30 de novembro de 2007
28 de novembro de 2007
First I find out that our Presidency takes in more money than the most glamorous European monarchies and now we all realise that the deal over Cahora Bassa fell short of our best expectations (provided we still had any expectations, of course!).
27 de novembro de 2007
26 de novembro de 2007
23 de novembro de 2007
President Bush, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Dec. 10, 2004.
Yes, today is Thanksgiving, that most cherished of American holidays (even more than Christmas) celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November to give thanks for whatever Americans think is important and genuinely representative of their way of life: a dettached in suburbia, money in the bank, a Chevy in the garage, picket fences outside the yard, the stars and stripes afloat, oil in Alasca, oranges in Florida and, last, but not in anyway least, Miss Teen South Carolina!
After a tantalising year, I believe Americans are happy they made it just another year! The Clintons have prepared succesion, ethnic minorities are paving the way to the White House with Obama, Giuliani wants some piece of the action, mortgage interest rates went sky high, Schwarzzie had his hands full in California, Dubbya was at his usual best, gas prices rocketed and the fellows in Iraq got their asses kicked on a daily basis. Indeed there's a lot to be thankful for.
We shall see what next year brings in terms of thankfulness. Will Gore end the taboo? What great new Bushisms will there be to mark the President's last year in office? Will the fellows in Iraq still get their butts kicked? I can't hardly wait!
One thing I'm certain... I'm sure gonna miss 'em Bushisms! So, today, of all days, I'm thankful for the joy the Texan Cowboy in the White House has brought the world!
22 de novembro de 2007
21 de novembro de 2007
20 de novembro de 2007
I am ashamed that some one hundred of my fellow citizens are demonstrating outside the airport at Figo Maduro as a supportive welcoming committee to President Chávez.
I am ashamed that memory is so short-lived.
It is a right they have: a fair, democratic right, the right of opinion, the right of free-thinking, the right of demonstrating - a right.
And so is my right to speak my mind.
I am ashamed today!
19 de novembro de 2007
I freeze when it's cold, I get down under the weather (only the English to have an expression like this!) when days are colourless, I feel all sticky when it's foggy, furious beyond measure when it's windy, I've broken and lost so many umbrellas I don't have one anymore, I hate having my boots all wet when it snows and have water coming in my shoes when it rains. The only thing I really like about bad weather is those awful, frightening and monstrous thunderstorms. One or two thunders is not a storm. No, it has to be those crossed storms, lightening and thunder simultaneously. Apocallipse on Earth! That's my groove.
But today the rain came...
I opened the door and everything was gleaming. It had rained during the night, silently, softly. The rain came unannounced, gently, as a visitor. It left its mark on the garden and on the pavement. It left its mark in the air. That sweet and warm smell we only get when the first rain falls. A smell of earth and grass. It smells like the colour brown, for if colours had a scent this would be the one of brown: wet soil, brownish vegetation and dead leaves on the ground.
The rain came...
And I was missing it. I was missing the change of seasons. Like some primeval creature still attached to Nature, the creatures we forget we are in the midst of super-abundant civilization, I was missing it. I was getting exhausted by the frenzy of summer, that wild contagious energy that was still hanging in the air. Now I feel like just sitting still, coming home, getting lazy and let Nature take its course.
In my mind there's a letter Eça de Queirós wrote when he was in Newcastle complaining about that water-impregnated weather of the British Isles: "É o clima, é a horrível hostilidade exterior da Natureza [...] que faz com que esta raça viva sempre dentro de si mesma, e, em lugar de tomar como objecto de contemplação e de inspiração a natureza exterior, tome a sua própria alma". I guess I'm a bit spleenetic today, but departing from the gentle rain I long for some contemplation in the warm, comfortable seclusion of home.
I'm happy the rain came...
Quote: Eça de Queirós, Correspondência, vol. 1, INCM, 1983, p. 92.
15 de novembro de 2007
14 de novembro de 2007
13 de novembro de 2007
11 de novembro de 2007
Everybody knows Mailer as the author of The Naked and the Dead (1948) about his experience as a sargeant in the Philippines during WWII. Everybody knows he won, not one, but two Pulitzer Prizes and everybody knows he was a militant activist all throughout his life. He raised his voice against the Vietnam War back in the 60s and in the 80s he was bold enough to say that the Soviet Union was not the Cold War monster everybody thought but a weakening Third World country whose only power was the power of fear.
I, on my part, would like, today, one day after his demise, remember him for his great journalism, a New Journalism (as was baptised by Tom Wolfe) that we now call Literary Journalism. This new journalism that he used in Armies of the Night (1968) and in The Executioner's Song (1979), the first about the Vietnam War, the second about an execution in Utah, is naturally based on in-depth reporting, but it reads like a novel to an extent that we, the readers, no longer can separate fact from fiction. It is real events portrayed under the light of literature.
Mailer deserves his statute, one he won during his long life of controversy, and the one he will get post-mortem. I honour him for the journalist he was. RIP.
9 de novembro de 2007
7 de novembro de 2007
Enough is enough!
I'm here minding my own business and the sirens are on again! They've been like this since the weekend. It's another bloody fire! Today when I was driving to work the news on the radio was: "Seis incêndios ainda lavram...", when I was driving back from work, the news awas again: "Fogos nos distritos de xpto...". I am at home and there go the firefighters again. I'm really pissed off!
One of the marvels of English is that there is a name for this. It is called ARSON! In Portuguese I believe we only have the verbal form: "incendiar" or "deitar fogo a". Well in English, ARSON is to deliberately set property on fire with the intention of destroying it. It's a crime, of course. And those who make it are arsonists. In Portuguese we have the "incendiários" and, if language doesn't fail me, there is also "pirómanos", correct me if I'm wrong. Well, the thing is, when are we going to seriously start thinking that these "incendiários" are really a danger to society? And stop thinking that they are just ignorant lumberjacks wanting easy profit or poor illiterate people of low socioeconomic background that we should feel sorry for?
You destroy the forests, you should get justice for it!
Sorry, I'm really furious and not thinking clearly!
6 de novembro de 2007
Where else would we find a sky like this in November?
This picture was taken a few minutes ago and the sky is so bright and clear, so deep, it makes us want to get lost in it or just spend hours looking at it and daydreaming (if only we could afford that in our busy lives...).
And where else would we baptise this atmospheric phenomenon of having a few sunny days before Winter strikes as "Verão de S. Martinho"? The English call it Indian Summer, but what is that compared to the poetics in "St. Martin's Summer"? And all the allusions to the miracle performed by the saint in sharing his cloak with a shivering beggar? It had to be here!
By this time of the year, Mum used to tell us the story of St. Martin and the beggar and each year it had new colours, a touch of novelty about it. Winter was coming ferocious and cold, but before that there was the Sun it its remaining glory and then all Nature would fall asleep.
Sometimes it is good to remember the cliché that "all good things in life are for free" and that this blessed sky is ours to the envy of the world.
To Mum. In Memoriam.