Tag Archives: politics

Political Seeds

It is not often that artists successfully navigate their way through political themes.

PJ Harvey does it so gracefully I thought it was but pertinent to include her in my wave of politics-related posts. Here’s the most recent video for her much acclaimed new album Let England Shake, The Glorious Land:

As the lyrics state, we must be keenly aware of the people we choose to govern us and their political agenda.

How is our glorious land sewn? Not with wheat and corn

War is the silliest excuse for the enforcement of economical and political interests.

Let us not be led to believe otherwise.

From eyes to ears

I am going plain and simply to ignore the result of the Brazilian elections for president and just post a video of my new favorite young indie rock band, Deerhunter:

This is taken from their latest album Halcyon Digest. Highly addictive, by the way.

Who says refraining from emitting an opinion on politics is no political act?

Deerhunter is much easier on the eye and much more pleasant music to my ears, though.

Teen Beauty from B or Diversity and Politics

I was actually going to write about my disgust for French politicians and their racistic, demagogic and economically-driven anti-immigrant policies but it just sickens me too much. I want to remain optimistic today.

In order to brighten up the day, I then chose to post here another pretty Brazilian guy who’s got a lot to show (pardon the pun).

Jonathan Dalcin is not 18 yet but his manly teen looks have gotten him quite a lot of attention in the last São Paulo Fashion Week, which was when I first saw him.

Jonathan’s foreign last name is a reminder of how important it is to keep doors open to diversity and natural integration.

Openness towards foreigners strengthens a land and not the opposite. Xenophobic laws which seek to create a single and thus illusory notion of citizenship do not contribute to any country’s identity.

To be governed by narrow-mindedness is to deny different people the chance to help build an innovative and more beautiful future. Let us not remain static.

As for Jonathan Dalcin, thank goodness his family came.

Pictures by Vitor Shalom via MadeinBrazil.

A little on Lula

The ends justify the means.

This aphorism, shrewdly turned into political treatise in Machiavelli’s famous book The Prince, is the line that perhaps most accurately describes the Brazilian president’s take on power.

Yes, his personal history is inspirational as it is surprising, given the fact that Brazil has always been ruled by people issued from the much self-centered and selfish economic elite. And the foreign press loves him for it.

What a disappointment did we, critical and observing people, have when his government and an alarming number of people in power were repeatedly connected to countless and outrageous corruption scandals.

Mr Lula was at first able to convince the population (rather successfully) that he was not personally connected to those criminals. But as the scandals became to emerge, one after the other, the circle began to close down on him and it soon seemed odd that he was the only person still morally innocent.

By that time, most of the smart voters and democratically friendly press started doing the math: many of the corrupt individuals in high government posts had been selected by the president himself. How naïve can one actually be?

But the economy is doing well; the world crisis hardly hit Brazil and poor and uneducated people finally have some hope for a better life and living. Things, in general, are improving. Wouldn’t it be best to put that all aside?

No, never. Besides the fact that this is not how a democracy should work, rotten by filthy schemes which some might choose to ignore as long as things are going well, corruption is very likely the most important problem Brazil as a country has to face.

Let us consider some key aspects. Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world, both in production standards and in natural resources. Basically everything the country needs is produced here (including self-sufficiency in oil supply) and there is an increasing trend for technology to be local as well. Why is there still so much poverty and low living standards in so many areas around the country?

The solution, my friends, is plain and simple corruption. Tax-payer money never reaches the areas it is mostly needed.

Mr Lula is leaving power soon and although it doesn’t seem that his overall intentions are bad, he keeps on taking the morally reproachable path.

His political party’s candidate, aka his successor, was literally manufactured by him. A former sullen minister turned into smiling candidate who is suddenly personally responsible for all the government successes – including those fostered by the previous oppositional administration. Moreover, public money is spent on her campaign regardless of the fines she is forced to pay.

Lula and his protegée, Dilma Rousseff

And what does the outspoken and brilliant rhetorician President Lula say about this? Please hold your laughter when you read this, but his answer frequently goes:

“the press only focuses on the negative”.

As long as the power is in his or his friends hands, everything is justifiable.

Well, not really.

How to divert attention

The French Government is carrying out an expulsion of Roma (Gypsy) of its territory. Legally, these people are European citizens, which makes the manoeuver illegal according to EU law.

Earlier this week, the EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, allegedly compared the actions fiercely defended by Nicolas Sarkozy to Germany’s policies of expulsion during World War II.

Right served him.

Not so many people are aware of the fact that other ethnic, religious and political minorities were also persecuted during the third Reich: gypsies, Africans, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, communists and even people with mental illnesses suffered during the regime.

The French government is going through a major political crisis linking the president with illegal moves involving obscure campaign money donations and power influence. Not to mention the economic crisis, also rather clumsily handled.

Creating an outrageous scandal based on right-wing populist measures with racistic ideals is quite an effective way of distracting the people’s attention, is it not?

No matter how big our prejudices might be, we must not repeat the errors of the past, even if they seem like the easiest way out of a crisis.

We must be smarter than that.

Der Eintänzer (2009), by Rebecca Horn

Isolation has never solved anything.

On the rise of Brazil

It is quite interesting to see the amount of attention Brazil is getting from the foreign press these days. For decades, the only thing that was available for readers around the globe were news pieces about either carnaval/soccer extravaganzas or poverty-connected events. It was one cliché after the other. Then came the internet. Then came easier and cheaper traveling opportunities. And most importantly, then came economic progress and the discovery of unimaginably immense oil reserves off the coast of Brazil.

Let us not be naive and think that all this interest sprang from a sudden curiosity about Brazilian cultural life. It has been the same or maybe even more original since way before President Lula‘s shiny leadership. Of course this is a special time and we should be opmistic about it. People’s lives are improving, from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich – things are better. I’m actually quite glad to notice that this is a good time for the country to grow. Why? Nowadays development plans are carried out in a  much more conscious way than ever before. Europeans often criticize Brazil and other countries for their growing strategies but let us not forget than the whole of Europe  (or parts of the US or Japan for that matter) was once covered by forestland. What is left of it? Virtually nothing. Positive criticism is always welcome, but let us do it without cynicism – it’s better taken.

Times are changing and I’m part of it. When I come to think about, I wonder if maybe just 15 years ago my voice would have been heard.

Let the many faces of Brazil finally be seen.

One of the many faces of Brazil