February 1999
Brief and Longer Notes




rpdfeb99.gif (52519 bytes)Despite its reputation as a place where anything goes sexually, Brazil sometimes can be as prudish and hypocritical as mainstream America. Case in point, until ten years ago Brazil's 165 million people had but one place for those in the mood to bare it all in public: the Praia do Pinho, a beach on the littoral of Santa Catarina, a state in the south of Brazil.

The options for going disrobed have increased in the past few years to a couple dozen places, but they are still concentrated in the south where German and Italian colonization has created a more tolerant and European culture. Most of the these places are sea beaches (there are seven official nudist beaches) and some have already built a reputation for themselves including Tambaba, in the northern state of Paraíba and Pinho in the southern state of Santa Catarina. Created in 1988, the Pinho nudist beach was the first one of its kind in the country. In the Northeast, the most famous naturist site is Tambaba, a secluded beach in Conde, a little town in the state of Paraíba. rpdfe99a.gif (60336 bytes)

Tambaba is always full, with up to 1000 naked people on weekends. These sites were enriched more recently with inland nudist colonies in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and the Amazon. It is estimated that 60,000 Brazilians have embraced the no-clothes-is-our-clothes way of life. Compare this to 16 million nudists in Germany, for example. The growth has been by leaps and bounds recently. According to the Federação Brasileira de Naturismo (Brazilian Naturism Federation) the number of nudists has increased by 25% in the country last year.

Celso Rossi, director of the naturism magazine Naturis and co-owner of Colina do Sol—a naturist resort in the state of Rio Grande do Sul—commented about these changes in an interview with weekly newsmagazine Isto É: "This reflects a change that happened in the decade when naturists stopped being seen as an indecent assault and had their activity regulated."

A five-year-old nudist place, the Clube Rincão in Guaratinguetá in the interior of São Paulo, which uses what used to be a cattle ranch, has given a new impetus to the nudist cause. The naturist resort, with 100 families as members, has recently been promoted in the mainstream press. It presents itself as respectful and wholesome only taking couples and families as members.

rpdfe99b.gif (31627 bytes)The Rincão nudist club is the brainchild of Alexandre Tsanaclis, 50, a physician who has been a nudist since his late twenties. He is also the president of the three-thousand-member Federação Brasileira de Naturismo and explains the purpose of his club: "Here we have a space for those who are bothered by the compulsive use of clothes, by this hypocrisy of wearing a bikini, a skimpy swim suit."

In the state of Goiás, the Goiasnat, the state's only nudist club conceived two years ago in Bela Vista, is thriving. With 112 members the Goiasnat was created by Jodenon Borges de Sousa on his own farm. Sousa, who raises his small children in the club, doesn't forget all the opposition from his own friends and family when he started the club. The mother argued that this practice wasn't something approved by God. His answer: "If God wanted otherwise, everybody would be born dressed."

The couple Marcos Juliano de Oliveira Pinto and Sheyla Gonçalves Pinto also bring their three children to the Goiasnat. They have two boys who are 5 and 7 years old and a girl who is 4. "They love the place," Sheyla said in an interview with Goiás daily Diário da Manhã. "When we say we are going to the club they take their clothes off in the car."

There are several sites dedicated to Brazilian naturism on the Internet. One of the more complete, with links to several other sites, is the NaturisNet ( ), which publishes the magazine Naturis and houses the homepage for the FBN (Federação Brasileira de Naturismo). . Created in January of 1988, the FBN is responsible for coordinating the naturism movement in Brazil.

More links to several naturist sites in Brazil can be found at   ,   and  



Arguably the most celebrated Brazilian novel, as well as the most intriguing female character of the nation's literature, are celebrating their 100 anniversary. She is Capitu, the wife and object of desire and suspicion of Dom Casmurro, the male character who gives name to the Machado de Assis's book. Brazil is also celebrating the 160th anniversary of the writer's birth. Machado de Assis, considered Brazil's greatest writer ever, was born on June 21, 1839.

Dom Casmurro was published in 1899 by H. Garnier, Livreiro-Editor and printed in Paris as all other books from that publishing house at the time. Only in the following year, however, did the book appear in Brazil. Few people were impressed by it and it would take many years before the critics and the public would go back to its pages and find there what today almost every critic considers to be Assis's masterpiece.

The book opens reporting facts that happened in an afternoon of 1857 when Capitu was 14 and Bentinho (Dom Casmurro), 15. The narrator is Bentinho (Bento Santiago) who tells the story late in life. He is a seminarian, who against the wishes of his mother who had vowed to make him a priest, abandons a religious career to become a lawyer and marry his childhood sweetheart, Capitu (Capitolina Pádua). For many years it seems like an uneventful tale and similar to many other families who are happy or seem to be. Capitu and Bentinho have a boy, Ezequiel, and the three of them lead a petit-bourgeois and peaceful life with family and friends.

One day, Escobar, a family friend, drowns and Dom Casmurro notices a tear for the dead man in Capitu's eyes. From that day on, suspicion and jealousy start corroding his soul and little by little he puts together—always without proof—a puzzle that shows him how Capitu has betrayed him with his best friend. All of this is aggravated by the fact that there is some physical similarity between Escobar and Bentinho's son.

A tortured life leads to the separation of the couple while suspicions of having been betrayed make Dom Casmurro obsessed and taciturn. Capitu never has a chance to expose her own viewpoint in the book. This ambiguity that permeates the book seems to be one of the biggest attractions of the story even to today.

Capitu has been portrayed as a woman with "a gypsy's eyes, oblique and sly". In one of the most memorable lines of the novel, the author ponders in length about the eyes of the protagonist: "Lovers' language, give me an exact and poetic comparison to say what those eyes of Capitu were like. No image comes to mind that doesn't offend against the rules of good style, to say what they were and what they did to me. Undertow eyes? Why not? Undertow. That's the notion that the new expression put in my head. They held some kind of mysterious, active fluid, a force that dragged one in, like the undertow of a wave retreating from the shore on stormy days. So as not to be dragged in, I held on to anything around them, her ears, her arms, her hair, spread about her shoulders; but as soon as I returned to the pupils of her eyes again, the wave emerging from them grew towards me, deep and dark, threatening to envelop me, draw me in and swallow me up."

Dom Casmurro graduated from law school in Europe and the narrative seems like a long accusatory piece by a prosecutor asking for the condemnation of a voiceless and lawyerless defendant.

Has Capitu betrayed Bentinho or not? This burning question has tormented generation upon generation of critics and readers. Books have been written about the subject, seminaries and conferences have discussed it, but no one believes that an answer will ever be found . According to one of the top experts in Machado de Assis, Brazilian writer Antônio Carlos Villaça, the novelist "took this secret to his tomb." In his 1967 book O Enigma de Capitu (Capitu's Enigma), Eugênio Gomes concluded he couldn't reach a verdict.

Some scholars believe that Dom Casmurro is a veiled self-portrait of the author himself who is believed to have fallen in love with Georgina, the wife of his good friend and renowned writer José de Alencar. The publication in 1897 by Sílvio Romero of Machado de Assis, a very critical book, would have encouraged the author to write what he thought was his most intense and vivid story that he kept under wraps until then. The death of Alencar in 1877 had profoundly shaken Assis.

The ABL (Academia Brasileira de Letras—Brazilian Academy of Letters), which was created and first presided over by Machado de Assis, has planned a series of conferences and debates to celebrate the Dom Casmurro's centennial. The so-called Ciclo Machado de Assis (Machado de Assis Cycle) will have several of the 40 Academy members addressing different topics on the author.

On April 21, there will also be a ceremony when the remains of Assis and his wife Carolina will be transferred to the ABL mausoleum at the São João Batista cemetery in Rio. Arnaldo Niskier, ABL's president, emphasized that the Academy is intent on celebrating the life and work of its founder. Said Niskier, "We are absolutely committed to these celebrations to the greatest Brazilian writer ever."


Beat me Up,

rpdfe99g.gif (55795 bytes)From a little role as a cutely-teasing sadistic brunette masked woman in the H show from obscure TV Bandeirantes network, from São Paulo, Tiazinha in nine months has become a national phenomenon. Extremely sensual, 20-year-old ballerina trained Suzana Alves who has a communications major, has given life to the character and has become Brazil's S&M diva. During Carnaval her trademark outfit—Zorro-like black mask, skimpy lacy lingerie and a riding crop—was adopted across the country by women of all ages, starting with little kids. The boycott promoted by all-powerful Globo TV Network against her for being from another TV station was not enough to keep her out of the limelight.

Although she is a Paulista (from São Paulo), rivalries between São Paulo and Rio were put aside and she became the main attraction of Rio's Carnaval parade this year, showing up at the Escola de Samba Tradição. And her face is already selling notebooks, clothes, shoes and all kinds of stuff. She is releasing her own CD in which she sings tunes such as "Uh, Tiazinha", composed by Vinny for her.

Psychologists and other experts have been studying the media-made sensation. Said child psychiatrist Christian Gauderer to Jornal do Brasil: "The media is always in search of a mirage. The human being needs to be fed with this kind of fantasy." To that Bruna Franchetto, a UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro—Rio de Janeiro Federal University) anthropologist
added: "She has a series of elements that stir the fantasies. Tiazinha is active and she seems to be able to invert roles, keeping stereotypes. This touches upon deep fantasies, fear, and attraction archetypes. Other women expose themselves to be devoured, she devours." Psychoanalyst Chaim Samuel Katz stresses the importance of the sadomasochistic tendencies of the human being and the role of the seducing aunt to understand the success of Tiazinha (Auntie): "The character satisfies a very old yearning. The occidental man dreams of having in his family someone who can beat him up, sensually speaking. Tiazinha exists because she wears a mask. The mask protects her identity, so she can be at the same time familiar and not familiar."

The success of Tiazinha as dominatrix has also popularized the use of whips and they have been selling fast in sex shops and motels—the place for sexual trysts in Brazil. In Rio, the Motel Villa Régia's Sado suite has been booked solidly lately and couples must have reservations to use it for a few hours on weekends. For around $30, a couple can use the black-walled theme suite for six hours, which includes a dance ring that also serves as a jail with rings to tie feet and hands. For an additional price, guests can also get handcuffs ($20) and riding crops ($18).

Tiazinha Ditty

Uh, Tiazinha


Ela vem cheia
de amor pra dar
Ela faz todo mundo delirar
Ela tem um jeito de provocar
Bole que bole, menina
Bole que mole que dá

Ele vem cheia de tara no olhar
Ele tá querendo me devorar
Ele dá bandeira sem se tocar
Bole que bole, menino...
Eu vou te fazer suar, aha
Eu vou te fazer tremer, aha
Eu vou te fazer pirar, aha
Eu vou te mostrar, menino
Tudo o que você quer ver!
Uh, Tiazinha!
Mexe essa bundinha e vem
Uh, Tiazinha!
Mexe aqui pra mim também
Pira, pira, pirou
Pira, pira que pirou!!!!

Ooh, Auntie

She comes full
Of love to give
She makes everybody go crazy
She has a way of teasing
Tease, tease, girl
Tease and provoke and flirt

She comes full of perversion in her eyes

She wants to eat me up
She shows off and doesn't care
Tease, tease, boy…
I'm gonna make you sweat, aha
I'm gonna make you shake, aha
I'm gonna make you crazy, aha
I'm gonna show you boy
All that you want to see!
Ooh, Auntie!
Shake your little butt and come
Ooh, Auntie!
Shake here for me too
Crazy, crazy, crazy all
Crazy, crazy, all is crazy



Déjà Vu
All Over

For the second year in a row the 1998 World Music Grammy Award went to a Brazilian . And the winner was the album Quanta Gente Veio Ver (Quanta Live) by Gilberto Gil who didn't go to the award ceremony at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on February 24 claiming that he was never invited for the party. Last year Milton Nascimento won in the same category with his Nascimento album, and for Gil this meant that his chances of winning would be slim, believing the jurors would be looking to give the prize to another region of the world.

The singer-composer from Bahia was competing with strong nominees Canadian Robbie Robertson (Contact From the Underworld of Redboy), Nigerian King Sunny Adé (Odu), Cesária Évora from Cape Verde (Miss Perfumado), and Angelique Kidjo from Benin (Oremi).

Gil saw the victory as vindication for a work that he considered important, but didn't get the backing he hoped for in Brazil, in particular from his recording company Warner. "For me this is a real prize," he told a reporter from his house in Bahia, the day after his victory was announced. "I had enjoyed the nomination. Getting the award gave me even more pleasure." The next day was spent on the phone receiving calls from friends and journalists wanting to congratulate him.

Gil in interviews before the prize was very modest. "I don't think I am going to win," he said. "But I think this is one of the best records of my career. It is much better to tape live." The composer has changed in recent years what he thinks about the Grammy for non-Anglo music. He says: "I wrote in the past that the world's music is much more than world music. But I believe that the category works to open space to the music of peripheral countries that are not a part of the Euro-American axis. If it weren't for this category where would you place, for example, a Carlinhos Brown or an Ivete Sangalo?"

Among Brazilian musicians who have already won a Grammy are Tom Jobim (a posthumous award in 1997), Sérgio Mendes (with Brasileiro, em 1992), and João Gilberto with Getz/Gilberto in 1964. Laurindo de Almeida (five trophies between 1960 and 1964), Astrud Gilberto, Eumir Deodato and Roberto Carlos also won the prize in the past.


Humdrum Follies

Kellene Elizandra

rpdfe99c.gif (56633 bytes)By national standards this year's Brazil Carnaval was too tame and way too well-behaved. Among the frolic's hit tunes were some religious hymns sung by pop sensation Father Marcelo Rossi and among the exposed women celebrities' breasts a fair amount were not legitimate ones, but made of silicone. Not every woman was willing to admit to her fake boobies though and confess that they had gone under a plastic surgeon's scalpel. That's why dozens of Rio's socialites, in what was considered a faux-pas by many, decided not to participate in Caprichosos de Pilares escola de samba (samba club) parade when it was announced that world renowned plastic surgeon Ivo Pitangui would also be parading.    

For Solange Gomes—the model who paraded with Salgueiro and about whom all the media were talking —parading on Carnaval was her big chance of showing an improved frame of herself, or so she believes: "It's no secret that I had plastic surgery on my breasts two months ago, but only now I'm doing the premiere. I waited for the impact to show them on the Sambódromo and I am very happy with the result." rpdfe99f.gif (36372 bytes)         

Solange Gomes

Another model, Luma de Oliveira, drew repeated applause by exhibiting her scalpel-improved breasts leading the Escola de Samba Viradouro's percussion wing. Although some criticized her for improving a little too much what nature had already given her generously, Luma herself was ecstatic with the results. "I'm feeling great," she said. "The plastic worked the way I wanted. And, best of all, it passed the avenue test with flying colors." Viviane Araújo, another bare-breasted beauty, who paraded in front of União da Ilha, having opted for the natural look chided her colleagues: "These are really mine, I'm glad with them and have no plans to have plastic surgery."

Luciana Gimenez, the Brazilian model that British tabloids say is carrying the child of rock star Mick Jagger, was parading her uncovered seven-month pregnant belly. Radiant and accompanied everywhere by two security agents, Gimenez was maintaining the mystery by not naming the baby's father. Dressed in a skimpy wedding gown the proud mother's float was a church and she was accompanied by a "priest" who continually blessed her.

rpdfe99d.gif (26467 bytes)While the street Carnaval in São Paulo didn't bring to that city's Sambódromo more than 32,000 people, Father Marcelo, also from São Paulo, was able to gather 100,000 faithful on Monday of Carnaval for what was called Trio Elétrico do Senhor (The Lord's Carnaval). "Erguei as Mãos" (Raise Your Hands) was one of the most popular songs by the singer priest heard across Brazil during Carnaval.

In São Paulo, in an odd tribute, the escola de samba Unidos do Peruche paid homage to Microsoft's founder with the story "Bill Gates—The Brain of the Future". So nobody would have doubts, his bespectacled and uncarnaval-like portrait was plastered down the imposing float

Back in Rio, the winner of the Carnaval parade was escola de samba Imperatriz Leopoldinense, the club from the Ramos neighborhood which presented the story "Mostra a tua Cara no Theatrum Rerum Naturalium Brasiliae (Show Your Face in the Theater of Brazil's Natural Things), a portrait of Brazil inspired by 17th century paintings by Dutch artists. From a total of 270 points possible, Imperatriz, made 269.5, losing only half point in the allegories category. Beija-Flor came in a very close second with 269 points, followed by Viradouro (267.5) and Mocidade (266.5). The Imperatriz presentation, however, didn't stir higher emotion among the public or the critics. The jury was apparently swayed by the perfect technique of the group. rpdfe99e.gif (23245 bytes)

Luciana Gimenez

With the exhibition of genitalia banned in Rio's parade, it was in the streets of Goiânia, capital of Goiás that model Kellene Elizandra decided to show it all with just a little leaf to cover part of her pudenda. She paraded with escola de samba Unidos da Mangueira. Gorgeous Elizandra, 20, who was born in Campo Grande (state of Mato Grosso do Sul), talked about her dream: to pose in the nude for a men's magazine. And spoke of her pride for disrobing in the avenue: "In Goiânia this kind of thing doesn't happen. I am a pioneer and I hope that others will follow in my steps." The stunt has worked. The model, who didn't have a job for four months, was already contacted by Colégio Objetivo to promote that high school.

For years the Salvador (capital of Bahia state) Carnaval has been competing—and winning—with Rio's world-famous Carnaval. It is estimated that this year's street revelries in that northeastern town drew close to one million visitors from Brazil and overseas, generating around $60 million. While Rio offers a more showy party, Salvador presents a more participatory bash in which spectators get dragged to the streets jumping behind the famous trios elétricos (wired-for-sound trucks) playing Carnaval songs.

This year, American President Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky affair were the inspiration for a song by one of the top Baiano composers, Carlinhos Brown.

Puxada de Clinton

Carlinhos Brown

Não pode parar,
não pode parar...
Aqui em Salvador
não tem crise,
Não tem Mônica
E não existe Lewinsky
Quando a bolsa tá baixa
Dá de cara com o cinto
Danço, balanço e brinco...
Quem jogou lá pra baixo
Foi puxada de Clinton
Danço, balanço e brinco...
É que o som do atabaque
Tá com cara de quinto
Danço, balanço e brinco...
Quando findar a farra
Vou pra casa com cinco
Danço, balanço e brinco...
Eu quero é bumbo, bum bum...
(não pode parar)
Solte o seu corpo pra relaxar
Bote a mão no ombro do outro
e comece a apertar

No clima da massagem...
(não pode parar)
Não vale sacanagem...
(não pode parar)
Aperta, aperta, aperta! (ôôi...)
Aperta, aperta, aperta! (Mônica...)
Aperta, aperta, aperta! (Muauia...)

Brought Down by Clinton

You can't stop

You can't stop
Here in Salvador
there is no crisis
There is no Monica
There is no Lewinsky
When the stock market is low
It's facing the belt
I dance, swing, and play…
Who threw it down there
It was brought down by Clinton
I dance, swing, and play…
The atabaque sound
Seems like a fifth
I dance, swing, and play…
When the frolic ends
I'll go home with five
I dance, swing, and play…
I want a bumbo, bum, bum
(you can't stop)
Loosen up your body to relax
Place your hand on another's
shoulder and start to squeeze

In the massage mood…
(you can't stop)
Debauchery is not allowed…
(you can't stop)
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! (hey…)
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! (Monica…)
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! (Muauia…)

Send your
comments to