November 27, 2008

a bit of patriotism

Traditionally Thanksgiving is primarily a North American holiday with religious origins, but lately people are emphasising another meaning: a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. Fair enough, as it is true. But listening to Morning Ireland on RTÈ 1 radio one of these thays, a priest was so excited on detaching religions from Thanksgiving that brought me attention.

Likewise in United States and their people, Europe and the rest of the world are getting more and more their heads on the consumption factor, stablishing a sort of dependency on that. Although this activity is adictive itself, in time of crisis as we are, every little helps, even a stimulus from a religion person - an authority! - to reassure non-christians and non-jews (including skeptics and atheists) that YES, THEY CAN SHOP AS WELL!!

Here in Ireland, on the Republican side, companies start to take advantage of the exchange rates between the British Poud and the Euro. As it's becoming cheaper to buy across the border, they are offering shopping-day packages to the north! And the government of the Republic pays in the radio for a propaganda saying something like "don't go to the north for you Christmas shopping. The money you expend there goes to their taxation system, not to ours." This is the point, ministers, the taxation here is so high that shops can't be competitive enough to beat the delas of the north. Furthermore, people are not (yet) doing theis Christmas shopping... they are doing their regular shopping; grosseries, clothes, housewear...

The message couldn't be more clear:

On this Thanksgiving, show your country how patriotic you are: SHOP! SHOP! SHOP!

November 26, 2008

Brazilian Media

Comments on an article published in The Economist.

Media and Power are tightly together since ever. The beginning of human communication through artificial channels taught to the first Hominidae the ability to control the environment around them - including the behavior of other people - throught what they manifested. Historically speaking, the use of power need not involve coercion (force or the threat of force). In a nicer word, "influence". The militaries learned well this, and they largely used it.

Nowadays, the internet is arguably one of the most effective tools in media for communication today, and supposedly more democratic. It has brought people closer together and created new online communities, mo matter race, color or creed. However, this popularisation also created a invasion of amateurs to the real world - a doubtful source of supposed information.

In a large consumer-driven society, electronic media and printed media is just another product, and as such, they have to make their propaganda. Once they went this way, they can't step back anymore, as the predators will want more and more, and only news are not always so interesting or entertainment as they wish.

November 19, 2008


Listening to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta this morning I felt proud of myself, being able to understand, even few and disconnected words, to a native Gaelic speaker speaking Irish!

Learn a new language is always hard to newbies, but when it comes to Irish, even for the Irish people who have some Irish from their childhood is also a tough task! Even more when considering the different speaking areas!

In the past, you could walk easily from Corcaigh to Dhún na nGall, passing through Luimneach and Gaillimh, even in Baile Átha Cliath, speaking Irish and you would understand everybody and be understood by everybody. But with the new English comers, English language started to be mandatory, and Irish speakers started to fade down. Only after The Irish Free State treatment of 1922 a modern Irish language revival has had great success in important areas as education, government and the media.

The word Foreigner is described in dictionaries as 1) One who is from a foreign country or place, 2) One who is from outside a particular group or community; an outsider. In Thesaurus we find 1) A person who comes from a foreign country; someone who does not owe allegiance to your country and 2) Someone who is excluded from or is not a member of a group.

As a foreigner , I think I'm doing well... very well...

Slán... Agus Rathúil!