Óscares 2007

A vitória do Forest Whitaker, que já tardava, foi o momento alto da noite. Isto significa que o grande Peter O'Toole volta para casa com as mãos a abanar, mas a decisão da Academia foi justa, tal como foi justa a vitória da Juliette Binoche sobre a Lauren Bacall: o óscar deve premiar, acima de tudo, a melhor interpretação do ano e não o currículo mais volumoso ou a personalidade mais glamorosa. Se fosse em Portugal, o O'Toole teria ganho, mas os americanos tomaram a decisão correcta. As mais elegantes: Gwyneth e Beyoncé. Martin Scorsese: está bem.


Poverty in America

«America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, "It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be." It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. The mock themselves and glorify their betters.»

«In the U.S., no one starves to death (except fashion models ;) ). No one is refused emergency medical care. No one is forced to sleep out of doors. But in the U.S. we also don't deny people the right to really screw themselves up. We are hesitant to restrict people's right to beg on the street (for some this is their chosen means of support, others are mentally ill but refuse treatment in state institutions).»

«The Mayor of Las Vegas (Goodman) has issued an edict that declares that poor people can no longer be given food in parks. People who have done it have been arrested.»

«I saw a homeless guy in Manhattan with a sign that said "Need money for beer". :D»

«The number of Americans living in poverty jumped to 35.9 million last year, up by 1.3 million, while the number of those without health care insurance rose to 45 million from 43.6 million in 2002.»

«The average home owned by a person classified as "poor" has three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.»

«We'll see how successful this economy is when it crashes. It will, because you can't ignore the skyrocketing number of poor/poverty level people. This country is founded upon the working middle class and they are swiftly disappearing. They have no health insurance, no retirement and no prospects for improvement. What happens when they all start needing benefits? A crash is coming, it's just a matter of when.»

«Welp, all I can say is that 'lost' 18 billion loaded up on trucks to go to Iraq could have helped quite a bit with the poverty in America!»

«I support the war, not Bush. All of our politicians are full of ****.»

«And if ya need halp to pay off that $30 grand MichiganMan? I know a great place to go: WWW.GOARMY.COM They got bonuses of up to $30,000 if you qualify.. ;)»

«But I also think it is a dream to believe any society can provide an absolute safety net for every single member of society. If there is no danger of falling into the lower class, the poor if you will, then for a vast majority of people, in my opinion, there would be little insentive to try and excel in life. This is what communist nations have found is the result of communal farming - the farmers don't try really hard if everything beyond their own needs is taken and redistributed to others who need the food.»

«The Actual Cause of Poverty: Bad Choices. Per the Chicago Sun-Times: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_chicsuntimes-the_truth_about_poverty.htm»

«So now somebody comes along and says this is because of "poor decisions". To that, I want to say that you need to shove your ignorance up your arse and go out and see what is REALLY going on in the world. Our system is pretty good. Most people can make it through hard work. I was one of them once. But there is a loophole. Don't get sick. Even with insurance the medical costs alone will bury you financially. Don't get sick, because NOBODY cares, and a LOT of people will actually PROFIT off of you because of it.»

«But even where people find themselves in desperate situations in the U.S., it is not a permanent situation (unless it is a choice or due to mental illness or addiction).»

«Since im a Member of the Seminole Indian tribe, i assure you that your quote: "Americans have learned to look out for themselves for 200+ years." Makes us shake our heads.»

«Just about everyone I've ever met in my life is where they are supposed to be financially. This includes myself. I could have much more if that was what I desired. But I would rather be a musician with less than a suit-wearing, 16 hour a day working executive with more. I realized early in life that the money I made was going to be the last thing on my mind when lying on my deathbed remembering my life. Money does NOT = happiness. This has been proven so many times it's ridiculous...but people still think otherwise.»

«When Katrina is brought up as "evidence" that American treats it's poor poorly or that "Bush hates black people" -- it presents a false and ignorant picture. Anyone who'd claim the Bush Administration is any more or less responsible for the mess than Mayor Nagen or the Governor of New Orleans is playing partisan politics. And anyone who thinks everyday Americans aren't giving or sympathetic or generous when it comes to poverty in their country is selling something.»

«I live in New Orleans, where the government has never cared about poor people. Now, people say they care (or that God's wrath has been imposed on us somehow) but then don't think any more about it. So, nothing has been done, and New Orleans is a mess.»

«I don't even know a McDonald's job that starts at minimum wage. Walmart employees strt at 8 or 9 dollars an hour, and you quickly move up from there if you are at all diligent at your job. Have you looked for work recently? Have you ever had a job?»

«The kid that mows my lawn gets $20 for 2 hours work for christs sake.»

«Don't play that card, John Kerry has more money than the whole Bush family. They're all crooked bastards.»

«We'll still actually tell someone that we are "poor" and blame some mythical "rich man" for all our fabricated problems. (That those caveman ancestors would love to have.)»

«I also find the notion that we are generally better off then throughout history a good thing, a little disturbing. Why is the PAST our bar of excellence? Where should we set it? During the black plague? During World War II? Hey, poor Jews today have it a LOT better then back then right!? (Obvious sarcasm.)»

«OSLO, Norway (AP) — The United Nations ranked Norway as the best country to live in for a sixth consecutive year Thursday, prompting the country’s aid minister to tell Norwegians to stop whining about wanting more.Oil-rich Norway, with its generous welfare state, topped the U.N. Development Program’s human development index, based on such criteria as life expectancy, education and income. Iceland was No. 2, followed by Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Japan and the United States.»

«Ive lived in Germany under the "socialist lite" country and its got its good points like the full coverage health care, and its bad points like they take 45% of my paycheck right off the bat for all the benefits i get later..»


Grandes Queridas (ii)

Simone de Oliveira: «Quem faz um filho, fá-lo por gosto.»

Simone de Oliveira: «Wer ein Kind macht, macht es aus Spass.»



O começo do filme Belarmino (1964) é surpreendente. Ouvimos dizer em off que o protagonista poderia ser um pugilista excepcional, mas que na realidade não o é: «Podia ter sido um grande pugilista, dos melhores da Europa, talvez até campeão dos meios leves e agora é quase um punching ball: Belarmino Fragoso». A locução inicial do Baptista Bastos dá o mote para todo o filme, porque o excelente documentário de Fernando Lopes fala apenas de uma eventualidade: não se descreve um campeão de pugilismo que tenha efectivamente existido, mas apenas aquele que poderia ter existido. Isto é, no mínimo, curioso. Parece estranho que o filme seja anunciado como um documentário e ainda mais insólito que o realizador tenha escolhido um protagonista aparentemente tão desinteressante e até desprezível.

Belarmino tem inúmeros defeitos e o pior deles é a falsidade. O senhor mente com o atrevimento mais descarado e tem o péssimo hábito de alijar responsabilidades: quando é questionado sobre o seu fiasco no ringue do Albert Hall perante um pugilista de segunda, ele desencanta uma história disparatada de corrupção e compadrio. Porém, as mentiras não nos incomodam por aí além. Não só porque o filme do Fernando Lopes deixa claramente à vista o que é ou não patranha, mas também porque a própria inépcia do Belarmino se encarrega de o denunciar, um pouco como a criança que diz ‘não fui eu’ com a boca lambuzada de doces. Aceitamos as mentiras do Belarmino Fragoso e até simpatizamos com elas, pela sua candura e ingenuidade. Mas não só.

O Belarmino seria um indivíduo risível em qualquer outro país do mundo, mas em Portugal é um campeão. Mais do que simples simpatia, existe entre ele e o público português uma verdadeira empatia: uma fusão emocional, uma adesão de sentimentos que se estabelece entre espectador e personagem de tal modo que parece dar-se entre os dois uma espécie de identificação ou projecção. Os portugueses reconhecem-se nas mentiras do Belarmino e na sua esquiva permanente à realidade, porque se há coisa que fazemos bem é não querer ver as coisas como elas são. A este respeito, uma diplomata francesa descreveu o nosso povo como «os chineses do ocidente», porque os chineses nunca vão directamente ao assunto, dão inúmeras voltas antes de lá chegar e sempre em termos pouco claros.

Além do seu feitio esquivo, há outras características do protagonista que são muito nossas: a mediocridade, a ignorância, a gabarolice e a indisciplina. Tudo isto faz do Belarmino um case study, um representante da mentalidade dos portugueses e do seu proverbial «medo de existir», uma figura tão típica e característica como o galo de Barcelos, o Zé Povinho ou o caldo verde. A condição portuguesa é o verdadeiro assunto de Belarmino e não apenas a vida de um pugilista falhado. Daí o valor documental do filme do Fernando Lopes, porque descreve com verdade e rigor a mentalidade de um povo. Se o realizador encena ou falseia alguns detalhes da vida do protagonista (algumas sequências, como a chegada aos treinos no Sporting ou o engate nos Restauradores, são manifestamente encenadas) é apenas para que se registe com mais fidelidade essa verdade maior.



Acho que me apaixonei pelo Brasil.

Ich glaube, ich habe mich in Brasilien verliebt.