segunda-feira, 16 de julho de 2012

The speech

“We’ve got to do something about it, people. Are you with me? This isn’t an attitude of a man. He’s just stretching out his wings, trying to intimidate us. We can stop him. Together we will stop him, no matter what. I, for one, cannot stand seeing a situation like that happening. It’s not fair to our people. It isn’t fair especially to the little ones. We are a family and we have got to start acting like one. If not us, who else?

“I remember the day he showed up here. It was nothing special. He didn’t even seem that big to me, you know? I mean, the first day he was around I tried to have a little chat. He was just too stupid to engage a conversation. He thought he owned us, just because he was an outsider -- and much bigger, of course. All he had in mind were cars and soldiers and ice-creams. He kept saying like 'oh, you guys are going to give me all that I want'. Stupid, so stupid.

“Our first action now has to be clustering: we ought to embrace ourselves, gather here where we belong and simply ignore him. We better build our defenses and stock whatever we might need in case he decide to take over our place. He’s dangerou, with all that stupidity. Trust no-one outside here, you understand me? Collaboration between us is the best option from now on. We walk together, we go to school together, we grow-up as a team. This menace shall not do any harm as long as we are prepared.

“He may know our weaknesses; he’s been around here too long now. We were fools to have let him in the first time. Now there is nothing we can do about it. But -- and I say that with relief and hope -- but we also know his Achilles heel, don’t we? Ice-cream. The guy is totally mad about it! Everyone knows. All we have to do is amuse him with some ice-cream until we have a plan. A good one. We’ll have this boy out of here in no time.”

This was the first speech little John gave in his life. He had just taken the leadership of his gang of boys that had been assaulted by a bullie recently arrived in the city. As of a curious coincidence, he would eventually say the exact same words -- except that “ice-cream” was replaced by “petrol” -- many years later, when he became President of his Middle East nation.

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