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The Piauí Herald!

 

http://revistapiaui.estadao.com.br/blogs/herald

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Por uma direita festiva

 

Texto do Pondé dessa semana

Ser jovem e liberal é péssimo para pegar mulher. Este é o desafio maior para jovens que não são de esquerda.

Um dos maiores desafios dos jovens que não são de esquerda não é a falta de acesso a bibliografia que seus professores boicotam (o que é verdade), nem a falta de empregos quando formados porque as escolas os boicotam (o que também é verdade), mas sim a falta de mulheres jovens, estudantes, que simpatizem com a posição liberal (como se fala no Brasil) ou de direita (quase um xingamento).

Os cursos em que você encontra jovens liberais (economia, administração de empresas, engenharia e afins) têm muito poucas mulheres e as que têm não têm muito interesse em papo cabeça e política. O celeiro de meninas que curtem papo cabeça e política são cursos como psicologia, letras, ciências sociais, pedagogia e afins, todos de esquerda.

E aí se recoloca o problema: quando liberais se reúnem há uma forte escassez de mulheres, o que é sempre um drama. E quando junta muito homem falando papo cabeça sem mulher por perto, todos ficam com cara de Sheldon. Sem mulheres, tudo fica chato em algum momento. Como resolver um problema sério como esse?

Vou repetir, porque eu sei que questões altamente filosóficas são difíceis de se entender: o maior desafio para um jovem estudante liberal no Brasil é pegar mulher (no meio universitário e afins), sendo liberal. Claro, charme pessoal, simpatia, inteligência, grana, repertório cultural, sempre são fatores importantes, mas a esquerda tem um ponto a favor dela que é indiscutível: se você é de esquerda, pegar mulher é a coisa mais fácil do mundo. Qual o segredo da esquerda? É ser festiva.

Outro dia, conversando com um amigo e colega que é bastante conhecido (por isso vou preservar sua privacidade), chegamos à conclusão de que a direita (liberal, claro, não estou falando de gente que gosta de tortura, tá?) precisa desesperadamente encontrar sua face festiva.

A esquerda festiva (que é quase toda ela) reproduziu porque teve muitas mulheres à mão. Imagine papos como: “Meu amor, se liberte da opressão sobre o corpo da mulher!”. Agora, imagine que você esteja num diretório de ciências sociais no final da noite ou num apê sem pai nem mãe (dela) por perto. Um pouco de vinho barato, quem sabe, um baseado? Um som legal, uma foto grande do Che (aquele assassino chique) na parede.

Ou imagine você dizendo para uma menina bonitinha algo assim: “O capital mata crianças de fome na África!”. Mesmo sendo ela uma jovem endurecida pela batalha contra a opressão da mulher (por isso tenta desesperadamente ser feia), seu coração jorrará ternura.

Imagine a energia de uma manifestação! Braços dados ou não, mas caminhando e cantando. Imagine a fuga, correndo juntos da polícia. Os corações batendo juntos!

E claro, imagine vocês no bar da faculdade (matando a aula, porque quem assiste aula não pega mulher): muita cerveja, muitas juras de revolta contra as injustiças sociais, muitas citações de Marx e Foucault.

Ou, mais sofisticado ainda: um festival de documentários em Cuba! Meu Deus, pode haver paraíso melhor para se conhecer meninas “donas do seu corpo”?

Desde as primeiras populações na pré-história sabe-se que sem álcool e conversa (por isso aprendemos a falar, do contrário só as meninas falariam) a humanidade teria desaparecido porque mais da metade das meninas não iam querer transar –principalmente quando descobriram a dor do parto.

O canal para uma direita festiva é: fale de liberdade, do sofrimento humano, de corpo, discuta documentários, diga que a vida não tem sentido, mas que a beleza existe, não se vista como o Sheldon, viaje para a Islândia, e (pelo amor de Deus!) não fale de economia. As meninas destetam economia, essa “ciência triste”, porque atrapalha a alegria da vida.

Ou rezem para o Brasil virar a Venezuela e aí os meninos liberais vão pegar todas.

Eu sei: vão dizer que estou afirmando que discutimos papo cabeça para pegar mulher, mas, lamento, é isso mesmo que estou dizendo, pelo menos em parte. Acordei hoje numa “vibe” darwinista. Sorry.

Esse Veríssimo é simplesmente genial

Eu tomo um remédio para controlar a pressão. Cada dia que vou comprar o dito cujo, o preço aumenta.

Controlar a pressão é mole. Quero ver é controlar o preção. Tô sofrendo de preção alto.

 

O médico mandou cortar o sal. Comecei cortando o médico, já que a consulta era salgada demais.

Para piorar, acho que tô ficando meio esquizofrênico. Sério! Não sei mais o que é real.

Principalmente, quando abro a carteira ou pego extrato no banco. Não tem mais um Real.

 

Sem falar na minha esclerose precoce. Comecei a esquecer as coisas:

Sabe aquele carro? Esquece!

Aquela viagem? Esquece!

Tudo o que o presidente prometeu? Esquece!

 

Podem dizer que sou hipocondríaco, mas acho que tô igual ao meu time: – nas últimas.

Bem, e o que dizer do carioca? Já nem liga mais pra bala perdida…Entra por um ouvido e sai pelo outro.

 

Faz diferença…A diferença entre o Brasil e a República Checa é que a República Checa tem o governo em Praga e o Brasil tem essa praga no governo”
” Não tem nada pior do que ser hipocondríaco num país que não tem remédio” …
Luiz Fernando Veríssimo

Tomara que seu chefe não tenha visto

The best excuses for missing work

In true Hollywood movie style, Ferris Bueller went to great lengths to schedule his own day off. But do you have the guile and skills to take a duvet day without getting caught?

Pulling a sickie, taking a mental health day or just finagling a day away from your desk has become quite an art form for some ingenious employees.We went to question and answer site Quora to find some of the best excuses for taking a day off work. Don’t get any ideas — your boss might be reading this, too.

Moniker mix-up

Caroline Zelonka cleverly manoeuvred her way out of an all-day departmental ‘symposium’ that started at 8am on a Saturday.

“Naturally, I did not want to go, but attendance was mandatory. Come Saturday morning, I REALLY didn’t want to go because I had stayed out very late on Friday drinking and carousing,” she wrote. “Then I thought of it: the magical excuse. There are two similarly-named hotels in downtown San Francisco: the Sir Francis Drake and the St Francis. And my boss, who wasn’t exactly detail-oriented, had mixed them up a few times when talking about the event. “

Zelonka hatched her plan. “I went back to sleep and then on Monday, I claimed (very earnestly) I had shown up at the St Francis, asked around, and no one there had heard of any room or area reserved for my company. They totally bought it!”

Get squeamish

Clever Jennifer Miller has a few more tricks up her sleeve. She wrote “I always say food poisoning. It’s something that’s typically gone in 24 hours and doesn’t warrant you getting a doctor’s note. For male bosses just mention ‘ovary’ or ‘uterus’ and you are pretty much given a pass.”

Robby Ballard suggested the best excuse for a planned absence, say, one you know you want to take a week or two ahead but can’t get approval for a day off,  “is by claiming a colonoscopy” appointment.

Mother Nature’s manifest

Julie Hume opted for a more exotic tale of woe and wrote that her favourite all-time excuse was “..the typhoon broke all the windows and I need to get them repaired.”

 

 Don’t dishonour the non-dead

An anonymous contributor added: “feigning a death in the family is probably a bad idea.” You “can only use it so many times before you run out of ‘family members’. It is a lot easier to pretend to be sick than to pretend to be saddened by a death in the family,” the contributor wrote. What’s more, “obituaries are almost always posted online now. If your boss does his research he can easily catch on.”

Honest excuse

Some Quora readers advocate honesty as the best policy. Marie Stein suggested people “skip the excuses”. She wrote: “If you feel the need to lie about it, just don’t.  Just say you need a day or took a day for personal reasons. (Even if it’s for an interview or a mental health day).”

“Let someone know, as soon as you know you will be a no-show. ‘Something came up, it’s personal, I’m sorry, I can’t really talk about it. I should be back tomorrow.’,” she suggested.  “And express your apologies… to the person or persons who are most inconvenienced by your failure to show.”

Mais uma provocação do Pondé

 

Uma ninfo no trabalho

O que você faria, minha cara leitora, caso tivesse uma amiga ninfo por perto ou uma colega ninfo no trabalho? Diria que considerar uma mulher ninfomaníaca é opressão patriarcal e deixaria ela viajar com seu marido?

O filme “Ninfomaníaca”, volumes 1 e 2, de Lars von Trier, parece dizer que o cineasta dinamarquês decidiu por encerrar seu percurso melancólico com um enquadramento mais psicológico.

No “Anticristo” e em “Melancolia”, o universo dramático girava tanto em torno do mundo psicológico (claramente desqualificado no “Anticristo”, materializado no marido psicólogo bobo), quanto do teológico e cosmológico.

Do jardim do Éden no “Anticristo” a um planeta chamado Melancolia (no filme que recebe seu nome) em rota de colisão com a Terra, o cineasta dava objetividade (teológica e cosmológica) ao que poderia ser compreendido como “apenas” um estado subjetivo.

Em “Ninfomaníaca”, esta vastidão parece se reduzir ao drama de Joe e sua infância traumática (pai amoroso e fraco, mãe “cold bitch”), objeto para uma “simples” sessão de terapia. Mas, não nos enganemos, a devastação que a compulsão de Joe causa vai muito além das “manias” de uma paciente tarada. O espectro social de sua condição levanta inúmeros temas que avançam e definem, por exemplo, diferenças entre Lars von Trier e Marquês de Sade, seu “parceiro” em termos de concepção cosmológica de mundo nos dois filmes anteriores.

Em Sade a natureza é cruel e nos cria para nos devorar, nos fazer sofrer, e goza em nos matar (relembrando conteúdos gnósticos e maniqueus do velho cristianismo nascente nos primeiros séculos de nossa era, com exceção da sacanagem por que esses cristãos estranhos eram um purinhos).

Lars von Trier se afasta do Sade político (a perversão em Sade é “republicana”) e dessa chatice de dizer que sexo é política porque a repressão sexual seria política. Sade idealiza o sexo como libertação e, como ele, toda a baboseira da revolução sexual posterior. Von Trier não idealiza o sexo e vê a perversão como tédio da repetição. Ele já se afastara da política quando sua heroína no “Anticristo” abandona sua tese de doutorado em que defendia a hipótese de que bruxas más eram mulheres reprimidas pelo patriarcalismo. Para ela, que sabe que preferiu gozar a salvar o filho (pecado quase repetido por Joe), a crueldade está nela como em toda a mãe natureza.

Em “Ninfomaníaca” ele volta a tirar sarro de quem acha (como o confessor-virgem-traidor para quem Joe conta sua história) que Joe seja uma vítima social de repressão patriarcal. Nossa heroína até tenta se esconder atrás disso para se safar da baixaria que era sua terapia em grupo, mas não cola nem por dois minutos. Em Joe a perversão não é revolucionária nem republicana.

Von Trier se aproxima mais da crítica que faz Kierkegaard, dinamarquês como ele, do “estágio estético” da vida, aquele pautado pela busca da sensação como sentido para vida. A vida para o gozo do corpo define nossa existência contemporânea marcada pelo tédio do desejo. Joe é nossa profetisa.

E aqui voltamos à pergunta que fiz acima: que tal uma amiga ninfo perto de seu marido ou namorado?

Joe tem problemas no trabalho porque quer dar para todos os homens. Para homens incapazes, uma ninfo é uma bênção do céus. Sua chefe a intima a fazer terapia, ela vai para salvar sua carreira, mas não dá muito certo. E aí chegamos a um dos tópicos mais interessantes da sociologia do sexo que faz o cineasta.

Uma ninfo que não respeita a regra básica de não seduzir todos os homens a sua volta torna a vida insuportável; portanto, a liberdade sexual pura e simples (sem entrar na questão do sofrimento psicológico dela, que é óbvio) é inviável. Só gente semiletrada podia pensar, como se pensou um dia, que o sexo livre nos liberta. A proibição do sexo livre, inclusive, evita torná-lo entediante, como é para Joe.

A sociedade é baseada em você crer que a colega de trabalho não vai dar pra todo mundo na empresa, mesmo que você seja uma inteligentinha gostosa contra a repressão do sexo. A sociedade do desejo é um engodo.

Se funcionar, é a revolução dos últimos dois séculos!

The Orgasmatron: Strange tale of a pleasure implant

This month, news outlets worldwide issued breathless reports of a wondrous implant that causes orgasms at the touch of a button. The Orgasmatron, patented by Dr Stuart Meloy, is a small box wired to the spine that can send out waves of pleasure signals whenever the user desires. Dig a little deeper though, and it turns out this technology has a strange and fascinating backstory.

“You’re about the sixth or seventh reporter to call, and I’m wondering what is going on,” a perplexed Meloy told me. His confusion is justifiable. Recent news reports about the device are based exclusively on a 13-year-old story in New Scientist magazine which recently appeared on web powerhouse Reddit, a user-curated repository of interesting things. In the long interim, Meloy has been trying to attract interest and funding for his device, without success.

Meloy is a physician and co-founder of Advanced Interventional Pain Management, a clinic that treats patients suffering from chronic pain. Through this centre, he began working with electronic implants. Attached to nerves in the spine, these devices send out continuous, low pulses to dull chronic pain. But following an operation to install an implant, one patient reported an unusual but not undesirable side effect: the device emitted intensely pleasurable sensations. Meloy realised that he had a powerful technology in his hands, one that he thought might be used to treat men and women suffering sexual dysfunction.

 

The Orgasmatron device (Stuart Meloy)

 

That was over a decade ago, and while Meloy has enjoyed a successful career as a physician, progress on the Orgasmatron has stalled. One stumbling block is the generators used, which cost around $25,000. Meloy is confident that an Orgasmatron could get by on a much smaller power source, sufficient for about an hour’s use per day. “Pulsing constantly for days at a time is not, in my humble opinion, all that necessary to treat sexual dysfunction,” he says. “Some of us have to go to work.” Unfortunately, no suitable alternative exists, and he hasn’t been able to convince any medical manufacturers to design one.

Then there is the issue of who pays for such an implant. “Insurance companies will not pay for anything considered experimental or investigational,” he explains. Although Meloy has fitted hundreds of patients with the devices for pain management (some of whom reported experiencing its famously positive side effect), implanting it specifically to treat sexual dysfunction would be a breach of regulations. Despite the headlines, the device still has not been shown to be an effective treatment for sexual dysfunction, and anyone thinking of faking a painful condition in order to get one risks disappointment. To get approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Meloy would have to carry out a “pivotal trial”, which would cost around $6m. “That’s money I don’t have right now,” he sighs.

Pleasure centre

Strangely, Meloy isn’t the first person to stumble upon the idea of installing a pleasure button in humans. In the 1950s, another US physician, named Robert Gabriel Heath, was treating psychological disorders at the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Heath wanted to develop something that was as effective as a lobotomy – still relatively common in that day – but was far less destructive. He achieved this with electrotherapy, using dentistry drills to cut tiny holes in the skulls his patients, through which thin metal probes were pushed, so that pulses of electricity could be administered directly to the brain.

Heath discovered that by activating the septal region, he could induce a rush of pleasure that subdued violent behaviours in by some of his patients. And when given their own pleasure switch, patients were able to manage their mood swings.

One patient clocked up 1,500 doses in a three-hour period, but overall, they showed surprising restraint. (Unlike rats that underwent the same procedure, which self-administered to the point of exhaustion).

Reportedly, Heath’s pleasure button earned him a visit from the CIA, who wanted to know if the technology could be used to inflict pain instead, to interrogate enemies of the state – or even control their minds. Heath threw the man out of his lab. “If I wanted to be a spy, I’d be a spy,” he thundered to the New York Times in an interview. “I wanted to be a doctor and practise medicine”.

Some of Heath’s contemporaries, however, saw the wider implications of bringing human emotions to heel. Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado was another researcher who chanced upon the ability to manipulate pleasurable sensations in patient’s brains. He also paired electronic brain stimulators with radio transceivers, effectively putting the subject under remote control. Famously, Delgado was so confident in his tech that he leapt into a bullring opposite one of his experimental animals. As the bull charged at him, Delgado was able to make it stop, bellow and turn it in circles with a flick of his remote (see video, below).

 

 

However, the public mood surrounding brain implants soured with the publication of his book Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society in 1969, in which Delgado (somewhat naively) downplayed the Orwellian prospects of the devices and encouraged people to embrace the technology. If everyone would consent to implantation to mediate their tempers and traumas, the world would be a better place, he claimed. Two researchers he had briefly worked with raised an outcry the following year when they suggested the devices could be used to quell black citizens rioting in America’s inner cities. Funding dried up, and with the advent of effective drugs to treat mental illnesses, electrical brain stimulation fell into obscurity – and with it, the joy boxes.

Although Meloy is enthusiastic about the potential benefits of his devices, using them as a means of social control is “not something I subscribe to”. He is hopeful though that the renewed interest in the Orgasmatron might give it a second chance at becoming a reality.

If that were to happen, can we expect to see auxiliary pleasure buttons popping up on people’s bodies? Not so fast, says Dr Petra Boynton, a sex researcher at University College London. “I’ve yet to see a device, medication or product that provides significantly better outcomes than placebo for sexual problems,” she says. “I’m concerned with the idea of offering a surgical intervention for cases that most probably would’ve done better with therapy, or information about sexual problems, options for pleasure, and how our bodies work.”

So if the Orgasmatron does ever reach the market, consider that you already have a much more powerful electric joy box sitting on your shoulders. As for those who do decide to go the technological route, just make sure you know who is pushing your buttons.

Silence is golden

The most stupid work questions

We are often told that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

But it seems there are a few queries that cross that line at the office. If you work in customer service, for instance, surely there are days at work when you can’t quite believe your ears. It might take all the self-control you can muster to hold back the sarcasm when a particularly logic-backward question is lobbed your way.

 

And that’s only the beginning. We went to question and answer website Quora to find some of the most stupid questions readers had been askedat work. You might not believe your eyes when you read what we found.

The stupid gene

The education system seems a prime source of inexplicably ridiculous questions — and not just from students. Ellen Burchett, an elementary school teacher, described how her attempt to explain special education to a group of parents went horribly wrong. She wrote: “I told them about IQ testing and educational testing and discrepancies, and they agreed that everything made sense. I asked if they had any questions.” Burchett wrote that one mother, earnestly replied, “’Well, that all sounds good, but when will they do the DNA testing?”

Burchett paused and explained again: “we do aptitude testing and compare it with how they’re currently performing, but — as we’re a school — we don’t do any medical testing. Completely confused, [the mother] asked, ‘But, well, how will you know if he has the stupid gene?’,” she wrote.

“At a loss, I sputtered, ‘The – the – the what?’,” Burchett wrote. “The mother continued, ‘My husband and I both had it. It’s a gene that makes you stupid. Does my son have it too?’”

Re-boot

For the less technically-minded, new technology still causes endless confusion. Website designer, Sidharth Rao wrote that he was once asked by a client whether: “the website you build for us [will] work on [both] Internet explorer and Godzilla?’”

You could put it down to a slip of tongue, Rao wrote, “but she said Godzilla again 10 minutes later. My colleague and I had to excuse ourselves, pretending to use the washroom suddenly, because we couldn’t control our laughter.”

Abhinav Gaur, a senior design engineer at a semiconductor company that makes electronic chips was asked by his aunt “What are your most popular flavours?” and Salim Uddin had been asked: “Can you get infected from the virus on your computer?”

Planet obvious

Christine Leigh-Langtree, a bookseller, wrote that once, as she stood at the cash desk in her shop with the till open, counting a fistful of 50-dollar notes in her hand, “a woman came up and asked me if I worked there. I looked at her, and then at the money,” Leigh-Langtree wrote, “and then (looked) at the open cash drawer and said, ‘Nah, mate, I’m just robbing the till.’” 

Tourist trap

Working in the tourism industry seems to be another prime source of idiot questions. JoAnna Griffin, now a teacher, wrote that when she worked at Disney World one summer she was asked the following “at least ten times” every day. “’When is the 6pm parade?’ She wrote: “I learned to smile and politely say, ‘6pm’.”

As one of the only British people working at a theme park in Ohio in the US, Thomas Goodwin was asked: “Do you have traffic lights? Where in the London is the Eiffel tower? Do [the British] celebrate Christmas? Is England near Europe?”

Rory Young a safari guide in Zambia says has been asked some “really thick questions” by tourists, such as “‘how many legs does a crocodile have?’ and ‘what do giraffes hunt?’,” Young wrote: “what really left me speechless was, parked in a Landrover on an open grassland plain surrounded by the ‘Kemurara,’ a herd of over 2,000 buffalo, all doing what they do all day (graze) someone asked me, ‘what do they eat?’.”

Animal crackers

Kat Lightman, meanwhile, works at a veterinary centre and encounters a lot of confusion over animal behaviour and health. Several questions from clients stuck in her mind: “‘Wow! You work at a vet? How many times a year do you get rabies?’,” she wrote.

Or these gems: “‘I don’t really like the idea of neutering my dog. Can you just give us some birth control for him instead’,” she offered. “‘My bird started cursing around my children, could he have learned those words from Family Guy?’ and ‘My dog actually did eat my school project, can you guys take an X-ray and write me a note?’ ”