Friday, November 21, 2008

Viva Mexico and other things

The gregalogue once again making sense in its own bizarre way.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I, Pencil

So Leonard E. Read wrote this which you can listen to here, read here or watch the interpretation below from a guy who probably doesn´t even know that what he sings about contradicts everything he and his friends believe in.

Friday, August 22, 2008

O-wim O-weh

It´s all about me, me, me


and some elephants,


a road of monkeys


ending with Ross and a friend.


o-wim o-weh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Echo and The Bunnymen

Shiver and say the words of every lie you´ve heard

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It´s a thin line between love and hate

"I will love you...

as long as nobody crosses the line

between you and I"
Zaire was the first black African nation to qualify for a world cup. This was in 1974 when Zaire still existed and dictator Mobutu ruled it with an iron fist.
Mobutu, like many leaders before and after, wished to capitalize on the feat so he gave all the players of the team cars and homes and promised more if they did well in the world cup.
Well, to be honest, the team sucked and if you mix that with Mobutu´s "mood swings" the atmosphere for the once beloved players turned sour.
After losing to Scotland 2-0 in their opening match Zaire went on to take a pounding from another now extinct nation, Yugoslavia, by 9 goals.
The plot thickens, Mobutu lets the squad know that if they lose their next match against Brazil by more than 3 goals there would be retribution back home, if he decided to extend them the courtesy of returning home.
So the match against Brazil began. The brazilians got off to a slow start but by the middle of the second half regained their style, had a 3 goal advantage and were pressuring Zaire.
Towards the end of the match a free kick near Zaire´s goalbox was awarded to the brazilians, since they had excellent players to turn this into the fatal fourth goal the poor guys from Zaire went crazy and stopped at nothing to prevent the ball from once again crossing that thin goal line which now held the destiny of each one of them.
This is what they did


Understandable, specially after reading this.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Norwegians and Muslim med students

I really like these two clips from youtube.
This first one seems to have been made by a few Norwegian girls who produced a reinactment of "Say a little prayer for".
The second clip stars Muslim med students in the United States. The action follows the lyrics and music of an Ellis Paul song called "The world ain´t slowing down".

These clips are made by amateurs yet their spontaneity perhaps would be lost in the hands of professionals since they project a youthfulness that is so hard to capture.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Obama, McCain, of course I care.

Elections are also going to be held in our neck of the woods so here is some sound advice.


Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election

Corny yet kind of inspiring

video

I would like to see this done in Brazil, only the tree would be a car that has been double parked and it would be placed over the driver who committed the infraction.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To write a play

I mentioned in this post that Coelho Netto is a Brazilian playwright whose work I have been observing.
Anyway Netto wrote this one play called "Os misterios do sexo".
The translation of the title is "the mysteries of sex" and sex in this case refers to gender, not to the act of having sex.
The play is about a teenage boy whose genitalia was not obvious at birth. His mother then decided that he was a girl and raised him in such a way but as he reached puberty he started acting like a heterosexual teenage boy which unleaches all kinds of reactions in his family ( the play was written in the early 1900´s).
In a nutshell that´s it.
What has intrigued me is that Coelho Netto got the ideia from an article that ran in a Rio de Janeiro newspaper at the time.
Books on acting always tell you to know the reason a playwright wrote something and try to figure out the character from there. Is this really plausible?
I read this piece today. If a script followed such a method would it be reasonable to expect an actor, who happens to play one of the characters, to know what is intend? I think not.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Laaaaaaaaa ....

Elle est libre de tout ça.

Yeah, in French, but what a great song.



La
La lune est libre je crois,
qui rayonne au-dessus,
rayonne au-d'sus des toits.
La lune est libre,
bien plus libre qu'on ne le croit,
elle fluctue de çà et là,
les parties qu'on ne voit pas,
c'est pas grave ça reviendra
et quand elle est plongée
dans la froide obscurité,
donne l'impression qu'elle se noie,
bien vite reprend pied,
avec ses apparences instables
y en a qu'elle fait douter
bien plus fidèle qu'on ne le croit,
La lune est libre.

Réceptive et absorbante
de la lumière qu'elle renvoie,
Elle rayonne au-dessus des toits
et fluctue de çà et là.
Changeante, fascinante,
parfois même éblouissante.
C'est ainsi qu'on l'aperçoit
Disque parfait, disque lumineux
ne vous rappelle-t-elle pas l'hostie/le style ?
de ceux qui lèvent la tête
dans l'espoir de s'élever un peu.
Transitoire, unique, symbolique
de quelques visions imaginaires,
Elle en impressionne plus d'un
qui prennent peur et délirent.

Elle est au-dessus de tout ça,
Elle est au-dessus de tout ça,
Elle est libre de tout ça,
Elle est au-dessus de tout ça,
Elle est libre de tout ça,
Elle est au-dessus de tout ça,

La lune est libre je crois,
qui rayonne au-dessus,
rayonne au-d'sus des toits.
La lune est libre,
bien plus libre qu'on ne le croit,
elle fluctue de çà et là,
les parties qu'on ne voit pas,
c'est pas grave ça reviendra.

Disque parfait, disque lumineux
ne vous rappelle-t-elle pas l'hostie/le style ?
de ceux qui lèvent la tête
dans l'espoir de s'évader un peu.
Transitoire, unique, symbolique
de quelques visions imaginaires,
Elle en impressionne plus d'un
qui prennent peur et délirent.

Elle est libre de tout ça.
Elle est libre de tout ça.

Interview with the lead singer, in English, she is a cutie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Every streetlight reveals a picture and a verse



These things they go away, replaced by everyday...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ode to our foreign debt.

Overspending caused debt which plummeted Brazil into two decades of high inflation and then hyperinflation. Such overspending was excused at the time by invoking a manifest destiny kind of future for Brazil coated with myths and symbols.
Brasilia is a perfect example being that such symbolism was used to propagate its construction.
Well since symbolism is no match for reality interest rates rose over the loans to build the city as on those to sustain so many other grandiose projects which for the most part did not yield results that overall benefitted the citizenry but did result in debt which crippled the citizenry.
At present the foreign debt of Brazil has been payed and what hinders the economy is the national debt. In other words the cash payed on interest rates over the money that the government borrows to sustain a huge bloated state.
Many of the beneficiaries of this situation live in the buildings below.


Speaking of myths this clip is actually pretty cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Call me when you have no class

Roberto Campos explains the obvious to one that is clueless.


Clueless then goes on to do this.


Amazing. It´s as if Rodney Dangerfield were a top presidential aide.

Started out this morning feeling so polite

Sky rockets in flight


Annnnn Afternoon Delight.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cough Cough

and then


As if you were doing something close to nothing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gotta love Spicoli

The man was a legend in his own mind, what remained of it that is.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hurricanes.

I have never been stuck in a hurricane and since I don't surf and do not enjoy observing other people's lives and property being destroyed I hope never to be in such a situation.
However this is impressive.

Laurie Anderson's musings on Superman.

She leaps tall buildings in a single bound.


She then clobbers the American National Anthem, don't get too frisky she goes on to clobber all national anthems.


She then tackles the national debt.


What Laurie does not know is that "Yankee Doodle" is a song created by the English to belittle American settlers.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stevie wanted to write a song.

Here is the process from conception, to planning, to completion.
Worth the watch.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Azul

So they selected AZUL.
Good luck to them.
Bring those air fares down you guys, although I suspect you will just adapt to the status quo but since I cannot predict the future and I am not pessimistic by nature please prove me wrong.
Boa sorte AZUL.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Prester John



Prester John was a myth that turned out to be a fairytale.
Christian European nations since the early middle ages attacked and were attacked by their Islamic counterparts such as the Ottoman Turks. So how does Prester John play into this? It was believed that he was the ruler of a powerful kingdom located in the midst of Islamic kingdoms making him a formidable ally since Prester John, as legend had it, was a Christian.
Well the Europeans, specially the Portuguese and the Spanish, looked for this guy as they made their way into Africa from the late fourteen hundereds on.
They never found him since he never existed.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ms. Cristina drives a 9.44




These two

gave us this and the song below from the same album yet performed by a different artist in the privacy of his bathroom. Seems right since the song is called "swallowed by the cracks".


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coelho Netto



I have been reading a play by Coelho Netto, being unfamiliar to any of the author's work research was needed beforehand.
So here it is in English and in Portuguese.

Some of his work can be downloaded and/or read in pdf format here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Think about it

"In this whole world, what is fair?"

Do not know. Until then will take a break from thinking about it.

Go Stevie Winwoodmeister.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Book of the City of Ladies



Christine de Pizan argues that women have less achievements then men because they are not afforded the same opportunities and also that when it comes to achievements and if women were afforded these same opportunities the results would be different because women differ from men.
The book of the City of Ladies was written in 1405. Perhaps it should be food for thought for mysogonists and feminists of today.

A gender is not inherently inferior nor superior nor the same to another gender nor are all those of the same gender carbon copies of each other.
I can subscribe to that.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh well

It was not meant to be. I scored 10 points in this week's Loteca hence 3 points shy of winning some money.
Guess I'll have to tell my boss that he really isn't an enormous a-hole, that I actually love the atmosphere at the office ( what? I said "lovely," did you hear "rotting hell hole", oh funny you) and would appreciate being reinstated.
Only 3 points short of a win and four for the larger portion of the pot, oh man.
On a brighter note I got this one right. Corinthians always chokes, it is a tradition.

The importance of being Laurence





You ruled dude.

Specialty, or not....

Perhaps Mr. Jones is your cup of tea

'Bout time you realised
You are a specialty
There is no one like you
Spend your life worrying
'Bout what you could have been
Can't you like being you

Mummenschanz offers a different view.



I wonder where they got that idea.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Nation Seen Thru the Eyes of a Lottery Ticket


The Loteca is a lottery. The game consists of 14 soccer matches and the player must select an outcome for each match. He is awarded when getting 13 to 14 predictions right.
The deadline for weekly Lotecas are Saturday's at 2:00 pm. I decided to play this week. If there aren't many winners and if the pot is big enough (the state retains 60% of the pot levying taxes) then come Monday my financial status will have improved greatly. The player can also select more than one outcome for a match, a double ( two possible results) or a triple ( 3 results hence getting that match right). There is a limit to double and triple selections and the price of the coupon goes up accordingly.

Let's look at my prognosis.

Game 1: Here I chose Flamengo over Vasco. Vasco was the first team to open their doors to black players. Soccer in Brazil was a sport for the aristocracy when first introduced, only whites from that class were allowed to play.
Game 2: I'll take Ponte Preta Over Santos. The Peixe (Santos) can no longer qualify for the Paulista finals so I am guessing they will play with a weaker squad and save their best players for their Libertadores matches.
Game 3: Cruzeiro is my pic. Tupi have always got the short end of the stick in Brazil.
Game 4: Will take a draw and Gama ( a double selection here) over Brasiliense. There is a ongoing quarrel between two of Brasileinse's main players. One is accusing the other of taking a friend to their last match who fired racial slurs at him after the team was defeated. This can't be good for morale, or anything else.
Game 5: Vila Nova will beat Crac. I can't endorse a team with a name like that. Just say no kids.
Game 6: Anapolis because I like the name. I think I'll name my daughter Ana if I ever have one.
Game 7: Nautico is stronger.
Game 8: Two teams from Santa Catarina. The best place in Latin America. I will take the underdogs over Florianopolis powerhouse Figuerense.
Game 9: Sergipe.
Game 10: Ipatinga is sponsored by that state's local powerhouse (Cruzeiro of Minas Gerais) and thus has a better team.
Game 11: Palmeiras has a great team and a great coach. It was founded by and represented the Italian immigrant community of Sp but was forced to remove any refrences to Italy because of this.
Game 12: Guaratinguetá is having a great season. This is a no brainer (or so it seems to the uneducated eye) so I will take a double (draw plus Guaratinguetá) and eliminate other players who aren't as clever as I.
Game 13: Paulista here. Bragantino hasn't had a good season for a long time.
Game 14: Never underestimate the ability of Corinthians to screw things up in the end, even when they are having a good season. I will take a double.

There it is. I spent 4 reais (2.33 USD) on the bet.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jennifer Beals was a cutie, which raises the question...

Why do chicks like her

Often end up with guys like him?


Perhaps I should beg the question, but then again...

Sillyness for a silly thing

Virgo
August 23 - September 22
People claim that age is nothing more than a state of mind, making this week's stroke revealing on a couple of different levels.

The Onion putting the horoscope in its proper place.

Punctuation

An English teacher known to be a strong lady, wrote these words on the blackboard: "woman without her man is nothing". She then turned towards the students and asked them to punctuate the words correctly. The boy students wrote: "Woman, without her man, is nothing." The girl students wrote: "Woman! Without her, man is nothing." There you go...

From here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Speaking of Niemeyer and selling the contradiction



This has always bothered me.
Look at the foundation that supports the weight of the bells outside of the cathedral. I am guessing that the structure is sound but it doesn't look sound, at least not to me. The impression I get is that the foundation is not strong enough to support the transverse piece which in turn holds the bells.
So it was decided to paint it white. Well white enforces a sense of lightness to the whole thing, except, err, the bells.
Oh and how about some upkeeping before a complete renovation is needed.I mean wouldn't it be less expensive, if you want to keep it proper, to waterproof the whole thing and then use appropriate protective paint? Also to my knowledge those bells haven't been used for a long time, probably bats living up there by now.
That is the problem with putting people up on a pedestal to a point that it becomes an insult to scrutinize them. You can't question Niemeyer even if you have to pay for the whole thing including the poor guy who has to clean the bat crap.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Selling the contradiction

I am new to this blogging thing. I am unfamiliar with the protocol. Perhaps I have indulged too far into the world of youtube, of pictures and of songs and my blog so far has been in most part a collection of these. I wouldn't go as far as that famous line from Karma Chameleon ( "I'm a man without conviction, I'm a man who doesn't know how to sell the contradiction...) because I lack Boy George's wisdom , depth and fashion sense plus a few other things, yet I am starting to notice a pattern to the blog which will not be broken today.
A friend once said that most lives are interesting if the beholder has the knack of finding interesting angles to what is happening to him or her. According to this same friend almost everything that happens has an interesting angle to it. Well today I had an unusual chore to do. I swept bat droppings from the floor of a small, decrepit house in the outskirts of Brasilia. A weekend home lets say that needs a lot of refurbishing. I was going to use "upkeep" but did not want to offend the word since it would be like using "a little fixer upper" and "post katrina New Orleans" in the same sentence. Since I was unable to find any angle to this that didn't lead me back to cleaning up a dump I will just remind all you boys and girls that when sweeping bat crap one should always use gloves, a mask and protective clothing. Think golashes, not havaianas.
Now that I have done my good deed for the day it's time to kick back to some Whiskeytown while reading this which is reminding me that better than selling or buying the contradiction is dealing with reality.

Just like thinking of your childhood home...


Monday, March 31, 2008

Niemeyer

Although I like some of Oscar Niemeyer's work overall I am not a huge fan. Unfortunetly in Brazil, specially in Brasilia, criticizing the man is often taken as an insult to the country itself. This obviously hinders objective analysis concerning his work. This is why articles like this one, written by someone who I imagine is not influenced by such an atmosphere is useful.


The author of the post is Edward Winkleman and he uses Niemeyer's desire to alter some of his buildings to discuss if an artist should tinker with work which has been presented to the public. He also talks about some of Niemeyer's creations here in Brasilia which have seen changes and gives a before and after critique.

Here is a slide show of some of the constructions mentioned in Winkleman's post.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Robin's in the metaphysical section

Embedding disabled , no matter, this has to be the first tube I post so here is the link.
http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=AC1RS2oeE0s

It may be yesterday's oatmeal but it still tastes great to me.

And so it begins ...

I once heard a guy shout "and so it begins" at an Irish Pub right before the kickoff to that years superbowl game. I do not remember what year nor which teams were playing. I do recall laughing at this person, remarking to my brother that the phrase, the tone, the whole thing seemed too bellicose for the setting and the occasion. After all here we were, in Geneva, Switzerland, having beers at an Irish pub. This popular hangout of many other expats, people from all over the world plus a minority of curious Genevois, who, like us, appeared to have more of an interest in chugging back a few than actually watching the superbowl match.
Yet "and so it begins" and the attitude it encompasses in the above mentioned context seems to have now found me. Uneasy as I feel in this place at this point in time. You see I always suspected that the guy, who in Pattonish style uttered said phrase, was marking his territory. He was stating that this was a place (the English speaking pub) that he belonged to, regardless of being a foreigner, and the superbowl and the "charge" like manner with which he celebrated the kickoff was a code to his kind and understood only by them. He was, in my mind, calling out to them and asking, almost begging, to be recognized by them, to then become part of that group so to quench the loneliness and awkwardeness he was experiencing. The kind of out of placeness that many foreigners encounter.
I sometimes feel that way here. Hence the reason that that particular phrase seems somewhat haunting now. Nobody approached that guy in the Irish Pub in Geneva. I couldn't care less. It was his problem, it was up to him to figure things out, overcome his difficulties and realize that he was coming off too needy, too noisy, too annoying, and would, as he did, end up alone.
I still hold that attitude to a large extent however. A person should think about his present, analize what is happening to him or her, really ponder and perhaps he/she can get some clarity and increase the chance of modifying the situation to their benefit.
It was up to him . As it is up to me. And so it begins ...