Lectură de weekend (27.06.2008)

S-au mai liniştit apele post-electorale în toată ţara. Primarii vechi s-au întors la treabă, primarii noi şi-au luat în primire mobilierul şi capsatorul. Ce nu (prea) se va întâmpla va fi jurnalism de calitate despre de cine sunt oamenii ăştia şi de ce sunt ei unde sunt.

La ce fel de jurnalism mă refer? La tipul de jurnalism pe care îl face Scott Raab în acest profil al primarului din Newark, New Jersey: Cory Booker, un copil-minune al politicii americane. Newark e unul dintre cele mai triste oraşe americane, infestat de crimă şi sărăcie, iar Booker e nebunul care speră şi face şi patrulează străzile noaptea vorbind cu boschetari şi îndrumându-i către adăposturi de noapte şi/sau oferindu-le şansa unei slujbe.

Textul nu merită doar pentru că prezintă obsesia unui om de-a schimba oraşul pe care îl conduce ci şi pentru stilul inimitabil şi nervos al lui Scott Raab. Citiţi mai jos un fragment:

Not every lunatic is a prophet, of course. But lunacy in the service of prophethood? Hell, that’s an Old Testament requirement.

“All my life I’ve fantasized about fighting the good fight,” Booker tells me during my second or third ridearound — it’s a cool way to spend a few hours, frankly — when I tease him about urging zombies to remake themselves. “I am a raging idealist, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s all about energy, and the more you throw positive energy and unconditional love in the world, the more it’s gonna hit and stick.”

And then Booker launches another homily, this one about visiting a funeral home and getting hugged by a grateful ex-junkie who told him, ” ‘I was hooked on dope and you talked to me. It stuck with me, man — I cleaned up my act.’ ”

Me, I wonder if Cory Booker ever ran across Mencken’s line about how “a good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.” Or Aristotle’s ancient tip about creating believable drama — “Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.” Because Booker has had more epiphanies than I’ve had bowel movements, and he won’t stop the I-am-legendizing.

It doesn’t matter if T-Bone is real. It doesn’t matter that back at Stanford Booker talked a suicidal student off of a roof and felt God’s grip as he clasped the man’s hand and led him to safety. It doesn’t matter that Booker’s big arms cradled a bullet-riddled teenager in front of Brick Towers as he died. It doesn’t matter that during the brief time before he began his Newark mission, when he felt lost, his mother told him the Bible story about the talents, and then Booker went to visit a girlfriend living on an island off the Carolina coast and went hiking with her and found a long-abandoned church whose lectern still held a dusty crumbling Bible open to — go ahead, guess. Correct: the story of the talents.

Goddamn prophetic leader.

Am încercat şi noi la Esquire să punctăm alegerile în numărul nostru de mai. Am stat deoparte de primarii mari şi ne-am îndreptat spre cei mici, oameni pentru care locul pe care îl conduc e mai importantă decât apartenenţa politică. Puteţi descarca pachetul în format PDF de aici.

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