.”
A fundamental silence pause occupied the following time, but it was a short interval, enough to keep the narrative rhythm from diminishing.
“I know how to help you,” the man said with an agitated expression, but in the good sense of the word.
I know how to help us.”
“Ice cream?”
“No, later, as a reward.”
“And what we do, now?”
“Let's invent a language, a fantastic one.”
“Explain,” said Mary, preparing to tolerate yet another paternal delirium.
“Do you know why the words you read and hear around are ugly?”
“I assume you're about to tell me.”
“Exactly. They are ugly because they do not at all define people or things, but only insult, degrade, humiliate and more than ever isolate them. We must find words that name people or things for what they really are.”
“For example?”
“For example, I start from the first that comes to my mind: migrants.”
“What's wrong with that?”
“What is wrong is the reason this word is often used. In that way, even before human beings, they are creatures condemned to migrate, to be always on the move, to never belong anywhere, where they come from and especially where they arrive, even after years of staying. It's just a scam to hide their real nature.”
“And what would it be?”
“What is up to any traveler. One day leaving, another arriving.”
“So instead of migrants should we call them arriving people?”
“Only at the moment of the landing, but since they have set foot on the mainland, there is no other truthful definition that arrived people. New arrived, to be precise.”
“And then?”
“No more new, because it was only worth for the first day.”
“And in the next weeks?”
Just arrived.”
“And after a few months?”
Recently arrived.”
“And after a few years?”
Arrived since a long time.”
“And after that?”
The father smiled, with his bizarre expression between hallucination and the satisfaction.
“Then you should ask yourself a question, which explains the reason why we are inundated with ugly words, which are only false, and why we desperately need to find a new, fantastic language to give right credit to people and things in the world.”
“What question?”
“Why, after all these years, about the new arrived people we know neither their first names, nor their personal history, where does they really come from and above all the reason for their departure?”
“Because this not important?”
“That's right, but in our fantastic language it is, in fact, it's the only thing that matters. Agree?”
“Agree, Dad.”
“Good, and now let's go and stuff ourselves with ice cream.”


On the same topic:
When my son opened his eyes

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

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