Stories of crimes of passion by celebrities are
quite common in Brazil.
Here are some of the most notorious of them:
By Brazzil Magazine

Regarding "Overpopulated" by Ricardo C. Amaral, the
problem of populational growth is very serious, not only in the great majority of
non-industrialized countries, but also on a global level. Unfortunately, Ricardo Amaral’s
presentation of the problem, referring to Brazil and the United States, is not very
serious or, on the contrary, it is the opposite of a serious debate. He argues with some
kind of implicit theory of carrying capacity the different regions of the planet might
have, concluding that the population of countries like Brazil or the United States has to
decrease. Moreover, he accuses some people to have simplistic ideas about the origins of
violence of everyday life in Brazil, alleging that they forgot to think about population
growth as the principal cause. But this statement backfired, because it is Amaral who
proposes simplistic explanations. How can one reason be responsible for such a mess of
problems that are shaking Brazil nowadays?

We still do not have any trustworthy models which allow to
predict demographical sustainability limits of given regions. The question is not only the
absolute number of people living in one region or country, but it is above all a question
of culture: how well does a given population exploit the natural resources of his
environment without destroying it irreversibly? Some years ago, it was published a study
entitled "Sustainable Netherlands" showing what would be necessary to change
Dutch style of living to make the Netherland’s environmental balance ecologically
sustainable. This would implicate some drastic changes in the way of living without
requiring populational decrease which, by the way, would cause serious problems for the
Dutch welfare-state model, depending upon working contributors, and not upon pensioners.
As for Germany, there does exist a parallel study.

Amaral proposes some crazy solutions for Brazil and the United
States as, for example, to close the national frontiers for immigrants. Can he tell us,
please, how to do this for countries which were born out of immigration? And if Ricardo
Amaral were one of these immigrants, would he include himself among the persons not
allowed to immigrate to the States?

Finally, that disastrous article contains wrong information.
Amaral says that the population of Brazil in 1500 was 0 (!). And the three to five million
Indians? They didn’t exist? Brazilian history is not a history of permanent population
growth, but for two to three centuries it was a history of dramatic population decline
produced by colonization. Is Brazilian history so unknown to Brazilians living in the
United States that they even don’t know Brazil’s ethnic origins?

I like Brazzil and recommended it to friends and
colleagues in Brazil and Germany, but, please, spare us articles of this kind!

Peter Schröder
Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

A Counterproposal

Dear Mr. Amaral, in an article that you wrote for Brazzil,
you stated that Brazil should accept the Euro to "help move the country into the 21
century." I am wondering why you think so? If I understand correctly, the Euro has
not proven itself to be quite the savior for Europe that the predecessors to the European
Union touted it to be. Except for a few weeks after its inception, it has continued to be
very weak (considering its market) against the American dollar and prone to even the most
minor gyrations of the global economy. It is a currency that is still going through some
discomforting growing pains.

While the Euro is not an entirely bad replacement for the real,
wouldn’t you agree that the Brazilian insistence on looking outwards towards Europe or the
United States for a model of success rather than internally at the Brazilian experience
has proven itself to be largely unsuccessful? Brazil has pursued this habit of external
cannibalization of European ideals—positivism – and American ethics –
industrialization at any cost – to no avail. The only results has been a slumping economy,
an out of control crime rate, intense dissatisfaction on the part of the majority of the
populace and the discovery of the glaring fact that what works for somebody else just
might not work for Brazil. After all, Brazilians are from Brazil.

While you made a very important point on Brazil’s need to reduce
its population, what’s more pressing right now is for the Brazilian government to take the
initiative to redistribute the wealth more equitably from the rich to the poor. A more
progressive tax rate where the wealthy shouldered the greater part of the tax burden would
not be a bad idea. Nor would land redistribution.

Unconcentrating Brazilian capital and means of production would
offer the quickest path to improving the standard of living for the greatest possible
number of Brazilians. It would also help create more enterprise, a measure that would
expand the economy, create stable economic growth and thereby increase the optimum level
of the population that the country can sustain. Additionally, the redistribution of
capital might be much more appealing to the Brazilian public than exchanging the domestic
unsteady currency for an imported one that doesn’t work so well.

Furthermore, if any of the economic studies put out during the
long run of capitalism hold any water, a higher median family income is equal to a lower
birth rate. In other words, the more money people have, the lesser the amount of children
that they will want to have. The European countries that are losing population (France,
Spain, etc) will attest to that. This trend is synonymous with one of the recovery steps
that you propose.

Though I do not disagree with you that Brazil needs to take some
drastic measures to solve the intense crime, poverty and instability that rocks its
tropical peace, my solution set is a bit different than yours. I think Brazil’s best bet
at entering the 21st century on solid footing involves concentrating more power and more
money in the hands of more Brazilians than it currently does. Changing the population size
and currency will only give the country a facelift that leaves most of its social problems
intact, with the same proportions, only on a different scale.

P.S. How exactly is the optimum population for a country
determined? Is the equation based on land size, labor force, economic growth, income
distribution, healthcare, etc?

Ralph Ulysses
Via Internet

Crime and Soap

I am on my knees begging. I wonder if you could possibly help me
or ‘point me in the right direction’. I am a researcher here in Britain currently working
on a project for one of Britain’s TV broadcasters. We have an interest in making a TV
documentary on the 1992 murder of TV soap star Daniella Perez and the effects that this
case and ‘soaps’ in general have on Brazilian life.

My appeal for help is basically to ask ‘who are the best people
in Rio to speak to about this case (obviously Gloria Perez would be a good start). We as a
company do not really wish to start researching the subject in detail if people in Brazil
would be unhelpful. Therefore, any ideas of where or with whom I can start?

If commissioned, and subsequently filmed, we will give due credit
to Brazzil, perhaps one of your journalists would be prepared to talk about this
amazing case? Unfortunately I have no Spanish (I apologize) so my basic research is in

Pete Wilson
Great Britain

Forest Medicine

I am writing to you because I am starting a research on plants
and herbs of the Brazilian rain forest (Amazon forest) with medical properties. At the
moment we are registering most of the material that is already available in the market,
and the next step is to research and register species not yet studied. The aim of this
e-mail is to find out if you would be interested in the material from this area. I will be
able to present you with details about the material including prices.

Leônidas Bertozzi Filho – Forest Engineer
Via Internet

Go on Patching

Good publication, good job. I am going to read your issues about
Brazilian children. I hope you bring good news for them. We, the international community,
could follow that the Brazilian government didn’t do too much for its favelas and
street children. Has that changed? Are your police still that brutal with children and
poor? And what about Brazilian women? Their situation, their lives?

We love you, Brazilians. The world loves you, the world needs
you, so keep fixing your society and respect children and we’ll love you even more.

Aretha Betis
Via Internet

Fun and Instructive

I am an American senior citizen and ex-educator, who really
enjoys reading Brazzil magazine. The staff of Brazzil is doing a great job
producing this publication. I find the magazine informative, interesting, entertaining and
educational. It has taught me a lot about the nation of Brazil and its people. As a token
of my appreciation I am enclosing advance payment to extend my subscription another two
years. Best wishes for continued success.

Don Slazinski
Ann Harbor, Michigan

Ford Hopeful

I have seen many articles about the new Ford at Brazil (Salvador,
Bahia); I was there at the beginning of the year. As a matter of fact my wife is from
Bahia, I am from Mexico and we both are here in Mexico at this time, but I am really
interested in the new Ford factory. I would like to move there with mi wife; I wonder
where I can get some information about the human resources department from Salvador Bahia
in order to send my resume.

Israel Buenrostro

The Best

Please renew my subscription to your excellent publication.
Thanks to your magazine, I received very advanced notice that Milton Nascimento would be
appearing in San Francisco. I ordered tickets far in advance and had front row seats. It
was the most amazing concert of my life. I’d have been in the high-altitude section had I
waited for notice in the local papers. Keep up the good work.

Erin Flanagan
Petaluma, California

Green Hope

Please extend my subscription for two more years. I really enjoy
your magazine. Keep Brazzil going. Muito obrigado pela oportunidade que Brazzil
me proporciona de me manter informado sobre o que acontece no Brasil. I am a student of
California State University Long Beach since 1997, but my desire is to get a green card
and to remain and work in the States. I would appreciate any information about obtaining a
green card that you could give me.

João Rezende de Carvalho
Long Beach, California


I can’t seem to get enough of this marvelous magazine. I have
spent several hours at this site alone, reading, perusing. First rate.

Richard Larssen
Melbourne, Florida


I’ve developed something of a passion for all things Brazilian so
browsing your online material was delightful! Thank you for the sample and I will probably
subscribe after I receive it.

LeeAnn Flanary
Troy, Ohio

Standing In for Brazil

I am a college student at the University of Houston Downtown
campus. I participate in the Model United Nations and we are representing Brazil, and I
just want all the info I can get on Brazil and if I do like your free issue I will

Roderick Crump
Houston, Texas

A Chance

I was born in Brazil and have been living in Canada for three
years now. I am 18 years old and discovering my vocation and my skills along with my
post-secondary education. Translation for instance, especially from Portuguese to English,
is something that interests me deeply as a profession.

I’m writing you to make myself available for a trial. If you need
any translation done, of an article, of Brazilian history or geography, or anything else,
please contact me. I’ll show you what I am capable of, and you tell me what you think of
it without any commitment.

Renata Ferraz

Appreciation Note

Alô, Brazzil and Bruce Cuíca Gilman. Thanks for the nice
article you wrote about me. I just loved it…. Let’s go for the 2000 Grammy. All the

Carlos Malta
Via Internet

Re: Jazzing It

Dear Daniella, I’ve just received the magazine and it made me
feel very happy. It’s very rare to see a text about music as well written, and the
surprise of our text opening it just made it more intense for me. I really thank you in my
name and in the name of rest of the group. We all felt very happy and honored with it. Um
enorme abraço!

Dalmo C. Mota

And We Are

You folks oughta be proud of having Daniella as a contributor.
  That’s a well documented article. A Jazz enthusiast.

Robert Brais
Via Internet

Overseas Sign-up

I would like to receive information about the possibility to make
a subscription from Italy. I’m sorry but I’ve never seen your magazine. Will it be
possible to first receive one issue (an old issue too) just to have an idea about it? I do
not have a credit car. What is the procedure to pay for the subscription?

Andrea Sbaragli
Firenze, Italia

J. G. Who?

I am wondering if anyone on your staff has ever heard of a
Brazilian poet by the name of J. G. de Araújo Jorge. I was looking at your web page and
came across this http://www.brazil-brasil.com/p45sep97.htm part of your site. I certainly
agree with the opinion expressed in this article. I bring forth this poet’s name because
he was my grandfather, and I would absolutely love to see his works translated into
English. If you have any information on him, such as a more academic and critical review
of his literary works or political ideas, I would love to know.

André de Araújo Jorge
Via Internet

Music for Your Ears

I’m a music teacher from Rio de Janeiro and teach choro,
samba, frevo, baião and bossa nova too. I played with Gilberto Gil,
Mike Marshall and David Grisman in San Francisco three years ago. I was teaching in
Cazadero (California Brazil Summer Camp) last year. For more information, please visit my
web site at www.rio.com.br/~depinna

Marco de Pinna
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Filed Under Jazz

Re: Daniela Thompson’s article "Jazzing It." Wonderful
article! I am saving it to use as a reference/resource.

Awilda Rivera
WBGO-Jazz 88.3 FM On-Air Host
Newark, New Jersey

Oh, What a Feeling!

An open letter to the organizers of the Latin Grammy. I can’t
even begin to express how I felt last night as I watched the Latin Grammy on CBS. First,
the simple fact that Latinos were being recognized at an American TV Station was
overwhelming; second, even some of the commercials were in Spanish: I could not believe
it. Well, I could list many other reasons why I felt the way I did…but the bottom line
is that it was truly a remarkable moment that I will never forget. I have been living in
the US for the past seven years and I don’t think I have ever felt so
"represented" or at least "noticed" in this country…

I would like to thank everyone involved in the project
(especially the Academy and CBS), and also ask them to continue the great job. And, if
possible, to give the Brazilians a little more time next year… OK, I do understand that
the majority of the Latin population in the US is from Spanish-speaking countries; but as
noted last night, we cannot ignore the significance of Brazil (I don’t think I need to go
into details about its uniqueness and diversity to make my point).

The fact that none of the awards presented to Brazilian artists
were on TV really bothered me. I mean, it was awesome just to see their names (for about
two seconds) as the show went to a commercial; but I think we, Brazilians, deserve a
little more than that! Djavan, the only Brazilian artist to present, was incredible and
really "Brazilian," but can you just imagine if any of the more lively Brazilian
music had been shown, such as Olodum and Timbalada, just to name a couple? Needless to
say, Brazilian music is well-known around the globe and I think it deserved a little more
recognition. "Garota de Ipanema" (Girl from Ipanema), to name one song, can be
heard virtually anywhere in the world except at the Latin Grammy.

Lastly, I have to confess that I was a bit disappointed with the
Awards, but extremely happy with the show as a whole: it felt really good to be a Latino!
In addition, I would like to ask you to consider next year that there are more than a
million Brazilians here in the US, more than 2 million in other areas of the world and
more than 170 million back home. Muito obrigado!

Drey Dias
Fairfield, Connecticut


Please can you help me? I am desperately searching for
information about Brazilian tribal herbs and medicine for women. A herb for stopping a
woman’s monthly cycle permanently. I have a very sick friend who needs this. Stephanie


Class Aid

I would like to share this with my students as we do a unit on
Brazil. If you could arrange for any other materials that would allow us to better
understand you as a country it would be greatly appreciated. We would love a flag or some
type of artifact.

Patrice Damron
Alabaster, Alabama

Give Me a Break!

I read your article and had to laugh. I am 30 years old and live
in Canada,. Life here, I have observed, is similar to yours and I have been to Brazil. Did
you know that over 4000 years ago in Egypt, they had beer, makeup and running water? And
you can bet they worried about their kids too. Things haven’t changed much I’m sure, but
let’s learn from life instead of ignoring it. Just because you may be too old to have a
good time does not mean that it is bad for others to enjoy themselves. Having fun is good,
letting go is good. If you trust your children, and instill them with confidence and
wisdom, they can survive and learn from a few good parties, and they’ll have the sense to
know when to quit. You guys sound like the US in the fifties, it’s 2000! For God’s sake,
lighten up.

Marcello Disanto

Getting Ready

I am particularly interested in any issues you have regarding
violence among youth in Brazil. However, we are very interested in subscribing to the
magazine as we are planning to move to Brazil in the future and already host many groups
to the country.

Corenne Smith
Hope Unlimited
Signal Hill, California

Spreading the Sound

I am the webmaster for a non-profit e-zine sited in Sydney,
Australia which aims to promote Latin dance and music. I would like your permission to
reproduce Kathleen de Azevedo’s article "True Believers". Credits and links back
to brazzil.com will be provided: https://www.brazzil.com/p24apr97.htm

Paul F. Clifford
StreetDance Australia

And in Japan?

We are looking for information, on the health and other aspects
of Brazilian migrant workers in Japan. Could you be kind enough to help us on these

Lau Kerstin
The Iom Library, Geneva

Soccer Bars

Please publish a list of Brazil-friendly bars where I can watch
World Cup qualifying matches. I love your magazine. It’s great for people like me,
Americans very into Brazilian culture.

Robert Reid
Maywood, Illinois

Right Track

I’m looking for any articles on Brazilian track star Joaquim
Cruz. Might you be able to point me in the right direction?

Paul Stieber
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon

Sure Can

Pretendo ter acesso à edição em papel, mas acho que por
enquanto vou ficar lendo a revista on-line. Divulguei o site de vocês numa lista de
tradutores muito seleta, um povo muito exigente. Recomendei na maior segurança, porque Brazzil
também é ótima. E como vocês aceitam colaboradores quem sabe não rolam umas parcerias

Gostaria também de saber se posso usar os textos da revista em
sala de aula, de vez em quando. Eu dou aulas de inglês para turmas de 3º ano do antigo
2º grau e procuro despertar o interesse deles por boas publicações em inglês, dando
textos com exercícios de leitura. Posso?

Valeska Dominguez

Re: In Bed With a Brazilian

Será que o desempenho dos brasileiros não está ligado ao clima
tropical, à cachaça, à feijoada, etc? Se estiver certo me pergunto: ‘como será que os
brasileiros que foram por exemplo viver nos Estados Unidos estão administrando o

Claudio Negrão
Via Internet, Brazil

A Tip Anyone?

Sou um estudante universitario e gostaria de passar o ano de 2001
estudando inglês nos EUA. Pretendo trabalhar no mesmo período para que possa me
auto-sustentar. Estou enviando esta mensagem com a esperança de receber dicas e
informações de como conseguir um emprego seguro nos EUA e estudar inglês ao mesmo tempo
e de saber se é possível encontrar empregos temporários para estudades universitários
estrangeiros. Qualquer comentário será bem vindo.

P.S. Estou no terceiro ano de engenharia e não sei praticamente
nada de inglês.(Daí o motivo da viagem). Falo japonês fluentemente.

K. Y.

Sound Care

Primeiro eu gostaria de mandar um oi para a galera do Choro, Inc.
Acabei de achar o seu website e adoro o que vocês têm feito para preservar um dos nossos
mais importantes patrimônios, a nossa música. Estou à procura de algumas partituras. O
novo CD do grupo Camerata Brasil, o Bach in Brazil, contém vários arranaw6kx da
música de J. S. Bach num estilo bem brasileiro. Será que vocês seriam capazes de me
fornecer tais partituras?

Marcelo Souza

Can’t you
find Brazzil at your Brazilian consulate?
Don’t ask us why, ask the consulate.

comments to


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