Thursday, 2 July 2015

On why I don't do conspiracy theories (the tale of the missing Šubic pavilion.)

There is only one thing smarter than a good journalist – and that's the committed investigative method. It is also why I do not believe in secrets, clandestine organizations, evil overlords and manipulative industry: if you want to know something, there is bound to be a very good article somewhere about it, by an actual professional investigative journalist, and not a bunch of internet self-published amateur lunatics crying for the attention of the feeble minded. The problem isn’t a hard path to truth, it’s just that people prefer idiotic fables and short scream pieces to long detailed studies with no dramatic pictures. Did you know that this country’s best newspaper, Delo, (Work) is made by the same people who make the worst newspaper, Slovenske novice (Slovenian News), and that the later sells so much better it’s keeping the company afloat? Or at least it did ‘till the morons sold it. How do you fuck up that house I will never know, but I just get upset thinking about it, so let’s get back to what I wanted to say.
If you want to know the truth, just ask. Not your aunty Clarice, the dowager duchess of town gossip, not your friends unless they happen to work in the field and certainly not your Facebook buddies, because there are people on Facebook who think contrails are poison, pyramids were built by aliens, vaccination is a machination, Elvis was AlQaeda and that we are all slaves of television commercials. Or something. I dunno. Bottom line, people can be really fucking dumb.
A while back a conversation came up about a pavilion that used to be in front of the train station. I was asked if I remember it, it was supposed to be the Jakopič (our most famous architect, who actually isn’t difficult to look at, I mean his buildings) and when they renovated the streets, it just vanished. Nobody knows where it is. Somebody stole our national heritage!... The outcry! The outrage! Another round for this table, we are on to something!
The busybody that I am, in between the interviews I am lagging behind, I decided to document my entire search for the missing treasure in a very elaborate article. I could have written a very interesting and dramatic article indeed, talking to several witnesses and making hundreds of phone calls. Alas, I did what no modern writer should ever do (Because investigative journalism is so totally 30 old schools ago), before I even bothered to Google the damn thing: I wrote to a man I know happens to work for the office of heritage conservation society and asked him straight wassup with tha' crib, yo? He just caught up with me in the street while I was getting some guilty pleasure afternoon snacks. He explained that it wasn’t Plečnik, it was Šubic, the guy who also built the capitol’s famous ‘Skyscraper’ building (there goes my legitimacy on the subject when talking to others like him) and it wasn’t a tickets kiosk, it was a public restroom. And it wasn’t missing, it has simply been put aside and conserved by the construction company while the streets were being reconditioned and when the municipality finds a nice place for it, they will build it back, brick by brick. (In this case column by column.)
I could have called the construction company to double check, but I really felt like my quest has been abruptly completed. How rude, really. It felt like preparing to travel to the far east to find the missing Grail, only to have the neighbor old lady empty her night pot on my head and it turns out to be the Grail. Bittersweet victory. So much for the grand conspiracy of the missing treasure. And my very important and self-worthy take-down piece on the shenanigans of the shadowy characters of the town hall. I honestly should Google more and talk to a lot more locals before I call the professionals direct. They totally ruin the drama with that ugly boring bullshit called the simple truth.