Sunday, 3 October 2010
A whirl and flurry of activity has descended on Recife – roads are being torn up and relaid, praças given a bit of a tidy up, a fresh lick of paint on the odd council building here and there. All of which must mean it’s election time again, and the incumbents (gubernatorial downwards) are showing just how hard they’re trying – look, your tax dollars at work!
It also means a constant rodizio of campaign vans, bikes and helicopters (ok – I made the helicopters up), blaring out an endless stream of sloganeering jingles (at local level in Brazil policy is hardly mentioned and your best chance of winning is The Three C’s – a catchy name, a catchy candidate number and a catchy song).
The comedic aspects of Brazilian electioneering are manna to the average gringo blog writer and Your Life Is An Impossibility is no different. This blog’s favourite hopeful is Edmar De Oliveira (3131), who has staked his chances on getting to the Casa Civil entirely on the pena da morte (death penalty) card. His jingle is a winning adaptation of Tropa De Elite by São Paulo alternative rock band Tihuana – Edmar De Oliveira, he´s as stubborn as a bull, you raped and murdered so now you´re gonna get it too, Edmar De Olvieira, he´s got the courage, you´ve got the vote. And so on.
The song originally became famous in Brazil when it was used as the theme music to the film of the same name, though it doesn’t really have much to do with police death squads and the like. Unfortunately YLIAI couldn´t find much information about Tihuana’s views on the death penalty. Boasting as they do the requisite goatee and skater pants alternative rock look, however, means it’s worth a bet that they might not be Old Sparky’s biggest fans. When it boils down to it, though, who cares about Tihuana? They only wrote the song, after all, and intellectual copyright in Brazil is the legal equivalent of the Loch Ness monster – there have been rumoured sightings but no-one really believes it exists.
YLIAI first came across Edmar a few weeks ago, when his entourage decided to use the Colegio Salesiano car park as a meeting-up point for a pre-election roll around the city (one wonders what the priests thought of it all). There were enough blacked out HUVs to make P Diddy blanch, and standing around between the cars smoking were scrums of hulking security guard types in berets and dark glasses (wonderfully capturing that oh so difficult hard but camp look previously perfected only by Nazi prison guards (leather boots, tight pants, choir-boy complexions) and 1980s and 90s UVF marchers (sunglasses, muscle tops, big moustaches).
After a few minutes cigarettes were hurled violently to the ground and crushed under heels. Engines were revved and Edmar’s tune echoed around the neighbourhood. YLIAI felt a bit scared.
Who knows if Edmar will win or not? He probably has as good a chance as any of the other jokers (sorry, candidates) running for deputado federal. The Three Cs are all in place and his would-be terrifying entourage is certainly visible and memorable. Even better, he seems to only have one policy, which means he can’t get caught out on any tricky idiosyncracies like Marina Silva, everyone´s favourite third wheel, who gets top marks for liking trees and education but null point for not liking homosexuals very much.
And with the death penalty schtick he´s tapping into a pretty chunky percentile – half the country, it seems, is addicted to schock (and shlock) gonzo TV shows such as Bronca Pesada, a true Shakespearean bloodbath for the age, involving footage of the corpses of murder victims lying in the street interspersed by ranting man-on-the-Jordão-Baixo-onibus Cardinot shouting into the camera about how can these animals be allowed to get away with it! Because it´s Brazil, and in Brazil impunity is king!
Furthermore a recent straw poll of as many as five teenage boys* from As Republicas revealed that 100% of respondents supported life imprisonment or the death penalty for those found guilty of any crime whatsoever, including pick-pocketing. At least race wasn´t an issue – our survey revealed that respondents said race didn´t matter at all, as all criminals are black and brown anyway.
So forget wishy-washy time wasters such as Dilma or Serra**, and step aside limp-wristed pinkos like Marcelo D2 (‘o estado não tem o direito de matar ninguem’). Edmar is on his way.
* YLIA knows that you can't really take teenage boys' opinions seriously. But it fitted in well with the argument, so.
**José must have known from the outset that he was going to get whup assed – he was the only one of the three main presidential candidates to be referred to only by his last name, making him a cold fish by default (he is anyway) and not all warm and cuddly like Marina and Dilma. This, it might be pointed out, is perhaps the only time anywhere that the words "warm and cuddly" and "Dilma" will appear in the same sentence.