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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Greetings to my Family! Get us Out of Here Soon, Please!

Greetings to my family! Get us out of here soon, please!


If you have been watching news from abroad lately, you may have been gored by the horns of a *dilemma: whether to feel sympathy for one woman said to be about to be stoned to death in the Middle East or whether you send your heart wrapped in a golden box of hope to those 33 Chilean miners trapped in the bowels of the Atacama desert.

It is an allegory. We are sending our miners farther and farther into unreachable abysses to collect minerals to sustain our thirst and hunger for durable goods. Expendable creatures, right out of the lowest of the lowest strata that can be molded and programmed, unluckily, to operate and do the nastiest of jobs we discard with our veneering long acquired with years of study.

From the videos sent up from the **Dantean pits where our miners extract copper and gold, one immediately learns that they are literate and overweight for plans A and B are contingent on their shedding the extra pounds gained with years of  unwholesome nutrition (so we think!). Literate because they have managed to fish out some scribbled notes and have family members read them for the cameras and overweight because the rescue shaft to be drilled is of a certain width. Circumference...

Food for thought. Pardon the sarcasm(?)-irony(?), in that we have no plans to extract you from your plush seats and away from your grapes and strawberries but we are just inviting you to take a moment to contemplate with us the nature of our consumerism.

In a time when nothing of consequence is happening (apparently!) and in the most advanced nation on Earth, that north of the Rio Grande and one whose vernacular we use, they hold rallies praising Deities and the Military (according to this same news source), one just looks up and sighs: "What is this world coming to?"

*Dilemma = State of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavourable options.

 Or is that "Trilemma" for we have not covered the unending floods in another far-off land where their meager rations are dropped from the Sky.

**Of or relating to Dante Alighieri or his writings.  "3" is a constant in his The Divine Comedy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Post Disaster Approaches to Community Living

Have you watched the video all the way to the end?  And have you "seen" beyond the video?

Very well. It is basically none of our business and to be poking our nose where it is not needed is really way out of line. However, a few words from people who see things differently might offer a new perspective.

For those of you,  Afro-descendants, who live in the United States and who have the misfortune of calling the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans home, so much the focus of the news media, and as we are now moving  into the fifth year after the devastating hurricane, here is the deal.

We are sick and tired of watching the white-run media bringing their cameras into vulnerable neighborhoods which are invariably black and seeing derelict housing and overgrown vacant lots; we are sick and tired of seeing our beloved Africanness being thrown at our faces the way it is; we are sick and tired of seeing inaction and victimization and victimhood.

It is high time we "banded" together and made one huge collective effort to make ourselves better by studying more, by working harder, by sacrificing more and by creating new results. Clearly hundreds of years in the United States have not been enough to shift the current paradigm.

We breed ourselves out of proportion and into poverty and we are, invariably, the targets of negative stereotyping. You just have to watch American TV to learn that to the minutest detail.

If you have watched the video and you have seen the volunteering, you will have noticed that the volunteers shown there were what? white! So quit blaming politicians, a breed apart, and roll up your sleeves and get down to work. Immediate actions are called for:  i.e.  collective gardens and orchards which are urgently needed. Vocational training a must and immediate help in the in tidying up the neighborhood is imperative.

Let us all give a time frame for our success. 10 years. The root of sacrifice is Sacrum Officium...

Now watch this video:

1225–75;  (n.) ME < OF < L sacrificium,  equiv. to sacri-  (comb.form of sacer  holy) + -fic-,  comb. form of facere  to make, do1  +-ium -ium (v.) ME sacrifisen,  deriv. of the n.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On Body Language and its Inevitability.

National Geographic Afghan Girl

When we write we tend to jot down what is foremost in our mind. Where does it come from? Outer Space?

Put simply, we are able to tap into hidden crannies in our "brains" that retain information for later use or to be later manifested.

Or maybe, we log on to The World of Ideas of Plato.  Or is it the subconscious?

Sometimes, we get to see parts of our Being that wants to be in evidence but cannot do it explicitly. Life makes use of subtle antics to manifest itself.

I think that when we write or say something, we always reveal a little bit of ourselves, like a footprint, on the Path.

As is with body language that will show when when we are doing that job interview. The best of actors will not conquer it. Self-control will not be enough.

Eyes are windows, too. Souls are revealed through the eyes. Watch, if you can, your eyes…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Writing Blogs in a Foreign First Language

It is rewarding to learn this blog is read and followed globally, thanks largely to the English Language. This veritable Lingua Franca  has enabled me to communicate and to publicize my thoughts and opinions.

After a year doing the rounds in cyberspace,  I have had the opportunity to visit many pages, written in English, and to most of them accolades are due. People do have a lot to say.

Many are here to spread the Word of Cosciousness and others are here to entertain. It does not matter. I thank the Universe for this diversity.

For many of us living in the West, with our relative freedoms (of speech), we tend to take for granted what for others come at a huge cost.

Thank you so much for all of you who follow this blog. I do hope I am following you, too. We are just a few of us, so far. We maybe smaller quantitavely, but bigger qualitatively.

Your voice matters.

Below, John Milton (1608-1674) expresses with a great degree of poise my gratitude to my preferred medium here on the Blogosphere.

At a Vacation Exercise

The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began

              1Hail native language, that by sinews weak
              2Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,
              3And mad'st imperfect words with childish trips,
              4Half unpronounc'd, slide through my infant lips,
              5Driving dumb Silence from the portal door,
              6Where he had mutely sate two years before:
              7Here I salute thee and thy pardon ask,
              8That now I use thee in my latter task:
              9Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
            10I know my tongue but little grace can do thee:
            11Thou needst not be ambitious to be first,
            12Believe me I have thither pack'd the worst:
            13And, if it happen as I did forecast,
            14The daintest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
            15I pray thee then deny me not thy aid
            16For this same small neglect that I have made:
            17But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,
            18And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure;
            19Not those new-fangled toys, and trimming slight
            20Which takes our late fantastics with delight,
            21But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire
            22Which deepest spirits, and choicest wits desire.
            23I have some naked thoughts that rove about
            24And loudly knock to have their passage out;
            25And weary of their place do only stay
            26Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array;
            27That so they may without suspect or fears
            28Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears.
            29Yet I had rather, if I were to choose,
            30Thy service in some graver subject use,
            31Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
            32Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
            33Such where the deep transported mind may soar
            34Above the wheeling poles, and at heav'n's door
            35Look in, and see each blissful deity
            36How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
            37Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
            38To th'touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
            39Immortal nectar to her kingly sire;
            40Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
            41And misty regions of wide air next under,
            42And hills of snow and lofts of piled thunder,
            43May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves,
            44In heav'n's defiance mustering all his waves;
            45Then sing of secret things that came to pass
            46When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
            47And last of kings and queens and heroes old,
            48Such as the wise Demodocus once told
            49In solemn songs at king Alcinous' feast,
            50While sad Ulysses' soul and all the rest
            51Are held with his melodious harmony
            52In willing chains and sweet captivity.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Violence Against Gays and Just Deserts

Art: Fabiano Spadari

Three suspects in the murder of 14-year-old Alexandre Rajão, killed on June 21, now charged with aggravated murder. Blood DNA samples found in the suspects' car showed compatibility with the blood of the murdered boy's mother. The defendants remain in jail.

The body of Alexander Thome Ivo Rajão was found on the morning of June 21,  in a vacant lot in California Garden in São Gonçalo, RJ, Brazil, with marks of beatings and torture. Earlier, the teenager had attended a party after the game by Brazil's World Cup, where there was a fight. He was returning home alone, when he disappeared.

Police arrived at  the three suspects after receiving calls by a Hotline informing the number plate of the car at the scene of the crime. 
Mordant Comment:
Kudos to our police for pursuing the investigation and bringing to these criminals their just deserts. We should  expect them to rot in jail for ever and ever and never to be allowed to see the world as it orbits around the Sun. 
These criminals and others like them are to learn a lesson and to have the just facts of life rammed down their throats. Killing by hatred and by an asinine ideology - skinheads - if you will believe that,  in a most mestizo of countries, is next to anachronistic.
We should add to that, if possible, our warmest wishes for the terriblest of punishments: that their conscience should come to haunt their sleep for the next seven lifetimes and after that, the energy that makes up their individual souls should be returned to the Great Maker and be remodelled into a most rudimentary substance fit to inhabit Mars i. e. when it is next terraformed and ready to receive primordial life. All of that under the auspices of The Erinyes.
Then and only then should they be given the gift of Hu-manness and to be allowed to inhabit the society of humankind.
We rest our case.

R.I.P Ale

Saturday, August 14, 2010

VTB Virtual Toy-Boy and Personal Trainer - English Version Absolutely Available

Glory Be! The international market now boasts the arrival of the ultra-modern Hercules

Hercules, realistic, made in exact imitation of the human skin to the smallest detail. With hairy arms and legs and exuding that manly smell only you will recognize, he will undoubtedly take down many physical-ed teachers and other hunks jogging along the lake and down the road in your neck of the woods.

Hercules, 6 ft tall, US$ 4,300, available in the Anglo, Hispanic or African version, 188 pounds of muscles, is custom made for those who do not have a real friend breathing down their neck. Who said they're not necessary?

Programmed with five thousand functions (overkill!), including abs to paramarital exercises (awe-struck?) and Zen meditation, our maverick is always in an upbeat mood.

Say good-bye to that one you call (politically correct) companion and acquire Hercules. The toy-boy that is ruling the waves. Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On Women and Politics

The time to vote a new president in is fast approaching in Brazil (3rd October 2010) and parties here, there and everywhere are pulling themselves together and doing their bit to put forward the best names for the hopefuls and now candidates.

All of them now stumping widely.

Now, since we have written a lot about women on this blog, it would only be fitting if we commented about the fact we have two of them running for president of this vast country. Mind you, in a country as varied as a box of candies. And we all know, differences in education as vast as the Atlantic coast, if not bigger.

The two female choices are peculiarly controversial: one, Dilma Rousseff,  because she is getting that pat in the back from the current president who wants her to follow in his shoes and thereby continuing with his policies and, the other, Marina Silva  from the Green Party (Partido Verde), with an extensive resumé in ecological causes.

The former, hugely controversial for being economical with the truth and not even being clear about her academic credentials. Do you or do you not have a PhD? Have you or have you not met with this or that person? If you can “gloss over” this data, what to make of larger issues?

The latter, in particular, because she is part of an ever increasing religious trend, pervasive in all Latin America, called Evangelical Protestantism. A challenge, really, to the long-standing Catholic hegemony. Obviously, this phenomenon prevalent amongst the more vulnerable in society is, we know, encouraging a political culture. Question: Will they be authoritarian and repressive, or will they bring about more democracy? We, Westerners, are terrified of religious fundamentalism.

Whoever we finally decide to vote for, let us make sure we vote conscientiously and not just drop someone into office as we so often do and then live to regret it. How do we do it? Let us try to go past the slick advertising campaigns and the usual Brazilian (“jeitinho brasileiro”) way of doing things by perhaps donating our priceless vote to that candidate who has helped us with our private agendas. Let us, if we can, vote in people with character, awareness and with subtle qualities of a bigger heart which will benefit ALL Brazilians.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

On Prejudice

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 show. When discussion starts, we recoil, voice inwards, to just listen. When we see attacks on TV on gender, race 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 (you have heard this elsewhere before, I know) and with beliefs that gravitate towards the installed monolithic blocks we know in our half of the world. 

This does not mean in anyway we are prejudiced against the blond and the blue-eyed. We come from a family where we have all that. And has not the science of genetics debunked all that? If you have seen The Body Exhibition you know that is true. We are all the same underneath.

Socio-anthropologically, however, we notice changes happening in local supermarkets, credit card companies, hotels that have started to see the “Other” as a consumer. 

In other spheres, we have gay marriages some of us. Even better, people coming to a realization that the "Different" are okay. What a disparate world!

It was about time.