Monthly Archives: August 2009

African me

Lately I’ve been quite obsessed with anything Bantu-related or Sub-Saharan African. I don’t know why but this new-found interest has been so present in my mind for quite some time. How curious.

As a Brazilian, it is quite likely that I am partly descendant of an African people, unbeknownst to my family for political or racistic reasons. Still, given the way African people were brought to Brazil, it is quite probable they came from a Bantu nation somewhere in Angola or Mozambique or the regions nearby.

Due to the heavy European influence, getting information from South Africa happens to be much easier than the other countries. I have become quite a fan of Miriam Makeba, a South-African singer of the Xhosa ethnic group who is actually known in Brazil for her connections and contributions with local artists. Here’s my all time favorite song interpreted by her:

The sound quality is rather poor, but it’s possible to hear it using headphones.

Another sing who’s captured my attention was the relatively famous Cesaria Évora, aka the Barefoot Diva, a Cape Verdean. She sings in her country’s creole, which is a mixture of Portuguese with diverse African languages. After studying about it, I can quite understand the lyrics too. Enjoy:

I’ve got to go back to work now – I’ve got new destinations to spare money for.

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Things to do when avoiding work

Once again, instead of working, here I am writing about the things I do when I want to shun it.

My choice du jour: reading the most insightful plays on human character, by Oscar Wilde.

Here’s a piece I found particularly pertinent:

– Why do you put us on monstrous pedestals? We have all feet of clay, women as well as men; but when we men love women, we love them knowing their weaknesses…

Taken from An Ideal Husband, this line contains one undeniable truth and maybe one small mistake. I think both men and women put their loved ones on a pedestal – a process which also goes by the name of passion. Then one day they reluctantly discover that the person is not what they had blindly believed, rather that they have so many imperfections they are woken up from the dream and face reality – a process which also goes by the name of breaking up.

What is really bad for all of us is that dreaming is so much more interesting and magical than waking up. What a shame.

Wilde, Wilde, why did you have to be so right?

Wilde, Wilde, why did you have to be so right?

Ok, time to go back to work.

The unmistakable presence of the Queen

As a Brazilian journalist and fashionista once so shrewdly said: in this world of ours, one cannot pretend not to notice Madonna.

I cannot do it either. Many are those who think she should be thinking about retiring. Some say it’s because of her age. Other claim she’s lost all she once had. Yet, she seems to be ever so hungry for fame (despite her regretting having trade for love, without a second thought) and has a new album and single out as we speak. Here’s the single, boringly entitled Celebration:

I’ve been to her last show and I’ve listened to the song and my personal veredict, if asked, would be: besides dating the very hot (and incredibly pedestrian) Brazilian model Jesus Luz, she hasn’t been doing anything worth to notice.

Nevertheless, I have been wrong about her in the past. Just before Confessions On a Dancefloor was released, I had been hoping she would retire and choose a life of glorious memories. As always, I was glad to be mistaken. Let us see what happens this time.

Beauty from B

Upon request, I hereby initiate a series of posts with the sole purpose of showing more of the Brazilian beauty – which can be any type, mind you.

My first choice:

Karim Aum

Karim Aum

With his manly, almost macho-like looks, Karim Aum, (at Ford Models) is what most foreigners would assume a Brazilian looks like.

I just love the boxer look too.

Angst in the arts

Some things in life seem so obvious and are so common that we sometimes are forced to believe they are true. Until the day we are faced with a different reality.

When talking about the inspiration for art, be it painting, film or music, many are the ones who believe that its major source is angst. Although I too agree that angst is definitely a factor that helps bring up ideas for art, it is not the only possibility, as I have discussed before.

There are so many pieces of work around the globe which depict sadness, darkness, broken hearts and the rest. So much so that we are led to believe that darker moods dominate the art world. It does not have to be so. There has got to be a manifesto against one single view on arts – one that is mostly negative and angst-filled. There must be other points of view on art production, there shouldn’t be only one dominating the whole scene.

"Através", by Cildo Meireles

The art of leaving things behind in Através, by Cildo Meireles

Take the work of Beatriz Milhazes, Cildo Meireles‘ or that of Adriana Varejão. These two multitalented artists of Brazilian roots master their art of choice and yet transmit a happier take on life and all types of perception.

An inspiration for those who wish to challenge these dominant views is the contemporary art museum called Inhotim, virtually a paradise for art and life lovers amidst a heavenly botanical garden of delights.

Let us be happier in the world of the arts. Really.

The use of fun

Friday nights are always of so much hope. At least for a fun night.

Should I get very drunk tonight? Philosophical question no. 1.

I’m going to a club for a party in which two good friends are playing. It’s fashion night. Is dressing up required? For sure.

The best thing about living in a big city which isn’t that big is the fact that you always meet your friends and many people you like, just by chance.

After finding my apartment in one such event, I never take fun for granted. Hmm, but again, who does? That is philosophical question no. 2.

1, 2, 3, 4, fun.