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Monday, November 30, 2009

When They Sign Bills to Commit Genocide

Gay people the world over where a modicum of freedom is available for ALL in society are astounded at the latest news from Africa. Uganda, specifically. It is all about an anti-gay bill that is awaiting President Museveni's signature.

Terrible news indeed when we read on the blogosphere of the impact the said bill will have on everyday people who happen to be gay.

At this point, we should search deep into our consciousness and be grateful we do not have to basically experience such a draconian sweeping of the carpet from under our feet. At the same time, we are left helpless not knowing what to do apart from sharing posts on Facebook or alerting friends that all is not okay with the world. A step or two back in the fight for human rights. Sad, indeed.

To make matters worse, there is a book out there which says that the American religious right is, god forbid, financing the whole thing. As if our fellow human beings, in the United States, did not have a lot on their plate already what with their own more immediate concerns and just claims in the First Nation on Earth. It is heartbreaking.

At times like these, we would only wish they stopped the world so we could get off. We have been told, and again, there is Hubble up there to prove it, there is a HUGE universe out there. We need help, definitely.

Or we should listen to the song below, very, very much

Will Copenhagen Save Us from the Dangers of Climate Change?

Power to the people is the motto all over.

People will have the power in Denmark in early December at the Climate Summit. Preparations for the Klimaforum 09 are already underway, read below their agenda:

Draft from declaration process and existing documents · Klimaforum09


Klimaforum09 - the people’s climate summit

Klimaforum09 is your climate summit, the global civil society counterpart of the official UN conference in the Bella Center.


With ten thousand daily visitors, participants from over 100 countries and a comprehensive programme of events, Klimaforum09 will be the biggest climate event in Copenhagen besides the official UN conference.

The programme features international guest speakers, over 150 open debates, 60 exhibitions, music, film and art.

Klimaforum09 is not an NGO (non-governmental organisation) we have no special causes, interests or agendas.

We are here to represent ordinary concerned citizens from all around the world.

We DON’T represent vested interests such as bureaucratics, politicans, business or civil servants.

We DO represent scientists, grassroots activists, academics, writers, artists and people from all walks of life.

The idea behind Klimaforum09 is to create an open space, where people, movements and organisations can develop constructive solutions to the climate crisis.

Thousands of participants from all continents are expected to take part in Klimaforum09. Special efforts are being made to invite people from regions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania who will suffer most from climate change.

Klimaforum09 takes place in DGI-byen, a huge conference complex in the centre of Copenhagen just 50 metres from the central station.

Klimaforum09 opens 7 December and ends 18 December.

Klimaforum09 is organized by a broad coalition of Danish and international environmental movements and civil society organizations.

Klimaforum09 is free and open to all.


The Mammogram Melee

The Mammogram Melee

How are we to know which is the best course of action whether at our forties or our fifties? Women at this point in time are far savvier, one might think. By relying on their own intuitions and self-knowledge the are able to breeze through all the debate in the media. Do not allow them to dictate what is best for you.

Prevention, prevention, prevention. Always.


Check this blog for more:

http://mauro-paim.blogspot.com/2009/09/womens-health.html

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the Not So Clean Beaches of Rio

Give us today our daily garbage.

I have told you a lot about the most famous of Brazilian cities in terms of its natural blessings like beaches surrounded by mountains. Breathtaking.

I have told you how some of the well-to-do in the south side when dog-walking, forget to pick up after their pooches have done their business and how terrible it is when you are the one to step on it. Revolting.

I have told you of the injustice, if you can call it that, of seeing house-help hanging on for dear life when trying to wipe the outside of the huge windows they are forced to clean without safety gear. Aren’t they paid to do it, one might ask? Sure they are.

I have told you of the violence on the hills at quaint favelas – shanty towns. If they have to down a police chopper, they will. Boy, I have told you quite a bit.

Luckily, for the Cariocas, or natives of Rio, people decide to turn a blind eye to all that and give them the benefit of the doubt and crowd their beaches and restaurants when they come to visit. Also, the sheer exhilaration of mingling with the locals and doing stuff locals do is adrenaline-filled.

There is one thing we do not do when we grace the town with our moneyed selves: we usually clean up after ourselves when at the beach. Aren’t we given the plastic bags where we stuff our refuse? Not the locals, though. I am not saying this because I am intent on spreading malicious comments about the local population, mind you.

It is the very mayor of the city, Eduardo Paes, who throwing his hands up, says he cannot take it any more: "people should be less piggish" he is quoted as saying. He is referring to the amount of refuse cleaning crews have to collect from the ultra-popular beaches at the end of the day. At a huge cost.

If only the natives were to be more considerate and use more of the bins available to really bring out the inherent beauty of the sea shore otherwise blanketed by plastic bottles, chicken bones (40% of the refuse), and coconut shells (these account for 60% percent of the garbage) lying around, and then the pigeons…

The mayor says he will do more, hopefully, to bring out awareness to cleanliness by installing more trash bins and other technological gadgets to warn locals that yes the shore is untreadable. Let us all wish him good luck.


Mercopress

When Someone Dies Because She is a Transsexual

A tragedy that could have been avoided.

"Mike Penner, the veteran Los Angeles Times sportswriter who made international headlines in 2007 when he announced he was transsexual and began working under the byline 'Christine Daniels,' has died.

Colleagues said today that Penner was found dead at his Los Angeles home and that suicide was the suspected cause of death. He was 52".

The above appeared on November 28, on the Los Angeles Times website and below, a few months before...

When someone is trapped inside the wrong body -- latimes.com

Posted using ShareThis


Alternatively, check my own story on the subject:

http://mauro-paim.blogspot.com/2009/10/pain-of-being-born-in-wrong-body.html


"...That’s why a psychiatric evaluation has to come before such surgeries to preclude the existence of a psychosis – which may be a contraindication to surgery, but also a reasonable degree of intelligence and emotional stability must be present if the person is to be illegible for surgery. “It’s the psychiatrist who has the final say and there is no other way of helping the patient to find acceptance," the psychiatrist says.

Science says that transsexualism is a gender identity disorder that begins in infancy and is characterized by non-acceptance and distress towards the gender individuals are born with, occurring more often in males than in females. Frequently, transsexuals wish to change their sex and live with a permanent search for games, clothing, and patterns of relationship and occupation with people of the opposite sex.

Transsexualism must be set apart from other disorders of sexual identity such as travestism or homosexuality: transvestites wear clothes of the opposite sex, associated with either bisexual or homosexual behavior without the wish to change their sex; however, homosexuality involves sexual attraction to same sex individuals, without the wish to dress or become the opposite sex... "

The war on Language. Really, It's Plain to See. Or hear...

It is interesting to see how the Establishment takes over language and makes it a tool for their propaganda machine. It is incredibly pathetic how segments of the political spectrum appropriate common, stock words, and all of a sudden they acquire new meaning.

The word “tea” for example, which is something we drink - and I am well aware of its other use(s) - is now the stuff of debate. I have recently read an article The War on Language by Chris Hedges on Common Dreams and was mystified by how real the business of fashioning, or shaping if you prefer, language and hand it over to people to regurgitate it in spasms or paroxysms – or quite plainly, rants. And from there, people set off in marches and aim to hijack the airwaves thereby polluting our ears with the stupidest of campaigns. I cannot possibly take it.

What is really heartbreaking is the way they do it. Simply by building a case in world forums, they will send to war beardless teens only to be shocked – you should see their faces – when they pay a visit to their specialized hospitals. Seriously, how can you possibly face that limbless creature and keep a straight face? Have you no emotion(s)?

What to my mind is still incredible is the (false) debate supposed to exist between this or that side of the isle. Go tell it to Africans, Latin Americans, the disposessed the world over, who, seriously, see no difference whatsoever in the constant bickering. Are they not asking for more troops to be sent into harm’s way when we all thought, thank heavens, the war was going to end?

We should not touch on the issue of finance. Crisis. People losing their homes. And their savings. Quite frankly, it is so utterly ridiculous, I cannot find words to express it. Where has all the money gone?

I have reached the conclusion that thinking about these matters will not take me anywhere. Unless, of course, I ask Them to stop the planet and let me get off. I know, for a fact, there’s Hubble up there to support my claim that there is a universe of possibilities out there.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting it Together at Last. Brazil in the Eyes of the Economist


http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14829485

Porto Alegre Welded in me

Welded to my Being. When looking at the walkers along the Guaiba shore, I imagine the life history of each and everyone of the passers-by: that one must be a doctor, watch the aura of self-importance around him. It looks as though he is thinking about that difficult clinical case which is gnawing at his soul; that one is a homemaker, watch how she walks resolutely so as to shed the adiposity in her abdomen, a reflex of the brewing emotions in a cauldron; that one, wedded to a tycoon, runs miles to keep a flawless body, in a vain attempt to keep youth about her which, fleeting, stubbornly escapes her reins.

Stories which are part and parcel of the people who all along two hundred years make up the muscles and lymph of Porto Alegre.

Porto Alegre, ever wide, opens her arms to the hordes of immigrants who, with hopeful eyes, come to the city for new beginnings and, like me, newly-arrived, feel they are part of the metabolism of this great collectivity and I feel I am already inter-linked to the eternal walkers I bump into along the lakeshore.



Porto Alegre (em Mim)

Fundida no meu Ser. Ao observar os caminhantes ao longo do Guaíba, imagino a história de vida de cada um dos passantes: Ah, aquele é médico, veja a aura de auto-importância ao redor dele. Como parece estar pensando sobre aquele caso clínico que lhe corrói a alma; aquela outra é dona-de-casa, veja como anda com afinco a fim de eliminar o excesso de adiposidade em seu ventre, reflexo das emoções borbulhantes como que num caldeirão; Aquela, desposada por um executivo, corre milhas para manter o corpo impecável, numa tentativa de manter a juventude, que célere teima em escapar a seu domínio.

Histórias contidas no íntimo destas pessoas que durante esses duzentos e tantos anos, forma a musculatura e a linfagem de Porto Alegre.

Porto Alegre, sempre ampla, abre seus braços às hordas de imigrantes que com olhos esperançosos, vêm à cidade para novos começos e, como eu, recém-chegado, já me sinto parte do metabolismo desta grande coletividade e sinto que já estou interligado aos eternos caminhantes que encontro à beira do lago.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Shoppers' Prayer/Oração do Comprador


The Shoppers' Prayer



Our brand shops which are in the malls
Hallowed be your labels
May your doors be open
May your shelves be full
At Prada as they are at Armani
Give us today your catalogues
Forgive us for being exaggerated
As we forgive Visa and Mastercard
For charging us interest.


Do not lead us into insolvency
And set us free from Salvation Armies

Because yours is Mastercard, Diner's and Visa
For ever and ever

Amex!



In Portuguese:

Oração dos Compradores


Lojas de marcas que estais no Iguatemi e no Barra Shopping
Santificados sejam os vossos rótulos
Vossas portas se abram
Vossas prateleiras cheias.
Na Gang quanto na Fórum
Dai-nos, este dia, nossos catálogos
Perdoai nossos exageros
Assim como perdoamos ao Visa por nos cobrar juros.


E não nos levai à falência,
Mas livrai-nos das lojas de liquidação.
Pois vosso é o Mastercard, O Diners e o Visa.
Para todo os sempre


Amex!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Differences and Similarities Between Brazil and The United States

http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14829493

Brazil and the United States have more in common than they seem to.

This is a special report by the Economist about Brazil.

They Say Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice

When politicians are unable to answer questions satisfactorily they will resort to subterfuge. Lying, that is.

In Brazil the causes or cause of a major blackout that paralyzed most of the country about a week and a half ago are still a puzzle and they have been blamed on everything but the most plausible reason: A technical failure. One of the responses was that lightning bolts had struck the transmission line three times. Can a lightning bolt strike the same place twice? Or three times? May be in Brazil.

It would all be very much okay if one politician, let us not name names, had not come up with the oddest of possibilities if not the most peculiar: to engage the services of a medium to channel Chieftain Coral Snake. The said spirit is believed to know the answer to the conundrum and set minds at ease. Many minds, mind you.

Will this ever happen again? How certain can we be that we will not be cast in darkness yet again all because of stubborn thunder bolts that strike the same place twice or three times?


en.mercopress.com/2009/11/20/brazilian-senate-calls-on-a-medium-to-explain-major-blackout-causes

Friday, November 20, 2009

Black Consciousness Week in Brazil. What Have We Accomplished?

Not much.

In Brazil, Blacks suffer more: injustice, hunger, illiteracy, violence, discrimination, lack of adequate housing...The UN has seen it first hand.

Prompting High Comissiner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who has spent a week in the country, to say that countless Afro-Brazilians and indigenous people to be "mired in poverty". As a national, I have to say that it is true.

Brazil needs urgent changes in its educational system and significant investment in secondary education may be the key. It is no use trying to make people go to university if they do not have a substantial academic foundation.

The Brazilian Congress passed this last week a constitutinal amendment designed to provide free universal education to children aged 4 to 17. Laudable, we say. However, plans have to be implemented so that the educational reforms reach both teachers and students.

It is expected even, when one watches TV or hears of this or that crime being committed, to see a black or brown (yes, we have brown people - they are called pardos) face on the screen.

It is no wonder that Brazilian prisons are chock-full of Black citizens. And brown.

What about Blacks in position of authority? Virtually none. In the state of Bahia, as the Comissioner rightly points out where most of the state is Black, there is not a Black face in a position of authority. An indication?

Blacks in Brazil have had this complete disregard heaped on them for centuries. Nothing of substance is being made to change the status quo.

Brazil needs an urgent overhauling of its educational and perhaps cultural soul. We need songwriters to write songs with intelligent lyrics and film-makers to be making intelligent and critical movies and soap opera directors to step up to the plate for when they show their usual serving of drama, they are guilty of racism by showing only actors and actresses one would think hailed from Norway.

This country has a long way to go - an uphill climb for sure. It can be done. It can be accomplished. Brazil can be an all-inclusive and democratic country where all the citizens in the skin-color spectrum benefit.

2012 and the Great Alignment. Have You Made Any Plans?

Earth’s magnetic poles to reverse.

And that has created a lot of noise in the pseudo-scientific community. Will the world come to an end in the Winter Solstice, 2012? We do not know.

However, an event of great cosmic significance is said to be about to happen in our universe. According to ancient texts and folklore – Hopi Indians – Nostradamus – Isaac Newton, and check out the video here, FoxNewsChannel, all refer to this development in our near future.

A book has been written about it. I am not telling you to buy the book but the title is interesting: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to December 2012. Is this all utter nonsense or is there some ring of truth to this? Some people mock the fact and say it is fable.

What if there is something to it and the world does come to an end? What are we to do? What am I going to miss most about this Earth? The least? To whom shall I address my enquiries? My fears?

Will the alignment cause changes on the planet akin to those in the past in which entire species disappeared? Will our self-contained human community be just dig-uppable evidence some millions of years down the road?




Image at the top of the post: Aztec Calendar.
The Aztec calendar was an adaptation of the Mayan calendar.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When Mothers Forget their kids in Their Cars

Forgetful or careless?

It depends on whom you ask. The degree of stress you must be under is getting to your neurons making you oblivious to the world around you and, when you forget your own offspring, it is because there is something very serious going on.

Granted that we should not rush to cast judgement at the mother for being careless for we do not know what was on her mind. All right. However, this whole thing rekindles the debate as to whether mothers should drive their kids aside in favor of their careers.

We cannot, in any way, forget that the mother is now, we believe, pulling her hair out and wondering what gave in her inner wirings. The sheer remorse and pain and also the loss she must be suffering is unique, we are sure.

The idea is for mothers and others who drive kids around to check and double check and never forget to take a deep breath and watch their surroundings.

The Brazilian case which happened on Wednesday, November 18, in the East Side in São Paulo, is just a reminder of the pressure people are under and what lengths people will go in order to advance their agendas.

The five-month-old child suffered burnts and cardiorespiratory arrest. Selfishly sad.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Photos of the Porto Alegre Gay Pride.

True to form, thousands turned out to see the Gay Pride Parade in Porto Alegre.

After a rainy Saturday which kept most everyone wringing their hands and worried that oh no, we're going to have to postpone the event, the sun rose early on Sunday morning to greet the parade watchers.

No different than the previous years, the event was a huge success.

It was two o'clock in the afternoon when the park started filling up. At first, a small set of MC's in drag ready to get the show on the road. From a trickle to a barrage of people eager to take part in the fun, the park filled up unrecognizably.

The straight crowd watched sheepishly and with curiosity the commotion that was to take place. I could have sworn I detected a touch of self-consciousness in them.

The usual do's and acknowledgements, clad in garish and sometimes downright gaudy attire, but carrying their dresses gracefully, the performers did their best to impress.

With the Rainbow flag unfurled and waving in the air, people had a sense of accomplishment about them. It was beautiful to watch gay and lesbian couples holding hands, marching to the beat of the latest disco hits and enjoying their day.

Surely, the odd spoilsport was on hand to cast malicious comments on the whole affair but that was not enough to dampen the spirits of those who want to have another world in which love and understanding, justice and equality for all is freely available.





















Yes to Rights! No to Violence!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Katrina of the South and the State of Emergency





Heavy rains pounding the state of Rio de Janeiro in the last two days have wreaked havoc in the every day lives of the inhabitants of Duque de Caxias and Nova Iguaçú.

Floods caused by the overflowing of the Sapuraí river have driven people out of their homes to take shelter in evangelical churches and schools in the submerged neighborhoods.

That floods, landslides and other natural phenomena should happen is perfectly acceptable. What isn’t, and here it is shown to perfection, the complete disregard that the poor, more ethnic population of the state, or any other state in Brazil, are to live with on a daily basis. One victim complained that this is the second time she loses her home to the rain.

Such events, bad as they seem, serve to show and instruct the wider population that all is not well. While many in the south side of Rio de Janeiro live in clover, countless others live in abject poverty.

For one 19-year-old mother of four, including twins, with two front teeth missing, there was nothing else she could do but to wait out for the waters to drain. While others, like this writer, hopes that the only thing that won’t drain is his patience.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On the Bizarre Case of a Girl Who Had To Be Escorted

Out of the lecture room  by the police, at her university, for wearing a miniskirt and how she  got expelled.

“Whore! Whore! Slut!”

The whole affair happened on the 22 October this year at UNIBAN - Universidade Bandeirante - in São Bernardo do Campo in the greater São Paulo area.

The University’s attorney tried to justify the expulsion of the student by saying the she had provoked the male students: “It is not the clothes. It’s her attitude. By stepping up the stairs, stopping mid-way, and then lifting her skirt”.

The scenes you see in the video above was the object of censure and disbelief. After all, we are in the 21st Century and not in the Middle Ages any more.

What bloggers are discussing in Brazil is the virtual weirdness of the whole affair and how such a prosaic act of wearing a miniskirt should provoke a flood of controversy. one blogger said: “students at Uniban accept, with bovine meekness, institutionalized corruption, extorsive taxes, the students’ union, federal thievery, the procession of scandals, and the moral decomposition of Brazil. What they can’t do is controlling their indignation and tame their wrath if faced  with a young woman with legs on show”.

Another said: “I’m amazed at watching this urban youth in their early twenties. They’re fascistic, hedonists, selfish, retarded to the power of 10.  it’s enough to check the girl’s profile on Orkut. A complete moron, but no different, I’m sure, than her friends at school (Check out the communities to which she belongs: such as ‘I like to cause a scene, so what?’, ‘I’m a blonde, can anyone stand me?’, ‘Stop talking and kiss me quick’, and what not. Which, by the way, gives no one the right to do what they did to her. Specially because they are all like her, identically dazed, unprepared, and witless”. What do you think?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still on the Subject of Rio and its Beauties

 

So you have made up your mind to come and visit, gotten over the ordeal of getting your Brazilian Visa (the American one is doubly difficult in Brazil), has packed up and is excited about the possibilities available in Gay Rio? Here is the skinny on the latest and en vogue in the Sun City.

You have that ageless look, perfect abs and pecs and like going shirtless, then The Week is the place for you to go a-bone-rattling. Hugely expensive. However, you will bump into, literally, celebrities of the Brazilian scene. Saturday it is exclusively for the boys.

You don’t give a rat’s about the above and are happy with who you are, you might want to try Le Boy. At the venerable venue, revelers show their age or pretend that they don’t. From Tuesdays onwards.

Who cares about dancing until the wee hours? I’m looking for something else. You can take that to the bank, there are places you will feel very much at home and I’m told, in transient and yet nice company – could that be gay for pay? Some people do it unashamedly and say that it is none of your business whether they do so or not. And more, there is no accounting for taste…

Ah, gay for pay...  jamais.

Well, you might try, if you go to Ipanema, a much conveniently located venue for the adventurous and nonselective. You don't care because you are in need of relaxation and removing the salt from the waves. .. You will find your own kind ambling to and fro and from floor to floor (tiring!) with roaming eyes…..Sorry, the cabin is busy.

Alternatively, you just want to preen at the beach, stretch and make yourself evident to all (and SUNdry). From Arpoador to Leblon there are assigned stretches of the beach for the Rainbow flag. And within that jurisdiction, you will see, straightaway, the gradations and hues, and they are all lumped together - chronologically.  Birds of a flock…

Oh, this columnist is biased towards gays and their culture. Not really. If you are straight as a rod and fresh out of…name your town….and well, no business with those people, oh, believe you me, you have found paradise. Check a previous post on this blog and what the writer says about those who are unwittingly  “led astray” in the myriad possibilites they find to unlock their, er, repressed urges…………You have to use good sense. Period.

It is statistically proven that if you use rules of good behavior and are extra careful with your belongings, discretion is your motto, then you are in for a one-helluva good time in the most sensual of Brazilian cities. Caipirinha, anyone?



THE WEEK

Saturday, November 7, 2009

On the Bestial Behavior of Some Un-Enlightened South-siders in Rio

If you are the kind of traveller who is methodical and pragmatic you will hate the Carioca (native of Rio) laissez-faire. Actually, it's a dolce far niente more than it is hands on.

If you watch carefully, you will notice that when people go dog-walking they will not pick up after their beasts have done their business. You will hate it to the nth degree if you are the one to step on it. Period.

One would have thought that the wealthy had slightly better manners. Sadly, that is not the case in the south side of Rio. Not to mention the fact that they expose their maids (house help) to the gravest of dangers when they have them clean up the windows. You see the poor women (and men) hanging on for dear life on the high rises - with no safety gear at all. It is malevolent.

Generally speaking, and still on that same geographical area of the Marvelous City, Cariocas live more on tradition than an actual bank account. Noses that have been too busy up in the air...

What do they think when they see the bright stars of whichever sport moving up on the ladder all the while knowing that they have tons of money to burn and they, well, no money anymore?

Funnily enough, knowing that people like putting on airs and then having to breathe them back in makes for a "it serves you right" pointing of the fingers. Ha ha!

On Lust and the Impossibility

Animals do it by extra-pairing. In humans, we call it adultery or cheating. Right or wrong it is your call.

It is all in our chemistry. If you want to go romantic, then it is dopamine. Sex? It's testosterone in both men and women.

Religions have tried hard to eradicate it. They have been trying to do so for two thousand years, or more. To no avail. humans will forever be shackled to their chemistry.

Lawsuits have been filed against organized religion. On their ranks. A slap on their wrists only. If you live in a glass house...

Monogamy has struggled against it with devastating effects. Lust is irrevocable. It is here to stay. So why keep the hypocrisy?

Sure you many not agree with the above. That is not important. What is, though, is the understanding that your significant other will roam - if it is with their eyes and there is nothing you can do about it. You do the same.

On September 11 and Falling Towers and Magnificent Ships

Ten years ago the towers came down. Disintegrated before our very eyes and astonished the world. We are now left with questions as to what happened, really happened,on that fateful morning in the United States.

Lives were lost in the tragedy and we don't know who is behind - masterminded - the flabbergasting event.

We have been told now and again that terrorists were, pardon the pun, on top of it. Granted that. However, there have been rumors that the thing isn't as they say it is. Every inch of the way was calculated by evil minds to advance an agenda heretofore not tried.

True or false we have to learn we are not to believe everything we hear. What we have to do is to think carefully and meditatively on the happenings and reach, if we can, conclusions which may or may not be consonant with the real events.

All this rambling to say that they will ram down our throats anything we are willing to take. However, it is safe to say that anything is better than nothing at all.

The twisted and pulverized debris of the towers is now a magnificent ship: The USS NEW YORK. Giving new meaning to the expression rising above the fray. It is sad and ironical that blood-stained steel is now a war machine...

Friday, November 6, 2009

On Prejudice and its Malignant Effects

Prejudice and how to get rid of it. We can’t. It is ingrained.

We, educated human beings at least, conceal what we feel under a veneer of civilization. We do not let it flow. When discussion starts, we recoil, voice inwards, to just listen. When we see on TV attacks on gender, race, religions and other stuff, we feel a pang. Prejudice is hard to uproot. Bad.

Fortunately, we cannot turn the world into a blond, blue-eyed, utopian society, heterosexual to the power of 10 and with beliefs that gravitate towards the installed monolithic blocks we know in our half of the world. However, we notice changes happening in local supermarkets, credit card companies, hotels that have started to see the “other” as a consumer.

It was about time.


Preconceito

Preconceito e como nos livrarmos dele. Não podemos. Já está enraizado.

Nós, seres humanos educados pelo menos, mantemos o que sentimos sobre isto ou aquilo embaixo de uma camada bem grossa de verniz civilizatório. Não deixamos fluir. Quando a discussão começa, diminuímos a voz, nos encolhemos e ouvimos.

Ao vermos na TV inegáveis afrontas ao gênero, raça, religião, sentimos uma pancada. Preconceito é difícil. É ruim. Infelizmente, não conseguimos transformar o mundo em uma sociedade utópica, loura de olhos azuis (ariana?) heterossexual na potencia 10 e com crenças que gravitam a este ou aquele bloco religioso monolítico já instalado(s) no Ocidente.

Fico feliz, contudo, que algumas redes de supermercado, companhias de cartão de crédito, hotéis, já veem o “outro” como consumidor. Ainda bem.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On the Mass Media and Pandemics

The Media has the Power to affect people especially when it comes to pandemics and such. It is like saying that the media sway(s) public opinion.

What’s interesting to analyse is how people take in the information and how they digest it. How they put it to use. I’m talking about the H1N1 and how it affects the way people go to hospitals wearing mask to avoid acquiring the mutant virus.

Hospitals are infection sites in their very nature. Should you wear masks every time you go visit someone? Since public opinion is so affected, it would behoove us to ask whether in other examples of serious debate, the media affects the results. Would Joe/Joanne Doe be ready to think without a little help from the Fourth Power?


Sobre o Impacto da Mídia e Pandemias

O impacto da mídia nas pessoas é significativo quando falamos de pandemias ou coisas do tipo. É equivalente dizer que a mídia influencia a opinião pública.

O que é interessante é como o receptor recebe as informações e as processa. Como ele as põe em uso. Refiro-me ao H1N1 em que as pessoas agora ao irem aos hospitais usam máscaras para se proteger do mutante vírus.

Imagino que os hospitais sejam locais “nucleares” com relação a infecções por natureza. Uma vez que o opinião pública é assim atingida, é mister que nos perguntemos se em outros exemplos de debate premente, os meios de comunicação afetam o resultado das coisas.

Estaria o povo apto para pensar por si só sem a (uma) mãozinha do Quarto Poder?