Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"You represent a threat, something new, something that can't quite be understood [...] That is dangerous.

A very cool article on open source in Brazil, here. I really like the comparison to cannabilism, although maybe because at the moment, I'm all for slow, agonising deaths for anything religion-related.

"In 1556, not long after the Portuguese first set foot in Brazil, the Bishop Pero Fernandes Sardinha was shipwrecked on its shores and set about introducing the gospel of Christ to the native "heathens." The locals, impressed with the glorious civilization the bishop represented and eager to absorb it in its totality, promptly ate him.

Thus was born Brazilian culture. Or so wrote the modernist Brazilian poet Oswald de Andrade, whose interpretation of the incident in a 1928 manifesto exalted the cannibals as symbolic role models for all of his country's cultural practitioners. Four decades later, his argument inspired a pair of hyperarticulate pop stars named Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Veloso and Gil formed the core of tropicalismo - a very '60s attempt to capture the chaotic, swirling feel of Brazil's perennially uneven modernization, its jumble of wealth and poverty, of rural and urban, of local and global. For the tropicalistas, as for Andrade, there was only one way to thrive in the midst of so much contrast: You couldn't flinch from what was alien to you. You couldn't slavishly imitate it, either. You simply had to swallow it whole."


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