Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Funny YouTube video

David Letterman, Tribute to Great Moments In Presidential Speeches

Very funny!

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Politics | Leave a comment

You just don’t call your woman a “B”

I have heard compaints from some foreign women who date or married American men on how they, during an argument, call them a B*tch. There is a cultural difference going on. In many cultures, such as the Brazilian culture, you NEVER, in any circumstance, call your girlfriend or wife this name. This is the ultimate disrespect. You also don’t call your mother, your sister or your daugter that name. And preferably, you don’t call any woman that name, even the ones who cross you. You can call them “difficult”, “demanding”, “rude”, “obnoxious”, but not a B. The meaning of a B is the female dog, who has sex with any dog she sees. At least that is the meaning of the word B in Portuguese: “cadela”. It is the ultimate offense, and if directed to your partner, a sign the relationship is past down the rocks.

All in all, name calling is verbal abuse.  Within the realm of a relationship, it is demeaning and destructive. Some Americans use the F word in every sentence, and call every man a “Son of a B” or an “A-hole”, and call every woman who disagrees with them a B. We automatically think of crooks, drug dealers and trailer trash. But movies and the rap scene have made name calling more mainstream, and you see otherwise nice, normal and middle class young people coloring their conversations wtih these “expressions”.

For these foreign women (a Russian friend of  mine complained about this as well, and she is thinking of divorce), being called a B is worse than getting slapped. For Brazilian women too, I believe it is something that we will never accept. So for American men who date or marry Brazilian women, watch your language and never, ever, call your lover the B word.

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Difference between cultures | 2 Comments

Obama’s nod to non-believers

Obama’s comment on religion

If you google Barack Obama non-believers you will find many blogs commenting on Obama’s inaugural inclusion of non-believers. AOL, a conservative and right-leaning website, also talked about the displeasure by some African American preachers with Obama’s comment, while we rejoiced. Many progressive blogs were excited about it. I myself jumped up when I heard it, and immediately thought to myself: “boy, what a relief he is the president now”.
 
Some time ago I made a post where I stated that I suspect Obama is not religious at all, and was just pandering to the masses (mainly the African American community) when he included god talk or church visits to his campaign. My observation was based on comments made by him in the past and in his family history: his mother. As a Sociologist with a Antropology base as well, I know PhD’s in Antropology are usually secular and liberal. Obama’s mother was an intelectual, a non-conformist, and I doubt she raised her son with any Christian brainwash. She also valued education a lot, and these are also the values I was raised with. I too was exposed to a different culture at an early age, and my parents were also PhD’s. I grew up in an intellectual and cultured family, so I can relate to his upbringing.
 
African Americans who voted on Obama exclusively for the color of his skin (although I want to believe they voted primarily for the competence and intelligence he showed during his campaign) are in for major disappointment. Barack is liberal about many positions that the African American churches are not, and Obama does not have anything in common with the African American slavery and exploitation history. Furthermore, he is half Irish, making him mixed race instead of solely African American.
 
When I hear comments about how only in this country a man like Obama could be president I have to laugh at the lack of knowledge about other countries. The Brazilian president is a man who has only 4th grade education and worked in a factory and came from a very working class background. Obama’s mother was a PhD and so was his father (from Harvard!). That is not an unprivileged background.
 
Here is a comment from an April 2008 Time article which reinforces my belief that deep down Obama is an atheist and he is just pretending he is a Xtian to get elected (he knew the African Americans were his largest supporters):
 
“Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, but Obama’s household was not religious. “My mother, whose parents were nonpracticing Baptists and Methodists, was one of the most spiritual souls I ever knew,” Obama said in a 2007 speech. “But she had a healthy skepticism of religion as an institution. And as a consequence, so did I.”
 

 

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Atheism, Politics | 1 Comment

Atheists vs. Innauguration commitee

Many might think this lawsuit is frivolous. I say not. It is a question of principle. This is a diverse country. There are people from every religion as well as many people with no religion. By swearing in on the bible, invocating the name of god and inviting a minister to the inauguration, the separation of Church and State is being violated.  The constitution is secular and does not include terms like “In god we trust” or “and help me god”. If an official wants to use those terms because he is a Christian, so be it, but it must be his individual choice. I prefer not to hear though, in an official ceremony, any mention to god. There is nothing more ludicrous to me than seeing the god word tossed around constantly in politics. Why can’t this country keep the god talk inside churches? Don’t pray in my school or office and I won’t think in your church!! (actuallly this is a button I have).

Like Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus to make a strong statement, so should atheists with this lawsuit. We need to be respected. We are not telling believers to shut down their churches (although they should pay taxes and should also be investigated on how their funds that come from working class folks are used) or to stop praying their homes. We are not telling parents to stop lying to their children about Jesus and the Tooth Fairy and Santa. Believe in what you want, but keep religion out of governance.

By the way..why is that whenever you see right wing or ultra conservative religious people attacking atheists and any secular thought in message boards (especially AOL’s), they invariably do not know how to write or write in caps (screaming). Just asking….

Read more about it here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/12/31/3146/1541/832/678518

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Atheism | 1 Comment

Unemployment’s ugly face

Many families are now being hit by unemployment in this country. My heart goes out to them. I have been unemployed before, and I know what a huge impact it has not only in an individual’s mental state but on his or her whole family.

Losing your job is like losing your ground, your base, your lifelihood, your safety net, your sense of self worth. The impact of a job loss in someone’s mental health is devastating. You go through phases, similar to a relationship break up: shock, a certain relief (“Well, I really did not like this or that about my job”, “I can now relax at home for a few days”, “I will have time to go on that hike, to clean my garage, to work out, etc”), despair (when time goes by and there is no viable job opening in the horizon), depression (“why me?”, “people less smart than me are working!”), fear (“How am I going to survive?”, “How will I pay my bills”, “Will I have to move to my parent’s house at my age??”, “What happens if I get sick” and so on and so forth”).

Unemployment causes family fractures, as many people get so depressed by the lack of opportunities that they start abusing alcohol or drugs. Marriages succumb under the lack of money and stability.

Many people only find work in jobs that are well beneath their training and education, and have to adjust to a totally different lifestyle. A few manage to find work in their field (nurses and contract specialists do not cry for jobs!) but the majoity still takes a loss-in status, in pay, in benefits and in opportunity for growth. A few lucky ones revert the bad times to start a new career or a new business-successfully, but they are the minority. The truth is that unemployment is one of the most cruel things that can happen to an adult (unless he/she is a bum who LIKES the idea of sitting on the couch watching TV all day :)).

I have hope that Obama will somehow get his stimilus package approved and somehow this insidious social disease will be halted from spreading.

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Economy | 1 Comment

Houseguests

I am not a fan of having guests in my house, and maybe a lot of people think like me or the famous phrase “Guests are like fish, after 2 days they start smelling”  wouldn’t be famous 🙂

I also do not like being someone’s guest. As I get older, I have more cases of imsomnia and I am sensitive to a new bed, room temperature or to light or noise. Nothing beats a hotel room for privacy either.

If I am to have guests at my house, here are the conditions:

1) If close family member, they can stay more because I can feel more confortable around them. That stands for mother, father, brother and nephew or niece. When it comes to my kids, they are not houseguests, that is their home too.

2) Distant relatives or friends, 2 nights are the max I can put up with. My house is not a hotel.

3) Guests who are independent and do their own thing during the day.

4) Guests who eat out.

5) Guests who even help in the housework and don’t give me MORE work.

6) Guests who do not make any mess, pick up after themselves, are polite, are not loud or obnoxious and don’t stay up late talking or watching TV when the the host/hostess has to work the next morning.

7) Guests who do not need our presence every minute and let the house owners have their privacy as well.

See here for etiquette on how houseguests should behave:

http://seniortravel.about.com/od/accommodations/qt/Houseguest.htm

Guests cost money too, in food especially. And times are tough. With a full time job and a long commute, there is no way I can cater to any guests. I have heard horror stories about guests, but the strangest was a guest who locked her room in her friends’ house so the host would not go through her suitcase. Needless to say this is a person which a hotel would have been more appropriate for her to stay..

I noticed that people who come from lower income working class large families like to crash at relatives houses and do not mind others crashing in theirs. This is because growing up they could not afford hotels and the only way to travel was by sleeping in your uncle’s/cousins living room, sometimes for weeks/months.  I cannot imagine having guests for that long!

Moreso, in the old days, it was more common for people to stay in relatives’ and friends’ houses because hotels were far and few apart, as well as very costly. Nowadays, with economy hotels in almost every corner, it is easier for all if a visitor stays in a hotel and just visits the friend. In those days, women did not work and could cater to their guests, cook and clean for them. Not anymore.

Does anyone have a horror guest story to tell?

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Society | Leave a comment

Honesty Day

I would love to institute a day a year where commerce and businesses would have to be absolutely honest. No lies, exaggerations and embelishments could be told.. Advertisement would have to say the absolute truth.

That holiday for me would me a lot more useful than some silly ones we have…

Here is what would happen:

1) Prices would not be allowed to end in 99 cents. No one could adverstise a pair of pants for 39.99. The price would be 40 dollars PLUS tax. The tax would be included in every label.  Same for cars, shoes, eletronics, you name it.

2) Ads could not promise anything that it does not accomplish. A shampoo TV ad showing a model with long, shiny and straight hair would have to say: “if your hair is not long, shiny, healthy and blonde” our product will not make it look like this.

3) Ads promising miracles (“erase those wrinkles, look 10 years younger”) would have to say the plain truth: “If your use this cream, your skin might look smoother, but it takes years of taking care of your skin to make you look younger”.

4) Advertisement with hidden content. No, you will get a 20% discount but the reality is that we jacked up the price to be able to offer this “discount. Buy two get one free? In reality you are paying for 3 because we jacked up the unit price anyway.

5) Ads with meds: they do NOT belong in TV. I don’t remember ever seeing in Brazil ads on TV for anti-depressants and other prescription drugs. Cough medicine? Ok.

6) Fine print. Fine print would have to be printed in big bold letters and be at the beginning or any contract or ad. There could be no hidden clauses.

7) Websites for any service would have to have the cancellation option in an easy spot with big letters. Have you ever tried to cancel a phone line or something?

8) Banks and services would have NO hidden fees. All extra fees and taxes would be carefully explained and laid out.

9) Products with expensive packaging would tell you exactly how much you are paying for the fancy box. Sometimes the packaging is worth more than the product…

10) Magazines would have normal sized women wearing their clothes. Catalogs like Newport News, Spiegel and even the more conservative clothing ones would not have size 0 and 2 models advertising their clothes, but models who are size 8-12. After all, the women who buy their clothes are sizes 12, 14…

11) Fast food chains would have to put in big bold letters the amount of calories, fat and sugar in their menus. That could scare some people off…

Look at this ad…yeah right

January 2, 2009 Posted by | Grievances | Leave a comment