Is Brazil So Hot?

I had a somewhat mixed reaction to Camille LaPaglia’s latest column. While I reveled in her characterization of the Clintons:

Hillary for veep? Are you mad? What party nominee worth his salt would chain himself to a traveling circus like the Bill and Hillary Show? If the sulky bearded lady wasn’t biting the new president’s leg, the oafish carnival barker would be sending in the clowns to lure all the young ladies into back-of-the-tent sword-swallowing. It would be a seamy orgy of scheming and screwing. Hillary could never be content with second place. But neither could an alpha male like Obama. The vice-president should be an accomplished but subordinate personality. An Obama-Hillary ticket might tickle party regulars, but it would be a big fat minus in the general election. Republicans have shrewdly stockpiled a mammoth arsenal of past scandals to strafe Hillary with. Only a sentimental masochist would want to relive the tawdry 1990s.

which I certainly think hits the mark and I think her analysis of the role that identity politics played in the primary campaign:

In point of fact, Hillary’s sex helped her more than hurt her. What the media repeatedly claimed was her success in debate was predicated on her silencing of her male competitors, who were bullied into excess caution in dealing with a woman. Not one Democratic male dared attack or rebut her with the zest shown by all the Republican candidates jousting with each other. Hillary had to be coddled with elaborate deference — or the delicate little woman would squawk bloody murder (as she did when she petulantly complained about always being given the first debate question). All of this rubbish was resurrected last week in the thousand mawkish excuses found by the media and her crooning acolytes for “giving her time” to withdraw from the race. No man would have been treated in that overconcerned way — as a frail vessel of quivering emotion. Yet another blot on feminism, courtesy of Clinton, Inc.

should give us pause. However, I can’t find it in myself to share her enthusiasm for Brazilian pop singer Daniela Mercury:

Watching Daniela Mercury in action, I realized just how bored and disillusioned I have become by American popular entertainment over the past 15 years, when Madonna went corporate and lost her grip on the zeitgeist. All that passionate, improvisational, open-air vitality has been going on in Brazil while American music fans have been trapped like doped steers in the commercial stockyard of overpriced, overpackaged arena concerts, where performers trot out canned patter in between the computerized special-effects lighting. Low-budget “alternative” musicians are just as programmatic, with their rote political bromides or their dated affectations of urban irony.


Similarly, one can’t imagine Daniela, with her relaxed, fluid body language and sleek, golden silhouette, cultivating the grotesquely sinewy arms and sallow, claw-like hands that have to be minutely erased from workaholic Madonna’s magazine photos. Stressed-out, wired, over-conceptualized Anglo-American womanhood, currently on display in the hit film of “Sex and the City,” is causing cultural dyspepsia. Is it any wonder that so many interesting, talented young men are reluctant to marry or have turned gay in droves? Exactly what do young professional women have to offer these days, aside from hyper office talk over a business lunch?

The woman certainly has a way with words.

The reason I have a problem with this is that things are connected. Ms. Mercury’s performances may well be chock-full of glorious, natural vital womanliness (although on how natural it is I can’t really be sure—Brazil’s plastic surgery procedures per 100,000 exceeds our own).

Brazil banned “honor” as a grounds for a husband legally murdering his wife only in 1991 and the enforcement of the new law is still sporadic. That’s a situation that I can’t celebrate. It’s too high a price to pay for “passionate, improvisational, open-air vitality”.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment