Corram, filhos, corram até nos encherem os bolsos (a todos os meus amigos alienados, desadequados, deprimidos e desesperados)

“Reject the Rat Race”
Jimmy Reid

Glasgow University rectoral address, 1972

Alienation is the precise and correctly applied word for describing the major social problem in Britain today. People feel alienated by society. In some social circles it is treated almost as a new phenomenon. It has, however, been with us for years. What I believe is true is that today it is more widespread, more pervasive than ever before. let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. Many may not have rationalized it. May not even understand, may not be able to articulate it. But they feel it. It conditions and colors their social attitudes.

Alienation expresses itself in different ways by different people. It is to be found in what our courts often describe as the criminal antisocial behavior of a section of the community. It is expressed by those young people who want to opt out of society, by dropouts, the so-called maladjusted, those who seek to escape permanently from the reality of society through intoxicants and narcotics. Of course it would be wrong to say it was the sole reason for these things. But it is a greater factor in all of them than is generally recognized.

Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity. It partially dehumanizes some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self- centered and grasping. The irony is that they are often considered normal and well adjusted. It is my sincere contention that anyone who can be totally adjusted to our society is in greater need of psychiatric analysis and treatment than anyone else. It is easy and tempting to hate such people. However, it is wrong. They are as much products of society and a consequence of that society, human alienation, as the poor dropout. They are losers. They have lost essential elements of our common humanity. Man is a social being. Real fulfillment for any person lies in service to his fellow men and women.

Any society which, for example, permits over one million people here to be unemployed is far too permissive for my liking. Nor is it moral laxity in the narrow sense that this word is generally employed - although in a sense here we come nearer to the problem. It does involve morality, ethics and our concept of human values. The challenge we face is that of rooting out anything and everything that distorts and devalues human relations.

There is a widespread, implicit acceptance of the concept, and the term, the rat race. The picture it conjures up is one where we are scurrying around scrambling for position, trampling upon others, back-stabbing, all in pursuit of personal success. Even genuinely intended friendly advice can sometimes take the form of someone saying to you, "Listen, you look after Number One." Or as they say in London, "Bang the bell, Jack, I'm on the bus." To the students I address this appeal - reject these attitudes - reject the values and false morality that underline these attitudes. A rat race is for rats. We are not rats. We are human beings. Reject the insidious pressures of society that would blunt your critical faculties to all the happenings around you that would caution silence in the face of injustices lest you jeopardize your changes of promotions and self advancement.

This is how it starts and before you know where you are you are a fully-paid up member of the rat pack. The price is too high. It entails a loss of your dignity and human spirit. Or as Christ put it: ‘What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul.’ Profit is the sole criterion used by the establishment to evaluate economic activity. From the rat race to lame duck. The vocabulary in vogue is a giveaway. It's more reminiscent of a human menagerie than human society. The power structures that have inevitably emerged from this approach threaten and undermine our hard-won democratic rights. The whole process is towards the centralization and concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands. Giant monopoly companies and consortia dominate almost every branch of our economy. The men who wield effective control within these giants exercise a power over their fellow men which is frightening and is a negation of democracy.

If modern technology requires greater and larger productive units, let's make our wealth-producing resources and potential subject to public control and to social accountability. Let's gear our society to social need, not personal greed. Given such creative reorientation of society, there is no doubt in my mind that in a few years we could eradicate in our country the scourge of poverty, the underprivileged, slums and insecurity. Even this is not enough. To measure social progress purely by material advance is not enough. Our aim must be the enrichment of the whole quality of life. It requires a social and cultural, or if you wish, a spiritual transformation of our country. A necessary part of this must be the restructuring of the institutions of government, and, where necessary, the evolution of additional structures so as to involve the people in the decision-making processes of our society.

My conclusion is to reaffirm what I hope and certainly intend to be the spirit permeating the address. It’s an affirmation of faith in humanity. All that is good in man’s heritage involves recognition of our common humanity - an unashamed acknowledgment that man is good by nature. It’s my belief that all the factors to make a practical reality of such a world are maturing now. I would like to think that our generation took mankind some way along the road toward this goal. It’s a goal worth fighting for.

Se, por acaso do destino, vier a dar aulas, esta será a primeira leitura dos meus alunos. Depois, terei de lhes explicar porque é que, entre 1972 e 2011, quase tudo o que é dito aqui permanece actual.


green field

This is at the end of that green field.
Where we said goodbye for the umpteenth time.
Where we jazzed up our tears and snow began pouring.
Then sun.
Then nothing.

We forgot the sun, my love, that's what I keep saying.
No, you forgot me and the moon was your mistress, you keep telling.

Then sun,
Then oblivion,
Then a song comes through and trees goes on crying like they was

like they were

what was that, you say
are you correcting the world for its grammar?
you say

and I cry,
because it is no longer green, this field where we used to dream,

you say,
you cry because you can't trust the future.

I say to you that the future cannot embrace anyone, so yes, I distrust it;
while the past reviled may impregnate wonders into a child's mind,
the future is only a promise

you say,
and I cry,
and I try to be manly
for the umpteenth time.

I say that the trees are the ones who cry, that we are just saying that final goodbye,

and you say to me that I should be happy because it was no longer.
it was no longer.

anything the sort you dreamed. you were a ghost in your own memory, you whisper.
yes, I was a ghost in my own whisper, a valkyrie you turned into a forlorn love because
and because
and because
you say,
we are no more.

and the field turns blue, we are no longer. we are not make lovers. we are not make believe lovers. we are not jazz anymore notes anymore gods and goddesses, we are just puppets singing in a blue field at the end of night.

should you be happy? you are happy.
you say,
you are happy because you are light now. you are light and you smile

I lay there, wide awake, while you leave, smiling.

so don't go at me with hopes high and highrise smiles.
let me cry with my trees, baby. let me cry with my sadness and just delight her in my companionship, we do not know our bodies anymore, we are two highways parallel, never cross each other never again, never never, yet I stroll to you in afternoons forgotten.

just maybe the field is green in a dream and I may press reset in my button of Fate.
you say,
don't cry, honey.
don't cry as I'm here and I'm your island, I'm your desert storm, I let you stir me.

But it's just a dream, and the field is blue at the end of sunrise.


Um discurso bom para domingo à tarde (e pouco mais)

É pena. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush e Helena Bonham Carter. Trio de luxo para um filme leve, levezinho, quase tão leve como outra história uplifting, Invictus. Bom para um domingo à tarde, mas um desperdício de tempo na sala. Bom, bom, foi mesmo este trailer:


...a very discomforting truth

...tarde demais.



O lado esquerdo não me deixa dormir. O lado direito não me deixa serenar. E, na realidade, precisam de conviver. Não acredito em segundas oportunidades, porque esse tempo passou, muitos sóis se puseram e supernovas morreram. Entretanto, mais filas de aeroportos me aguardam, desta feita numa viagem de ida que não queria tão só.

E encontro-me contrariadamente só pela primeira vez, enquanto aguardo algo que nada trará de novo e não mudará coisa alguma. Ainda assim, aguardo. Porque o lado direito, ainda que me faça sofrer, também é aquele que me faz sonhar e sentir e ser holístico.

Venham os vendavais, meu amor perdido. Que ainda aqui estarei, depois de nos termos esquecido definitivamente. Nesse dia, rumarei a sul sem mágoas ou remorsos, apenas uma impressão de copo meio-vazio que terei de preencher. E já não terás de fugir, nem de mim, nem de nada. Seremos dois corpos apartados pelas leis inapagáveis do universo. Mas também seremos dois corpos menos capazes de sorrir, tenho a certeza. Menos capazes de sorrir e olhar com cumplicidade.

Mas eles que venham, os vendavais. E enfrentá-los-emos, cada um em seu repouso, cada um deitado em corpos estranhos, e cada um sorrindo menos calor.


2011, ou como devemos parar de olhar para cima

Definitivamente, devemos começar a olhar para baixo. Para latitudes meridionais. Porque a setentrionalidade destroçou a sanidade de quem pretende ser civilizado, estável, eficiente, competitivo, contra a inflação e contra os extremistas.

Se calhar, só se calhar, no dia 12 de Março, vamos começar a perceber que é preciso olhar para baixo e procurar outras referências.


Para onde vais, Pablito?


QUIERO que sepas
una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe,
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
que en ese día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

si cada día,
cada hora
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable.
Si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.


Paul Haggis e Moby pós-punk (?!)

Do último Paul Haggis.

Don't speak to me this way
Don't ever let me say
Don't leave me again [x2]
I never felt this loss before
And the world is closing doors
I never wanted anything more
Don't hug me this way
Don't touch me this way
Don't hug me again [x2]
Don't hug me this way
Don't touch me this way
Don't hug me this again [x2]
I never felt this loss before
And the world is closing doors
I never wanted anything more
Don't let me make the same mistake again
Please, don't let me make the same mistake again
Don't let me make the same mistake again
I never felt this loss before
And the world is closing doors
I never wanted anything more
Please, Don't let me make the same mistake again [x2]

E o melhor momento de um filme muito, muito mediano.

O planeta também fuma?

Mais pensamentos fugidios...



O que quero? De verdade, assim verdadinha? Lembrar-me daquele rosto. De lhe saber as feições mesmo antes de observá-las.

O que quero? De verdade, assim verdadinha? Esquecer aquele rosto. Ser capaz de apagá-lo, de deslembrá-lo, de deixá-lo carcomido pela velocidade do mundo.

E tudo para o rosto e a voz e a mão que já não respinga na minha, soçobrando levemente. Porque eu quero e não quero esquecer, quero e não quero lembrar; julgo que é a minha alma que soçobra e sofre um sismo de epicentro ali bem no meio de mim. Eis que me acho dividido e não sei como não ser-sim ser. Se uma verdadinha ou uma mentirinha. Desejo sentir-me leve, mas não oco, feliz, mas não ligeiro. E toda essa ligeireza e leveza e fortaleza e torpeza me dão azo a esquecer. E, quando esqueço, dou por mim a escavar nos meandros da memória até achar um relembrete, para que possa tornar ao passado e sonhar passados distintos.

Quando irá isto terminar, afinal? Que eu não quero mais mentirinhas ou verdadinhas ou sismos contínuos. Queremos paz neste nosso cerne de universo, neste nosso poço de galáxias que não partilhamos levianamente. E tudo terminou e ficamos a pensar se terá mesmo acabado. E volta o turbilhão. E o rosto e a voz e a mão que respinga na minha ainda aqui ficam, mas não são os mesmos. Foi lindo, mas tornou-se irrespirável.

Esta gente, esta gente cujo rosto

Praça Tahrir, Cairo

Esta Gente
Esta gente cujo rosto
Às vezes luminoso
E outras vezes tosco

Ora me lembra escravos
Ora me lembra reis

Faz renascer meu gosto
De luta e de combate
Contra o abutre e a cobra
O porco e o milhafre

Pois a gente que tem
O rosto desenhado
Por paciência e fome
É a gente em quem
Um país ocupado
Escreve o seu nome

E em frente desta gente
Ignorada e pisada
Como a pedra do chão
E mais do que a pedra
Humilhada e calcada

Meu canto se renova
E recomeço a busca
De um país liberto
De uma vida limpa
E de um tempo justo

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen