Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ayrton Senna from Brazil!

To end the children's month with a golden key, another one of my childhood. I'm here watching a documentary about Ayrton Senna and crying my eyes out... Nostalgia ... I miss that wonderful jingle along with Galvão Bueno's scream, "Ayrton Senna from Brazil!" Any Brazilian who lived in the 80's or 90's remembers this famous line.
Senna was our hero. He started as a nobody.  Upper-middle class boy, it is true, but a nobody from a third world country in the world of Formula 1. He stood out in karting, then came to Formula 1 in 84 and soon showed everyone he had come to stay. He surprised everyone with his geniality. In wet circuits, he was king. He won three world championships and more pole positions than any racing driver in history. Ayrton became the great phenomenon of Formula 1. He was a fighter who came, saw and conquered. But he never forgot Brazil, this suffering and injusticed country. Our flag was something he always carried with pride. The rich boy didn't even forget the poor of his country. In secret, he donated fortunes to our poor children, and when he was still alive, created what would be called the Instituto Ayrton Senna.
Can I imagine my childhood without seeing Senna racing - and winning? I can not. Sunday was the day to go to church and watch Ayrton win. Win and carry, with pride, our flag with him. At a time when we had so little to be proud of in this country, every victory of his was a victory of the Brazilian people.

And those of us who lived through the 90s will never forget the words of Roberto Cabrini, "Ayrton Senna da Silva is dead. News we never wanted to give. Ayrton Senna da Silva is dead." A black day in the history of Brazil. A black day in my history.

He was gone so early, but he left his mark on every Brazilian - the message that we who are born on this Tupiniquim land can be somebody.
Senna was and always will be the great hero of my childhood.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Elections here and there

Elections for mayor in Salvador were held yesterday. The winner was ACM III, the grandson of a man who used to be called the boss of Bahia. People voted for him because he "robbed, but he got the job done". Considering that elections for president in America are coming up, I figured I'd write here a little bit of what I thought about what happened there:

The jingle of the ACM Senior went like this, - "Do you remember me? I've never seen you so lonely. Cuddle of mine, darling of mine, my Bahia!"

From what I saw yesterday on facebook, ACM III could have sung the same jingle in these elections. Everyone was so desperate with the deteriorating condition of this beautiful caiptal of Bahia, that ACM III was celebrated as a hero simply for being elected.

I have not been following the politics of Bahia. But I have been hearing about the abuses of the dirty politics game that has been played there.
I never liked that old story from ACM's time : he robs, but he gets the job done. Admitting that you're a thief is little better than gross jerkiness.

But I know that in the real world nobody is 100% good. In fact, according to the word of God, no one is good, no one does good. So I believe that instead of saying "he robs, but he gets the job done", let's say "the lesser of two evils". Hopefully this elected mayor is a politician who fights for the interests of the city and do what is best for the citizens of Salvador.

But by the same philosophy that no one is 100% good, let's not forget that politics is no hero, no politician brings salvation of the fatherland. I do not care who you voted for - your candidate is not a hero. Is not and never will be. Let's not admit it is ok to rob! He gets the job done? Ok, so let's get him in power and keep an eye on him so that he will not rob ... much.

You citizen, you who went and voted and celebrated your victory at the polls, and even you who, I-don't-know-why-on-earth, have voted for the other guy, you still have a job to do, your civic duty is not over yet.

Watch, demand, criticize what deserves criticism and praise what deserves praise. Do not swallow their pills, do not sit back and hope, do not wait for the next four years. Know your councilors, write to them expressing your opinion, be informed and make your voice heard. And if your voice is not heard during the rule of these men, leave a message at the polls in the next election. But do not wait until then to act again.

Politics is part of life for a community. Citizens who are politicized is the essential part of a democracy. Only politicized citizens will not let politics turn into a dirty game. Only with politicized citizens will the men placed in power not do what they want to us. Only with politicized citizens will we build a democracy that's evolved and honored.

Seeing the American and Brazilian politics through history, I realize that when citizens are not apathetic to public life, men placed in power understand that they have to answer to a higher power- their constituents.

I end this post with a great truth which I've heard all my life:
The fate of those who are not interested in politics is to be controlled by those who are interested. Do you want to be controlled by others whose moral and good manners you doubt? Or would be interested and keep them under control?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beatles copying Justin Bieber?

this was reposted by a friend of mine on facebook:
And this was the answer some dude gave on a comment:
Your full question was:

Are the Beatles copying Justin bieber?
I was thinking, the beatles have copied justins haircut, musical style and numerous other things. Isn't this illegal?

Let's break it down, shall we?

Q: Are the Beatles copying Justin bieber?
A: No.
Q: I was thinking,
A: No, you were NOT thinking.
Q: the beatles have copied justins haircut, musical style and numerous other things.
A: The Beatles had the haircut which I assume you mean circa 1963 to 1966. Justin Bieber was not yet born in 1967.
Q: Isn't this illegal?
A: Assuming the style had actually been copied, NO, it would NOT be illegal. Twisted Sister wore makeup. KISS wore makeup before THAT. Alice Cooper, T Rex et. al. wore makeup even earlier. Musical style was copied from The Beatles? Hardly. The Beatles rock, Justin Bieber sucks. Enough said about the musical "style" of Justin Bieber.

Little 12 year old girls love Justin Bieber's "music". Granted, many 12 year old girls loved (and love) The Beatles' music. However...if a 17 year old guy were to say then (or now) that he thought The Beatles were great, many would express agreement. Should a 17 year old guy say Justin Bieber were great he would (after being laughed at, ostracised, et cetera) have his sexuality called into question. Comparing Justin Bieber to The Beatles is like comparing apples to something that is NOTHING like an apple. Claiming that The Beatles "copied" Justin Bieber is like claiming that Ludwig von Beethoven "copied" Reginald Dwight (Elton John). Should that analogy have gone over your head, please note that Ludwig von Beethoven lived in the late 18th century to the early 19th century, whereas Elton John began in the late 20th century and continues into the early 21st century. However, that analogy lacks something. Mainly the fact that for it to be a really APT analogy, one would ALSO have to assume that Elton John is an untalented hack. In conclusion, it hardly seems likely that The Beatles somehow managed to travel through time, see Justin Bieber, and basically say, "This bloke's 'music' is horrible!!! But, little 12 year old girls seem to like him. Here's a thought! Let's go back to our own time and emulate him so we can be popular." Assuming that this DID in fact happen, The Beatles mucked up. They actually got people with musical taste to like their music, rather than simply tone deaf 12 year old girls with no musical taste. Brian Epstein (The Beatles' manager), while trying to get The Beatles a recording contract, would tell the prospective agent that "The Beatles willl be bigger than Elvis" (Presley). Many managers in the 1960's would say that about artists whom they were trying to get contracts. Brian Epstein was the only manager to make the statement about his artist and be proven right. The Beatles copied Justin Bieber? Hardly.

Camp is good and bad

Today the weather reminded me of mornings at camp.
I like and I don't like thinking about camp.
It's good because it brings back such wonderful memories.
It's bad because I know I will never have them back.
There's nothing about my childhood and teenage years that I miss more than camp.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brazilians and the temperatures

Transcription from you tube.

85 º F or moreBaianos (people from Bahia) go to the beach, dance, sing and eat acarajé.Cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) go to the beach and play soccer.Mineiros (people from Minas Gerais) eat cheese in the shade.All the Paulistas (people from São Paulo) are in Santos, facing 2-hour queues in bakeries and supermarkets in the region.Gauchos (people from Rio Grande do Sul) deplete the stocks of sunscreen.

75 º FBaianos do not let the kids outside after 5 PM because of the cold wind.Cariocas go to the beach, but do not enter the water, because it is too cold.Mineiros eat cowboy's beans.Paulistas have barbecues in their coastal homes in Santos, but no longer go in the water.Gauchos complain about the heat and make no effort due to physical exhaustion.

70 º FBaianos change the showers to position 'Winter' (hot water in an electric shower)!Cariocas wear a sweatshirt.Mineiros begin drinking rum by the wood stove.Paulistas decide to come home from Santos, and traffic turns into that well-known hell.Gauchos go sunbathing in the Redenção park.

60 º FBaianos tremble uncontrollably from the cold.Cariocas gather to eat fondue.Mineiros continue drinking rum by the wood stove.Paulistas are still stuck in traffic jams on the way back from Santos.Gauchos begin to drive with the windows down, because there's a fresh air outside.

50 º FBahia declares state of emergency.Cariocas use full-length coats, wool under-pants, gloves and wool hats.Mineiros continue drinking rum and put more wood in the stove.Paulistas have already arrived from Santos and go all to the same pizza place in the same mall causing traffic jam in the city.Gauchos consider the possibility of putting on long sleeve shirts.

40 º FBahia enters Armageddon.Mayor César Maia launches Rio's bid for the Winter Olympics.Mineiros continue drinking their rum and add some mulled wine, still by the wood stove.Paulistas crowd hospitals and clinics due to diseases caused by temperature inversions.Gauchos shut the windows of the house.

32 ° FLife in Bahia or the entire Northeast is now extinct.In Rio, Cesar Maia wears 7 coats and launches 'Snowboarding in Rio'.Mineiros enter alcoholic coma by the wood stove.Paulistas do not leave home and give high levels of audience to Luciana Gimenes TV shows.Gauchos get ready to barbecue in the courtyard, before it gets cold.Source:

Monday, October 08, 2012

Peter Pan and the Nutty Boy

October 12 is Children's Day in Brazil. Just another excuse for candies and toys ... until Mom and Dad decide you're too old to be a child. Then October 12 is just like any other day.

I think most of us who grew up in the twentieth century know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who did not grow up. He lived in a place called Neverland. He could fly between our world and his. He could fight against the evil Captain Hook. The only thing he could not do was grow up.

When I was six years old I discovered poem of the ultra-romantic author Casimiro de Abreu "My Eight Years Old." "Oh how I miss the dawn of my life, my sweet childhood, that years bring back no more" ... Casimiro died at age 21, he had barely begun adulthood, and already he was missing his childhood ....

What was it that Casimiro knew? That Peter Pan knew? And I? What was it that I knew? I was only six years old and already knew that would be forever my favorite poem. ... I never wanted to grow up. Oh, yes I knew that I had a very special thing, and that it would not last forever. It did not last. Time came and took it away from me.

The first time I realized this was happening was on that day at the amusement park, when they barred me from entering the jumping house. Too big, they said. Too big? But last year I went in! How am I too big? It was the time playing its tricks on me. Years later, senior in high school, the teacher gave us all, pre-college students, lollipops on Children's Day ... And we mentioned to each other that in college no one would give us lollipops on children's day. Next year nobody would look at us and see a child ... It was time doing it to us again. The merciless time that not even Ziraldo's Nutty Boy could handle. Time came and made us all grow up.

So many kids out there wanting to grow up fast, wanting to be grownups. Ah, I never understood why. Why would you want to leave the simpler part of your life? The more careless part? That part where everything is possible, and where dreams and reality are almost one and the same? So many kids out there having to grow up too soon - for lack of choice that life gives them. Having to be grownups, to take care of themselves and take care of others sometimes. So many kids around having to bear responsibilities that life has brought upon them too soon. And you want to let go of your sweet childhood out of your own free will? Why?

Growing is fun sometimes, it's true. To grow is to live. Life is full of experiences. One after another. And with every new experience, a little bit of the child goes away. A little more of the adult arrives.

Growing up takes away so much ... so many things that we can never get back. The naivety of childhood will never return. The lack of care ... well, we can even have that back, but ... it will give you so much trouble ... better not. Growing up is learning to be responsible for ourselves and for others. It is learning that the only sensible choice is to be responsible.

Growing up, said one of  Marco Nanini's character, is slowly moving away from your feet. Actually, after that belly decides to sit there in the middle, those feet that once came all the way to your mouth, will never get as close and as easily. So it's true. Growing up is inevitable. How sad this fate of ours - Those of us who are classified as living beings in science class, in third grade - they are born, grow up, reproduce, grow old and die. Yeah there you have it - it is written in our homework, in our exam, in our textbook. Just as growing old and dying, growing up  is inevitable. ...

Stop! Stop everything! Says who? Growing up in the outside, yes. Stop being a child inside? Ah, that is optional, brother. Being a child is knowing to dream, to play, to run and to jump, to marvel at the little things of life like they were big things. You sing aloud, dance and act goofy and are oblivious to who's looking or who quit looking.

One day, said Ziraldo, the Nutty Boy grew up. He grew into a nice guy. But a real nice guy. He turned into the nicest guy in the world. And it was then, that everyone found out he had not been a Nutty Boy. He had been a happy boy.

I think the Nutty Boy never stopped being a child inside