Short and longer notes
The 23.º Anuário de Criação (23rd Creation Yearbook) contains the best publicity pieces Brazilian admen created in 1998 as chosen by a jury from the 900-member-strong Clube de Criação de São Paulo (São Paulo Creation Club), an association reuniting professionals who work in publicity, including writers and art directors. The 785 ads chosen among 5,000 or so that were shown in newspapers, magazines, and billboards recently are also a portrait of the thriving advertising business across the country, since all states outside of São Paulo are invited to send their entries.
Despite its small circulation (2,000 copies) the Anuárioan endeavor believed to be taken only in a couple of other countries besides Brazilis a vital publication. Its latest incarnation brings 345 ads published in magazines, 145 in newspapers, 130 in cinemas, and 22 in billboards, with space for other media too. The yearbook, which has been published uninterruptedly since 1975, also extends its kudos to the best professionals in the areas of art, creation and writing.
To arrive at the final selection, the special jury went through a grueling effort that included six full hours watching TV and cinema ads and three more listening to radio commercials. They also had to leaf through some 4,000 printed pieces that appeared in the press and on billboards.
In an interview with São Paulo daily Jornal da Tarde, Creation Club vice-president Eugênio Mohallem, who is creation director and writer for Agência Almap, talked about the importance of the effort: "The yearbook is the best historic report to preserve the creation of Brazilian admen. It contains excellent pieces that would disappear with the time in case there wasn't a specific publication like this one."
Whoever expected radical changes in the Fernando Henrique Cardoso's second four-year term was bitterly disappointed. Maybe Cardoso once dreamed of a cabinet that would mirror the social theories favoring the less privileged he concocted in the past. Faced with reality, however, and increasingly pressured by his more practical (some would say cynical) side, polyglot, sociologist, former theoretician for the left, President Cardoso in forming his new cabinet seemed resigned to political arrangements that would guarantee him the votes in the legislative mainly to secure a fiscal plan that would make possible an International Monetary Fund loan.
He ended up acting more like a prime minister distributing posts as if taking bids from the parties who offered or threatened him most. There were very few changes. Nineteen of 23 ministers from his first term of office were kept. The operational control of the government was also kept under Clóvis Carvalho, the Palácio da Alvorada's chief of staff. Despite the creation of the Production Ministry renamed to Development, Industry and Commerce and given to respected intellectual, Celso Lafer, there is no hint there will be any change in the political or economic path.
Cardoso has threatened to fire those ministers whose parties do not align with the government in Congress when there are crucial matter being voted. But he cannot hide the fact that he had to swallow some frogs, as the expression goes in Brazil, to line up his cabinet. Even before the carping started coming in from his critics, Cardoso conceded, "In a complex society like the Brazilian, you cannot advance without a system of alliances, which sometimes might even be contradictory."
Buried is the dream of a new economic model. Cardoso once planned to have his friend and Communications Minister Sérgio Motta leading the newly-created Development, Industry and Commerce Ministry. With the death of Motta in April of 1998, Luiz Carlos Mendonça de Barros, the new Communications minister became the heir apparent to the post. But this was before the November 1998 scandal in which Mendonça de Barros was caught in tape candidly talking on the phone about his preferences on the Telebrás (the state-owned telephone holding company) privatization auction.
As expected the PFL (Partido da Frente LiberalLiberal Front Party) got the lion's share with Antônio Carlos Magalhães, president of the Senate and the PFL leader being able to keep his protégés Rodolfo Tourinho (Mines and Energy) and Waldeck Ornelas (Social Security) in their posts. They are both from Bahia, homestate of Magalhães. The Ministry of Sport and Tourism was created to admit PFL Representative Rafael Grecca from Paraná. There was also the Magalhães's hand behind senator Élcio Álvares choice for the Defense Ministry and Zequinha Sarney (son of former President José Sarney) for the Environment Ministry.
The PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático BrasileiroBrazilian Democratic Movement Party), the party with the most members in Congress, grumbled, even though they got two important posts in the cabinet: the Justice Ministry for Renan Calheiros and the Transportation Ministry for Eliseu Padilha. They were also able to get status of minister for Regional Policies secretary Ovídio de Angelis.
Besides being assailed by political leaders trying to secure some turf for themselves, Cardoso had also his hands tied by the IMF, which wouldn't let him exonerate Finance minister Pedro Malan and Central Bank president, Gustavo Franco, without a good fight.
The choice of ambassador Celso Lafer to oversee the Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce, was an attempt to please international and domestic investors and businesspeople. He is expected to be a mild counterpoint to the Cardoso pragmatism. According to former Finance minister and current House representative Antônio Delfim Netto from São Paulo, Lafer "is well prepared, is connected with the Paulista (from São Paulo) business sector, but he is not a belligerent man, he will offer no resistance to the economic team."
The Pleased and
Despite all the fretting, most of the allies seemed to be happy with the final cabinet composition. Senator José Sarney, one of those directly benefited by the parceling out of power echoed the opinion of many of his colleagues: "This is a very good team. The President assembled a political cabinet."
"We are satisfied with our share," said Geddel Vieira Lima, the Baiano (from Bahia) leader of the PMDB in the House. Besides getting the Justice and Transportation ministries, Lima's party was also able to win the Regional Policies Department, which is now responsible for Water Resources, a bureau that belonged before to the Environment Ministry.
A PTB (Partido Trabalhista BrasileiroBrazilian Labor Party) threatened rebellion never occurred, since the threat that Paulo Paivaa PTB choice would be removed from the Planning Ministry never happened. Some criticism came from some members of the President's party, the PSDB, even though most seemed happy with their lot in the bargain.
"It was the feasible reform, but we are happy with it, anyway," said Aécio Neves, the party's leader in the House. Representative Alberto Goldman, from São Paulo, disagreed, criticizing the selection of PSDB's Pimenta da Veiga for the Communications Department, seeing it as a victory for the PFL. Goldman would rather have Veiga in a more prominent political post. He also didn't like to see Francisco Dornelles from the PPB (Partido Progressista BrasileiroBrazilian Progressive Party) as the minister of Work and Employment, dismissing it with a, "The PPB resembles more finances than work."
The PT (Partido dos TrabalhadoresWorkers's Party), the main opposition party, seemed totally unimpressed with the new cabinet. "There was no change," said José Dirceu, the party's president, echoed by another PT heavyweight, the former Porto Alegre (capital of Rio Grande do Sul) mayor, Tarso Genro: "The cabinet accommodates the government basis, now with an intellectual relish, Celso Lafer."
In Pernambuco some PFL politicians want to rebel against the government and their party leadership. They cannot accept the fact that they lost the decades-old control over the water resources sector. "The President knows that he needs to massage the ego of the parliamentary basis, so they will approve the proposals he sends to Congress. He didn't do this giving irrigation to the PMDB and he will be sorry," threatened PFL representative Osvaldo Coelho from Pernambuco.
Development, Industry and Commerce - Celso Lafer. The Brazilian ambassador to the World Trade Organization is highly respected by the government economic team as well as the Brazilian business community.
Agriculture - Francisco Turra (PPB)
Culture - Francisco Weffort. He continues in his post.
Finance - Pedro Malan. One of the most respected ministers from the first four years, Malan was the first to have his post guaranteed for a second term.
Budget and Management - Paulo Paiva (PTB). Stayed heeding an appeal by Malan.
Foreign Relations - Luiz Felipe Lampreia
Education - Paulo Renato de Souza. Like Malan and Lampreia he's been is his post since the beginning of the Cardoso first term of office.
Health - José Serra. Cardoso's personal friend, he was Planning minister at the beginning of the Cardoso administration.
Science and Technology _ Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira (PSDB)
Mines and Energy - Rodolpho Tourinho (PFL). An Antônio Carlos Magalhães protégé, he replaces Raimundo Brito.
Social Security - Waldeck Ornelas (PFL). He asked senator Antônio Carlos Magalhães, his friend, to be maintained in the little popular post.
Labor and Employment - Francisco Dornelles (PPB). Former Industry and Commerce minister, he would rather get the Communications post.
Environment - José Sarney Filho (PFL) The PV (Partido VerdeGreen Party) rightfully wanted the post. It became his Christmas gift from his father, ex-president José Sarney (PMDB).
Sports and Tourism _ Raphael Grecca (PFL). He wanted the Urban Development ministry, which never left the drawing board
Defense - Élcio Álvares (PFL). The new ministry reunites formers military ministries (Army, Navy and Air Force). Álvares failed to get reelected to the senate in the October 1998 national elections.
Justice - Renan Calheiros (PMDB). He is maintained in the post from the previous term of office despite some grumbling from other allied parties.
Transportation - Eliseu Padilha (PMDB). He also kept his post.
Agrarian Reform - Raul Jungmann. Being able to arrange a $800,000 foreign loan helped him keep his job.
Civilian Staff - Clóvis Carvalho
Military Staff - General Alberto Cardoso
Communications - Pimenta da Veiga. Representing the PSDB from Minas Gerais.
Social Action (linked to the Social Security Ministry) _ Wanda Hengel was the secretary of Social Development in the city of Rio
Administration and Patrimony (linked to the Budget and Management Ministry - Cláudia Costin
Regional Policies - Ovídio de Angelis (PMDB).
Foreign Commerce Chamber - José Botafogo Gonçalves
Institutional Relations - Eduardo Graeff
Government Communication - Andrea Matarazzo. He almost resigned before starting the new job. The ex-president of CESP (Companhia Energética de São Paulo) and former Energy secretary of São Paulo Governor, Mário Covas, will be in charge of the government image.
Human Rights (linked to the Justice Ministry) - José Gregori
Planning and Evaluation, in charge of IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e EstatísticaBrazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics) - Edward Amadeo
Special Projects - Ronaldo Sardenberg. He was in charge of the extinct Department of Strategic Affairs.
It was on Friday 13 of December 1968 that the military dictatorship that took over Brazil from '64 to `85 started its most somber period through the introduction of the infamous Institutional Act No 5, better known as AI-5. It makes sense to call attention to the date charged with superstition when it was recently revealed that it was on superstition grounds that the '64 military coup occurred on March 31.
While some officers thought that middle April would be a better timing, general Carlos Luís Guedes made it clear he didn't want any part of it, and presented a convincing argument: "I never start anything serious when we have crescent moon." The dreaded moon phase was to start on April 2. AI-5's 30th anniversary has produced plenty of reflections, specials and testimonials in the Brazilian media. The measure that closed Congress and suspended all individual rights was signed by then President Marshall Arthur da Costa e Silva and was in force until January 1, 1979.
During the AI-5 the dictatorship developed some of its most creative and cruel forms of torture and the number of disappearedthose secretly killed by the statemultiplied. Among the favorite methods of torture there were the coroa-de-Cristo (Christ's crown) and the pau-de-arara (macaw's stick). Coroa-de-Cristo was a metal hoop attached to the victim's head that kept being pressed by a wicket until it smashed the skull. A Brazilian invention, the pau-de-arara is a monument to the national sadistic impulses. The technique still used nowadays around the country to torture common prisoners consists of a metal bar placed over two wooden horses. The victim is tied to the bar by the wrists or the kneecap. After being immobilized the prisoner used to get hit over the kidney with a broom or receive electrical shocks. Other simpler methods used consisted in introducing a broom stick in the prisoner's anus or throwing cold water on the victim keeping him or her awake for days or simply taking someone in a car to a deserted area and threatening to kill him there.
In what is believed to be a first in Brazil, one of the torturers, former lieutenant Marcelo Paixão de Araújo, came forward and gave a lengthy account to weekly magazine Veja (circulation: 1.26 million) about his own participation in the state-sponsored torture rites. The confession, which was the December 9 issue's cover story, presents the portrait of an unrepentant and cold man who doesn't seem ashamed or even disturbed when telling in details the barbaric methods of persuasion he used to obtain confessions by alleged leftist activists.
After revealing that he learned all he knew by watching his colleagues in action, Araújo told the magazine:
"The first thing I used to do was to throw the guy in the middle of a room, take off his clothes and start screaming so he would reveal the ponto (spot, meeting place) and the activists in the group. This was the first stage. If he resisted there was a second stage, which was, let's put it this way, more whacks. One slapped his face. Another applied a blow to his abdomen. A third, a sock to his kidney. All to see if he would talk. If he didn't, there were two routes. It depended a lot on who was applying the torture. I really enjoyed using something to strike their hands. It's very painful, but it makes people talk."
Araújo also talked about some of his other favorite torture methods: the telephone (a device used to apply electrical shocks), the drowning (the individual had his head continually placed under water to the point of almost drowning), and the can dance. "I used the can dance a lot. I took two little pea cans and opened them. After that I would place the guy standing over them." It used to bleed?", the reporter asked. "No, he would talk before that (belly laughs). Lighter people could stand longer."
Why did he do what he did? "The index of utilization is over 90%." Why did he participate as a torturer? "I thought there was the need to destroy the leftist organizations in the country.... I always was viscerally anti-Marxist."
The year of 1968 showed an increase of action from the opposition and the truculent reaction by the military. On March 28 the police in Rio killed student Édson Luís provoking students street protest across the country. On June 26, Cariocas (from Rio) took to the streets in what would be known as the Passeata dos Cem Mil (The March of the 100,000). That same day a car bomb exploded outside the São Paulo's Army headquarters killing a private. On October 12, the police busted a clandestine meeting of UNE (União Nacional dos EstudantesStudents National Association) in Ibiúna, in the interior of São Paulo state, detaining 1,240 students. It was also in the same day in October that leftist guerrillas killed Charles Chandler, a captain from the American Army.
The military seemed to be looking for a pretext to take the draconian measures they took. On September 3, 1968, Rio representative Márcio Moreira Alves made a speech in Congress accusing the Armed Forces of having become a "refuge of torturers". He even suggested in jest that the wives of military men started a sex strike to show their distaste with the regime. Enraged, President Costa e Silva demanded that Alves be tried by the Supreme Court. On December 12, 1968, however, the House by 216 to 141 votes defeated the government proposal and refused to strip the congressman from his parliamentary immunity.
"They will get their answer. Now they are going to see," said Costa e Silva. The answer, the AI-5 came the next day. Among the measures adopted by the authoritarian act were the temporary closure of Congress, power to annul political rights, intervention in the states and some key cities, media censorship, and suspension of habeas corpus for political prisoners.
During the decade it was in force the AI-5 annulled the political rights of 1,607 citizens, including six senators, 110 House representatives (deputados federais), 161 state assemblymen (deputados estaduais) and 22 mayors. Around 500 movies, 500 songs, 450 plays and 200 books had cuts or were not allowed to be shown in the country during the AI-5 era. The act was also responsible for an unknown number of kidnappings, tortures, disappearances, and assassinations.
Since December 1st, foreigners or Brazilians arriving in Brazil by air, sea or land will need to declare what they bring in their luggage. For those who come by plane the limit of purchases exempt from taxes is $500. All others have a limit of only $150. The new procedure, created to curb smuggling, is called DBA (Declaração de Bagagem AcompanhadaDeclaration of Carried Luggage) and asks the traveler to describe what he brings including prescription medicines. Weapons, plants and animals, as well as more than $8,000 in cash. Books, periodicals and clothes for own use are exempt. The measure intends to end a practice by the so-called sacoleiros (bag carriers), those travelers who frequently go overseasmainly to Paraguay, Miami and New Yorkto buy electronic and other products, which are then resold in Brazil
The need to pay taxes on goods that go over a limit is not new, but there was no form to fill out before, and control was entirely random depending on a system of green and red lights that would turn on when people passed the custom's gate. The traveler would only be stopped if the light turned out green. According to Peter Tofte, from the Federal Revenue Service, the new procedure will also be helpful in containing excessive foreign purchases by Brazilian tourist. He informed that Brazilian travelers in 1997 spent $5 billion, "something incompatible with the country's situation."
Foreigners and Brazilians living overseas for more than one year will need only to declare the cash they carry. This is to avoid that foreigners bring big amounts of cash to be laundered. They will also be able to enter with appliances, furniture, computers and any tool necessary for their work. There will be taxes and fines up to 50% of the value of the merchandise when the Customs Bureau catches somebody cheating. Most people however, will be taken on their word.
As for pets they will need to have vaccination certificates from the countries they are coming from. Other animals as well as plants and seeds might need special authorization from the Agriculture Ministry to get into the country.
Travel agents are worried that the new bureaucratic measures will cause up-to-five-hour-long delays to travelers during holidays and other busy periods. "We are afraid that during the high season, when several flights arrive almost at the same time, each one with 270 passengers in average, people will spend around five hours to pass through all the bureaucracy," told daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, Goiaci Alves Guimarães, president of ABAV (Associação Brasileira dos Agentes de ViagensBrazilian Association of Travel Agents). And added: "It's going to be chaos."
The latest NBC heartthrob is Bruno Campos, 25, a Carioca (from Rio) who was discovered by Hollywood as the character who runs away with the wife of his best friend in Brazilian director Fábio Barreto's movie O Quatrilho, which in 1996 was an Oscar contender for best foreign movie. That same year the blue-eyed actor came to Los Angeles on a tourist visa and was lucky enough to sign a contract with Warner Brothers before his time was up. Later he joined NBC where he appeared as guest star is such series as Cybill, Chicago Sons, and Suddenly Susan, playing a Cuban gay character.
Campos, who as the son of a Banco do Brasil banker spent his childhood and teen years in some 20 countries, including Canada and the U.S, is the leading man in the just-started show Jesse. He plays Diego, the Chilean love interest of the character that gives name to the series, the single mother interpreted by Married....with Children star Christina Applegate. Campos has recently also made People's magazine list as one of the sexiest foreign actors working in the U.S..
High cost of living, growing unemployment, and stress seem to be taking a heavy toll on Brazilian executive men's libido. The result is more than just a little annoyance. According to sex experts, Brazilians are getting their penises reduced up to 2 centimeters (three quarters of an inch). The phenomenon was denounced by Paulista (from São Paulo) urologist Roberto Tullii.
"The average size of a penis in flaccid state, which was seven cm. is now five cm," told Tullii to Rio's daily newspaper O Dia. According to Tullii, there was last year a 32% increase in the number of penis retraction cases, a problem that can lead to a reduction of sexual desire and even impotency. The doctor also noticed that these cases are happening earlier in life. While in 1986 the average age for penis retraction among his clients was 47, it has fallen to 30 nowadays.
The urologist doesn't propose surgery to solve the problem, but the daily use on the sexual organ of prostaglandin gel, the same hormone used in the treatment of impotency. To other experts, the relations between men and women, which turned sex from a pleasurable activity into a power game, is at the root of the problem. According to this view, women should stop testing men in bed and men should get back their self-esteem.
A Jewel for
With the release of two new versions of the Santos jewel-watch the Paris-based Maison Cartier has once again reignited two historic controversies: of who invented the airplane and who created the wristwatch. The Santos is an homage to Alberto Santos Dumont, the man who in Brazil, France, and many other countries in the world is considered the inventor of the airplane. In 1898 in Paris he became the first man to fly a gas-powered airship. Americans naturally believe that the Wright brothers, who flew in their machine in 1903, are the real inventors of the airplane,
The Cartier piece, whose first version appeared in 1911, was originally presented to the public during a big bash on the same day Santos Dumont in 1906 took off from the Bagatelle field in Paris in his 14-Bis flying machine. Dumont was a good friend and much admired by the Cartier clan. The Brazilian inventor, annoyed with the big pocket watches of the time, which were hard to use during flight, is credited with having also invented the wristwatch with friend Louis Cartier in 1904. This is however disputed by the Swiss who say that they invented the wristwatch as early as 1790.
Adding a notch to the Brazilian musical scene steam MTV Brazil has been exhibiting a video-clip glorifying oral sex. President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky are some of the characters portrayed in the 4m14s film made to divulge "Boquete" (Giving Head), a song from Carioca (from Rio) Ivo Meirelles and his Funk'n'Lata band.
By the way, if it weren't for Clinton, the song would probably still be in Meirelles's drawer gathering dust. The song was made two years ago, but the composer didn't think the song would get any airtime due to its risqué lyrics. Then the White House scandal broke out and oral sex became a subject discussed even in kindergartens.
It's not the Clinton-Lewinsky duet, though, that's getting most of the attention, provoking controversy and enraging the Catholic Church. In the clip there is a priestMeirelles himselfwho is all smiles and is shown with a very pretty little devil working under his frock while the lyrics explain what's going on:
Padre encontra o lenitivo .
E a felicidade se repete
Todo dia num boquete
Priest finds lenitive .
And happiness repeats itself
Everyday in a cocksucking
In another scene, Meirelles gives oral relief to a plastic doll in a Volkswagen bug. "This veiled censorship I've been facing is a portrait of Brazil's hypocrisy," says the musician. "False morality has to go. The whole world performs oral sex, but you cannot talk about it. I've known priests who were gays, others who were perverts," he adds.
Prá quem tem inglês fluente
Cabeça prá trás
O corpo prá frente
Ela gosta de pagar
E de receber
O céu é o limite do prazer
Trombone ou trompete
Gruda em mim que nem chiclete
No carro, na rua, ninguém se mete
Vem que eu quero um boquete
Eu vou também
Não tem saída
Tête-á-tête com a perseguida
Tem que dar pra receber
Se achar é se perder
Descascar banana é normal
Mas se o remédio é via oral...
Boquete! Boquete! Boquete! Boquete!
Você pode me achar um pervertido
Mas ninguém controla a sua libido
Não me venha com essa de puritano
Você boqueteia por de baixo do pano
Não engorda, não faz mal
Nem precisa de anticoncepcional
Se o remédio é via oral
Mantenha a calma profissional
Padre encontra o lenitivo
Todo mundo é provedor
E a felicidade se repete
Todo dia num boquete
Mate a cobra, mostre o pau...
For those who have fluent English
She likes to pay
And to receive
The sky's the limit of pleasure
Trombone or trumpet
Stick to me like chewing gum
In the car, in the street, no one dares
Come, I want head
I'm going too
There is no other way
Tête-à-tête with your pussy
You have to give to receive
If to find it to get lost
The traditional mom and dad
Banana peeling is normal
But if the medicine is taken orally...
Head! Head! Head! Head!
You might think I'm a pervert
But no one can control his libido
Don't start acting like a puritan
You give head under the cover
It doesn't make you fat, it doesn't do you harm
You don't need birth control
If the medicine is taken orally
Maintain the professional calm
Priest finds lenitive
Everybody is a provider
And happiness repeats itself
Every day in a cocksucking
Kill the snake, show the rod...