Sunday, September 23, 2007

Great Music!

Dazkarieh make great music yeah!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Desabafo Sobre a Língua

We dedicate this post to Renato

Oh my I am in panic! An ortographic treaty will be in force in January 2008! Oh no!

This is terrible: things that must be there will become wrong.

For instance, in the word "facto" (fact) the "c" will disappear because it is not read. It is not read but it has the function of opening the vowel!

The vowel cannot be opened with the acute accent because that vowel is not tonic.

So, the "c" is necessary!

Language is something that lives.

If Portuguese in Brasil is becoming different from the Portuguese in Portugal, why try to limit the FREE evolution?

Why all these communists, socialists and so on always want to curtail FREEDOM?

Why do they hate so much things that evolve "naturally", meaning by spontaneous development produced by free people living and choosing freely?

Language evolve freely, why put it in the limits of laws?

And even if freedom was bad, what would be the point in making two ways of expression belonging to the same language artificially closer?

Portuguese from Brasil is already very different from Portuguese from Portugal. No law will ever be able to make the languages converge!

The idea that laws can change and break a free society is one of the worse genes of leftwing ideology.

And if we are proud of our language, shouldn't we recall how it was born? Portuguese was born because the Roman Empire and the other empires that followed didn't have the means to impose a law on languages that would keep Latin being fixed and constant all across the South of Europe.

They could not keep Latin constant, without evolution and thus it developed freely and differently in Romania, Portugal, Italy, etc..

It is only with Freedom that there can be difference and variety. But since leftwingers only like society when everything is equal, is the same, is uniformized, they hate freedom.

And with this very same post we celebrate Ricemagic's 100th post!!!!!

Big Little Countries

1. In Portugal there is always this feeling that we deserve to be as well known and appreciated in the international arena as France or England. We are thaught of the importance of our country: the Portuguese Discoveries, of course, the beginning of globalization and Europe centrism, the use of experience and observation as the best way to legitimate knowledge and so on.

However, real life is present life, it is TODAY and today the world's important countries are the USA, United Kingdom, Germany and still, to a lesser extent, France, whose May 68 culture still impacts so much in the Portuguese intelectuality.

Eventhough I realize how today's realpolitik determines the importance of countries and how much attention they can draw from the world's eyes, I have an ever growing sense of injustice regarding the situation of the lesser publicized countries.

For instances, travel adverts, travel agents, prizes in quizshows always put forward London and Paris, Paris and London, but never, say, a Vienna or a Lisbon. I accept that London and Paris are bigger and offer "more to see", a bigger quantity to see. But I also believe anyone would recognize the astonishing beauty of, again and for example, Lisbon and Vienna.

Why the most publicized cities and countries are always the same? And why those same countries must coincide with the most powerful countries?

As a consequence of this, there is a handful of countries and cities whose beauty, culture, history remain basically unknown, or at least, remain unknown to the people that do not seek knowledge in a non-passive way. For those who sit paying attention to tv, hoardings and advertising in general, a Latvia or a Vilnius will never arise.

It is of course not cities and countries the ones who loose with this lack of publicity.

2. Some years ago I wrote a text in which there was a paragraph for each European country (and I think I counted 46 countries in that time). In each paragraph I wrote what I deemed to be the most important things I knew, or believed I knew, about a specific country. In some cases, I had nothing to say except that "Latvia is the country whose capital is Riga".

Later, a certain course of life, which beginning was "of course" Lisbon, took me to Estonia. In a very short time I learned the main aspects of the history of Estonia, the empires that dominated Tallinn (or Reval), the singing culture and, naturally, the Singing Revolution, Eduard Wiiralt and Kalevipoeg, Suku and Kohuke and... And I became extremely surprised not because of the extreme beauty and interest of Estonia's culture and history, of its political past and the present ethnic (im)balance but because all of these were absolutely unknown to me, absolutely unknown to most people, those people who know so much of Paris and London even when they have never visited them.

For instance, yesterday I learned that the countries that had the highest proportion and highest absolute number of civil population killed during the Second World War were Belarus and Ukraine, respectively. Some of the biggest battles of the WWII were fought in their territories. However, whenever one listens or reads about the Second World War, only those worldly important countries like USA or UK are mentioned.

3. The main idea of this post is: there is plenty of histories, cultures, politics, economies (too!) that eventhough don't get as much attention as the ones from the world's big-big countries, are no less interesting than theirs. There is a lot of beauty and interesting ideas to appreciate and benefit from the little countries and the little cities of the world.

Little countries and little cities are, after all, big in interest and beauty.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Living in Firenze, Thinking of Lisbon

Well, sorry for my capitalcitycentrism, I mean "thinking of Portugal".

Yes, I am thinking of what is going on in Portugal and thinking that eventhough there is no grand-political debate going on, there is still lots of interesting things happening. Or at least things that are interesting because I am Portuguese: I understand them and I care about them.

For instance, I got really surprised with the anti-liberal and racist position of Maria José Nogueira Pinto. I hate those dispising anti-racists that see racism and xenophobia everywhere, anywhere that is not left-winger and not anti-liberal and not against US and...

But this time it kind of breaks my heart but I have to admit: MJNP put on the table a racist proposal: let's create a "Chinatown" in Lisbon because the traditional commerce is dying.

Distributing geographically people and commerce on an ethnic basis is racism. Period. It doesn't matter the intention behind that policy, the result is racist and that is enough to qualify the policy as racist.

But proposing a "Chinatown" as a way to solve the problem of traditional commerce also reveals the racist intention in other way: it doesn't matter the true determinants of the disappearance of traditional commerce, it only matters to emphasize one of those determinants independently of its true importance. And which determinant was choosen to be emphasized? Yes, the old good argument that foreigners are unloyal competitors and thus they should be sent away, forbidden or put in a ghetto.

For each problem there is usually a manifold of determinants, each of them with a different force. In the case of the disappearance of traditional commerce, I believe most people would say the main reason is this:

the second biggest shopping centre of Europe is within Lisbon and it closes at midnight. Many other extremely big shopping centres, most of them offering free or cheap closed parking, exist in Lisbon, in the city centre, around the city centre, just outside the city. Lots and lots of workers work till 7 p.m. and thousands and thousands of them need 1 hour, 1 and half hours, 2 hours to return home. So, not only big shopping centres within the city offer all products one can imagine but they also offer reasonable schedules for the typical inhabitant of the Great Lisbon: someone who works, someone who studies or both. And these tens and tens of thousands can buy everything in the same place. At the same time, traditional commerce closes at 7 p.m. and in many cases is closed during lunch time. And are closed too on Sunday. And closed on Saturday afternoon. One needs not to explain further...

It would be interesting to compare both the volume and the value of selling in one single shopping centre, say Colombo, during one afternoon, say Sunday afternoon, with the total value and volume of a whole week summed up across all Chinese shops in Lisbon.

It would then be clear that if the objective of a policy is to protect traditional commerce, reducing the freedom to sell of shopping centres is much more appropriate than to create a Chinese gheto.

But when policies are not suitable to claimed objectives, and those policies come from inteligent minds, it's because the true objectives are other...

Jewish shops were also very annoying in Austria and Germany by the turn of the XIXth to the XXth century...

Of course that whether you start a war against the poor Chinese shops or the rich shopping centres, the ones who will loose for sure are the consumers: less freedom of choice in relation to products, prices, diversity, schedules.

Protecting a specific group of shops or a specific industry has always the simple result of hurting consumers in their freedom.

What really surprises me (or maybe it doesn't surprise me at all) is that this anti-economic liberalism comes even from the supposed "right". Or perhaps they are economic liberal but the only way they have to propose racist policies is to tell people they are as anti economic freedom as everybody else.

That is why I am so damned right to say that a right-wing classical liberal party in Portugal can never, but never ever ever, be born from CDS-PP.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oh Não!!! São Outra Vez Duas da Manhã!!!!!

Oh no! It's again two a.m.!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Missing Lisboa

Pois Café.
Campo dos Mártires da Pátria.
Miradouro de Santa Catarina.
O Largo da Graça.
O Jardim da Estrela.

O Eléctrico 28.

Where are they now?!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thought for Tonight

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

by John Lennon

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Questo Pomeriggio Mi Sento Così (ix)

sono umane situazioni
quei momenti fra di noi
i distacchi e i ritorni
da capirci niente poi
già... come vedi
sto pensando a te...
sì... da un po’

sono umane condizioni
stare bene oppure no
può dipendere dai giorni
dalle nostalgie che ho
già... come vedi
sto pensando a te

come se questo tempo non
fosse passato mai
dove siamo stati, cosa siamo poi
confinanti di cuore solo
che ognuno sta dietro gli
steccati degli orgogli suoi
sto pensando a te
sto pensando a noi...

sono cose della vita
vanno prese un po’ così
è già stata una fatica
arrivare fino qui
già... come vedi io sto ancora
in piedi perché sono umani
tutti i sogni miei, con le mani
io li prenderei, sì perché sono
umani questi sogni miei
con le mani io li prenderei

sono cose della vita
ma la vita poi dov’è
se da quando è partita
un inseguimento è
già... come vedi
sto pensando ancora a te

questa notte che passa
piano accanto a me
cerco di affrontarla, afferrarla
e se prendo le curve del cuore
sbandando un po’
voglio provocarla
anche adesso che
sto pensando a te
sto pensando a noi
da un po’

già da un po’...

Cose della Vita in Tutte Storie (1993) di Eros Ramazzotti.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ricemagic Has Moved to Firenze

The WeatherPixie

After completing one year, Ricemagic left the bright beautiful city of Lisbon, Portugal and have set their new headquarters in the cradle of the renaissance: Firenze, Tuscany, Italy.

We have another motto: Politics, Prejudices and... Pasta.