Tuesday, 13 November 2007

"The Ice Age Is Coming"

The Clash - London Calling


The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in

Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin

A nuclear error, but I have no fear

London is drowning-and I live by the river

I was born in 1976. This The Clash song was first recorded in 1979. I was obviously too young to appreciate it but this band kept on playing on the radio until I started appreciating it and started to listen for the earliest songs. This one was recorded again in 1988, the year I turned twelve and was already chasing after punk songs. But I never payed much attention to its lyrics until recently. What really got my attention was that first phrase in the chorus; "The ice age is coming". This brought back my childhood memories, all through the eighties, when I'd have to listen to the news on the only television in the house, when scientists and governments were in a scare because the world was getting colder. The Ice Age was coming. Scientists were certain of it and were dishing out solutions.

Well, the Ice Age didn't come. And now they assure us global warming is coming and they have all the solutions.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Remember, Remember

Remember remember, the fifth of November is a line from the film "V for Vendetta" that always jumps to my mind whenever Guy Fawkes night is close by. And although I rather sympathize with the message of standing up to the "Man", I do not agree with Guy Fawkes' solution. Blowing up the Parliament, government and King with it, is in it self a fascist act: I don't agree with them, and so they must die. Not to say, of course, that it is an act of terrorism.
In this terrorism frightened era, it strikes me as very odd that the British culture should celebrate an act of terrorism, and a failed one as it is the case. But history and cultural memory will always play these tricks on the present. People remember only what they want.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Dead End

Have you ever felt you were on the edge of a cliff where one wrong step could send you on a whirlpool of despair or a range of unknown emotions? And have you ever felt like jumping off the cliff?
A craving for adventure? Pure Madness? I don't know... How will I ever know?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Bare Culture

Since I got to Wales to study in September 2006 I have seen a few very white naked British boys running around the streets at night. Not that we don't have naked people back in Portugal but not this frequently. And mind the weather differences.
This feels like this is one of those cultural gap things. Back in Madeira Island, in the warmer seasons, we spend a great part of our leisure time almost naked. Swimming garments are usually scarce in cloth (especially the girls') but we put clothes on for the evenings and every other occasion that doesn't involve sun or any other type of bathing. Here in Wales girls dress as little as they can when going out for the evening. I usually don't complain and I'm sure you understand why (I'm a man!) but it confuses me a bit. Mini-skirts that would make Mary Quant gape and very low necklines, in weather that makes my bare skin shrivel so much I can't move my fingers. And they're cold! I know they are!
What is wrong with these naked boys and scantily dressed girls? I'll let you in on a secret (especially the girls):
That sacrifice does not really hoist you up the social grid, nor does it make you look sexier. That which you can't see you imagine. And imagining it makes it much more exciting. And you don't have to dress exactly like the girls in the music videos. That's all just for show!

Monday, 22 October 2007

History Lesson

Just remembered an almost drunken argument I had with a British student. He told me he was a history major and, as I'm very fond of history and am not a complete ignorant on the subject, we got on comparing our historic perspectives. At some point in this amiable discussion this gentleman says that present day Portuguese borders on the mainland Europe were still occupied by Moorish Kings in the sixteenth century!
I nearly lost my temper but managed to restrain my proud Latin blood and said that Portugal's present borders date back to the conquest of the Algarve in the thirteenth century. He insisted I was wrong and that he was the history major there and the obvious authority on the subject. My blood boiled, I confess. I take my national pride seriously and don't like anyone take big chunks of my country's history to the cleaners. I pointed my finger at his face like a gun and called him an ignorant to his shrinking face, blazing facts and dates past him. I'm not proud for losing my composure but I do not repent telling him off. I am right after all.
I can understand that that boy meant fifteenth century, not sixteenth, and was thinking about the Peninsula. That is even more serious. It means that a history major doesn't know his geography and was telling me to my face that Portugal and Spain are one identity. They're not. Not since 1143.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


It is starting to feel I update this blog on odd days. It is merely accidental. I write when I feel I have something to say. And if I ever get a steady audience I'll feel an obligation to do this regularly.
Today (the even day before this one) I spent all afternoon at the Students Union's bar\pub. I like to write feeling and hearing life go on around me. I can even see different cultures pass by. Just as the pseudo-rappers with their headphones pouring their music out so loud I cannot imagine how their ear drums are still in working conditions. And they have a walk: A limp chimp shielding its genitals with its hands. Maybe it's an inner hear malfunction.
Then there's the billiards people. They usually get one pint and let it sit there at table's side for hours while they play on those ridiculously sized tables with a green woolly bed cover for a table cloth. It does look cosy.
But today the stars were the most-likely-bet-their-entire-students-loan-on-weekend-football guys. Everyone in that fairly large but rather empty room had to sit through an afternoon of a TV program that kept bouncing from match to match, rarely seeing any pitch or ball at all. Don't think I do not enjoy my football. I'm Portuguese. But they only followed the results, excruciating change in result after the other in every top league in the UK. Even not-so-top leagues. It is a good example of annoying television. And the guys siting almost directly beneath the big screen almost reached their climaxes now and then. They were probably following about ten results. Each. I sincerely hope they didn't lose their beer money.
In the evening I watched the Rugby World Cup final with a South-Africa born Portuguese. He was happy in the end and I had watched a dull rugby match. And I usually really enjoy rugby.
This was my day. Not the odd one.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Nuts or What? (or: I Have Absolutely No Idea)

There are times when you're alone and start talking to yourself. I do that almost too often. Take now, for example: It's too late in the evening and I have classes tomorrow at nine but here I sit, wide awake in front of a computer screen, talking to myself. Not actually talking but rather having a conversation and writing it down. Nuts? Not really. Not yet. Just wait and read the actual discussion my conscience was hosting.
There I was, in bed pretending to sleep, when a few questions came banging on my head: When was the world created? Can you even begin to answer that question? And is it a logical one to ask? I mean if the Universe is eternal it has no beggining; and if it has a birth date then it will end one day. And what was there before? If there was something, it's still the Universe, just a different one. If there was nothing then another dilemma arises: What is nothing? Is it the absence of anything or the absence of something? Does it exist? If it exists, then it is something and is part of the Universe. If it doesn't exist then why is it defined and named?...
And I could go on whith this chatter for a few more philosophical corridors and invented a few more. Nuts? I'm not one to judge myself.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Here I Am

Although this title is a big cliché I couln't find no other to start this first real post (as opposed to the copy/paste post below). It's even a title for an old favourite of mine from my early teens, Here I Am by Dominoe. But that is it: here I am trying to make sense of this blog in my second language.
I am a Portuguese thirty year-old man from Madeira Island and I'm doing a BA in Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Glamorgan in Wales. What I intend to do on this blog is still a mistery to me, so I'll just write whatever comes to my mind, and sometimes paste something from my own writing for the modules or even from other sites I find interesting.
I'll welcome critique and I'll thank you if you find any misspelt word or misplaced grammar. I´ll even answer your questions and doubts on the comments box. But be warned: I'll sometimes throw some politics into the mix. You can guess my political point of view from this blog's name and description.
Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, 15 October 2007

My First Time

Fingers touch my flushed cheeks
Like a cat brushing its tail against my face.
The bare skin burns on my hand.
My words fade in warm vapour
Whirling in the air like panted introductions.
Right there, so close for the first time,
Hurled into the air like a white arrow,
Splattered in thousands of icy crystals
Back to the white-mantled frozen soil.

Gonçalo Taipa Teixeira

I'm doing a BA in Creative and Professional Writing in the University of Glamorgan, in Wales, and will sometimes publish some of my school work on here. This poem, which was in my last years final folder assignment, is the first post on this blog for it's title. It is my first post on Free.