domingo, 26 de março de 2017

Beauty and the Beast

“Beauty and the Beast” 
is a pretty film 
disguising the ugly beast of misogyny

The actress Emma Watson has made a point of portraying her latest movie, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as feminist film.
Watson told Vanity Fair that she worked with Disney to update her character for the live-action version of its 1991 cartoon: In this latest version, Belle wears more practical clothing, is an inventor in her own right (rather than her father’s assistant), and often asserts her love of reading. Watson even asked renowned feminist writer Gloria Steinem to watch the film and make sure it aligned with feminist principles.

But let’s be clear: 
Beauty and the Beast is not a feminist movie. 
These nods to feminism mean diddlysquat for gender equality.
I don’t care that the protagonist is a woman, nor that she’s played by one of Hollywood’s leading feminists.

The feminist veneer aligns with Watson’s ideology, but it also has the handy benefit of harnessing the growing marketing appeal of gender equality. And lo, there are dozens of headlines connecting Beauty and the Beast with feminism, each doing remarkable twists to excuse the inexcusable fact that sweet, beautiful Belle is being held captive by an immoral beast—and shows clear signs of Stockholm Syndrome by falling in love with him.

The original fairytale is ultimately the story of a kidnapping—one that hinges on the importance of physical looks. That alone disqualifies the film from being truly feminist. There are more sexist movies out there, to be sure.

But what makes Beauty and the Beast particularly egregious is the insincere and flimsy “feminist” dressing it comes in: Belle wears riding boots and invents a washing machine. Ergo, she’s presented as an “activist.”
Such additions aren’t real feminism, but rather a clever disguise, and one that will allow moviemakers to continue churning out under-developed female characters and sexist storylines for as long as we let them.

This isn’t the first time Beauty and the Beast has been presented as feminist. (Even though the original story portrays not only an ugly beast but also a stupid one, whom Belle ultimately agrees to stay with out of gratitude for the imprisonment hospitality.)
In 1991, Linda Woolverton, who wrote the animated film, made a point of creating a character more well-rounded than the typical damsel in distress. That’s how Belle came to enjoy reading in the first place. But that change didn’t make the story feminist then, and it certainly doesn’t now.

I don’t doubt the good intentions of those who’ve tried to thrust Belle toward feminism, but I do know that the result is just the re-packaged tale of yet another beautiful woman’s docility. It remains a troubling story about the need for women to submit to their assigned husbands, twisted into a romance to make it seem palatable.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a symptom of Hollywood’s very real problem with women. 
In 2016, just 29% of protagonists and 7% of directors were women.
While men are allowed to be flawed heroes, or even antiheroes, women are generally afforded no such depth or nuance. Portrayals of women on screen are still so limited that female characters who do behave “badly,” like those in HBO’s Girls, are criticized for their immoral behavior rather than appreciated for their depiction of humanity.

Hollywood knows it has a sexism problem, and a wave of marketing has sought to highlight examples of strong woman characters among its offerings. But presenting any film with a female protagonist as feminist—regardless of the plot or nature of the character—reeks of using feminism as a mere selling point.
And the implications are dangerous.

Just as Ivanka Trump’s half-hearted feminism serves as a shield for her father’s misogynistic policies, dressing sexist movies in feminist clothing only allows Hollywood to further indulge in its unhealthy portrayals of women.

If we want real gender equality, let’s demand complex female characters and stories, not simply updated versions of sexist tropes. After all, misogyny has always had the remarkable ability to adapt across political ideologies, countries, and centuries, by changing its face while retaining its key sexist principles. 
It’s a tale as old as time.

Olivia Goldhill

Time is distance in space

Since time is distance in space, time is memory on the structure of space.
Without memory, there is no time.
Without time, there is no memory.
It then follows that the energy that we perceive as the material world must be information, or energy on the structure of space.
– Nassim Haramein

Mostra-me o quanto te amei antes de te conhecer

o tempo, subitamente solto pelas ruas e pelos dias,
como a onda de uma tempestade a arrastar o mundo,
mostra-me o quanto te amei antes de te conhecer.
eram os teus olhos, labirintos de água, terra, fogo, ar,
que eu amava quando imaginava que amava. era a tua
a tua voz que dizia as palavras da vida. era o teu rosto.
era a tua pele. antes de te conhecer, existias nas árvores
e nos montes e nas nuvens que olhava ao fim da tarde.
muito longe de mim, dentro de mim, eras tu a claridade.

José Luís Peixoto
in, A Criança em Ruínas

Conscious consumerism is a lie

Bella  Kotak

Conscious consumerism is a lie. 
Here’s a better way to help save the world

As a sustainable lifestyle blogger, my job is to make conscious consumerism look good.
Over the course of four years Instagramming eco-friendly outfits, testing non-toxic nail polish brands, and writing sustainable city guides, I became a proponent of having it all—fashion, fun, travel, beauty—while still being eco-friendly. So when I was invited to speak on a panel in front of the UN Youth Delegation, the expectation was that I’d dispense wisdom to bright young students about how their personal purchasing choices can help save the world.
I stood behind the dais in a secondhand blouse, recycled polyester tights, and a locally made pencil skirt, took a deep breath, and began to speak.

“Conscious consumerism is a lie. Small steps taken by thoughtful consumers—to recycle, to eat locally, to buy a blouse made of organic cotton instead of polyester—will not change the world.”

The audience looked back at me, blinking and silent.
This was not what they expected.

Where we got it all wrong

According to the lore of conscious consumerism, every purchase you make is a “moral act”—an opportunity to “vote with your dollar” for the world you want to see. We are told that if we don’t like what a company is doing, we should stop buying their products and force them to change. We believe that if we give consumers transparency and information, they’ll make the right choice. But sadly, this is not the way capitalism is set up to work.

Making series of small, ethical purchasing decisions while ignoring the structural incentives for companies’ unsustainable business models won’t change the world as quickly as we want.
It just makes us feel better about ourselves. 

Case in point: A 2012 study compared footprints of “green” consumers who try to make eco-friendly choices to the footprints of regular consumers. And they found no meaningful difference between the two.

The problem is that even though we want to make the right choices, it’s often too little, too late. 
For example, friends are always asking me where to take their old clothes so that they are either effectively recycled or make it into the hands of people who need them.
My answer? It doesn’t matter where you take them: 
It will always end up in the exact same overloaded waste stream, which may or may not eventually dump it in Haiti.
This isn’t your fault for trying to do the right thing:
It’s the fault of the relentless trend cycle of fast fashion, which is flooding the secondhand market with a glut of clothes that Americans don’t want at any price.

There’s also the issue of privilege. 
The sustainability movement has been charged with being elitist—and it most certainly is.
You need a fair amount of disposable income to afford ethical and sustainable consumption options, the leisure time to research the purchasing decisions you make, the luxury to turn up your nose at 95% of what you’re offered, and, arguably, a post-graduate degree in chemistry to understand the true meaning behind ingredient labels.

Choosing fashion made from hemp, grilling the waiter about how your fish was caught, and researching whether your city can recycle bottle caps might make you feel good, reward a few social entrepreneurs, and perhaps protect you from charges of hypocrisy.
But it’s no substitute for systematic change.

Environmentalism, brought to you by Multinational, Inc.

I came to this conclusion myself through years of personal research, but other academics have devoted their lives to uncovering the fallacy of conscious consumption.
One of those sustainability experts is professor Halina Szejnwald Brown, professor of environmental science and policy at Clark University. She recently authored a report for the United Nations Environmental Programme, “Fostering and Communicating Sustainable Lifestyles: Principles and Emerging Practices.”
We met sharing the stage at the UN Youth Delegation, where her presentation backed up my suspicions with research and data.

In short, consumption is the backbone of the American economy—which means individual conscious consumerism is basically bound to fail. “70% of GDP in the US is based on household consumption. So all the systems, the market, the institutions, everything is calibrated to maximize consumption,” Brown told me in a later interview.
“The whole marketing industry and advertising invents new needs we didn’t know we had.”

Take plastic water bottles, for example. 
Plastic, as most of us now know, is made from petroleum that takes hundreds of years—or maybe even a thousand—to biodegrade (scarily, we’re not really sure yet). Shipping bottled water from Fiji to New York City is also an emission-heavy process. And yet, despite the indisputable facts and the consistent campaigning by nonprofits, journalists, and activists to urge consumers to carry reusable water bottles, bottled water consumption has continued to rise—even though it costs up to 2,000 times more than tap water.

So why do we continue to buy 1.7 billion half-liter bottles, or five bottles for every person, every single week? 
Because market capitalism makes it incredibly difficult to make truly helpful sustainable choices.

The majority of our food and consumer products come wrapped in plastics that aren’t recyclable. Food that is free of pesticides is more expensive.
We’re working ever-longer hours, which leaves little time for sitting down to home-cooked meals, much less sewing, mending, and fixing our possessions. Most of those clothes have been designed in the first place to be obsolete after a year or two, just so that you’ll buy more. And only 2% of that clothing is made in the US—and when it is, it’s 20% more expensive.
Palm oil, an ingredient that is the world’s leading cause of rainforest destruction and carbon emissions, is in half of our packaged food products, hidden behind dozens of different names.

These are just a few examples of how the government and businesses collude to nudge you into blindly destroying the environment on a regular basis, whether you choose to buy organic milk or not.

Then there are the social impediments to making sustainable decisions.
“We as humans are highly social beings. We measure our progress in life in relation to others,” Brown says. “The result is that it is very difficult to do something different from what everybody else is doing.”

In order to shun consumer culture, we have to shun social mores. 
You can dig through dumpsters for perfectly edible food that restaurants and grocery stores have tossed out.
You can absolutely return every holiday or birthday gift that doesn’t adhere to your high standards.
And you can demand that your friends and family serve only raw, vegan, organic food at social gatherings, and go on hunger strike when they don’t.
But to do so would mean becoming an insufferable human being. 
Society is weighted against us, too.

How to actually make decisions that help the environment

So what’s the answer? 
I’m not saying that we should all give up, or that we should stop making the small positive decisions we make every day as responsible humans. And if you’re choosing the greener product for health reasons, by all means, do what feels right.
But when it comes to combating climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, what we need to do is take the money, time, and effort we spend making these ultimately inconsequential choices and put it toward something that really matters.

Beyond making big lifestyle decisions such as choosing to live in a dense urban area with public transportation, cutting red meat out of your diet, and having fewer children (or none at all), there are diminishing returns to the energy you put into avoiding plastic or making sure your old AAs end up in the appropriate receptacle. 

Globally, we’re projected to spend $9.32 billion in 2017 on green cleaning products.
If we had directed even a third of that pot of money (the typical markup on green cleaning products) toward lobbying our governments to ban the toxic chemicals we’re so afraid of, we might have made a lot more progress by now.
“It’s a gesture,” Brown says of fretting over these small decisions. “Well-meaning signals that you care about the environment. But the action itself makes no difference.“

We pat ourselves on the back for making decisions that hush our social guilt instead of placing that same effort in actions that enact real environmental change. But there are small switches in our mentality we can take to make a difference. 
A few suggestions:

  • Instead of buying expensive organic sheets, donate that money to organizations that are fighting to keep agricultural runoff out of our rivers.
  • Instead of driving to an organic apple orchard to pick your own fruit, use that time to volunteer for an organization that combats food deserts (and skip the fuel emissions, too).
  • Instead of buying a $200 air purifier, donate to politicians who support policies that keep our air and water clean.
  • Instead of signing a petition demanding that Subway remove one obscure chemical from its sandwich bread, call your local representatives to demand they overhaul the approval process for the estimated 80,000 untested chemicals in our products.
  • Instead of taking yourself out to dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant, you could take an interest in the Farm Bill and how it incentivizes unhealthy eating.

On its face, conscious consumerism is a morally righteous, bold movement. But it’s actually taking away our power as citizens. It drains our bank accounts and our political will, diverts our attention away from the true powerbrokers, and focuses our energy instead on petty corporate scandals and fights over the moral superiority of vegans.

So if you really care about the environment, climb on out of your upcycled wooden chair and get yourself to a town hall meeting. If there’s one silver lining to the environmental crisis facing us, it’s that we now understand exactly the kind of work we need to do to save the planet—and it doesn’t involve a credit card.

Alden Wicker

sábado, 25 de março de 2017

De Chaves a Faro pelos 737 Km da antiga e mitica Estrada Nacional nº 2

De Chaves a Faro pelos 737 Km da antiga e mitica Estrada Nacional nº 2 

A estrada Nacional 2 pode-se considerar o equivalente Português da Route 66 nos EUA, mas à escala de Portugal dadas as nossas reduzidas dimensões, não temos o Middle West, mas este pode ser substituído por Trás-os-Montes em que as pontes não atravessam o Mississipi mas sim rios como o Douro e o seu vale, património da humanidade, e em que os motéis de estrada característicos da Route 66, dão lugar a uma qualquer casa de pasto com dormidas no 1º andar.

Mas é no capitulo gastronómico que a nossa EN-2 ganha, pois os hambúrgueres e os hot dogs da Route 66 dão lugar aqui à mais rica gastronomia do interior do nosso país desde Trás os Montes ao Algarve passando pelas Beiras e Alentejo.

A Estrada Nacional nº 2 atravessa Portugal de cima abaixo como uma verdadeira espinha dorsal que o foi, tem o seu início no Km 0 em Chaves bem lá no norte do país junto a Espanha, e termina no Km 737 na cidade Faro junto ao oceano Atlântico, depois de ter serpenteado por montes e vales perdidos do interior do país esquecido pelo progresso e pelas auto estradas ou itinerários principais.

A estrada Nacional nº 2 marcou uma época e fez parte da história dessa época tem por isso muitas histórias por contar.

O Convento da Sertã Hotel elaborou um vídeo sobre a N2, que vai surpreendê-lo!

Não perca, ao segundo 46, o que o mocho-galego da nossa região vai fazer para lhe despertar a atenção!

A vila da Sertã é atravessada pela mítica estrada N2, que passa por quatro regiões de turismo e 34 municípios, ligando ao longo de 738 kms as cidades de Chaves e Faro. 

Descubra a riqueza paisagística, gastronómica e histórica de um país que se esconde a cada curva e que está, neste momento, a ser amplamente divulgada como rota turística, no conceituado roteiro do jornalista António Mendes Nunes, onde sobressai o nosso hotel e restaurantes.

Agradecimentos: Vídeos: Cortesia Revista AutoHoje e ZêzereTrek
Edição: Pedro Mateus e Eunice Barreto

Herdade da Apostiça | TrailOut


A mulher não é só casa
mulher-loiça, mulher-cama
ela é também mulher-asa,
mulher-força, mulher-chama

E é preciso dizer
dessa antiga condição
a mulher soube trazer
a cabeça e o coração

Trouxe a fábrica ao seu lar
e ordenado à cozinha
e impôs a trabalhar
a razão que sempre tinha

Trabalho não só de parto
mas também de construção
para um filho crescer farto
para um filho crescer são

A posse vai-se acabar
no tempo da liberdade
o que importa é saber estar
juntos em pé de igualdade

Desde que as coisas se tornem
naquilo que a gente quer
é igual dizer meu homem
ou dizer minha mulher


Como é que se esquece alguém que se ama

Como é que se esquece alguém que se ama? 
Como é que se esquece alguém que nos faz falta e que nos custa mais lembrar que viver? 
Quando alguém se vai embora de repente como é que se faz para ficar? 
Quando alguém morre, quando alguém se separa - como é que se faz quando a pessoa de quem se precisa já lá não está? 

As pessoas têm de morrer; os amores de acabar.
As pessoas têm de partir, os sítios têm de ficar longe uns dos outros, os tempos têm de mudar.
Sim, mas como se faz? Como se esquece? Devagar. 
É preciso esquecer devagar.
Se uma pessoa tenta esquecer-se de repente, a outra pode ficar-lhe para sempre. Podem pôr-se processos e acções de despejo a quem se tem no coração, fazer os maiores escarcéus, entrar nas maiores peixeiradas, mas não se podem despejar de repente. Elas não saem de lá. Estúpidas! É preciso aguentar. Já ninguém está para isso, mas é preciso aguentar.

A primeira parte de qualquer cura é aceitar-se que se está doente. É preciso paciência. O pior é que vivemos tempos imediatos em que já ninguém aguenta nada. Ninguém aguenta a dor. De cabeça ou do coração. Ninguém aguenta estar triste. Ninguém aguenta estar sozinho. Tomam-se conselhos e comprimidos. Procuram-se escapes e alternativas. Mas a tristeza só há-de passar entristecendo-se. Não se pode esquecer alguem antes de terminar de lembrá-lo. Quem procura evitar o luto, prolonga-o no tempo e desonra-o na alma. A saudade é uma dor que pode passar depois de devidamente doída, devidamente honrada. É uma dor que é preciso aceitar, primeiro, aceitar. 

É preciso aceitar esta mágoa, esta moinha, que nos despedaça o coração e que nos mói mesmo e que nos dá cabo do juízo.

É preciso aceitar o amor e a morte, a separação e a tristeza, a falta de lógica, a falta de justiça, a falta de solução. Quantos problemas do mundo seriam menos pesados se tivessem apenas o peso que têm em si , isto é, se os livrássemos da carga que lhes damos, aceitando que não têm solução. 

Não adianta fugir com o rabo à seringa. Muitas vezes nem há seringa. Nem injecção. Nem remédio. Nem conhecimento certo da doença de que se padece. Muitas vezes só existe a agulha.

Dizem-nos, para esquecer, para ocupar a cabeça, para trabalhar mais, para distrair a vista, para nos divertirmos mais, mas quanto mais conseguimos fugir, mais temos mais tarde de enfrentar. Fica tudo à nossa espera. Acumula-se-nos tudo na alma, fica tudo desarrumado. 

O esquecimento não tem arte.
Os momentos de esquecimento, conseguidos com grande custo, com comprimidos e amigos e livros e copos, pagam-se depois em condoídas lembranças a dobrar.
Para esquecer é preciso deixar correr o coração, de lembrança em lembrança, na esperança de ele se cansar. 

Miguel Esteves Cardoso 
in, "Último Volume"

Every point is the center

In an infinite fractal of rotation, how do you define the center? 
Every point is the center. 
You are the center of the universe observing the universe from your very own center. 

Wherever you pick a point of observation in the fractal, that point becomes the center from which you're observing the universe.
That point becomes stillness. 

Why stillness?
Because in that point now, all the spins of the universe cancel out.… 
You need stillness to have a frame of reference for rotation… 

And that's how singularity occurs.
Singularity is the point at the center of your experience of the universe, that is the point of stillness from which you're observing the universe.

 – Nassim Haramein

sexta-feira, 24 de março de 2017

.............................. livre mas triste

Sinto-me livre mas triste. 
Vou livre para onde vou, 
Mas onde vou nada existe.
Creio contudo que a vida 
Devidamente entendida ...
É toda assim, toda assim. 
Por isso passo por mim 
Como por coisa esquecida.

| Fernando Pessoa |