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Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

Happy New YearImage by tipiro via Flickr
Happy Holidays, Everyone.

Let the Lights of the Season ring in all the Good (plus 10!) we have experienced all through 2010.

May we be afforded the opportunity to forget the bad we have witnessed and to learn from our mistakes.

May our thoughts be enlightened with Wisdom and Goodwill and let us all give ourselves the good stuff we deserve.

Thank you for reading my blogposts.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Untitled Blogposts

we have once read somewhere that those who rule the world are sexually active.

It is now known that the founder of the notorious (famed?) whistle-blowing website stands accused of rape. That is, rape as conceived in that nordic country where it is said he has made his home.

we elevate ourselves one level above the fray to shed light on the murky waters in which the whole affair has been dipped. we shall not elaborate on the details, graphic as they are, due to their run-of-the-mill nature. 

Phallically speaking, erm, symbolically we mean, we witness one individual inflicting "damage". That is, damage as perceived by the damagees... Two of them, we read.

"So what?" you ask.  It is just because we have been itching to poke our noses in the whole affair. We hope to keep them clean, however, for smelling is an art.

As follows: we now know that the brains behind the whole hullaballoo is heterossexually oriented and boasts a busy social agenda with all the prerrogatives... Finelly nuanced psychological details, inclusive. That is, as per what we cull from the orthodox media. You know very well you have got read between the lines: It is what has not been said that is the "deep structure."

we will leave this post unfinished for the dantean task of wrapping our brains around...

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Ayes Have It! You Gay? You Can Now Serve in the U.S. Military

Kudos to the American Senate. A short time ago, on a freezing Washington afternoon, they met to repeal an anomaly. The Senate votes to end DADT: 65 Yays to 31 Nays. They have put the kibosh on 17 years of political struggle.

The vast majority pressed their yes buttons to rectify what for many is an anachronistic piece of legislation which is fast losing strength (and validity!) in the civilized world... See a previous post on here about this very subject.

For good or evil, now gay and lesbian soldiers will be able to serve in the American military without opprobrium.

To quote from one of Mr Barack Obama's, the American president, Facebook posts: "By ending 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' no longer will patriotic Americans be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love."

We concur in the strongest terms.

Congrats, pals and gals! We are willing to bet that this freezing Washington afternoon has brought lots of warm to many hearts.

An update:

As we write, on Dec 23, president Obama is "wrestling" with the issue as to whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in the United States.  Mercifully, he seems to be (is?) in favor a "strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples."

As expected, his view has prompted some to say that it's okay to kill but not to love. Meanwhile, the discussion rages on and we can all sit tight: the battle ain't finished yet.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have They Really Found it?

The cure for AIDS, that is.

We have been greeted by the news that doctors in Germany claim to have found treatment to cure the retrovirus. Wonderful, we say. Good news is always welcome in this sea of heartbreak and pain which our world seems to be wallowing in.

It went like this: An American living in Berlin, Germany, had to undergo chemotherapy in 2007 to treat leukemia. A terrible disease that developed after his HIV infection. He was given stem-cell therapy along with standard cancer treatment, and voilà, three years later, there is no sign of any HIV infection in his body. And no cancer... The bone-marrow transplant he has undergone did the trick.

Has he really been cured? Well, if you listen to what this man has to say, and he is none other than the very first expert on AIDS ever, you will be surprised: he has won a Nobel Prize for it; he is Luc Montagnier. Make sure (really, now do it) you see this video on YouTube.

Good news all around. Either way! Water anyone?

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Ramblings Galore

Mischief with toyImage via Wikipedia
Terrible when people have the goods on you. You are their prisoner. Not unless you come clean and show your hands are free from mischief.

Some people do not understand that. They love these situations.... Or is it because they like lording it over people?

Other people subject themselves to the worst of treatments and to the lowest of standards. They seem to enjoy being slaves to scraps and abuse. No self-esteem?

Surely such situations sooner or later will come back to haunt them.  X or Y. Big time. Then, and only then, they will perhaps realize the foolishness of their acts... These people are to be shown compassion and prayed for.

They are blind.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Leakey Wikey Bombshells

Logo used by WikileaksImage via Wikipedia
Just in case you were wondering whether or not i was going to throw in my two centavos' worth on the whole Wikileaks fall-out, voilà!

For starters, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle and we are in for a whole new series of revelations that will turn the old narrative we are all so used to upside down.

So much the better for i am news-fatigued. It's the same old same old same old agenda-setted BS dripping down on the floor. i've taken to putting a bucket underneath the TV set dripping with pure spin regurgitation. Aren't the leaks merely re-asserting the status quo? What's new under the Sun?

i predict that candid character assessments will soon be a thing of the past and we will learn of other hot stuff ambassadors pen back to their metropolises.

Funnily enough, i  have been very (pruriently) curious about the sexual habits of  some heads of state.... Do not get me wrong. i am no sexual pervert. i am very balanced and happen to know that two plus two makes four. Now, do you think that the highly educated diplomatic personnel could come up with more explosive matériel?

Quite frankly, the stuff i have heard so far about this or that politician, either on this or that side of the pond, is so radacted (and i wanted to say "bowdlerized") you could read it to that bible-thumping aunt you have forgotten you are related to. Boring stuff!

Luckily they will emerge in these notorious cables i had no idea were such simpatico and vivid portrayals of other people's lives in remote corners of the world. Very interesting...

I await with abated breath.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

On Asking and Telling in the American Military

A lot of horse-trading playing out on American TV screens to repeal a bad policy. Are we moving towards an attitudinal shift?

In times of heated debate as to whether gay people should serve in the military, the American military, an all-volunteer force they say, where killing and maiming is de rigueur, we set about asking ourselves whether it is all really worth it. Why sign up for such a job?

Leafing through America’s Army: making the all-volunteer force by Beth Bailey, we got to this part where one top brass presented his arguments against an all inclusive force: “I am going to be blunt, maybe even a little crude with some of what I say about the infantry and combat,” Colonel Lucian Truscott III (U.S.A.,Ret) told committee members. And proceeded: “The question of gays in the military demands an answer to their serving in a real war, at dirt level, down where men kill and get killed, down where 85 percent of all of the casualties in all of the wars have occurred.”

With the gist of the thing below, Colonel goes on to present his case, forcefully, to the House Committee on Armed Services on the Policy Implications of Lifting the Ban on Homosexuals in the Military, 103rd Cong., 1st sess., May 4–5, 1993.


Down there we need to know: Will he fight? Will he be there when the going
gets tough? Is he willing to take a hill in the pouring rain, walk in
among the enemy dead, see their bloated bodies, the trash, the filth, the
piles of excrement, the stench of that mixed with that horrible sweetish
smell of rotting flesh? Is he willing to push a dead soldier out of a fox hole so
he can get into it? Is this guy willingly [sic] to aim his weapon right at
somebody and kill them? Can he take it if his best friend, the guy he went
through basic training with and shared a hole with for the past 3 months,
gets shot through the middle of his forehead and he has to sit there with
his body all night? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then we
don’t care if he is white or black or brown or red or yellow. We don’t care
if he is Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist. We don’t give a damn if he is
gay. We wouldn’t even care if he were a she.

Of course, that was way back in 93! But still... Do you have the bulge?

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Mythological Love Affairs Between Gods

And boys.

Many are mystified (this humble writer in the ranks) as to why the love bestowed on young boys by older men is so much on the pages of our newspapers and magazines today (and stuff of blogs, too!).

From men of the cloth to vast sections of society, we learn, many "fall" (ouch!) for this ancient, mistily ancient practice. 

It started in Greece! None other than Zeus himself upon seeing this blond beauty tending a flock of sheep, either turned himself into or sent an eagle (juicy details of the story are irreparably lost...) to Earth and swept Ganymede (Ganny, for us) on to Mount Olympus.

Ovid (20 March 43 BC - AD17/18 AD) writes in The Metamorphoses in a translation by Horace Gregory:

 "One day the very king of all the gods
Took fire when he looked at Ganymede,
Then, O, he wished himself less masculine -
Yet he became a flashing, warlike eagle
who swooped upon the boy with one swift blow
And clipped him, wing and claw, to Mount Olympus
(Pictured here - Looks unDivine, if you ask me) 
where to much to Juno's obvious distaste(of course!), 
The trojan boy serves drinks to Father Jove." (serves drinks????)

Mount OlympusImage via Wikipedia
It is little surprise then, and hello!, it is in the classics, registered for posterity, that the thing is as old as the hills. Ah, we will not see an end to it anytime soon. 

Who's going to be the next to fall for a young shepperd boy?

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

On Violence in Rio de Janeiro - Part IV

Corcovado, Rio de JaneiroImage by svenwerk via Flickr

Oy vey!

The woes of our beloved city. Will there ever be and end?

A flat no! i am not writing about the latest wave of violence in Rio de Janeiro. i am up to here. What good will it bring?  i will only be adding to the surplus of newsreports on bullets ricochetting off sidewalks and people ducking for cover.

i know it is a daunting task. It is like swimming against the current.The more they do to stem the tide the more water comes under the bridge, spilling onto the streets and causing a flood of images we would be better off not seeing.

Now, how can i relate the image above to reality? i could find things to say but i won't.

Take your pick below.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Talking Shop

Cuchulainn carries Ferdiad across the riverImage via Wikipedia

Just a little bit of an elliptical text mentioning the news about, erm, those mines again; flooded in one corner and gassed in the other... The same old story... No happy ending and mistresses...

This is straight out of the movies: some woman in the old continent wanting to off her (hunky and studly?) son-in-law, for the gods know why, (an affair?) bla bla and hiring hitmen who doctored photos and fooled her and she not buying it....  She dabbled in witchery and everything... Oh, the Media... Media matters!

Speaking of swords and all, there's the sabre-rattling in the Korean Peninsula.... Are they going to bomb one another to smithereens?

Cú Chulainn must be turning in his grave... Or maybe not... Don't pluck all your shamrocks yet.

See Mamma Penny on Sex and Health over at Sizzling Hot: was Mamma Penny right? Okay now to sheathe your sword in "exceptional circumstances," that is, if there is no mending you.... Rave reviews these remarks got from the highest authorities at the WHO...

Thanks a lot, Maurizzio Magellan. Are you a psychic?

Finnegans Wake and the circularity of things...
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On When Authors are Edited

Portrait of Mary ShelleyImage via Wikipedia
From NPR

It's nice to know where a semicolon is supposed to go, but it's nothing to swell your chest over. The artistry is in being able to write sentences that require one.

True. In the realm of artistry, where Creativity comes from, there is no such thing as rules of grammar and punctuation. Words and Images just ARE. 

As to literature, it is obvious and patently clear that the writing skills of a particular author be they a man or woman, or some other gender in-between, eloquently does not matter.

In the story above we see scholars trying to shed light on a no-no subject; could women from modest backgrounds and not too involved in the world of Academia have written such lovely and unforgettable masterpieces such as (Frankestein, or) Pride and Prejudice? Was there a man breathing down the necks of and dictating to, (or worse!) weren't the novels dictated to the paragons of English literature? And worse twice over, weren't the magnificent authors merely copying texts?

We all know that when we read a novel, a thousand possibilities leap out the pages and we read a great deal into them: be it repressed homosexuality or a thousand other paranoic possibilities. The background of such novels, clearly, was one of repressed sexuality and smothered creativity plus things we cannot possibly find terms for. Life was black and white and thinking out of the box was anathema. If ever those authors found ingenious ways of putting their message across albeit in code... It is all to their credit.

The Western Cannon will never find room for such dissidence. Now, if there REALLY is something that may be lurking behind our beloved novels and that may not have seen the light of day yet as far as originality of such works is concerned, we see that in our post-post-modern society where splitting atoms is a daily occurrence, surely we should get to the very bottom of the matter when/where appropriate.  However, clearly, it woud require cojones. Big ones.

Do you want to explore some more? 

Go here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Something Funnily Serious About Hypertension

Everyone knows what to do when the going gets tough and the signs of hypertension that have been poking their ugly heads for a while, well, come to a head.

In Brazil, of course, maybe not everyone is in the know about the ravages of an uncared-for life and people usually take their relative health for granted and will only look for help when it is too late. After all, hypertension is the bane of most middle-agers' life. The young suffer as well.

With that in mind our Health Minister, Miguel Temporão, resorted to a very peculiar way of drawing attention to the fact. Upon urging his fellow Brazilians to eat healthily, exersize frequently and be aware of the dangers lurking in the dark, erm, blood, he mentioned that people should also engage in, well, sex. Yes, sex. Lots of it.

Brazilians, bemused by the suggestion, jumped at the idea with a certain amount of gusto, we would like to think, and others not so, quite. Why? For the very obvious reason that if you are to engage in such an activity, you need someone to help you along with it, right?

That's is what one lady said, when interviewed, that as soon as she found the partner in question, she would be going to be right "on top of it." 


Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Food for Thought

Recently, on Facebook, I've read a friend's post saying she was going to immerse herself in chips, ice-cream and TV series, signalling perhaps it was her only option. I commented back saying that "a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips". Do you agree?

What is it that makes people resort to comfort food to cope with their frustrations? Would you agree that water and silence would do the trick? Or do you think that this is none of our business and people should do as they damn please?

Wouldn't it be better for you to get out there and move around? Move in the sense of doing something with your body and making your blood circulate and, thereby. occasioning in yourself a sense of accomplishment and exhilaration? How should people deal with their hang-ups and little demons?

Our informant commented back saying she had thought of better ways to spend her afternoons... Well, THAT is dynamic, too!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On When the Rich Build Their Homes in Protected Areas

Their homes get blasted and razed to the ground. This is what happened in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro.

After a judicial battle (ten years!), and this is the state against the owner, a 1600 square meter mansion built in an environmental protection area in the Atlantic Rain Forest in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, was razed to the ground earlier today.

The State Environmental Bureau used 40 pounds of dynamite to demolish the building. The owner of the property, who is a Korean national, was fined and charged with environmental crimes.

Authorities say he had been notified several times prior to the demolition about the illegality of the construction and told to replant the deforested area. The state government financed the blast and the owner is to reimburse the state.

Authorities hope people will now think twice before building homes in protected areas. There is no end date for the crackdown on environmental crimes.

Kudos to the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The Video

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women in Power and in Politics

You know what this is
Draft a little text on women in power. Women at the helm. Estrogenic power. Women with bulge (here, quoting a fellow blogger). Add a bit of info on this, that and the other. All factual, of course.

In the Americas, top the text with: Elizabeth Christine Leopoldine Augusta Michaela Gabriella Raphaella Gonzaga, Empress Isabel of Brazil, way back; and then on to Isabel Perón in Argentina, glazed and buried; Michelle Bachelet in Chile, alive and kicking at the UN;  Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, recently widowed; and Dilma Roussef,  president-elect, very much ecstatic, in Brazil. All of them in South America.

Angela Merkel, wielding a lot of power in Germany, Europe. Margaret Thatcher, stubbornly alive, in the UK. 

Indira Gandh in India, Golda Meier in Israel, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, the three of them now gone to meet with their Maker. Ellen Jonhson Sirleaf, vivíssima in Liberia, Africa.

Julia Gillard, currently, and Helen Clark, pastly, down under.

In the States, up in this Hemisphere: Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin (yes, she is VERY powerful, you've got no idea....); Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice? These lend their female power to the ocean of testosterone in Washington. Will they ever have a woman president? 

Ah, way, way back, in Egypt, there was Cleopatra. In Brittania: fearless Boudicca all the way up to virginissima Elizabeth Tudor and her golden age; later, Queen Victoria, covered ankles and everything; and, finally, Queen Elizabeth, mother-in-law to Princess Diana. 

Who's missing?

Friday, November 5, 2010

On When Films Misinform

Praia de Carneiros in Pernambuco - Northeastern Br
See whether we can come up with a rebuttal for chewed and digested data shown in an American film, "Turistas" (same title in the original), directed by John Sotckwell and produced by Fox films.

The flick shows clichés intensified by terror such as doctored caipirinhas, rogue native-Brazilians doubling as thugs for organ traffickers...

Also, the absurdity of having to read that the bad guys (Brazilians!) speak Spanish! There's more bull: The Amazon is next to Rio de Janeiro! Is this dis-information or what?

Outraged, Brazilian authorities are keeping an eye on viewers' reactions. That could throw a spanner in all the good work people are trying to do to clean up the image of this country abroad. Our Tourism Board have their work cut out for them. 

We are doing our bit helping to dispel every myth. Don't believe a word you hear.

Ah, our buses are ultra-super modern and equipped with LCD TVs and GPSed. Catch that flight.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Does Porto Alegre Have a Book Fair?

Visitors at the Book Fair - A crowd drawer
Also on Digital Journal

Gay Pride Parades, beautiful parks, beautiful people, all the amenities found in the best capitals all over and a book fair to boot?

Yes, Porto Alegre has a book fair. An annual event held every year towards the end of October, beginning of November.

It is one of the oldest in the country. This after one porto-alegrean visited one such fair in Rio de Janeiro and inspired, he came up with a similar event in Porto Alegre. That was in 1955.

What they wanted was to make books available to the masses and since they would not come to the books why not take the books to the them? That is what they did back then.

Paixão Côrtes - Honoree 2010. 
Alfândega (Customs) Square was a busy corner in Porto Alegre in the 50s and 400 thousand people inhabited the Merry Port. So, on November 16th, 1955, the first Porto Alegre Book Fair was set in motion with 14 wooden stalls around a monument to an important general. From then on, as you can imagine, the fair idea caught on and goes on until today.

With all the success, at the occasion of the eleventh book fair, the tradition of adopting one Honoree – a Guest of Honor, so to speak – who would represent the whole idea of the fair, began. And to him homage is paid every year.

The Honoree, more often than not a writer or an important personality connected to books or to academia, is always busy granting interviews and making clear his vision of the world.

This year’s fair will be held from October 29th to November 15th , 2010. Been swayed? Catch that flight and visit the fair.

The Roper (O Laçador) - Wikipedia

An agronomist, folklorist, composer, radio man and researcher of the Brazilian culture, Paixão Côrtes was born in Santana do Livramento, RS,  in 1927.  

A gaucho culture icon, The Roper Monument, Porto Alegre's chief symbol, was modelled after him in 1958.

Photos: Book Fair Organizers

Porto Alegre in English on YouTube

On Women Presidents and the Electorate

Dilma Rousseff in Porto Alegre. photo: Roberto Stuckert Filho
Digital Journal

"Brazilians went to bed last night, Sunday October 31st, knowing that they had voted for the country's first woman president."

So we did, yes. 56 million of us hit the electronic voting machine to usher in a new era.

 Actually, it was about 8 PM when we found out we had a winner. The town was all party for those on that side of the isle and people had a sense of elation.

On the other, erm, the opposition bowed out of the race gracefully with its chief exponent saying he was only just beginning on the path to a new country. He was saying that the defeat was no defeat at all. Check it to experience. 

Great leaders always think positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel even when faced with apparent adversity. That is commendable.

Photo: Wikipedia - Voting Machine
This writer is entirely apolitical and thinks little of the whole affair. 

Perhaps, he should find jubilation in the fact that a paradigm has been shifted and that now there is a woman calling the shots in high places. However, his cynicism dictates that he should stand on his guard, sit and wait to see what is coming up ahead.

Gool luck, fellow Brazilians with your new choice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On How to Vote and Live to Enjoy it

"Voters in Brazil are getting ready to vote in their next president in a run-off contest to be held next Sunday. Who might be the next to inherit the throne is anyone's guess."

That's tomorrow, by the way! Are we gonna be the next country in Latin America to have a woman as president? Are we keeping on with the testosterone in high powers?

Or do you think this is more a question of good policies versus bad policies and the good of the nation? Are you partisan? Or do you think that it does not damn matter who is power and that usually governments are just puppets in the hands of super secret cabals, of cliques trying to run the world?

Cynically, we happen to think that it usually is more of the same. It does not matter who is at the helm. The rich keep getting richer, the poor keep getting poorer.

Perhaps we should all think about educating the masses and give them  the wherewithal with which to think for themselves. Help them understand that this is a vast Universe, we Earthlings a mere speck of.

We should forfeit the bad and hold on to the good and see the Other as diversity and not as a threat to our established ideas...

Oh, we wish.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Mother Nature's Ring of Fire

Map of the Pacific Ring of Fire and five volca...Image via Wikipedia
The Pacific Ring of Fire (or sometimes just the Ring of Fire) is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. 

In a 40,000 Km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements..... Wikipedia

Yiikes! It's Mother Nature at it, again!  This time in Indonesia - wracked by quake, tsunami and volcanic eruption.

We've been witnessing her awesome powers in the last few years. That we know of. Surely she has been at it since for ever. They ain't pretty. She has been squirming from the bottom of her womb, causing untold catastrophes to unfold in, but not exclusively, the Ring of Fire.

Double whammys she will pack on those not paying attention to her. For all the attention is called for. No use your praying and pulling your hair out and speaking in tongues to get her to stop (Sorry!). She won't. Ever.

Now, there is one little thing you can do. You might be the lucky one to beat her at her own game. You will have to hit the books and burn the two o'clock oil and see if you can devise ways and gadgets to decipher Her mysterious riddles, er, ways. Oh, Mother, You're a Bitch!  Would you allow us to build us a ship to get us out of here before you turn on Yourself?

The wonders of this and outer worlds. They say there's this meteor....dashing towards this insignificant third rock from the Sun. Argh, enough!

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