Youth wings get on my nerves. They really do. I see them as kindergartens of corruption, breweries of mass stupidity, things that could actually be cool but have gone sour with time. Don’t get me wrong: I fully sustain that young people should get involved in politics. However, don’t shit me: youth wings are not the way to become a politically engaged, fully informed citizen. They are the cancer of society and the root of a set of structural problems that bug more than crabs.
We all played make-believe when we were kids. Either playing ‘doctor’ or ‘house’, we spent our time enjoying a little role-play. Nowadays, this common childish activity has taken a turn and is now made into a business.
KidZania is a theme park built to scale for children, where kids are trained to be small entrepreneurs, little business people, ‘mommy’s capitalist’. In this play city, kids from four to twelve can choose whatever trade they prefer, having to perform that role during the time they’re playing make believe. There is a city flag, its own currency, a registry for nationality and a passport is given, celebrating “the day kids became independent as adults”. They celebrate bank holidays and hold a congress, where kids gather to make decisions concerning the city. The management describes their activities as based on the concept of ‘edutainment’, seeking to teach children values and rules of citizenship and helping them live a healthier societal life.
There’s music that gives you emotional rides. Most of the times, it’s because it can be related to a particular period of your life, or because the rhythm suits your usual mood, or just because the song sounds awesome. There are, however, some songs that are indissociable from your culture. Those are the ones that fuck you up – in the good sense – the most: they prove that you can relate to people with whom you share geographical but not personal space with; they bring out a common feeling among people from the same place.
In Portugal, specifically, we call that type of music Fado. Despite there being a lot of Portuguese people who don’t enjoy it particularly (
sons of bitches with not an inch of musical taste in their miserable bodies), Fado usually brings out the Niagara Falls in the eyes of most Portuguese.
Fado literally means “fate”, and this music genre roots its concept on melancholy, mournfulness and a culturally bound sentiment of resignation. The songs generally narrate scenes of day-to-day life through a powerful voice that trembles in the singing and a guitar to mark the pace.
Capitalism is a subject that stirs feelings. As much as it moves money, it moves emotions: thousands of people gather in the streets to criticize it, while not-so-many-thousands (figuratively) pray in appreciation of the profit they make out of this system. However – and more than hate or an acute thankful sensation -, capitalism brings out beautiful romances.
Over thirty years ago, one of the most emblematic romances of our time was born: Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were protagonists of an ideological union based on politics and economy that changed the world. Sharing distrust on communism and highly possibly a plate of pasta (much like the scene in The Lady and The Tramp), they led in the direction of privatization and a firm affirmation of the West. While some of us were left to mild foreplay like whips and kisses, Thatcher and Reagan were playing world domination.