Arquivo para March, 2022

Slap in the Oscar

31 Mar

I had decided not to comment on the best Oscars this year, first because I don’t consider “Attack of the Dogs” as good a movie, as, for example, Dune and Don’t Look Up, not only for the plots, but mainly for the whole work, Dune ended up taking several well-deserved awards, but none of the major ones.

Will Smith’s slap on Chris Rock stole the show, but director Jane Campion’s best-director comment, in another event about Serene and Venus Williams: “you are wonderful, however, you don’t have to compete with men like me” , also went down badly and his prize lost some of its shine.

Shortly after the slap from Will Smith he would receive the award for best actor, he is a great actor, but it would be more grandiose if he waited for this moment to say about the role he played as the father of the Williams in defense of the family and would give a much greater blow. hard on Rock for making an unfortunate comment about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett’s hair loss.

A lot of people came out in defense of Rock, the newspapers say that his show now breaks box office records, and Will exposed Jada because they now seek to know about her life and her relationships, and just like her alopecia disease, in my opinion, the moment response to Chris Rock could be the statuette moment, and in this case I won’t comment on the merits, but the role of Denzel Washington in MacBeth’s Tragedy deserves to be highlighted.

Another comment is the best actress award, I went to see excerpts after the nomination (I didn’t see the whole movie) Tammy Faye’s eyes (picture), neither the movie nor the winning actress (Jessica Chastain) impress me, I know the Academy follows some cliches: irony, a certain humor and other tics.

I went to see the popularity, just over 60% of people liked the movie, I’m not out then.

I saw Meryl Streep’s performance in Don’t Look Up, and she at least deserved the nomination, of course she’s already won others, she’s a consecrated actress (Margaret Thatcher’s spectacular role in Iron Lady, for example), but merit is indisputable and not the height of the winner matters.

Will Smith’s slap and the fail an action from the Best Director winner (with Williams sisters) drew attention to a lackluster Oscar to the academy’s taste and the slap its a error only. 


Error and the search for truth

30 Mar

The phrase is from the Russian writer Mikhail Saltykov-Tcherdrine, who wrote about the pseudonym M. Nepanov (wrote Contradictions), his phrase: “whoever never sought the truth certainly never made a mistake”, much better than the popular adage: “only whoever never tries is wrong”, because even if it is innocently, something is always tried.

His sentence completes this thought: “There are times when society, seized with panic, deviates from science and seeks salvation in ignorance”, something that seems typical of our time: at first ignoring the pandemic and vaccines, then ignoring the dangers that result from it and finally try to live with it as if the disease were something natural, and the remedy is to vaccinate four, five, … times.

Folly and frivolity seem to be reactions to a crisis that is deepening, in addition to the war, a rise in prices and food shortages are looming, yes what happens for the time being seems to be circumvented and when it is no longer, what would be wise to do, it seems that few care.

I chose to speak of an unknown literary author of the 19th century, he did not live in the period of the Soviet Union, to attest to the ignorance of punishing Russian culture, science and sports, as a punishment for a war, undoubtedly unfair, but of the which the Russian people are also victims.

Even seeing the horrors happening in Ukraine, we cannot ignore the horrors of the West and the warlike escalation that may have in the near future other chapters as painful as the current ones, is an escalation that seems to have no return.

One cannot ignore the mistakes of the second war, the mistakes of the post-war period, the countless interventions in the East, Asia and Africa that caused wars and deaths that were equally reprehensible.

It is necessary to recognize the mistakes, it is necessary to forgive the colonial period, still in progress, and it is necessary to allow peoples to live their culture, their ideals, as developed by Raymond Aron (War and Peace between Nations) and in security, the The author quotes Clausewitz in his book: “War is an act of violence, and there are no limits to the manifestation of this violence” (Aron, p. 69).

It’s a difficult time when we just point out our mistakes to others, without looking at our own.



The Battle of Kiev

29 Mar

With a disproportionate army and military forces, it was conceivable that the Russians’ battle in Kiev would be short-lived, but setbacks in the air and on the ground, a hostile late-winter weather and the heroism of the Ukrainian people were none of Putin’s business.

Irpin (before the war photo) is the last district before Kiev, the Ukrainian forces reported yesterday that they had retaken the district, so the Russian troops stay further away, there are reports that the Russian troops would be largely sick due to the cold and exhaustion of a month on the battlefield and with very low morale.

Just as in World War II, the battle of Saint Petersburg (Leningrad at the time) was disastrous for the Nazis, the battle of Kiev, where most of the fighting forces were sent (the famous tens of kilometers long convoy), and the air support of the feared Russian air force seem to have encountered unexpected resistance.

Several rounds of negotiation for peace are taking place these days, at this moment it is as desirable for Russia as it is for Ukraine, which in the first rounds found itself at a disadvantage with strong Russian attacks and advances, now, although the bloody battle of Mariupol follows. and air strikes that seem to be the Russians’ last resort, there is a relative military “balance”, but the lives of innocent civilians continue to be sacrificed.

Putin also seems to have lost many generals, it is not known whether only in combat or because they opposed Putin’s expansionist plans, the Russian military force also begins to be questioned as to its real capacity.

The fear remains of what is possible in the event of a humiliating defeat in Ukraine, the economic bloodshed caused by sanctions on Western companies and an untimely or appealing reaction to use lethal nuclear weapons or others prohibited by international conventions.

There remains the hope that the peace negotiation rounds of these days can bear fruit, Zelensky accepts the idea of ​​neutrality and disarmament of atomic weapons, perhaps also a reduction in its army, but Russia has pretensions in relation to the territories “taken” beyond the Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk) also Mariupol which is a typically Ukrainian city.

Internal pressure on Putin can also help, but his temperament seems to be warlike and he believes he can go further with his pretensions, the hope is that common sense will prevail.


Why the Pandemic Isn’t Over

28 Mar

The hypotheses that vaccines are efficient against the variants of the Ômicron fall apart when it is observed that in the East and in Europe the variant BA.2, already called Ômicron 2.0, has a degree of infection 1.5% higher than the original strain and even where the number of deaths is falling, the degree of infection recedes at a slower rate.

In Brazil, the number of deaths is in the moving average around 250, while the number of infections is in a moving average that varies below 40 thousand and above 32 thousand, but if observed punctually, the number of infections on Thursday was 47,000 and Friday of 36,176 on Saturday, and there are still unreported cases of asymptomatic and there is no testing policy.

Imagining that the next strains may be less lethal can only be thought of in the field of hypotheses, although there are studies that even claim this, in fact, the explosion of cases in Europe and the East belies this possibility, as there are already reported deaths and low efficiency. of vaccines.

The release of protocols, it is true that not in all environments, some places continue to be more careful, but the political signaling of release leads to less care.

According to the WHO, BA.2 is associated with an increase in cases of Covid-19 in European and Eastern countries, and while at the end of January there was a drop in infections, in the period from the 14th to the 20th of this month the world body of health records an increase of 7% in infections, while the number of deaths there is a reduction of 23%, which means lower lethality of the strain.

The entity recorded 12.3 million new cases and 32,900 deaths from Covid-19 in the period.

There is undoubtedly a drop, but the greater spread of the new strain should be viewed with concern because it promotes the circulation of the virus and does not eliminate the possibility of mutations.


The desirable peace

25 Mar

Peace between peoples must come from a deep reflection on the differences and tolerance between values ​​that are extremely diverse and that do not necessarily mean the impossibility of peace, and when there are old scars, care must be taken to avoid them, they exist. because some peace was established without respecting the dignity of peoples.

Raymond Aron wrote “Peace and war between nations” (Paz e guerra entre nações, Martins-Fontes, 2018) thinking about this, reflecting that each people must be faithful to its ideal as a nation, not ignore a conflicting history, and, think and act with determination to do that the absence of war lasts until the moment when peace is possible and durable, imagining that that day will come.

Edgard Morin in his recent essay “The edge of the abyss” (a post has already been made here), said “one of the aspects of the tragedy is that we cannot make use of weakness and strength separately and that we are obliged to navigate between the two in a different way. uncertain”.

Above all, forgiveness is needed between peoples and nations that have lived through conflicts, as was the case with Germany, Italy and Japan, who were in the second war and managed to overcome their own scars and maintain their ideals as strong nations, which they are today.

It is necessary that they behave like the prodigal son who, upon returning home, in this case to his own territory and the healthy roots of his peoples, managed to rebuild nations under a new cloak of pacifism, tolerance and the development of their nations.

It is also necessary that the conflicting nations be open to this new beginning, in the biblical parable, the eldest brother does not understand that the father celebrates the brother who spent all the inheritance money wasting on futile and fleeting things, and now returns home, in terms of war the return to their own territory.

Such is neither the Pax Romana, of subjugating the vanquished peoples, nor the Pax eternal liberal ideal that did not lead to lasting peace.




The possible peace

24 Mar

The roman pax meant the submission of the dominated peoples to the Roman empire and the end of resistance, which in fact is not peace because there is no end to the oppression of a people and this means that somehow there will persist some kind of revolt that will explode in new war.

Thus, some kind of reconciliation is necessary in which both parties do not feel that their dignified existence as a people or nation, a people within territorial and political limits, can go forward enjoying the freedom to express their customs and values.

The ceasefire is the end, albeit temporary, of hostilities, it is what opens the way for a possible dialogue or reconciliation, where concessions will be analyzed from both sides, when there is no clear possibility of this dialogue, the only way to establish peace is a third force that enters the conflict without the desire to antagonize any of the parties, but to stop them.

The problem is complex, because in extreme polarization there is no reliable force for peace, and it is very difficult for the two belligerent sides to accept it, and this can not only fuel the war even more, but can accelerate a process of extending it to other countries outside the conflict.

For humanitarian reasons, even if this risk exists, it is the only possible peace, running the risk of extrapolating the war beyond its limits, however putting it within the limits becomes imperative when there is a risk of hostilities so wide that they could affect the dearest human principles.

The current escalation that puts us on the brink of this abyss is the case, because the risk of an even greater wave of violence outside the limits of the three countries in conflict (Belarus is at war) is not just a possibility, Poland is starting to involve and the borders of NATO how to prepare.

The UN does not have enough political strength to be this force, it is necessary to create a somewhat “neutral” bloc (in a war this is almost impossible) that can place military forces sent to the conflict region and force a ceasefire, this it is possible peace.

Desirable peace is an agreement between conflicting parties, this seems more distant every day.



Neither plague nor war warns us

23 Mar

When the pandemic came, great global solidarity was expected, a retreat would make us go a little beyond our own ego, review many things, including our daily lives that are always running and often meaningless.

War should alert us to the brutality, cruelty and massacre that it provides and make us less warlike and more empathetic in everyday life and solidarity with the innocent who are the first to die in the face of brutality.

Generations who lived through the war told and wrote about its horrors, including the contemporary wars in Korea and Vietnam, it’s good not to forget, but the great revolution in the 60’s was the hippies criticizing consumerism, the peace and love generation, inspired by Ghandi and in several mystics, but something insensitive is in the air: the justification of cruelty that is paradoxical.

Paradoxical because the justification is the opposite of what is done: peace, liberation, the end of oppression and other slogans that are mere propaganda, because what is done is visibly contrary to what is preached, and this is in all areas. social, from culture to warlike thinking.

UN Secretary General António Guterrez in a speech called for an end to the “absurd” war, citing the city-to-city conquest made in Ukraine and the massacre in Mariupol, where 100,000 people tried to leave and are prevented, it is like a concentration camp. no walls.

Kiev had parks, churches and walkways that are the opposite of the war images (pictured is Kalynovka park near Kiev).

The economic war waged through western sanctions will have serious consequences for the supply, not only of fuel that was already suffering on the market even before the war, but the scarcity of food can lead to the third point of the crisis of civilization: hunger.

It is always possible to resume dialogue, negotiation, to prevent the proliferation of the war industry, which moves billions of dollars in a perverse market and which is on an increasing scale in the middle of a war, not to mention the nuclear danger that is a global reality.

We must cultivate empathy and solidarity, hope and especially the love that breaks the chain of hate that surrounds the entire planet, let us begin in our daily lives to lay down our weapons.



The edge of the abyss

22 Mar

It is the new essay by the century-old philosopher and educator Edgar Morin, lucid as ever and sensible, he says that a neutral Ukraine would be accepted by all and does not fail to condemn barbarism and the risk of a planetary war.

In his article Morin recalls the Russian missile crisis in Cuba in 1962, in which the world was also on the brink of an atomic catastrophe, he was at the time hospitalized in New York and a friend (Stanley Plastrik) informed him every day of the risk of a bomb falling on the city, until Khrushchov agreed to withdraw the missiles from Cuba.

He sees the current crisis as the same uncertainty as tomorrow, now with missiles aimed at the main capitals of Europe, and recalls the danger of agreements and more resolved issues that give a truce, but do not eliminate the possibility of parents, we have already posted about this here in World War II.

Morin recalls his article written on May 3, 2015, therefore after the 2014 Minsk agreement, that “it would be desirable for François Hollande, Laurent Fabius and Manuel Walls to become aware of the merciless increase in dangers and propose a coherent peace plan of a Federalist Ukraine, trace of union between West and East. We are no longer in the time to seek the best, we are in the time when it becomes necessary to avoid the worst”, he wrote at the time.

There was a growing evolution of NATO in Europe, but also the reconstruction of Russia as a military superpower establishing its zones of influence in Syria and Africa, in addition to the bloody reintegration of Chechnya through two wars (1994-1996 and 1999-2001) and also the military intervention in Georgia (2008) after the increasing and current pressure on Ukraine.

Will Putin stop there, a truce of war in Ukraine can demonstrate Putin’s real goals that seem to go further, Sweden, Finland and Norway are already moving suspiciously.

Morin affirms there is no doubt that the heroic resistance of President Zelensky, his government, the Ukrainians people surprised Putin and provoked our admiration, I quote because there is an attempt to deconstruct Zelensky who is Jewish as a neo-Nazi, but the war was prolonged.

Morin defends economic sanctions, noting that they also affect those who practice them, but emphasizes that “personally, I am against sanctions that affect culture, music, theater, the arts” and now even science, recently Russian scientific articles were taken from repositories, this is not to say that science is neutral, as it is not, but aims at human progress.

He makes a beautiful reflection when he states: “One of the aspects of tragedy is that we cannot make use of weakness or strength separately and that we are obliged to navigate between the two in an uncertain way”, I only remember that the weak can redeem the strong and vice versa. -versa, finally an agreement.

That it is possible to avoid a nuclear disaster not only through war, but there are nuclear plants in the region (pictured is the abandoned city Pripyat of Chernobyl).



Relaxation of protocols and Covid 2.0

21 Mar

Several Brazilian states even allow the use of masks and other protocols in closed environments, initially they were only open environments, while several countries have had an increase in cases of covid 19 in recent days, among them: Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, China and South Korea, indicating that there could be a new planetary wave.

The increase in cases in these countries comes at a time when BA.2, called omicron 2.0, a “cousin sister” variant of the omicron (BA.1) is starting to become dominant, in the UK where there is a policy of testing, in the ninth period from February 27 to March 6, already indicated while the original omicron reached 31.1% of cases, the omicron 2.0 to 68.6% of cases.

When in 2005 the Web proliferated for all users it was called 2.0, with the policy of relaxing the measures, the dangerous idea of ​​treating the contagion as endemic, Covid 2.0 is in practice creating the idea that there will be a policy to treat it as a “habitual” disease that can affect a population in a certain region, an original idea of ​​denialism.

It is a fact that socially there is an anxiety for the return of normality, but social life with the growing crisis of markets, now aggravated by a war, and the return of agglomerations can become a global endemic, that is, it will not be confined to a certain region. .

The number of cases has been falling in Brazil, but more slowly in states where there was relaxation, as was the case of Rio de Janeiro, the first to allow the use of masks and without announcing a new vaccination period, even if it occurs, it should there is an interval of 4 months.

Experts question both the release of the use of masks and the absence of protocols in closed environments, although in public transport and hospitals they remain.

Many health bodies, including the WHO, are concerned about this relaxation.

Individual´s caution and patience are needed in this new Covid 2.0 process.


What harm did they do?

18 Mar

Amid the pandemic and a war that, although it was in a region, is becoming planetary, by the measures and positions, now from the Hague court that asks for an immediate ceasefire.

The ideological argument does not justify acts of barbarism neither the right nor the left, the growing polarization creates a climate of war where even humanitarian attitudes, and this includes the Pandemic, cannot be neglected, otherwise we will prolong its effects.

All humanitarian thinking wants a return to normality, which should be one that no longer takes us to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, unconcerned with injustices and calamities, including the Burnout Syndrome that Byung Chul Han talks about in his book.

It is also not about procrastinating people and society, since there are social and economic problems that require an attitude of work and community effort.

The misguided reasoning: “here it is done and here it is paid”, hides the cruelty behind attitudes that do not respect the humanitarian and health values necessary for a safe return to what is in fact a regenerated humanism as we try to develop in this week’s posts (in photo Mariupol´s Theatre).

This reasoning is also common in the religious environment, someone is rewarded because “it is good” and “punished” because it is bad, what the children and civilians in Ukraine did badly, the elderly people, doctors and nurses who died in the Pandemic and finally those who are still dying.

For those who make this reasoning that is not religious, God favored or punished someone, I remember the passage in which the Galileans go to Jesus saying that Pilate had killed people and mixed their blood with the sacrifices that were offered to false gods.

Seeing the reasoning “God punished them”, Jesus answers them (Lk 13:2): “Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such a thing? 3I tell you no. But if you do not convert, you will all die in the same way”, to say that cruelty and sin can spread cruelty throughout the world.

He cites the tragedy known at the time, the death of workers who worked in the Tower of Siloam and explains that they were victims of the tragedy and were just workers.

Condemning cruelty, preventing health and humanitarian attitudes with actions is to avoid these evils.