Sacred Tree - Koh Kood



Is Hengqin An Empty Promise For Macau?

HENGQIN Island has undergone massive development over the past few years. When I first visited the neighboring island in 2009, there was almost nothing there besides some rustic restaurants serving tasty oysters.
Eight years after that visit, Hengqin’s development is quite visible from Taipa and Coloane. It is actually almost oppressing to see residential towers growing in Hengqin’s shoreline adjacent to Macau, almost like they are trying to keep up with the Joneses.
(My latest column, read more here)

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Guerras vãs

Hanoi, Vietname




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ªMACAU was on the tip of the peninsula, and in ten minutes you could walk from the Praya on one side to the beach on the other, and in twenty minutes from the center of the town to the frontier across the peninsula neck, where you could see the Red China flag flying down the road - though of course in that heat you never did walk, but took trishaws everywhere. Macau had flourished for centuries as the gateway to China, but now the gateways was closed and there was no trade any longer, no industry, no business - nothing to keep the town alive except opium and gambling and girls. And at the hotel where we were staying you could get all three - the gambling on either of the two floors devoted to casinos, and the opium and girls in your room by pressing the bell and asking the floor boy. And for that matter the floor boy would also provide a go-between with the casino, so that if you believed in doing things thoroughly you could gamble and smoke opium and have a girl at the same time."

"The World of Suzie Wong" by Richard Mason (novel published in 1957)

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A minha mais recente facécia.






MY latest column is partly about the electoral campaign in Macau

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ENTREVISTA com o director do El Pais, um grande jornal.



MORREU recentemente o David Tang, fundador da marca Shanghai Tang e autor de uma das melhores descrições da Macau contemporânea que já li:

"Macau must win the accolade of a city whose charm evaporated overnight when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty. For over 440 years, the place was ruled by the Portuguese. Utterly parochial with just a population of 400,000, the enclave had attractive colonial buildings and cobblestone streets and an atmosphere of history and the long, fruitful and harmonious community created by the Portuguese and Chinese living side by side.
Those of us who lived in Hong Kong, just 40 miles away, regularly took the jetfoils across for the weekend there, taking a girlfriend or a mistress or even a wife to a charming restaurant and staying the night at a romantic hotel. Sometimes, we would go gambling at the theatrical Lisboa Casino. But on the day after the Portuguese colony was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999 garish casinos, hotels and shopping malls materialised, all built in record time by avaricious Americans and Chinese. They couldn’t wait a nanosecond to lay their hands on the Chinese punters from mainland China. And how right they were. Today, 17 million mainland Chinese come through Macau every year, and its gambling revenues recently amounted to $45bn, which is seven times more than the Las Vegas Strip. The price for this exponential growth is a gargantuan building site with tacky designs and tinny replicas of the Eiffel Tower and St Mark’s Square in Venice, replete with toy canals and gondolas, peddled by wobbling Chinese in full gondolier uniforms.
Casinos and shopping arcades now rule the roost and somnambulant punters come and go, some with grim countenances hiding their secret losses, and others smiling as they splash their spoils on ostentatious retail. Outside, the narrow streets are dead, the skyline an undulating mess of soulless silhouettes, and more and more cars jam the roads. Money launderers mingle with fortune hunters. In the shadows of the ubiquitous pawn shops, with their sleepless neon signs, the place filled with an overwhelming sense of depression, despair, despondency and delinquency."
(in Financial Times, 2016)


"THE day the Earth caught fire"é um grande filme de 1961 que é talvez mais actual agora, dadas as alterações climáticas e outros desmandos causados por acção humana (a ameaça nuclear pairava na altura e continua a pairar). Especialmente interessante para jornalistas (grande parte do filme passa-se numa redacção), parte duma premissa interessante. Qual seria a reacção de jornalistas experientes quando confrontados com uma sequência de eventos bizarros, para os quais não parece haver uma explicação lógica? E como se comportariam as pessoas mal soubessem que estavam a caminhar para o fim do mundo?


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Lisbon Light



JEANNE Moreau já não está cá. Recordemos um dos seus filmes maiores:



"This is the strangest life I've ever known"

FAZ hoje 46 anos que morreu Jim Morrison em Paris. Ao pesquisar possíveis ilustrações para um artigo publicado no Macau Daily Times, encontrei online esta foto tirada cinco dias antes da sua morte, durante um passeio à zona de L'Oise, no norte de França

E há também esta, tirada na mesma ocasião, com a namorada Pamela, que viria a morrer no dia 25 de Abril de 1974:

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Column: Misinformed citizens are a peril to democracy

THE term “fake news” has been a trending expression since the new US president was elected.
Former Agence France-Presse editor-in-chief Eric Wishart, who now works on special projects for the agency’s global news management, was in Macau last month to attend a conference organized by the Macau Portuguese and English Press Association. He tried to answer a pertinent question: Why is fake news such a big issue now?
Wishart, who is also a scholar based in Hong Kong, defined fake news as “fabricated content presented as legitimate news with an intent to deceive” and noted that social media has been the driving force behind the phenomenon.
[By PB, read more here]


Praia Grande

FUI almoçar à sede renovada da Associação dos Macaenses (ADM) – onde se continua a comer muito bem – e reparei neste magnífico painel que retrata a Praia Grande. Desde que cheguei a Macau, esta é a zona da cidade a que me sinto mais ligado, até porque sempre vivi nas imediações do Lilau e de São Lourenço. Mas, logicamente, já não conheci a Praia Grande assim (alias, já não conheci a praia), antes a versão com o delta do rio domesticado (e transformado nos lagos Nam Van e Sai Van) e as torres habitacionais de gosto mais do que duvidoso. Mas há ainda elementos reconhecíveis, como o Bela Vista e o palácio do governo. O Miguel Senna Fernandes, presidente da ADM, disse-me na semana passada que a Praia Grande retratada neste painel deverá remontar aos anos 20. Imagina-se o que seria esta zona se tivesse sido mantida a traça apalaçada dos edifícios naquilo que se construiu de novo e se ao largo ainda estivessem juncos e outros barcos, provavelmente já não de pesca, mas de recreio… Mas, naturalmente, foi este o preço a pagar pelo progresso.

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DC-3 World Tour

UMA aventura aérea, daquelas que fazem sonhar pequenos e graúdos, passou por Macau. Gostei de escrever esta história:

Boarding the Douglas DC-3 is like returning to the era of black and white movies, when commercial aviation was making its first steps. A model of the twin-engine propeller plane, which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s, arrived at the Macau International Airport on Sunday as part of the Breitling DC-3 World Tour.

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the crunch

Too much
too little
or not enough
too fat
too thin
or nobody
laughter or
or immaculate
armies running through streets of blood
waving winebottles
bayoneting and fucking virgins
or an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe
many old guys in cheap rooms without
any photographs at all
many old women rubbing rosaries
when they'd prefer to be rubbing cocks
there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movements of
the hands of a clock
there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it blinking in neon signs
in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich
there are people so tired
so strafed
so mutilated by love or no
that buying a bargain can of tuna
in a supermarket
is their greatest moment
their greatest victory
we don't need new governments
new revolutions
we don't need new men
new women
we don't need new ways
good Columbian
water pipes
rubbers with corkscrew stems
watches that give you the date
people are not good to each other
one on one.
Marx be damned
the sin is not the totality of certain systems.
Christianity be damned
the sin is not the killing of a God.
people are just not good to each other.
we are afraid
we think that hatred means strength
we think that New York City is the greatest
city in America.
what we need is less brilliance
what we need is less instruction
what we need are less poets
what we need are less Bukowskies
what we need are less Billy Grahams
what we need is more
a typist
more finches
more green-eyed whores who don't eat your heart
like a vitamin pill
we don't think about the terror of one person
aching in one place
unspoken to
watering a plant
being without a telephone that will never
because there isn't one.
more haters than lovers
slices of doom like taffeta
people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other
and the beads swing and the clouds cloud
and the dogs piss upon the roses
and the killer beheads the child like taking a bite
out of an ice cream cone
and the ocean comes in and out
in and out
under the direction of a senseless moon
and people are not good to each other.
Appears (in an edited form) in Love is a Dog From Hell



A RTP está a fazer 60 anos e abriu parte dos seus arquivos. Entre outras coisas notáveis (como o telejornal na íntegra do dia 25 de Abril de 74), há lá imenso material fascinante sobre Macau. Por exemplo, o documentário "Macau 70", que já vi várias vezes. 
Filmado em 1971, o documentário evidencia a alteração brutal que se registou em Macau nos últimos 40 anos. As imagens mostram uma cidade que já não existe, mas que ainda consigo imaginar. Alguns aspectos que destaco: 
- A zona do Senado, muito pacata, quase sem carros e com muitas bicicletas
- O uso generalizado de riquexós para funções quotidianas (e não para turismo… aliás, há uma total ausência de turistas).
- Muitos chineses com vestes tradicionais, coisa que já pouco se vê.
- A pujante industria têxtil, com imagens de centenas de operários a trabalhar em fábricas.
- O Casino Lisboa acabado de abrir (em 1970) e a Ponte Nobre de Carvalho ainda em maqueta.
- As imagens do interior de um casino (penso que será o Hotel Central) que parecem ser do sec XIX, muito longe da sofisticação actual.
- O episódio do funeral, com típicos carros chineses engalanados (já não se vê nada parecido)
- A Taipa ainda sem a ponte, quase deserta.
- A rusticidade de Coloane, com os seus pescadores e putos de pé descalço.
- Uma certa hostilidade no olhar das pessoas que encaram o “cameraman” português. Apenas algumas crianças sorriem. Estávamos ainda em tempos de Revolução Cultural (como se nota pela efígie do Mao num edifício) e pouco depois do incidente que ficou conhecido como “1,2,3”.

Mais informação nos arquivos está disponível no Macau Daily Times

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UM documentário já com uns anos sobre a grande Rádio Universidade de Coimbra:

UM QUARTO NO ÉTER - Trailer from Rodrigo Lacerda on Vimeo.





FILMES muito lá de casa:

Ikiru, uma obra prima de Kurosawa 

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“Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.”

Albert Einstein



MUITO interessantes depoimentos de dois mestres do jornalismo português  - o José Pedro Castanheira e o Adelino Gomes  - que colocam em perspectiva a evolução da profissão ao longo dos últimos 30 anos em Portugal. Isto a propósito do quarto congresso de jornalistas que está agora a decorrer em Lisboa:

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Grandes documentários sobre comida:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi:

Steak (R)evolution:

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"NÃO cabe ao homem colocar-se em oposição à sociedade, mas manter-se em atitude compatível com as leis do seu ser, que não estarão em oposição às leis governamentais se ele tiver a sorte de se defrontar com um governo justo. 
Deixei os bosques por uma razão tão boa como aquela que para lá me levou. Talvez por me ter parecido que tinha várias vidas para viver, não podendo desperdiçar mais tempo com aquela. É impressionante a facilidade com que insensivelmente caímos numa determinada rotina e estabelecemos para nós um trilho batido."
Henry David Thoreau (considerado por Henry Miller como um dos 50 estado-unidenses mais relevantes de sempre), "Walden ou a Vida nos Bosques", traduzido para português por Astrid Cabral. É esta a América que eu admiro. 

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FILMES muito cá de casa:

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Column: The Monetary Authority of Trump

DONALD Trump’s unexpected rise to the US presidency sent waves of shock worldwide and Macau’s response was no exception. On November 9, the day the result was known, the Monetary Authority of Macao issued a statement that apparently reacted to Trump’s win without mentioning it. (Read more here)

“Politicians don’t talk. They make sounds. It’s just noise.”
Character played by Robert Redford
“The Candidate” (1972)

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St Lawrence Church

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A melhor peça de teatro que vi em muito tempo: Krapp's Last Tape, de Samuel Beckett (encenado e interpretado por Robert Wilson, que tantas coisas boas fez com Tom Waits)


CHRONICLE on the first-ever Hong Kong Formula E "ePrix"
(...) Overtaking often does not seem to be a product of brave driving, but results of the quantity of battery available. “Piquet Jr. has 42 percent of the battery available while Sam Bird has made a better management of the battery and has 46 percent of battery available,” announced the speaker. The cars don’t race as conventional cars do… Brazilian driver Lucas Di Grassi drove several laps with a broken car nose and didn’t lose a place. Something unthinkable in F1, where speed and aerodynamics go to another level.
Formula E introduced a new lingo to racing. Terms like “energy management” are being heard for the first time. “Energy is quite complicated… they way you utilize to optimize lap time,” Grassi said at the winners’ press conference.
It seems like the drivers are racing like I try to manage the battery of my cellphone.(More here)

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Ubud, Indonesia

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FILMES muito cá de casa:

Em Macau: Em Lisboa:
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