02 May 2012

Iranian identity: proud of the past, disconnected from the present

"[...] Mahjouri left Iran in 1983, four years after the Iranian Revolution and at the height of the Iraq-Iran War. His exile began on horseback as he traveled across Iran’s mountainous northern region, into neighbouring Turkey. It was a dangerous journey that required time and large sums of money in order to be smuggled across the boarder.


“Parents would sell their cars or houses to get their kids out of the country,” he explains. “It was too dangerous for people at my age to stay there.” Mahjouri was 18 years old when he arrived in Canada as a refugee with only $20 in his pocket."


Read more here.

Latinos continue to struggle in Canada

"More than 1.2 million refugees traded their home countries for Canada in the past five years. Kendi Martinez, who left the Mexican city of Reynosa in 2007, is one of them. The violence that scares Mexican families was not the biggest threat at home.


25 April 2012

Emerging outreach

Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, is attracting more and more attention because of its domestic economic achievements. At the same time, the government in Brasilia is becoming more assertive at the international level and increasingly engaging in cooperation with less advanced countries.


Read more here.

21 October 2011

Marginalized voices in the Rio favelas

"Arms wide open, a large, towering statue of Jesus Christ blesses the seven million inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, a city whose radiating warmth and dazzling sceneries welcome tourists from across the world. This is one of the most visited places in the southern hemisphere, attracting approximately three million foreign tourists per year. 

The number would probably be much higher if the so-called “marvellous city” did not have a frightening, dark side: an exceptionally high violent crime rate. 

In 2009, the public security secretary of Rio de Janeiro registered 2155 murders in the city – three times as many as occurred in all of Germany that year. 

As in most other large Brazilian cities, crime closely relates to the economic disparity that separates the rich from the poor. In Rio de Janeiro, however, this disparity is especially visible, since most of the city’s hill slopes are favelas, quarters of marginalised “communities” where disadvantaged people live. The first favelas emerged about 100 years ago as illegal settlements. Although they are covered by town planning today, they are still considered somewhat informal and in many ways resemble slums (...)."

07 March 2011

The dead of Varanasi

It was 5:10 AM when I started knocking on Sanzio and Giovanni's door. About ten minutes later, I realized there was nothing I could do to wake up our deaf Italian friends. So, my sister and I decided to leave the guesthouse without our volunteer guides to see if we could find what we were looking for on our own.

For two months, we had been catching packed buses and trains around the incredible India. It was enough time to find our way out of a chaotic Mumbai and test our luck crossing the busiest streets of the capital, New Delhi. After surviving our first few perilous dashes through traffic in Rajasthan, we had gone on to experience the colourful Navaratri Festival in Gujarat. Then, we had finally seen the Everest and contemplated the splendid Taj Mahal with our own eyes.

At this point, sharing the streets with cows, rickshaws and bare-footed people had become normal. So had eating spicy food with our hands, protecting ourselves from daring monkeys and using toilets with holes on the floor and no toilet paper.

We then travelled on to Varanasi, the holiest place in the Hindu world. I was particularly curious about the Ganges River and the masses of pilgrims that I would probably encounter there. But, frankly, my sister and I didn't expect to find anything really impressive in that old city.

Shortly after we got there, some rumours put our scepticism in doubt. They said something in that place would blow us away. "At sunrise, head to the river and follow the smoke", was the instruction. That's exactly what we got up to this morning.

After bumping into dodging cow dung and sleeping people along several narrow streets, we finally reached the river. There were different sources of smoke. We aimed at the closest one, which was less than a mile away. As we walked along the riverside, the first sun rays revealed a striking scenario: many people bathing, washing their clothes and brushing their teeth in the Ganges's dark water.

Then a crowd diverted our attention to the exact spot from where the smoke was billowing. It was mostly adults singing around a bonfire. A sign said that taking pictures was not allowed, so I intuitively barged through the crowd and just watched.

A corpse was being cremated. The body was wrapped in an orange cloth and tied to a bamboo litter. His hair and most of the cloth had already disappeared among the flames of the big bonfire. The whites of his eyes first lost their pristine colour, then the eyes themselves their round shape before his skin started to burn and melt.

Only a few steps away, I could feel the heat and smell the roasting flesh. After a while, the macabre spectacle left only ashes and the remains of bone. These were then thrown into the water, and new firewood was brought for the next open-air cremation. I looked around and realized that my sister and I were the only ones shocked.

As I learned later, this Hindu ritual happens hundreds of times every morning in the several burning ghats along the Ganges River. For some families, the wood costs such a fortune that they simply drown the deceased with heavy stones in the holy water. That explains why, in the days which followed, we would continue to spot heads and other human body parts floating in the river.

10 November 2010

Deliberate practice leads to great performance


I've recently learned a bit about Geoff Colvin, who is defined on his own website as a “leading thinker, writer, broadcaster, and speaker on today's most significant trends in business”.

In his book Talent is overrated: what really separates world-class performers (2009), Geoff Colvin helps us understand why some people are really good at what they do while others tend to have mediocre performance during all their lives. Is it talent? Is it hard work? None or both together plus something else?

Here is an excerpt of the book's first chapter:

• The factor that seems to explain the most about great performance
is something the researchers call deliberate practice. Exactly what
that is and isn’t turns out to be extremely important. It definitely isn’t
what most of us do on the job every day, which begins to explain the
great mystery of the workplace—why we’re surrounded by so many
people who have worked hard for decades but have never approached
greatness. Deliberate practice is also not what most of us do when we
think we’re practicing golf or the oboe or any of our other interests.
Deliberate practice is hard. It hurts. But it works. More of it equals bet-
ter performance. Tons of it equals great performance.

22 October 2010

Festival of Lights Berlin 2010

The Brandenburger Gate during the Festival of Lights Berlin 2010:

20 July 2010

The World of Tacheles

The World of Tacheles is a mini-documentary about the ruins that have been transformed in a big tourist attraction by artists in Berlin.

The video was shot with a little Sony HDR-CX115 and edited on Adobe Premiere. It's one of a series of short videos I've been making in order to get acquainted with the techniques of videojournalism.



 

07 July 2010

Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2010

This is one of my first videos ever. Editing is pretty time consuming, but can be very fun, too.

29 June 2010

FÓRUM MUNDIAL DA MÍDIA - A função da imprensa

Numa das primeiras aulas do curso de Jornalismo aprendi que o princípio filosófico da busca pela verdade, chamado de redução eidética, era o que muitos entendiam como objetividade ou imparcialidade. Na cartilha de qualquer jornalista com diploma essas palavras constam, por mais utópica que soem, como essência da profissão.

No entanto, sempre houve quem dissesse que informar é pouco, imparcialidade não existe e objetividade pode significar irresponsabilidade. Essas e outras controvérsias foram discutidas entre 21 e 23 de junho no Fórum Mundial da Mídia (Global Media Forum), organizado pela Deutsche Welle em Bonn, na Alemanha.

Continue lendo aqui.

05 June 2010

Notícias de uma Guerra Particular

"Uma pessoa morre a cada meia hora no Rio - 90% delas atingidas por balas de grosso calibre."

Essa é uma das primeiras informações do documentário Notícias de uma Guerra Particular (1999), de Kátia Lund e João Moreira Salles. No YouTube, o vídeo pode ser visto em sete partes.

26 May 2010

Carnival of Cultures in Berlin

In 1996, the Werkstatt der Kulturen gave birth to the "Karneval der Kulturen" (Carnival of Cultures) in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin.

In 2010, the 15th edition took place between May 21st and 24th. About 380 stands and four stages were set up in order to feed and entertain the 1.4 million visitors that were expected.

On Sunday (23rd), 70 nations were represented by approximately 4,500 people, who joined a streetparade between the subway stations Hermannplatz and Yorckstraße.

28 April 2010

"Gente Andina"

In July, 2001, I went on a trip to Bolivia and Peru to register the natives' day-to-day life with an old Pentax K1000.

A few months later, 40 of those pictures became part of Gente Andina (Andean People), an exhibition held in two universities, one school and one shopping mall in Maringá, my hometown in Brazil. Here are some scanned photos:





23 April 2010

Misha Glenny on global crime networks

The organized crime is today a mighty industry which creates instability and violence wherever it goes. On this video for TED, the British journalist Misha Glenny justifies why he says so by giving an overview of worldwide organized crime.

21 April 2010

Long News

The Long Now Foundation has created longnews.org to filter information and, as they say, "to provide counterpoint to today's 'faster/cheaper' mind set and promote 'slower/better' thinking".

In short, the website presents certain news, contextualizes them and offers a range of links to relevant news on the same subjects. This is some of the information published recently on the website:
It’s estimated that by 02050, the number of centenarians worldwide will reach nearly 6 million. And some say that half of the babies born in the U.S. today will live into the 22nd century. Obviously, this will pose new challenges for the workplace, social security, health care, and just about every other aspect of society.

Today, humans speak to each other in nearly 7,000 languages; it’s estimated that 90% of those languages will be gone by 02050, displaced by English, Spanish, or Chinese. Meanwhile, there’s a broader question about how well we’re preserving the rest of the world’s cultural heritage. But while we may be losing our collective memories, the thoughts of individuals are more and more likely to live on.

(...) Three hundred million school children don’t have access to clean water today, and according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress by the year 02030.

15 April 2010

Ushahidi

In Swahili, ushahidi means "testimony" or "witness". On the web, it means a revolutionary way to gather information worldwide. Learn more about it here.

12 April 2010

Mistaken expectations

In this great speech, the Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert shows that our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong.

02 April 2010

The uprising of the gender-neutral society and the decadence of manly men

Since the mid-twentieth century, women have gradually become entrepreneurs, explored casual sex, determined whether and when they wish to have children, and perhaps become more selfish. In other words, they’ve become more like men - at least in the most developed democratic societies.

When women started to leave home in pursuit of freedom and career, men were pushed to let the ladies join their teams and split their jobs. Behaving like men and competing with them for a job was just the beginning of the female emancipation. Men behaving like women took the revolution to the next level: the rise of a gender-neutral society.

Many things have already developed towards gender neutrality. The language itself is one example, as the US-American professor Harvey Mansfield points out in the first pages of Manliness (2006). Today, words such as mankind and man have been replaced by human-kind and person. Even sex has been replaced by gender, which is considered more appropriate when one refers to the biological, psychological or spiritual differences between men and women.

Taking risks

Perhaps most people haven’t paid attention to such changes yet, but the contrast is very clear to me since I've constantly moving between different European and American countries. In general, it’s getting more complicated to talk about men and women without risking to be politically incorrect, or to be seen as a chauvinist or a harasser. Mansfield does it though.

He not only talks about the differences between men and women, but also criticizes the feminized society and claims the importance of keeping those differences clear – for the sake of both men and women. Backed up by evolutionary biology and a long list of philosophers, Mansfield urges us to reconsider the merits of male protectiveness and assertiveness.

By doing that, the professor gives voice to other men who might be cooped up in the corners of what he calls rational control. How are they? Ashamed of their clumsy manly way, and pretty confused because their honor and force are no longer esteemed.

What is manliness?

A manly man is defined by many stereotypes. He can be aggressive, hard, promiscuous, assertive, aloof, stoic, laconic, rational and abstract, for instance. Maybe you don’t trust these traditional stereotypes anymore, but Mansfield does. For him, stereotypes indicate a common sense that science struggles to explain.

A manly man is not likely to cry or ask for help. He may make you believe he doesn’t even need help - ever. This might sound exaggerating, but so are manly men, who are also assertive, insistent, obstinate, stubborn and bossy. Above all, "they don’t do girl stuff". That’s why many men think it’s fine that women “imitate” them, whereas they don’t seem to be so excited about having to take care of the children or doing the housework, for example.

Born hard or made hard?

The German psychologist Wilhelm Johnen disagrees. For him, such male characteristics are not natural, but imposed during the boys’ childhood. Men are not born tough, but made so. In his book Die Angst des Mannes vor der starken Frau – Einsichten in Männerseelen (1992), Johnen lists some particularities regarding the typical education of boys. Some of them are the facts that they receive less tenderness than girls, are highly expected to perform well and are harshly punished.

In short, boys are urged to become heroes and to fight in single combats during their lives. As a result, Johnen affirms, they don’t learn to recognize their fears – let alone how to deal with those. No parent wants their boy to be a whiny!

For the psychologist, virile men actually hide lots of fears behind their hard armor. Women might well be one of them. Johnen says that “men’s fear of women is much more intensive and has much more implications than women (and men themselves) imagine”. Men are also supposedly afraid of failing as well as of becoming hilarious, being fooled, being useless, being overwhelmed, showing their weaknesses, becoming dependent, feeling lonely, looking like a wimp etc.

For Johnen, it’s obvious that the repression of all those fears is what makes men aggressive. The patriarchal society welcomed this aggressiveness, but the gender-neutral society doesn’t tolerate it anymore. Today, “non-violent” societies prefer attributes like empathy, patience and comprehension – all typical feminine qualities. That’s why one could say we’re living in a feminized culture.

Mansfield neither defends the male privileges nor considers manly characteristics always good. He rather tries to persuade men and "the most educated women" that the democratic society should retrieve the appreciation of manly protectiveness and assertiveness.

Thumos: the justified aggressiveness

The manly aggressiveness is usually justified by men’s physical strength, testosterone and tough education, but that’s not all. At least not for Mansfield, who defends the existence of a philosophical component which relates the human aggression to its sense of honor.

This component was called fortitude by Spinoza, generosity by Descartes and thumos by Plato and Aristotle. Mansfield describes it as “a quality of spiritedness that induces humans, and especially manly men, to risk their lives in order to save their lives”. It’ indeed a paradox, but he adds: “As manliness is made out of that paradox, it is more complicated than the simplistic drives of aggression, domination, and self-preservation to which science tries to reduce manliness.”

In other words, Mansfield suggests that manly men are also intuitive humans. They become aggressive and step forward to fight for an important or honorable cause, just as women sometimes become “emotional” by trusting blindly their feelings.

That’s exactly why manly men are still important today. Mansfield claims that our current society is replacing individuals by professionalism, technology and democracy, favoring therefore individualism instead of individuality. So he asks: Who other than manly men could claim the individuals’ importance in this scenario?

23 March 2010

O Big Brother e a Globo

Recebi hoje um texto criticando o Big Brother e, de carona, a Rede Globo. “Fim do poço”, “atentado à nossa modesta inteligência”, “a pura e suprema banalização do sexo” e “putaria ao vivo” foram algumas das nada amistosas definições do programa que, de longe, faz mais sucesso na TV brasileira.

Hoje em dia, procuro entender os pontos de vista de cada um e respeito o direito que todos têm de se expressar – inclusive o daqueles que não fazem o mesmo, como o escritor anônimo ou que perdeu o nome numa das tantas reencaminhadas do seu texto pela internet.

Não sou nenhum gênio ou dono da verdade, mas conheço bem essa mania que muitos (não só) brasileiros têm de criticar tudo que está longe do seu alcance: os jornais, os políticos, a polícia, tudo que é serviço público, o Lula, as multinacionais, o G-8, a União Europeia, os Estados Unidos e, é claro, a Globo. Só não vale criticar a Bíblia ou Deus.

Que ainda existe tanto moralismo no Brasil cristão eu já sei, mas me surpreendo repetitivamente com a hipocrisia e a intolerância que ainda impregnam nas mentes cultas das minorias abastadas e politizadas do país. Chamar o BBB 10 de “zoológico humano” com “o judeu tarado, o gay afeminado, a dentista gostosa, o negro com suingue, a nerd tímida, a gostosa com bundão, a não sou piranha mas não sou santa, o modelo Mr. Maringá, a nordestina sorridente, a lésbica convicta, a DJ intelectual, o carioca marrento, o maquiador drag-queen e a PM que gosta de apanhar” é, no mínimo, de gosto duvidoso.

Em vez de perceber que a heterogeneidade dos participantes é, sim, o retrato do Brasil pluralista, democrático, igualitário e com oportunidades de ascensão que cada um de nós supostamente almejamos, o autor só conseguiu empacotar seu preconceito com palavras bem articuladas.

Não sou fã de carteirinha da Globo, mas não há dúvidas de que o BBB seja uma oportunidade pra cada telespectador, independente da escolaridade e do nível intelectual, possa observar durante semanas o comportamento de seus semelhantes e tirar suas próprias lições com isso.

Em outros países como a Alemanha e a própria terra natal do programa, a Holanda, o público já se cansou do Big Brother. A Globo, entretanto, conseguiu olhar fora da caixinha, explorar a psique dos participantes e incitar a interatividade com os telespectadores e internautas. Como não podia deixar de ser, alcançou o mesmo sucesso invejável que tem com suas novelas e tornar o programa não só rentoso e divertido, como também proveitoso, sim. Afinal de contas, não é possível que só quem lê poesia e vai ao cinema aprenda alguma coisa na vida.

Qualquer menino e menina de 13 ou 15 anos já sabe – geralmente na prática – o que é “ficar”. E de quem temos que esconder que gays existem? Além do mais, convenhamos, uma edição que não teve nenhum escândalo embaixo dos hedredons e que teve dois homens apaixonados respeitadores como Michel e Elieser não tem porquê ser chamada de “putaria ao vivo”.

Acontece que nem todo mundo tem o mesmo gosto e algumas pessoas não aceitam isso. Tem gente, como o autor da crítica, que gosta de ler Mario Quintana e Pablo Neruda. Ou que faz distinção entre “boa música” e música ruim. Ou ele mesmo assiste ao BBB enquanto sugere aos outros que façam algo diferente em vez de “ajudar a Globo a ganhar rios de dinheiro e destruir o que ainda resta dos valores sobre os quais foi contruída a nossa sociedade”... ou ele critica o que nem conhece. Tão paradoxal quanto esperar que uma rede de televisão que investe milhões na produção de um programa e dá um prêmio de R$ 1,5 milhão não contasse com lucro.

O autor em questão também se incomoda com o fato de os participantes do BBB serem chamados de heróis. Pra ele, heróis são os pobres, doentes, assistencialistas, “aqueles que, apesar de ganharem um salário mínimo, pagam suas contas” etc. Engano dele.

Heróis são seres com desempenho e conquistas fora do comum, além (para cima) da capacidade normal humana. Explicar mais sobre os méritos de cada um dos guerreiros expostos 24 horas e para o resto da vida ao julgamento genuíno dos seus conterrâneos é um atentado, como ele mesmo diz, à sua modéstia inteligência.

31 January 2010

How it feels living in an individualist society

The first time I traveled from Brazil to Germany was over a decade ago. Since then, I’ve been comparing people’s manners, habits and ideals without really understanding why South Americans and Europeans, for instance, can be so different in so many ways.

Why is religion so important, politicians are so corrupt and people are so friendly in some places, whereas other countries have been longer on the way to the establishment of a gender-neutral and individualist society?

After reading a book written by the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, I've recently noticed that taking only people in account rather than the moral ideals that support their societies had been a mistake. In The Ethics of Authenticity (1992), Taylor helped me understand what the hack is going on in the USA, Canada and some European countries. Then it became also clear why Southern nations can be so resistant to the influences of the North.

I believe there are many other confused people out there. Most of them probably don know what they should believe or pursue. They might ask themselves how to get satisfaction and, what is even worse, who they actually are. If you’re one of them, perhaps you'll find this brief explanation handful. Please forgive me if it comes across as being too simplistic.

Freedom and equality

Do you remember what the French revolutionaries demanded? “Liberté, égalité et fraternité”. Democracy!

The West (I’d rather say the Northwest) killed all those three birds with one stone: Justice. With equality and freedom guaranteed by law, citizens could rely on the State and social hierarchies slowly started to disappear.

When people realized they didn’t need to follow God’s commandments or to beg for His mercy anymore, religion and its values became obsolete. Now think about what happened when people stopped believing in God and became able to seek self-fulfillment however they wanted.

Consequences

According to Charles Taylor, that led to individualism and to a disenchantment of the world. It made the soil fertile for the growth of a “facile” relativism and instrumental reason – some peculiar terms that are interconnected and easy to assimilate.

In other words, individuals lost their faith in something “bigger” and turned their attention to themselves (individualism and disenchantment of the world); one could no longer tell the others what was good or bad (relativism); and the environment as well as people began to be considered mere instruments for individuals’ self-fulfillment (instrumental reason, the engine that moves the capitalism).

On the one hand, these societies allow you to be just the way you are. Nobody should tell you what to do or how to act. On the other hand, nobody gives a damn about you. If individuals are urged to find self-fulfillment on their own, there’s no need and no duty to help each other. It’s the egoistic side of individualism that makes Germans say “Das ist nicht mein Problem” (It’s not my problem), for instance, so often.

Dilemma

As Taylor points out, another “problem” for individuals is finding their own identity. If we’re no longer “sons and daughters of God”, and if most social hierarchy positions have vanished, then who are we? Now that everyone is free and has the same rights to be whoever they want to be, how can you differentiate yourself from the others?

It is a contradiction: we want to be equals, but also special. Look around you: you’ll see "the best this", "the top 10 that", "the most this" and ranking lists everywhere. We still want to be different or rather unique. And we want to be authentic. But who’s going to endorse your authenticity? Who’s going to confirm your identity? Maybe we’ll talk about this some other time.

29 January 2010

Who cares about Haiti and Honduras?

Haiti and Honduras are two small countries with 17 million inhabitants forgotten in Central America. Together with Nicaragua, they form the poorest trio of the whole American continent.

I just said Haiti and Honduras are forgotten. But well, they used to be. Now, thanks to hurricanes, floods, coup d’etats and earthquakes, they’re not anymore.

Obviously, these are not the luckiest nations in the world, and we couldn’t care less about them. So why don’t we stop “feeling sorry” and “wanting to help” the Haitian victims these days?

You probably think it's part of our nature to care about others of our species, but I have another opinion. I’ll dare saying it’s because we’re simply fooled by a complex process which I’ll try to simplify by remembering some of Norbert Bolz’s great classes at the Technische Universität in Berlin.

It starts with the fact that the world is an infinite mess, but we humans feel the intense need to organize it. Our attempts to do that require the use of language, numbers and, in a sophisticated way, the media.

Irritation and stabilization

The mass media offers little packages of irritation and stabilization. When they inform us, they're actually telling us constantly: “Hey, look how this is wrong”, “Check how unfair that is” or “Beware of the dangers of that”.

That irritation prepares us to face dangerous and unexpected situations, and also to get used to them. As you may have already noticed, most of what we see in the news is bad. And bad news bring us together. Why?

Reports on disasters, murders, accidents and wars cause us a constant sensation of fear, whereas stories of scandals, harassments and corruption, for instance, present concrete forms of what we consider wrong and unfair.

For the mass media (and whoever controls them), bad news is a powerful tool for unifying people. It can be used in such an effective way that you will cry, be afraid, get mad or feel ashamed even when the subject has absolutely no direct influence on your life.

What happens after we are confronted by chaos, danger and injustice? The media introduce us to a scapegoat – something or someone to be blamed. It's like an antidote to stabilize the world. After you take it, you might enjoy some relief: “Oh, that was tough, but now everything is gonna be all right.”

The majority versus the truth

Let's get back to Haiti and Honduras. Who cares about the coup in Tegucigalpa and the earthquake in Haiti? Probably most of people who say they do are not even aware that they actually don’t. We're constantly urged to give our opinion about whatever is on the news, so we just tend to agree with the majority. In the case of a natural disaster, our immediate guess is that the majority is obviously on the side of the victims. But what if someone isn’t? What if someone stands up and argues: “Hey, I don’t want the government to use my contribution to send any f. aid to Haiti!”? Or if someone asks for your opinion on the disaster and your answer is “I don’t care” or something like that. How would that be?

My mother has always said: “If you don’t have anything positive to say, just stay quiet”. She may not be a philosopher, but she definitely understands what Herbert Marcuse explained: Majority is often more important than the truth. Since a few weeks ago, the majority has been saying this: “Something terrible has happened in Haiti. So now, even though we don’t give a shit, we need to pretend or believe that we actually do and we need to help or pretend that we will.

I'll let you reflect on Austin Cline’s words from his article Truth As Majority Opinion:
“The problem with criticizing majority opinion as a criterion of truth is that people typically hold democracy in high regard. In democracies, policies and laws are determined by majority opinion — so why not “truth” as well? What we must understand is that while the democratic process may be a just means for deciding what policy to follow, that doesn’t mean that this process always hits upon the best or most correct policy.”

24 January 2010

Is it true?

Some things are said to be true when in fact they are just rumors, urban legends or, as some prefer to say, "factoids". At http://www.snopes.com/, many of these untrues are exposed in a way that reminds me of investigative journalism and scientific methodology.

One article argues that the claim that "natural blondes are likely to extinct in about 200 years" is false. I recommend anyone to read this one.

22 January 2010

O moralismo cristão e os direitos humanos

Não me surpreendeu a reação da Igreja Católica contra parte do 3º Programa Nacional de Direitos Humanos (PNDH-3), lançado em dezembro pelo governo brasileiro. Segundo o site a UOL Notícias, o documento “traça recomendações ao Legislativo para a futura elaboração de leis orientadas a casos que envolvam os direitos humanos no país”.

De acordo com o site, nos panfletos distribuídos por alguns grupos da Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil (CNBB), o presidente Lula é chamado de Herodes, em alusão ao personagem bíblico que ordenou a morte de todas as crianças recém-nascidas com medo de que uma delas ameaçasse seu trono.

As medidas atacadas pela entidade são o fim da consideração do aborto como crime, a proibição da ostentação de símbolos religiosos em estabelecimentos públicos da União, o casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo e o direito deles à adoção.

No Norte europeu e americano, os direitos ao aborto e à união de homoafetivos já fazem parte do dia-a-dia. Em países como Andorra, Bélgica, Canadá, Dinamarca, Islândia, Holanda, Noruega, Espanha, Suíecia e Reino Unido, por exemplo, a adoção por casais homoafetivos também já é permitida por lei.

Quanto aos crucifixos e figuras de santos, até a Itália, cuja maioria populacional ainda não é ateia como em vários países mais ao norte, a ostentação de símbolos católicos foi recentemente proibida nas escolas, demonstrando mais uma derrota da religião frente à democracia.

Isolado geograficamente dos países “de primeiro mundo”, o brasileiro aspira a um lugar importante no cenário socio-econômico globalizado, mas segue mergulhado no sexismo, patriotismo e cristianismo. Espera mais da política e da Justiça sem querer pagar o preço por isso.

Falo em preço a pagar porque a democracia liberal não oferece liberdade, igualdade e segurança de graça. Para se ter isso, mulheres, homens e todos os indivíduos incluídos na sigla LGBTTTS (Lésbicas, Gays, Bissexuais, Travestis, Transexuais, Trangêneros e Simpatizantes – ou substituindo a letra “A” de Aliados) devem ter direitos e oportunidades iguais.

A sociedade democrática moderna é a mesma sociedade do sexo neutro, individualismo e instrumentalismo. Em outras palavras, o sexo/gênero dos indivíduos não deve ser fator determinante ao acesso à educação e ao trabalho; cada indivíduo decide o que lhe é bom e ruim sem que os demais lhe digam o que é certo e errado; e os recursos terrestres - naturais, técnicos e humanos – são encarados, a grosso modo, como instrumentos para essa busca de felicidade ou prazer individualista.

A Igreja sabe bem disso e se sente, portanto, como os PCs, telefones fixos e jornais impressos hoje em dia. “Não confie nos notebooks”, “não compre celulares” e “não cancele a sua assinatura”, ela propõe, ao insistir no combate ao uso de anticoncepcionais, à legalização do aborto ou à dignidade das pessoas que optam por relacionamentos sexuais anti-cristãos.

Sufocando a sociedade com moralismo, os homens da Igreja Católica ainda se negam a dar à sociedade a maior arma que as mulheres já tiveram na luta pela emancipação feminina: o controle do próprio útero. Afinal de contas, quando as mulheres latinas também se tornarem autônomas, o  fim do moralismo, do patriarquismo, do hierarquismo como é hoje e da própria família pode significar o apocalipse do cristianismo no subcontinente.

13 January 2010

How it feels to be a Canadian

Antonio Aragón is one of the persons I admire the most for his lovely mixture of sincerity, sarcasm and creativity. After over a decade living in Canada, he wrote the following just a few days before becoming officially a Canadian citizen:

What does it mean to be a Canadian? That’s a tough question that transcends maple syrup, maple leaves, hockey, curling, beaver tails and polar bears. It is not only about Celine or Shania, Atwood or Burton, Rogers or Loblaw, the Barenaked Ladies or the Group of Seven, Macdonald, Pearson, Campbell or Trudeau… it is not about the weather or the vast extension of the land (from sea to sea to sea)… it is about the people… Canada is a true mosaic of entangled talent… of survivors and negotiators, adventurers and thinkers, low key, laid back, low profile, ethical, cold friendly… but, above all, diverse. Canadian population is complex. Faced with the need to populate the land, the nation has embraced millions of new immigrants. Once an Aboriginal land, the French and the British settled in and formed, with all its difficulties a bi-cultural society where assimilation was imposed. But it moved on, and reviewed its books, and rethought its course, and opted for multiculturalism, pluralism, inclusion.
Click here to learn more about Antonio.

05 December 2009

Iraq = 25 million new cars, and counting

"In 2006, the US spent more on the war in Iraq than the whole world spent on investment in renewable energy."

Learn more about it clicking here.

01 December 2009

Dois cartuns perdidos

Fuçando nuns CDs antigos, encontrei estes cartuns. Acho que são de 2003 ou 2004. Os outros desenhos me deixaram com vergonha  :S




23 November 2009

Stephan's caricature


Stephan loves The Simpsons. He just turned 40, but is still a little boy...

06 November 2009

Illustrations for Deutsche Welle

The Spanish team of Deutsche Welle recently published a flash animation encouraging readers to help “save the world”. I illustrated that.

Click here and take the chance to practice your español!

23 September 2009

21 August 2009

The world's English mania

Here is Jay Walker talking about the struggle of billions of people to learn English.