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25 years without Renato Russo: political activity in the work of the Brazilian rocker – Romulo Mattos

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25 years without Renato Russo: political activity in the work of the Brazilian rocker - Romulo Mattos

Romulo Mattos *

In a statement recorded in the book Memórias de um Legionário, Legião Urbana guitarist Dado Villa-Lobos does not skimp on the importance of the band’s singer Renato Russo to the rock generation of the 1980s. for his fellow rockers Tom Jobim for the bossa nova and the MPB gang in the 1950s and 1960s. And he uses Gilberto Gil’s song “Gilbertos” about his teacher João Gilberto to deal with his bandmate, transferring his lyrics to the band. eighties rock context: “Appears every one hundred years, one / And every twenty-five an apprentice.” While to conservative minds this parallel established by Dado Villa-Lobos seems heresy, they are two of the most prominent Brazilian generations in popular music – and no one intellectually mature would agree with the validity of imposed hierarchy in art and culture.

If an unusual comparison appears at the end of the aforementioned book, it begins with the guitarist’s recollection of the death of Renato Russo on October 11, 1996. Dado Villa-Lobos recalls that he received the news on the phone at 2:15 am, which left him “stunned” despite learning about his music partner’s shaky health when he said goodbye to him for several days before. The musician also mentioned how much attention was paid to the death of the singer in today’s edition of Jornal Nacional, the program with the highest audience on Rede Globo. To convince journalist Lilian Witte Fiebe of the legitimacy of creating a special story about the life and death of Renato Russo in this TV news, William Bonner threatened to play the kilometer-long texts from Faroeste caboclo, in an unusual way explaining the importance of the Urban Legion to Brazilian pop culture. Dado Villa-Lobos also mentioned the path before the funeral, during which he listened to songs from the band’s recently released album A Tempest on radios installed in cars stopped at traffic lights. Finally, he mentioned the crowd of fans at the Caju cemetery in Rio de Janeiro with flowers and guitars; it gave the environment a strong dose of emotion.

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Why are these stories still grabbing our attention 25 years later, as evidenced by the various stories that have spread across the Internet? They belong to the leader of the most popular rock band in the history of the country, which has sold over 15 million records. But it is better not to limit the discussion to quantitative indicators. If your lyrics combine love, friendship and politics with a poetic quality, the tunes co-created with Dado Villa-Lobos and Marcelo Bonfa have made them easier for Brazilians to absorb. Legian Urbana was at the forefront of musical and cultural renewal during the political re-democratization, besides being most responsible for the consolidation of the rock chain in the 1980s, when the genre stopped swearing and became appreciated by record companies. The group, which played in clubs or discos, played with growing success in gyms, and at its peak in football stadiums.

Unlike the current music scene, Legião Urbana was a massive rock group that was heavily involved in political issues. It seems inconceivable today that a few decades ago a large Brazilian audience would consume songs that criticized: machismo (“A Dança”); a sharp comparison of the prison and school systems (“O Reggae”); militarism or war (“Soldiers”, “Plants under the Aquarium” and “Song of the Warlord”) and the most evil elements of the military dictatorship (“What is this country?”, “Faroeste Caboclo”, “1965” and “La Maison Dieu”); imperialism and consumer society (“The Coca-Cola Generation”); the naturalization of violence in the modern world, human failures reflected in Justice, and cultural alienation generated by television (Badder-Meinhoff Blues); bureaucratization of access to social rights (Metropolis); and the right-wing New Republic governments (Theater of the Vampires, Metal Against the Clouds, and Perfection). However, when buying the records of the group Brasiliense, fans came in contact with lyrics that: defend the historical struggles of the working class, while not forgetting about the environment (“Fábrica”); engage in gay topics (“Soldiers”, “Daniel in Cova dos Leoins” and “Boys and Girls”); and they carry out political protests without brochures (Lost Time and The Indians). Finally, these numerous listeners could come in contact with extracts from “Internacional Comunista” subconsciously mixed with “Será” in the introduction to the 1986 Dois album.

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It is worth emphasizing that the singer hated the military. Along with his college friends in Brasilia bars, he cursed the dictatorship through the microphone – definitely a dangerous position. And, in addition to being physically affected by the repression of that period, he saw his own songs vetoed the bureaucracy of military governments in the first half of the 1980s. Renato Russo’s critical appetite for dictatorship was also evident in songs recorded by other bands such as Veraneio Vascaíno, which appeared on Capital Inicial’s 1986 debut, “Oh no, the military must return.” (…) Have these people forgotten? (…) Have we really forgotten (…) how bad it is not to have freedom? “. In the same program, he mentioned fascism, which, in his opinion, it was necessary to talk about:

“I think the big press hesitates, it steps on the ball, and here in Rio de Janeiro there are big newspapers that give a whole page to fascists and bald people (…). Nazis are everywhere. (…) I mean they are sexist, they are intolerant, they are idiots, and the problem is that they are idiots with ideology. And suddenly I, as a person, as a person and as an artist, in order (…) to preserve a purity of conscience, it would be nice to give an answer to this. (…) I think information is important. Fascism, prejudice and intolerance are based on a lack of information. “

Twenty-five years after the death of Renato Russo, his texts and public statements are important for understanding and criticizing Brazil in the conditions of fascism and neoliberalism, and this is the main reason why his figure is highly revered – despite the fact that we live in the context of the trivialization of ephemeris, for which contributes to the accelerated production and consumption of news on the Internet.

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* Romulo Mattos – Historian (PUC-RJ)

** This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forum.

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Political Chat Highlights Paraiba’s Economic Development Issues

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Political Chat Highlights Paraiba's Economic Development Issues

In the year when the people of Paraiba go to the polls, the debate about the economic development of the state is gaining momentum. Where are we going? What are our problems and bottlenecks? What projects are transformative in the short and long term? When will we leave worldly problems behind?

In this edition, we are talking to Eric Figueiredo of Conceição, Paraiba, President of the Institute for Applied Economic Research, affiliated with the Ministry of Economy.

IPEA assists the government in developing the country’s public policy. In-depth knowledge of the reality of the semi-arid region of the Northeast and Paraiba, UFPB Professor of Economics with a post-doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee, USA, advocates development based on local wealth, environment, effective participation of the private sector, effective investment in basic and vocational education.

The list of solutions includes innovative projects such as those that sell carbon credits in semi-arid areas and generate resources through recycling and sanitary landfills; in addition to the efficient use of renewable energy and ore mining with the installation of export processing zones. Talk to us.

Also listen on the CBN website

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Research and political science rule out a turning point in elections – 02.07.2022 – Poder

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Research and political science rule out a turning point in elections - 02.07.2022 - Poder

No one dares to say with complete certainty, but the polling figures and the interpretation of the movements a little more than three months before the elections rule out or at least reduce the possibility that the conflict will no longer focus on Luiz Inácio Lula yes. Silva (PT) and Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

It is precisely the time before elections that prompts caution, as polls like Datafolha’s at the end of June indicate trends at the time they were taken, but, as the cliché goes, they do not replace poll results.

Other deadlines reinforce the diagnosis that new favorites are unlikely to emerge, while also calling into question Bolsonaro’s recovery conditions and Lula’s ability to manage his advantage.

Comparisons with previous presidential races make this year’s race unique in many ways, but it is a reminder of a constant risk: the hypothesis of the unexpected and even the exceptional, such as Bolsonaro’s blow in 2018.

“Given only the usual elements of market analysis, it is difficult to imagine any changes in the scenario,” says political scientist Carolina de Paula. “Only if we consider external events like stabbings and the like,” she continues, referring to Uerj (Rio State University).

Even with the hardships caused by the wall, the sum of 75% of the intentions to vote for Lulu (47%) and Bolsonaro (28%), presidential candidates such as Ciro Gomes (PDT, 8%), Andre Janones (Avante, 2%). ) and Simona Tebet (MDB, 1%) remain hopeful that there is a long way to go before October 2nd.

Ciro uses the analogy that the votes that could have fallen into his hands are being held up today between the undecided and undecided voters of the two leaders. According to him, the population is in a “state of numbness and fear”, but will wake up.

In the same vein, Janones says that the vote will be decided at the last stage and that this will provoke a search for options. A federal MP from the state of Minas Gerais argues that people are hostage to the obligation to choose the least worse, but that will change.

Tebet tried to prove himself with a message of hope and appeasement. Chosen as the Third Path Poor Consensus Candidate, she is unknown to 77% of the population. The challenge is to rise in the polls and be seen as a viable alternative.

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The strategists of these campaigns resort to several arguments to support the idea that nothing guarantees that Lula will either be elected in the first round or will necessarily compete with Bolsonaro in the second. This, of course, does not count the threat of an electoral coup by the incumbent president.

Free advertising on radio and TV (which will run from August 26 to September 29), electorate fatigue from the polarization between Lula and Bolsonaro and the late awakening of part of the electorate for elections and the availability of options are cited. as possible turning points.

There are still those betting on Bolsonaro and Lula’s massive rejection (today 55% and 35% respectively) as a trigger for a reversal. Experts meet all assumptions with skepticism.

“Polls show a crystallization of the feeling that the competition will be between the two and that it will be necessary to keep one of them,” says Karolina.

The widespread use of social media, spurred on by the Bolsonaro, contributes to a permanent election climate, unlike the past, she said. The new reality tends to blur the importance of mandatory advertising in traditional media.

Predictions of the sustainability of the scenario are also based on the anticipation of the pre-election debate – first by a presidential mandate, and then by the rehabilitation of a member of the PT – and the unprecedented antagonism between charismatic politicians already in office. and can be evaluated empirically.

“Anything other than a confrontation between Lula and Bolsonaro seems increasingly unlikely to me,” says Humberto Dantas, coordinator of the graduate program in political science at the Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo. “With what we have today, there is little room for another phenomenon.”

For the researcher, the picture is nothing but a reflection of the national policy of recent years, in which the force of attraction of both prevailed. The inability of the centre-right to create a credible alternative has something to do with this.

At the same time, in the 2018 and 2014 elections, electoral intentions were more dispersed among the main candidates, which meant there was a greater chance of hesitation, falls and overtakes.

In the race four years ago, there was still a spoiling element on the horizon, the exchange of Lula, who was then arrested and denied entry, for Fernando Haddad on the PT ticket.

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The wave of underdogs and political renewal attributed to Bolsonaro has since subsided, as the 2020 municipal elections showed, dictated by powers such as governance experience.

This leads analysts to disapprove of comparisons to the succession of 2018 winning governors such as Romeu Zema (Novo-MG) and Wilson Witzel (PSC-RJ), who have been swept away by the Boltonar turmoil. It is clear that the reality is different now, both at the state and federal levels.

The combination of features leads to an assessment that the official campaign period is unlikely to undermine the permanence of Lula and Bolsonaro at the forefront. However, variations in their percentage due to predictable attacks from both sides are not ruled out.

“If Bolsonaro can create a miracle, he will have a chance to win. Otherwise, he will have to face great difficulties and he will have to rely on luck,” says sociologist and political scientist Antonio Lavareda from the Ipespe Research Institute.

History, he notes, shows that presidential candidates who have turned the tables have used trump cards (as in the case of Fernando Enrique Cardoso and the Real Plan in 1994), godfathers (Dilma Rousseff and Lula’s backing in 2010), or exceptional circumstances. (attack on Bolsonaro). who singled it out).

In the fight to stay in office until 2026, the chief executive is resorting to pre-election measures to try to cushion the effects of the economic crisis, which is more than the central agenda for this election. The big question is whether these gestures will have a short-term effect and affect the vote.

For analysts, Bolsonaro’s situation is critical because of this bias, but somewhat comfortable given the fact that he has a 25% to 30% vote intent and is not in danger of being squeezed out of second place by other rivals.

Variables in the presidential race

what’s posted today

  • Lula and Bolsonaro stack up together 75% of intent votes in the first roundwhile third place, Ciro Gomez, has 8%, according to Datafolha.

  • Lula reaches 37% in spontaneous studies and jumps to 47% in incentivized (when applicants’ names are submitted). Bolsonaro rose from 25% to 28%.

  • 70% of voters say they already fully resolved about their vote, according to Datafolha. The percentage is even higher among the voters of Lula and Bolsonaro (80%).

  • Determined to vote despite a series of setbacks, Bolsonaro 55% failure whoever voted for him at all, a stable exchange rate since March

What else can change

  • 27% of voters in a spontaneous poll say not knowing who to vote for, a rate that drops to 4% during the stimulation period. Zeros and spaces make up 7%. For 29%, their current choice may change

  • The Ciro and Tebet campaigns are betting on official campaign periodwhich will last a month and a half, starting on August 16, to convince doubters and hook more voters

  • opponents of the project polarization selector fatigue between Lula and Bolsonaro, which would lead to the search for other options, but both still represent the right base

  • Tebet and Janones familiar by 23% and 25% of voters, respectively, and expect to increase these figures in order to strengthen their intentions to vote.

  • leave the decision to vote for last hour has been a common occurrence in recent years, but analysts believe the scenario has crystallized early this time, contributing to a useful vote.

Doubts that hover

  • Bolsonaro will be able to catch his breath with pre-election activities try to lower fuel prices and increase Auxílio Brasil from 400 reais to 600 reais?

  • Alternative candidates will attract the attention of the voter and strengthen their indices a little over a month official campaign and schedule on TV and radio?

  • Candidates like Ciro, Tebet and Janones will seduce voters and growth in the polls to the extent of avoiding Lula’s victory in the first round or knocking Bolsonaro out of the second?

  • A little surprise could it spoil the scenario, whether it be a change in the list of competitors, a change in the mood of the electorate, or some other event from the realm of the incomprehensible?

  • An official campaign in which candidates exalt their virtues and attack rivals, significant influence performances by Lula and Bolsonaro?

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