".. era um time incrível, do Ziraldo ao Clóvis Bornay, passando por Mara Rúbia, Colé, Júlio Hungria e (principalmente, meu Deus) Elke, aquela mulher lindíssima, fantástica etc. Beijos pra você & pro Tico. Tchau."
Torquato Neto, Torquatália (Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2004).
Pictures also taken from the book Torquatália (Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2004);
Nosferato no Brasil (Ivan Cardoso, 1971);
Torquato Astrological Chart made with free software Astrology for Windows;
Cajuíana (Caetano Veloso, A/Z mimesis-interpretation);
"Esses heróis que costumavam ser os ícones da liberdade de expressão agora são, subitamente, os rostos do puritanismo e da censura... Caetano Veloso e Chico Buarque tomaram todos os passos necessários para se assegurar de que suas preciosas vidas permanecerão 'incólumes' e que seus segredinhos sujos não serão revelados. Por favor, notemos que o artista é uma persona PÚBLICA..."
Gerald Thomas, Entre Duas Fileiras
"This category—test— is neither aesthetic, nor ethical, nor dogmatic; it is completely transcendent..."
The young person in Repetition (translation by M. G. Piety)
"Daí, as revistas, os jornais, as TVs e as rádios ajudando a vender produtos de baixa qualidade que, no entanto, foram produzidos e precisam de um mercado para pronta-entrega. Este mercado é forçado através das paradas de sucessos" (Torquatália: Geléia Geral, p. 50).
"Quem leu soube a opinião de Nélson [Motta] e de quase todos os compositores jovens sobre as famosas Sociedades Arrecadadoras aqui deste Brasil subdesenvolvido. É verdade: vivemos ainda numa época em que é fácil, facílimo, que três ou quatro sujeitinhos desonestos possam controlar por completo o direito de arrecadar o dinheiro dos outros — e ficar com ele" (p. 52).
"Mas parece que pouca gente conhece essa cantora que, em minha opinião, é uma das melhores que possuímos. Thelma [Soares], para quem não sabe, foi uma das primeiras a cnatar bossa nova. Praticamente descoberta por Vinícius..." (p. 56).
"A música popular americana é importante, a mais importante deste século e é bom que as pessoas possam conhecê-la bem. Mas, por que ninguém lembrou-se ainda de escrever uma historiazinha do samba?" (p. 62).
"Sidney Miller, 22 anos, é, hoje um dos mais importantes compositores da nova geração de nossa música popular" (p. 64).
"... tenho má vontade, mesmo, com o iê-iê que se faz no Brasil. E tenho porque é de baixa qualidade. Exclui o Roberto Carlos, que é o único que sabe catar e, de vez em quando, aparece com músicas bonitinhas" (p. 67).
"De Chris Montez à imbecilidade de Erasmo Carlos ou à banalidade de um Bobby de Carlo vai outra distância que eu não ando. Impossível aceitar a 'ternurinha' analfabeta de Vanderléia ou de sua congênere subdesenvolvida, Maritza Fabiane. Certo, os cabelos de Ronnie Von são bacaninhas, mas que o rapaz não sabe cantar, não sabe mesmo" (p. 69).
"Paulinho da Viola não se dá por satisfeito com o fato de ter talento e poder improvisar numa roda de partido alto. Por isso, ele é hoje um dos músicos mais completos de sua geração. E violonista confesso e praticante capaz de executar sem problemas um estudo de Villa-Lobos, um choro de Nazaré..." (p. 86).
"Entre 1929 e 1937... Noel Rosa compôs um número superior a duzentas músicas: sambas... e marchas, choros, toadas, valsas, emboladas e paródias. Essa obra é hoje, talvez, o marco mais importante da história de nossa música popular" (p. 88).
"Noel Rosa fez muitas paródias para melodias populares em sua época: a maior parte delas é absolutamente impublicável em jornal" (p. 90).
"... um grande artista não envelhece. Apesar dos anos Grande Otelo ainda é o mesmo moleque Tião, o Claudionor da Estela, o poeta inspirado que o tempo nem a vida difícil conseguiram esconder" (p. 92).
"... eu acho que Norma Bengell é uma das cinco melhores cantoras do Brasil. Está dito" (p. 101).
"... samba e marcha-rancho, baião e samba-canção, samba de roda etc. Gil é um filtro: apreende todas essas formas e as utiliza como quer, porque... pode, tem material humano e musical para fazer este trabalho" (p. 107).
"Já os membros da Comissão de Carnaval da Imperatriz são unânimes em afirmar que as escolas de samba tomaram um caminho erra e que seria impossível voltar atrás" (p. 116).
"... conhecemos a arte extraordinária de Clementina de Jesus e reencontramos a divina Araci Côrtes, senhora rainha de nossa música..." (p. 117).
"... aquele preceito tão saudável da pesquisa como elemento decisivo na evolução de um processo cultural qualquer" (p. 131).
"Quem leu, sabe que o II FIC foi 'doado' à TV Globo de à TV Paulista sem abertura de uma concorrência legal e, portanto, de maneira — no mínimo — escusa" (p. 137).
"Cantando, Caetano Veloso se revela um dos melhores intérpretes de suas músicas. Sua voz pequena e afinada, suas divisões sensíveis, sua intimidade com as notas casam-se na mais perfeita harmonia com o tom das canções que interpreta" (p. 139).
"Elis Regina surgiu num momento crítico de nossa música e... O Fino e Elis foram diretamente responsáveis pela afirmação de vários dos nossos compositores, de Edu Lobo a Gilberto Gil... ao lado de Jair Rodrigues, Elis proporcionou as deixas para que muita gente mais surgisse, entre compositores, cantores e músicos..." (p. 141).
"Não, não pensem que eu esteja sugerindo que Elis é a música brasileira. Não é não: mas é uma de suas maiores representantes. Uma de suas mais importantes personalidades. E se posso falar assim, é ainda hoje uma de suas vigas-mestras" (p. 142).
"Estamos todos, imagino, suficientemente bem informados a respeito do jogo de empurra que se desenrola anualmente no submundo dos programas especializados... onde ganha carnaval quem tem mais dinheiro e menos caráter..." (p. 144).
"... a música de Chico Buarque, fortemente enraizada em nossas tradições mais populares, tem provado que o samba pode ser — e é — também música para consumo do público jovem... Tendo como fonte básica de sua inspiração as mais antigas tradições do samba (leia-se: Música Popular Brasileira), ele, a meu ver, como que o reinventou" (p. 147).
"Por essas e por outras é que os compositores estão fugindo do Brasil e fazendo negócios com suas músicas, pessoalmente, com editoras e gravadoras estrangeiras. Edu Lobo, Tom Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes, Marcos e Paulo Valle, Carlos Lyra e muitos outros" (p. 151).
"... afinal, ainda não está claro para ninguém que xingar Roberto Carlos e seu grupo é — no mínimo — uma falta do que fazer? ... 'Frente Única' do samba, se houvesse, não seria brigar com o iê-iê-iê, mas tentar uma união de artistas interessados na sobrevivência de nossa música e dispostos a tomar parte num processo eficaz de massificação desse musical" (p. 155).
"O Bebê de Roseary... o melhor (mais interessante) dos filmes do viúvo de Sharon Tate. Transas de magia negra superbarra-pesada, perigosíssimas; deu no que deu. Mas valeu: o filme é bom. E vou ver de novo" (p. 195).
"Atenção: vai sair, breve, uma edição brasileira da Rolling Stone, a revista underground mais badalada do mundo" (p. 206).
"Contadores de história vão afastando cinema da barra-pesada da realidade, que a meu ver é infinitivamente mais forte e educativo do que qualquer história, bem ou mal contada, dessas antigas" (p. 218).
"A maioria se diz católica. Mas o espiritismo da linha de umbanda é de fato a religião geral do Brasil, terra de Exus" (p. 219).
"... livre do som livre da TV Globo, Ivan [Lins], que é um cara extremamente musical e barra limpa, deve estar preparando um disco da pesada" (p. 230).
"Agora, oficialmente: não estou mais 'pertencendo' a nenhuma sociedade brasileira — nem mesmo à Sicam, que é a mais 'simpática' delas" (p. 235).
"Eis o que eu quero saber: teremos, algum dia, oportunidade de assistir a todos os filmes disponíveis de Zé do Caixão, numa revisão que me parece (e é) da maior urgência no presente momento do cinema brasileiro?" (p. 248).
"O Festival da Canção mais a Sigla da TV Globo querem vender a fina flor da mediocridade nacional e estrangeira para um público que não é exatamente o que vibra com o show do Maracanãzinho. Muita engrupição" (p. 257).
"O texto da contracapa... informa direitinho sobre vários aspectos da carreira (geralmente esnobada pelos idiotas aristocratas daqui) dessa cantora inigualável que é a Angela Maria" (p. 259).
".. dê uma chance ao seu olho, futuque, descubra, transe em superoito. É muito quente e muito frio, só depende mesmo de você" (p. 267).
"Chico tem, pelo menos, cinquenta por cento de sua produção recente interditada; Chico também se recusou a participar do FIC da TV Globo, a festa da mediocridade oficializada (e retardada) desta província... a música de Chico é aberta e portanto está sendo cuidadosamente fechada pelos funcionários e freelancers da coisa (colunistas etc.), num esquema dos mais manjados e repelentes" (p. 268).
"Nada melhor do que Gal: nada mais liberto, mais à vontade, mais maneiro, mais pesado. Essas coisas todas que irritam os bobões..." (p. 274).
"A música popular oficial (a do público, por aqui) não admite experiência e, pelo contrário, veta sistematicamente: basta pintar mais à vontade pra nem ser gravado. Como é o nome disso? Asfixia" (p. 292).
"Depois de One Plus One, Godard e seus amigos (uns & outros) fizeram mais de 10 filme que não passaram, nem passarão na cinemateca do MAM... Do cinema experimental dos americanos piradões (de Warhol a Jack Smith etc.) também não conhecemos nada nem podemos exigir da cinemateca a obrigação de exibi-los" (p. 314).
"O médico pediu: deixa eu ler os teus poemas... O médico achou a linguagem 'totalmente fragmentada' e, para que ele voltasse a escrever como muito antigamente se fazia, mandou interná-lo e impregnou a sua célula nervosa. Crítica literária" (p. 320-21).
"Meu Deus, como Baby Consuelo é tão bonita!" (p. 340).
& até amanhã...
"... However, I also felt that adding voodoo to our experimental repertoire would be socio-politically explosive. So we didn't try it again. One can push the envelope only so far in a university setting without causing administrators to faint. I've met a few who were tough and capable of withstanding the heat generated by controversy. But others? Well, let's just say that they tend to spook easily..." Dean Radin, Real Magic (Harmony/Penguin 2018);
"Dentro do porta-luva tem a luva, tem a luva Que alguém de unhas negras e tão afiadas esqueceu de pôr..." Nação Zumbi
Chico Science & Nação Zumbi: Maracatu Atômico; Chico Science & Nação Zumbi: Sangue de Bairro; Planet Hemp: Nega do Cabelo Duro; Planet Hemp: Quem Tem Seda; Raimundos: Eu Quero Ver o Oco; Raimundos: I saw you saying;
Pictures of Porto Alegre's Harbour/Guaiba (taken by A/Z, for more see here);
Jim Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation (with Chris Parker) (1981);
Engenheiros do Hawaii: Toda Forma de Poder;
Engenheiros do Hawaii: Sopa de Letrinhas;
TNT: Ana Banana;
TNT: Identidade Zero;
TNT: Entra Nessa;
Júpiter Maçã: Miss Lexotan;
Júpiter Maçã: Marchinha Psicótica do Dr Soup;
Júpiter Maçã: Mademoiselle Marchand;
Júpiter Maçã: Welcome to the Shade;
"Eu presto atenção no que eles dizem mas eles não dizem nada..."
"... o nosso amor eh nazi-fascista..."
"Entendió, en la niebla amarilla de la nada, que nada había cambiado..."
"... eu gostava muito de matar aula e ir pro centro de Porto Alegre, onde tinham lojas de disco com cabines de som e você podia escolher um vinil pra ouvir... pegava o Trensurb e ia direto pro aeroporto comprar cigarros importados... e ficava olhando pros aviões..."
"Subíamos no alto de um prédio na Avenida Independência, eu não sei como... pra cima da caixa d'água, onde tomávamos Bentyl."
Júpiter Maçã, A Odisséia
A maior picaretagem escrita pelo Arthur Dapieve no BRock: "Fora Replicantes, De Falla e outras bandas de inspiração punk, a cena porto-alegrense tinha muito rhytm 'n' blues... e muito rock 'n' roll básico (TNT), sem no entanto, um mínimo de qualidade" (Ed. 34, 2015, p. 193). O livro como um todo é interessante, mas tem uma série de frases taxativas mais ou menos iguais a essa que depõe totalmente contra. Engenheiros do Hawaii, o Dapieve considera a banda gaúcha mais significativa, o que acho que está correto. Existia uma energia genuinamente musical no TNT, entretanto, que pra ele passou totalmente despercebida. A interpretação da Ana Banana acima mostra que o grupo era na verdade mais contundente que Replicantes e De Falla (que em geral soam forçado, musicalmente falando).
***Portraits taken from the Internet.
Roubado, sem crédito, porque só mortos caminhamos
(Camélia, meu cú que ria!!)...
image from Leonhard Emmerling's Basquiat
***The War on Drugs is an Epic Failure (Jim Batt, Kim Boekbinder);
Jesse Owens (and Naoto Tajima) at Berlin Olympics 1936;
Dina Sfat, Elke Maravilha e Marília Pera;
Pessoa Nefasta (Gilberto Gil, 1984);
Chomsky about the War on Drugs (see text below);
"An ordinary theatre going public generally has a certain narrow-minded seriousness."
Constantine Constantius (translation by M. G. Piety)
"... blackness is also attributed to the sun, according to a certain long-hidden tradition. One of the shocks for candidates in the 'Mysteries' was the revelation 'Osiris is a blackgod.'"
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth
"'Call me Helium' (Me chame de Hélio) — pedia Jimi Hendrix." Waly Salomão, Hélio Oiticica: Qual é o Parangolé (Companhia das Letras 2015, p. 25).
"Eu quis homenagear o que penso que seja a revolta individual social: a dos chamados marginais. Tal ideia é muito perigosa mas algo necessário para mim... o que me deixava perplexo era o contraste entre o que eu conhecia dele como amigo, alguém com quem eu conversava no contexto cotidiano tal como fazemos com qualquer pessoa, e a imagem feita pela sociedade, ou a maneira como seu comportamento atuava na sociedade... Esta homenagem [ao Cara de Cavalo] é uma atitude anárquica contra todos os tipos de forças armadas..." (p. 37).
"São dirigidos aos sentidos, para através deles, da percepção total, levar o indivíduo a uma suprassensação, ao dilatamento de suas capacidades sensoriais habituais, para a descoberta do seu centro criativo interior, da sua espontaneidade expressiva adormecida, condicionada ao cotidiano..." (p. 60).
"Todas essas relações poder-se-iam chamar 'imaginativo-estruturais', ultraelásticas, nas suas possibilidades e na relação pluridimensional que delas decorre entre 'percepção' e 'imaginação' produtiva (Kant), ambas inseparáveis alimentando-se mutuamente..." (p. 85).
"Eu sou filho de Nietzsche e enteado de Artaud. Desde os treze anos que leio Nietzsche" (p. 87).
"Angela Maria... uma criadora total, particular, mais do que Dalva: a primeira grande criadora negra do Brasil — isso é importante e mostra o prejudico que as pessoas têm com ela: Dalva era mestiça, mas branca. Mas Angela ninguém quer aceitar: é uma ameaça..." Helio Oiticica em Torquato Neto, Torquatália (p. 236).
"Ex-Amor, sem a vulgaridade, ou melhor, banalidade das novelas da Globo: supervulgar, inteligente... Adelino Moreira é justamente a imaginação nativa do Brasil, em tudo o que de gasto ou não esse conceito possa possuir: Angela ou Nelson Gonçalves sabem disso..." (p. 237).
"Angela nada tem de cafona... Nunca hei de esquecer quando vi Emilinha de perto, da precisão de detalhes da vestimenta: cetim verde, sapato de salto altíssimo verde do mesmo, ou não, mas do mesmo tom: uma pintura digna de qualquer mestre expressionista alemão plus Matisse, sei lá..." (p. 237).
"Vocês pensam que Nova York é porta do Paissandu? Ignorância mais provincianismo..." (p. 366).
I would usually dismiss much of Chomsky's narrative in this video as unreliable conspiracy theory; but since totally incredible things such as Trump, Brexit & Bolsonaro indeed turned up as totally REAL, what would be fair to believe in?! at least Chomsky gives a clear narrative from the opposite side of what has now "succeeded"; what he says about the so-called War on Drugs reminds me of Burroughs and seems particularly important:
"... you have to really ask yourself whether controlling coca production has anything to do with the purpose of all of this... for decades the United States has been fighting what is called the drug war, to try to get rid of the opium production... it has essentially no effect on opium production, but it has had other effects, perfectly predictable effects... in the United States it is a technique for reintroducing slavery.... black life was criminalised and you had a new slave class... for a couple of decades after the Second World War, there was a substantial economic growth, industrial growth, so black men could get job as other workers and start moving into a relatively decent life... well, but by the 70s that essentially was over... the economy moves towards financialization, towards the elimination of industrial production, the neoliberal policies were introduced, you got this huge superficial population again... what do you do with them? throw up them into jail... and in fact that is exactly what happened; so the consequences of the drug war here was primarily, domestically to reincarcerate a large part of the black population, and also Hispanic population... and in fact they are again factory labour, they are cheap and easy exploitable labour... it is called voluntary, but when you are in jail voluntary has a special meaning... and you know when people complain about say... Guantanamo, it is all kind of a little ironic, because American prisons aren't that much different, they are torture chambers, it is a horrible system... and there were other consequences: it is a way of frightening the rest of the population here, imposing what is called law & order; so if you want to frighten and control the population, they have to be afraid of something; and they can be afraid of, you know, Hispanic narcotraffickers that are trying to destroy us and that sort of thing... the fact that it consistently fails in its alleged purpose, namely, reducing drug use, or even availability of drugs, doesn't matter, because it is succeeding in its actual purpose... in fact three, quite conservative, Latin American ex-presidents, Zedillo, Cardoso and Gaviria... put out a study which calls for just the elimination of the drug war, they said it's got nothing to do with controlling drugs..." (Noam Chomsky, History of US Rule in Latin America):
****Excerpts from a Michèle Lamy & GAIKA interview (Dazed, March 2018):
"I always want to explore ‘radical luxury’ – I mean, I like radical more than I like luxury, and it’s very nice to be able to combine art and the commercial, but it’s one thing to say something, but you need to demonstrate it with the theme. And so we have the collection upstairs and this here (the boxing studio)."
"For me it’s about equality, it’s about honesty. It’s about all these things where I can’t accept the alternative. Like some of the things we just seem to accept in the world as normal. Misogyny, racism, intolerance, you know, we have conversations surrounding these things in the media all the time, but nothing’s changing. And when you think about it, it’s pretty abhorrent. You know, you have to tell men not to rape people, like, including people who supposedly run the world, they have to be told not to rape…"
"I think boxing is a good metaphor for the fight we face and how we should be fighting it. You know, boxing is one-on-one. You look your opponent in the eyes and there are a lot of rules and and there is a lot of respect, traditionally. You know, it brings in a lot of different people; you take people off the street, and kids, and people from all different walks of life, and you see people realise themselves and their potential in the boxing ring. Instead of taking a gun and shooting 20 people in anger, you can be measured and see how to be strong and how to stand for yourself as an individual here."
"The world’s changing and I think the power in the world is shifting and changing. It’s shifting away from the West, it’s shifting away from men, and you’ve got one of two reactions: accept the world is changing and be part of it, or build walls, physically or metaphorically to stop it and to block it out... Yeah, to be like Trump and his wall, you know, in the White House cowering thinking ‘we are the last supreme white beings’, sitting there with his finger on the nuclear button... So extreme. You know, I think that it (Trump’s appointment) made a lot of people wake up..."
"You know, it never really made sense to me – the massive amount of inequality in the world just seems unnecessary. It just doesn’t seem like an efficient way to keep the world turning if you think of it as a machine or a structure. It’s purely about ego as far as I can tell, it’s not even just about the material side of things or money, it’s about dominance."
"... since the dawn of the internet, and people being constantly connected to these violent images every minute, every second, it’s important that the press change too. The media should be analysing themselves and changing the way they do things. I want to see unbiased opinions, I don’t want to see left-wing newspapers or right-wing newspapers. I want to see a tribune that covers it all in a fair way..." Michèle Lamy and GAIKA go head to head on the fight for the future (Dazed, 2018);
The fable of the WORM & the WOLF (which might pretty well be preposterous) (see below);
Misinformation Wars & Mass Surveillance (important to know!);
The Road to Guantanamo (Michael Winterbottom & Matt Whitecross/ Silver Berlin Bear 2006):
Snowden (Oliver Stone, 2016);
A Most Wanted Man (Anton Corbijn, 2014);
Green Zone (Paul Greengrass, 2010);
Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010);
Taking Sides (Stvan Szabo, 2001);
Lektionen in Finsternis (Werner Herzog, 1992);
Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987);
Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964);
Gore Vidal on Liberty (The Real News, 3/7):
"... you cannot get through the density of the propaganda with which the American people through the dreaded media have been filled and the horrible public educational system we have for the average person... It is just grotesque!"
Barrett Brown on Julian Assange's Arrest (04/12/2019):
"the people who are out there right now... on the news networks, the cable networks, trying to define what journalism is, are the least equipped to do so... it's because of corporate media, it's because of money, it's because of intelligence control... it's laziness, it's cowardice... it's not a meritocracy in any sense, it may be less so than a lot of industries... there are really incompetent figures that have somehow managed to worm their way into the producer, editorial roles..."
"[Assange] is a flawed figure which is about no more than the U.S. and the world deserve... he was and remains an isolated figure... someone who did not take a good counsel... but he was something and he remains something and it is very important that his rights be respected..."
Daniel Ellsberg on Julian Assange's Arrest (04/11/2019):
"... there's a lot of people who are very critical of his actions in the election of 2016 on various grounds; I'm not happy with the result..."
"... they wanted [Chelsea Manning] to go beyond what she said either falsely, which they would be happy with to incriminate Julian Assange... torture is mainly used for false confessions... she was in solitary confinement for then and half months until public pressure got her at least into the general prison population..."
"... having induced the British to arrest him forcibly... indicates that they will go the extra mile in violating as I say international norms by violating his immunity and his asylum and then shipping [him] off to U.S..."
"... in my day, his case would've been almost sure to be... dismissed by the Supreme Court on grounds of violating the First Amendment, but that was different Supreme Court..."
"it is a very ominous situation not only for Julian Assange..."
"... I think he has ahead of him for having taken on the world's mightiest empire and exposed its criminal secrets in many cases having to do with torture and assassination..."
"It is a day for journalist in general specially and everybody who values a free press and not only in this country to join ranks here now to expose and resist the wrongful and in this country unconstitutional abuse of our laws to silence journalists..."
John Pilger on Julian Assange's arrest:
"Julian was an accredited beneficiary of the whole notion of asylum; the United Nations working party on the arbitrary detention made that absolutely clear, and it was clear in covenants to which Britain is a signatory; now, if that can be torn up, if a regime as mired in murky corruption as the Lenín Moreno regime in Equador is today, can call in the police in any country to arrest asylum seekers, then think of all the historical examples... I reported from the Soviet Union at the hight of the Cold War... and I watched the KGB and their associates do something similar to dissidents, intimidating them, marching them out of their flats, intimidating their families..."
"... the idea that it is about bail infringement is ridiculous... it's about getting him accross to a Supermax in the United States; it opens up a whole chapter of really diminishing the very principles that came out of the Second World War upon which the universal declaration is based; it shows how fragile they are; do these lesser political beings in London in this government really understand what they are setting in train?"
- ''After all, if you have worked in high-level foreign policy positions in Washington, or at the think thanks and academic institutions that support those policies, or in the corporate media outlets that venerate those who rise to the top of those precincts (and which increasingly hire those security state officials as news analysts), how do you justify to yourself that you’re still a good person even though you arm, prop up, empower and enable the world’s worst monsters, genocides, and tyrannies?' Glenn Greenwald, Trump’s Amoral Saudi Statement Is a Pure Expression of Decades-Old “U.S. Values” and Foreign Policy Orthodoxies (The Intercept);
the fable of the WORM & the WOLF (which might pretty well be preposterous):
Unfortunately, it looks like the move of Equator's president does nothing but prove the everlasting calling for insignificance and subservience of the Latin American "elite" (sic). After all, grotesque stupidity is the essential feature of the Latin American "new" right, elected with a tacit collusion of the mainstream media (that is, in Brazil, Globo, Bandeirantes, etc. which keep giving unrestricted support to aggressive neo-"liberal" unchecked policies besides being critical of the most caricatural traits of a Bolsonaro):
'Moreno’s move against Assange has proved controversial in Ecuador. The previous president, Rafael Correa, has accused his one-time political ally of “a crime humanity will never forget” and described Moreno as “the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history”.'
'In what may have been part of a campaign to weaken Moreno, WikiLeaks was linked to an anonymous website that claimed Moreno’s brother had created an offshore company...'
'[Moreno] insisted the decision to cooperate with the British and remove Assange from the embassy was a sovereign decision of his government and was not forced upon him by any external power.'
'He also asserted he had been given guarantees about Assange’s possible extradition to the US. “For us the maximum right to protect is the right to life,” he said. “For this reason, we consulted the government of the United Kingdom on the possibility of Assange’s extradition to third countries where he could suffer torture, ill-treatment or the death penalty. The United Kingdom extended written guarantees that if extradition is eventually requested he will not be extradited to any country where it may suffer such treatment,”' "Assange tried to use embassy as 'centre for spying', says Ecuador's Moreno" (Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 04/14/2019);
***Just as Important:
'... it was curious to hear Diane Abbott, when answering questions about Labour’s enthusiastic objection to Assange’s possible extradition to the US to face charges of involvement in a computer-hacking conspiracy, say those sexual assault charges were “never brought”. The allegations were made, she generously conceded, but the charges were never brought.'
'It really doesn’t have to be this way. It is entirely possible to believe two things at the same time, that Assange should not face extradition to the US but that we should perhaps take a look at why he jumped bail and was in hiding for seven years. More than 70 MPs and peers have now written to Sajid Javid and Abbott, urging them to focus attention on the earlier Swedish investigations.'
'There is a tendency by some on the left to have a hierarchy of worthy causes. At the top is all the big banner stuff; the US, imperialism, neocolonialism, foreign policy. Further downstream are social justice and economic redistribution. And all the way at the bottom of the waterfall are those who don’t fit quite as neatly on one side or the other of the ideological odyssey between good and evil. Women have pesky gender issues that break the solidarity with men, and if we are to protect the workers, how do all the immigrants fit in to that?'
'Assange’s threatened victimisation by the US would be a worrying precedent and a reason not to extradite him, but that does not mean that sexual assault allegations should be brushed aside, "Why is the left blinkered to claims about Assange and sexual assault?" (Nesrine Malik, The Guardian, 04/15/2019);
***A more Equitable Perspective:
'States that commit crimes in foreign lands depend on at least passive acquiescence. This is achieved in a number of ways. One is the “othering” of the victims: the stripping away of their humanity, because if you imagined them to be people like your own children or your neighbours, their suffering and deaths would be intolerable. This is what the attempted extradition of Julian Assange to the US is about.'
'Back in 2010, the then US soldier Chelsea Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents relating to US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, US state department cables, and inmates imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Assange’s alleged role consists of helping Manning crack an encrypted password to gain access to the US defense department computer network. It is Manning who is the true hero of this story: last month, she was arrested for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks, placed in solitary confinement for four weeks, and now remains imprisoned. We must demand her freedom.'
'These leaks revealed some of the horrors of the post-9/11 wars. One showed a US aircrew laughing after slaughtering a dozen innocent people, including two Iraqi employees of Reuters, after dishonestly alleging to have encountered a firefight. Other files revealed how US-led forces killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, their deaths otherwise airbrushed out of existence. Another cable, which exposed corruption and scandals in the court of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the western-backed then-dictator of Tunisia, helped fuel protests, which toppled him.'
'... Assange must answer the accusation in Sweden without the threat of extradition to the US,' "Whatever you think of Julian Assange, his extradition to the US must be opposed" (Owen Jones, The Guardian, 04/12/2019)
***Ultimate piece on Snowden and his ring (written by a woman):
"[In five years since Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance], we’ve learned much more about how Big Tech was not only sharing data with the NSA but collecting vast troves of information about us for its own purposes. And we’ve started to see the strategic ends to which Big Data can be put. In that sense, we’re only beginning to comprehend the full significance of Snowden’s disclosures... This is not to say that we know more today about Snowden’s motivations or aims than we did in 2013. The question of whether or not Snowden was a Russian asset all along has been raised and debated... [NSA's PRISM, whose documents were leaked by Snowden and disclosed by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman] secured cooperation between the Internet companies and the NSA at the point when an individual suspected of involvement in terrorism had been targeted and the NSA wished to retrieve that suspect’s messages from the companies’ servers. Many Americans will still feel that this program constituted an unwarranted breach of privacy, but what PRISM does not do is vindicate the idea of a “deep state” operating entirely independently of the rule of law. Although this might seem like a fine distinction to some, it is an extremely significant one. But the narrative of deep-state lawlessness was too appealing... Assange’s allies, Milne included, have made clear that their allegiance doesn’t lie with liberal democracies and their values. They have taken sides with authoritarianism in their fight against the hypocrisy of liberal democracies... Assange, a former libertarian, has called Russia under Putin “a bulwark against Western imperialism”... For his part, Greenwald has repeatedly, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, decried as Russophobia the findings that Putin ordered interference in the 2016 US presidential election—even appearing on Fox News to do so. The very term “Russophobia” obfuscates the distinction between Vladimir Putin’s regime and Russia; the two clearly can’t be identified with one another... The distinction between left and right, he argues, will increasingly be replaced by the opposition between people who are pro-establishment and anti-establishment. But being anti-establishment is not a politics. It defends no clear set of values or principles. And it permits prevarication about the essential choice between criticizing and helping to reform liberal democracy from within or assisting in its demise. It encourages its partisans to take sides with a smaller, authoritarian state in order to check the power of the one whose establishment it opposes... In their book Red Web: The Kremlin’s War on the Internet, the Russian investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan recounted the experiences of human rights activists who were summoned via an email purportedly from Snowden himself, to a meeting with him at Moscow airport when he surfaced there with Sarah Harrison, to find they were joining the heads of various pro-Kremlin “human rights” groups, Vladimir Lukin, the Putin-appointed Human Rights Commissioner of Russia, and the lawyers Anatoly Kucherena and Henri Reznik. It was clear to the independent activists that Kucherena had organized the meeting... So whether we trust [Snowden] matters. It matters whether we view him as a bad actor, or as a well-intentioned whistleblower who has shown bad judgment, or as someone who has allowed himself to become an unwitting pawn of the Russians... In a 2016 lecture by video-link at Fusion’s Real Future Fair, Snowden discouraged his audience from pursuing the legal and political remedies that liberal democracies offer... If there’s one thing Greenwald, Assange, and their followers got right, it’s that the United States became a tremendous economic and military power over the last seven decades. When it blunders in its foreign or domestic policy, the US has the capacity to do swift and unparalleled damage. The question then is whether this awesome power is better wielded by a liberal-democratic state in an arguably hypocritical way but with some restraint, or by an authoritarian one in a nakedly avowed way and with no restraint. In the five years since Snowden’s revelations, we have seen changes, particularly the election of Donald Trump with his undisguised admiration for strongmen, that compel us to imagine a possible authoritarian future for the United States," "Edward Snowden Reconsidered" (Tamsin Shaw, The New York Review of Books, 09/13/2018);
***What should have been the ultimate piece on Glenn Greenwald (& still much more on Assange):
"What’s astonishing about their ascent to heroism is the breadth of their support. The embrace of the antiwar left and the libertarian right was to be expected. But effusions of praise for the leakers can also be found throughout the liberal establishment... Contrary to [Snowden's] claims, he seems to have become an anti-secrecy activist only after the White House was won by a liberal Democrat who, in most ways, represented everything that a right-wing Ron Paul admirer would have detested... In several cases over a five-year span, Greenwald represented Matthew Hale, the head of the Illinois-based white-supremacist World Church of the Creator, which attracted a small core of violently inclined adherents... Greenwald’s other clients included the neo-Nazi National Alliance, who were implicated in an especially horrible crime. Two white supremacists on Long Island had picked up a pair of unsuspecting Mexican day laborers, lured them into an abandoned warehouse, and then clubbed them with a crowbar and stabbed them repeatedly. The day laborers managed to escape, and when they recovered from their injuries, they sued the National Alliance and other hate groups, alleging that they had inspired the attackers. Greenwald described the suit as a dangerous attempt to suppress free speech by making holders of “unconventional” views liable for the actions of others... most of [Greenwald's] writings, his critique of America abroad was congenial both to the isolationist paleo-Right and to post–New Left anti-imperialists... Along those lines, Greenwald found common ground with the upper echelons of right-wing free-market libertarianism... When bloggers confronted Greenwald about his associations with libertarians, the darling of the netroots and MSNBC left angrily batted the claims away as distortions. He need not have reacted so forcefully. Accused of working for Cato, for example, he might simply have said that he believed in addressing any organization that wanted to hear from him and left it at that. Instead, Greenwald attacked his critics as “McCarthyite” purveyors of “falsehoods, fabrications, and lies”... In 2010, Greenwald began attacking the Obama administration from the left on a variety of domestic issues, attacking Wall Street corruption, opposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and decrying inequality. Yet even as he insisted on his left liberalism, he remained a steadfast promoter of Ron Paul—“far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party.” (After Paul’s son, then senatorial candidate Rand Paul, questioned the Civil Rights Act, Greenwald agreed with criticism that the remark was “wacky,” but insisted that the real “crazies” in American politics were mainstream Democrats and Republicans.)... During his political pilgrimage, Greenwald became consumed: For him, the national security apparatus is not just an important issue; it is the great burning issue of our time... In the wake of the WikiLeaks frenzy, Assange often tried to clarify where he stood politically. His simultaneous embrace of leftist icons such as Noam Chomsky and right-wing libertarians seemed to indicate that he was open to ideas from either end of the political spectrum, so long as they were directed against authoritarianism. Finally, in 2013, Assange proclaimed, “The only hope as far as electoral politics presently ... is the libertarian section of the Republican Party”... Yet even that declaration was misleading. In practice, Assange has a history of working closely with forces far more radical than the Republican Liberty Caucus. Late in 2012, Assange announced the formation of the WikiLeaks Party in Australia. It had been expected that WikiLeaks would ultimately throw its support to the Green Party—especially after the party’s National Council voted in favor of such a move. Instead, WikiLeaks aligned with a collection of far-right parties. One was the nativist Australia First, whose most prominent figure was a former neo-Nazi previously convicted of coordinating a shotgun attack on the home of an Australian representative of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Members of the WikiLeaks Party blamed the flap on an “administrative error”; mass resignations from the party’s leadership followed. Those who quit cited a lack of transparency in the party’s operations, and some pointed to remarks Assange had made blasting a Green Party proposal to reform Australia’s harsh treatment of asylum seekers... Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange have largely set the terms in the debate over transparency and privacy in America. But the value of some of their revelations does not mean that they deserve the prestige and influence that has been accorded to them," "Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought" (Sean Wilentz, The New Republic, 19/01/2014);