ROLLING Stone review: It's a tragedy that Tom Waits doesn't tour more often. Nobody does what he does, and he's doing it almost better than ever. Why assemble a band this great and rehearse a show this magnificent, only to do it once?



"KNOWN for his cold stare and gaunt features, he was a cynic and a seeker who seemed to embody downtown Manhattan culture of the 1960s and '70s and was as essential a New York artist as Martin Scorsese or Woody Allen."



The tunnel, Seoul (PB)

The tunnel, Seoul, originally uploaded by BARBOSA BRIOSA.

City Hall Station, Seoul (PB)

City Hall Station, Seoul, originally uploaded by BARBOSA BRIOSA.


REFLEXÃO sobre Internet na NY Review of Books: "Are we puppets in a wired world?"


ISTO é uma pena, porque as Repúblicas são parte daquilo que faz única a boémia coimbrã. Se as Repúblicas desaparecerem (ou quase, o que é o mesmo), desaparece todo um modo de estudo.
"HOW I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity."
 William S. Burroughs


A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens. Excelente texto no Guardian.




KNOWING you might not make it... in that knowledge courage is born.”

― William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands



Platitudes and good deeds

REFLECTING on the recent fifth Legislative Assembly (AL) election, one can conclude that the winners were the candidates that maintained their political activities in the period in between elections.
The biggest of the winners, Chan Meng Kam (whose list won over 26,000 votes and elected three candidates), has an office open to residents’ concerns, as well as being a lawmaker. Coming from the Fujian community, he is said to have worked closely with Chinese President Xi Jinping. His interests range from casinos to universities and he is seen as a self made man and an entrepreneur, both respected things in Chinese culture.
Other candidates who obtained good results in the election have worked continuously within and beyond the associations where they get most of their electoral support. This is case with Ho Ion Sang’s (15,815 votes) activities in the General Union of the Neighborhood Associations (also known as “Kai Fong”) and with Pereira Coutinho’s (13,119 votes) work in the Macau Civil Servants Association (ATFPM). Mak Soi Kun (16,251 votes) is also an active lawmaker who was able to say things like this to his supporters without blushing: “I remember in the previous election, I had promised voters that I would fight for their benefits, and that we would not be afraid of upsetting the bigwigs. We have fulfilled that promise.”
Candidates who were politically absent during the last four years (like the well-intentioned Agnes Lam - 5,225 votes - and Paul Pun - 2,306 votes) found disappointing results. Agnes Lam could almost certainly have been elected if she hadn’t been “missing in action” between elections.
But not all of the most politically active candidates won. In this respect, the biggest loser was certainly Jason Chao (3,227 votes). The New Macau Association President is often involved in controversies (like when he was expelled from the AL during a protest against the electoral laws vote or when he was detained during the visit to Macau of the then Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Wu Bangguo). He also raised numerous sensitive issues (the most recent concerning Edmund Ho’s role in the gaming sub-concessions) and that’s why he gets (or at least got) a lot of coverage in the non-Chinese local media. Jason Chao’s electoral failure is not only political. The local electorate sees his position as too radical and he seems to have failed to convince even the youngest voters.
The debate during the campaign was poorly conducted. The political platforms are full of platitudes, such proposing to fight against vested interests, making government officials more accountable, a better healthcare system, improved public transport, the diversification of industry, a better education system and more effort put towards protecting the environment.
These are common goals in any society, but the candidates failed to explain how they intend to achieve them. It is difficult for them to produce a political program, since the posts for which they are running will not contribute to form the government that rules the region. The scope of their mandates is limited and, since there are no political parties, they can’t afford the expertise required to elaborate on a complex political program. But they could, at least, try to make an in depth analysis of some relevant issue (let’s say, housing) and present relevant proposals that could be voted upon in the AL. As the Times contributing editor Eric Sautedé puts it, seems that “you need to keep it extremely simple for the elections.”
Another notable thing about the election is the low voting turnout. In percentage terms, fewer people voted than in 2009. This demands reflection. I guess that people don’t care about voting it they feel that the election outcome is indifferent to them or, even worse, that it’s a mockery.
Adding to this impression, many candidates didn’t hesitate in distributing money and gifts to voters, giving the view (at least) that votes are bought and sold in Macau. When confronted with their actions, many of the candidates revealed a disregard for democracy. Let’s take, for example, Mak Soi Kun’s answer to a TDM forum on why he included gifts worth of 300 and 600MOP along with his photo during the election campaign: “We respect elderly people. Now we get comments on the good deeds we’ve done. Would it better of we hadn’t done it? People just see this as a problem. I’ve nothing to hide. After I got elected I went to distribute moon cakes as a way of paying respect to the elderly. My conscience is clear.”
(by PB, in MDT)



FILME intimista e bem feito com impressões sobre a vida de expatriado (neste caso, em Seoul, mas podia ser noutro lado qualquer)

Episode 1: "The Expat Life" from Semipermanent on Vimeo.


Em Macau: Em Lisboa:
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from BARBOSA BRIOSA. Make your own badge here.
Bookmark and Share