Archive for April, 2008

So as Maes sao Felizes

Voce nunca varou

a Duvivier as cinco

Nem levou um susto

Saindo do val improviso

Era quase meio-dia

no lado escuro da vida

nunca viu Lou Reed

walking on the wild side

nem Melodia transvirado

rezando pelo Estacio

Nunca viu Allan Ginsberg

pagando um miche no Alaska

Nem Rimbaud pelas tantas

negociando escravas brancas

Voce nunca ouviu falar em maldicao

nunca viu um milagre

Nunca chorou sozinha dentro de um banheiro sujo

Nem quis ver a face de Deus

Eu ja frequentei grandes festas

nos enderecos mais quentes

Tomei champagne e cicuta

ouvindo comentarios inteligentes

Mais triste que uma puta

no Barbarela as 15 pras 7

Ja reparou como os velhos vao perdendo a esperanca

com os seus bichinhos de estimacao e plantas?

Eles ja viveram tudo

e sabem que a vida e bela

Ja reparou na inocencia cruel das criancinhas

com seus comentarios desconcertantes?

Elas adivinham tudo

e sabem que a vida e bela.

Voce nunca sonhou em ser currada por animais

nem transou com cadaveres

Nunca traiu o teu melhor amigo

nem quis comer a sua mae

So as maes sao felizes

porque nos dao a vida

So as maes sao felizes

porque podem nos dar a vida

Voce nunca ouviu falar em maldicao

nunca viu um milagre

nunca chorou sozinha dentro de um banheiro sujo

nem quis ver a face de Deus.

So as maes sao felizes.

 

(Cazuza/Frejat)

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Arthur Symons

Below is one of my favourite poems by the decadent Arthur Symons… It just reminds me of being in a cab with someone exciting, driving along the Embankment as the streetlights twinkle their reflections on the Thames…

 

Nocturne:

One little cab to hold us two

Night, an invisible dome of cloud,

The rattling wheels that made our whispers loud,

As heart-beats in the whispers grew;

And, long, the Embankment with its lights,

The pavement glittering with fallen rain,

The magic and mystery that is night’s,

And human love without the pain.

 

The river shook with wavering gleams,

Deep buried as the glooms that lay

Impenetrable as the grave of day,

Near and distant as our dreams.

A bright train flashed with all its squares

Of warm light where the bridge lay mistily.

The night was all about us: we were free,

Free of the day and all its cares!

 

That was an hour of bliss too long,

Too long to last where joy is brief.

Yet one escape of souls may yield relief

To many weary seasons’ wrong.

‘O last for ever!’ my heart cried;

It ended: heaven was done.

I had been dreaming by her side

That heaven was but begun.

 

Symons, Arthur, ‘Nocturne‘, from ‘Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu‘, ed. Lisa Rodensky, (London: Penguin Classics, 2006), p. 41

 

Hmmm… It doesn’t matter to me that this poem was written in the 1890’s—-it captures that feeling of excitement, of being drunk in London, in the early hours of a winter’s night, cozying up in bliss as the rain falls on the windscreen, wishing that moment could last for all eternity.

 

 

The Email That Cocked Me Off

Hi there,

Further to yesterday’s post on the Vila Mimosa, I found a website with some great photographs of the place.

I just thought I’d transcribe the email at the beginning of Hanspeter Schneider’s book ‘Vila Mimosa‘ , the one that really got under my skin. I shall add my own comments in brackets as I go along.

Here goes:

hanspeter,

that was TOTALLY the heaviest shoot

IN THE FUCKING PLANET…

when you shoot, baby

you bring true, hardcore reality out of all of us…

from now on

theres no wwwaayy i can ever fake the real thing

that is definitely one of the great shoot locations of the world.

and the fact that our booker is the local pimp

is cool…

Maciria says ‘it’s the most notorious prostitution area in the world’

i stopped taking her comment lightly immediately, baby.

certainly not your every day kind of girls heh??

 

It was like entering the Notting Hill carnival on a float, hopping off like some

superstar geezer…

and all the girls run to you in naked lanky leaps, gagging for a shag.

remember that lady with the booty??

she stuck her middle finger in her pussy and offered me little taster.

She raised her finger right up to my face and touched my chin..

she tried to blow me baby!

and i’ve still got nightmares.

or the time you had a copper badge flashed in your face and and AK47

elegantly put to your stomach.

that was the moment i saw my life in a true light…

Could a simple fashion shoot be any heavier???

a ply-board made warehouse, a long snaking passageway og dark connecting

porn bars… Flicking neon lights, used rubbers on the floor, loud samba music

and dancing naked girls everywhere…

UN-FUCKING-FORGETTABLE.

the Gisele lookalike doing something weird to her arse, pelvic thrusts and

dirty gestures coming from everywhere.

where else in the world do girls dress just in heels, legs spread, and sip wine??

these women are god-damn career girls.

up and down rickety bar stairs counting cash. too many drugs, too many guns, too much business

 

i remember  being in the van adjusting a g-string…

finding her days before in one of those dark grimy bars, butt naked, riding on

a bar table.

now styled up, flossing like a queen

She told me that she loved me, she lunged for my bollocks

like a raging oversexed predator…

 

the place made me so fucking nervous baby

I remember jumping out of the van for some air. you ran over and said

‘I just shot this 20 stone woman having an orgasm with a big wooden dildo!!’

you turned around, rushed back,

came back 10 minutes later with a Polaroid of 3 old women playing with each other.

I mean, they worked for free… all they wanted to do was to floss iceberg, no??

they loved the designer stuff

they loved the prestige, baby.

we transformed them into princesses that day HP.

they cued for you, waited patiently for their photo,

so fascinated by the glamour and flashy threads, everyone just wanted a slice

of flash. totally bizarre.

that week we became an industrial magnet, not for sex, but for glamour.

Did you ever expect to shoot these pictures…

can you make me a 6 foot image for my flat?? you know the one i want.

It felt like a duty… i hope one day we will look back on this trip and laugh.

you guys really know how to party

big kiss to you and Maciria

ben

 

More comments to follow, kinda busy with Uni work at the moment!!!!

 

 

 

Vila Mimosa

As some of you know, I am Brazilian. I lived in the state of Rio de Janeiro until I was sixteen, when I relocated to London.

A couple of years ago, on a visit back, I found myself incredibly bored on a Saturday night in a grotty suburb called Duque de Caxias with my best friends Binho and the stunning Fefeli and her then (grotty as I can’t describe)boyfriend. Desperately seeking thrills, we decided to gatecrash someone’s party.

Already drunk, we were met with a frosty reception that bordered on comical. I really couldn’t have cared less as being around any people, even of the obnoxious and grotty type, worked as a buffer zone between me and the grotty then-boyfriend. My reaction to their disparaging comments at that point was to play guitar and sing even louder, but my companions felt less and less at ease as the minutes progressed.

It was at this moment that a sympathetic man took pity on us for the wretched treatment we were made to suffer for our boredom. Like the player who had been holding his best card to his chest until the choicest moment, he called us girls to the side and asked:

– How would you two like to visit the biggest brothel in Rio?

– When?!!! Now? How?! What do you mean, the biggest brothel in Rio?

– It’s called the Vila Mimosa. I can drive us there, it’s not too far. There are plenty of bars there, we can have a good time and we won’t have to put up with anymore shit from these arseholes.

Our sense of adventure had suddenly been turned up a couple of notches. The biggest brothel in Rio!!!  With visions of a decrepit colonial mansion with a crumbling pink facade, or a warehouse on a disused factory site, we began to ponder escaping from the worst party we had ever attended. Satisfied that our fellow attendees were not going to warm to us anymore than they had already done, the five of us pack into this guy’s VW Beetle and set off on our wild escapade.

As we approached the borough of Sao Cristovao we drove past the Northeastern Flea Market, our driver turned into a street on the right, and after a while turned left. A Military Police Car was blocking the road, and we were told to pull over to the side. At this point our driver(who, may I add, we hadn’t met before the party)panicked, and decided to reveal he has a *small quantity of weed* in one of his pockets, and that we would basically have been screwed if he got searched. Knowing there was no way of discarding this through a window, the then-boyfriend suggested us girls could hide it in our bra or knickers, to which our outraged companion interjected:

Are you fucking stupid or something? That’s the first place he’s going to look. We’re not in the Zona Sul, ladies, he will stick his finger everywhere without giving it a second thought!

Frozen with fear, our illusions of ethical treatment crumbling beneath our trembling feet, we put on the sweetest, most wholesome expression we could possibly muster in that state of forgotten sobriety, and fortunately it seemed to work. After having his documents inspected under torchlight, our driver was given permission to proceed.

Finally we parked up somewhere, and wandered out through the streets lined with streetlamps like  inverted fluorescent fingernails; bars playing loud music and people spilling out, while Rio goths(a somewhat different breed to London goths)loitered around the corners looking menacing. And then, we are there:

We take a left and then a right(I dont really remember the order), and suddenly we are on a traffic-free cobbled street, packed solid with people. A woman walks out across the street into a bar, wearing nothing but a see-through red thong and high heels. Eh?

You may be surprised by my shock, considering us brazilian girls seem to think nothing of wearing impossibly tiny swimwear in broad sunlight; however, you may be surprised to know that topless sunbathing is illegal in most beaches, and frowned upon in a good proportion of the places where it is permitted. Furthermore, it was a chilly night in May. My London-toughened sensitivity to low temperatures still demanded a couple of warm layers.

Keeping our hands locked around our male companions’ arms with a grip of steel, we proceed to enter the dizzying labyrinth of gaudy neon-lit makeshift bars, where more and more women in various states of undress parade themselves upon the crowd that we have soon come to identify as 99.999…% male(i.e. my friend and I were the ONLY ‘unprofessional’ women there).

Some of you may laugh, having visited other sanitised prostitution areas as the Red Light District in Amsterdam. My shock came mostly from having an insider’s knowledge of Brazilian culture. This was no ordinary place designed for the attenuation of male lust: This was the place some of the poorest, loneliest and most desperate men of Brazil came to enjoy their Panis et Circensis as they received their miserable wages. The women who dangled themselves between the metal bars of the two or three-storey constructions lining the alleyways were not glowing with the fire of sensuality which is the stereotype of our nation; these were women of all ages, from girls who frankly did not appear to have conformed to the 18 years rule the Vila insists it subscribes to, to middle aged females who wore the physical marks of having borne many children whilst suffering the strictures of destitution. Just as you may walk down King’s Road on a Summer’s day and observe the radiant glow of incredibly attractive people who have obviously had a supermodel for a mummy and a hedge fund manager for a daddy and benefited from an optimum diet from conception, you may perceive the opposite on the weathered, beaten, ugly faces of people who have struggled for survival from the time they came from a half-starved agricultural labourer’s sperm. You can tell the difference from the people who were loved and cared for from the moment they were born to the people who came when there was no more affection or money to go round.

And still we stumbled drunkenly through the fanfare. Taking in the spectacle with our inebriated eyes wide open. The driver dude points out that all the prostitutes are squaring in their gazes at us suspiciously. Among those streets where every artery was clogged with men whose vacant eyes seemed to devour them, our fully clothed forms stood out like sore thumbs. Apparently it is pretty unusual for women to visit, a fact that probably accounts for my not being aware of the existence of this flagrant, unapologetic mecca for the sexually starved underwaged brazilian male until this point.  We were reminded of this continuously as group upon group of roudy punters circled us two girls and shouted:

E’ essa!

Ehhh, in case you were wondering, this is not a place I would advise an unaccompanied female to visit.

Speaking of the men for a minute: There were THOUSANDS of them. THOUSANDS. They were of some of the most humble origins in the country: lorry drivers, builders, pubescent young men from the favelas. There was something about the look in their eyes that I can’t quite put into words(I saw it expressed later in the work of photographer Hanspeter Schneider, more of which to follow). If any of you have ever been victims of violent crime, you may be aware of the instinct of peril your attackers instilled in you just before they made their move; this was in some way comparable, a ‘zoning into prey’, a search for the target. Evidently, it wasn’t as aggressive as a rudeboy kicking you in the face: It was the facial expression of absent human empathy. A vacant, but sinister gaze.

The lascivious, sexually aggressive, coarse persona of the puta seems convincing to the customer who has no desire to engage with the person underneath. A more sensitive observation reveals that the persona is just that; sheer performativity, an act. These are the women who will call out to men on the street as they walk on with their children in tow, will throw themselves at tourists with hands cupping a bollockfull. They make themselves obvious at a beach party amongst other scantily clad, gyrating women by dancing harder, ever more obscenely. They place themselves at the very margin of society, subjected to the attacks of the confusing canon of Brazilian morality which retains the ideals of chastity forever upheld by Catholicism whilst simultaneously sexualising women from infancy.  These women are object of scorn and disgust, of schoolboy jokes and violence. But going there, seeing them perform, made me curious. What brought these women to this place? Who were they when they left, at the end of the night, once they could drop the act?

I became determined to find out more about the Vila Mimosa. There is very little information about it on the internet, and whilst I have come to realise that it’s a subject for schoolboy locker rooms, no man I’ve met so far admits to actually having sex with one of the Vila girls – it is something friends would never let die down. One of the materials I did find, however, was a coffee table fashion book, shot by Hanspeter Schneider, called, would you believe, Vila Mimosa.

Basically the guy spent some time in the vila, scouting prostitutes for a fashion shoot where they wore Agent Provocateur lingerie(with the tags still left on, I bet he thought it was a really witty idea). The photography in the book is gritty and fairly raw, and did not annoy me much per se, apart perhaps from some shots that are highly stylised. What really cocked me off was an email sent by one of Schneider’s assistants which is published at the front of the book. It made the place look like subversive fun, like the women were free, like saying ‘the time you had a copper badge flashed in your face and an AK47 elegantly put to your stomach’ is something that should be glamourised rather than addressed for the barbarity it represents.

Anyway, my reason for posting this is that I am going for a short holiday in Rio next month and I intend to visit the Vila again, this time sober, and see if I can interview some of the girls. I will keep you informed.

Sexy Salmon with Basil and Red Pepper Lingerie

First of all, apologies for the ludicrous recipe name, but this is a juicy little number… Another quick sensation to render your guests speechless as their tastebuds decide to throw their own party in their mouths. BEST OF ALL, its quick, easy, and looks almost as gorgeous as it tastes. Even if you’re peeling the peppers yourself(which is slightly nicer, but if you don’t it doesn’t compromise too much of the flavour) you can do it the night before, and when you get back from work you can just pop it into the oven and unwind on your settee with a nice glass of plonk.

Ingredients:

1 Salmon Fillet per head

1 Loaded teaspoon of cream cheese per fillet

1/2 a peeled red pepper per fillet(or you can get peeled peppers in a jar from the supermarket)

Handful of Basil, chopped coarsely

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

TO PEEL RED PEPPERS:

Halve and core the peppers, putting them under a hot grill with the skin side up. Wait until the skin gets charred black(around 10 mins, maybe less). Remove them and put them in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and wait until peppers have cooled down entirely, when the skin will come off easily.

METHOD:

Pre-heat oven to 200c or gas mark 6

Place the salmon fillets in a baking tray

Season the cream cheese with salt and pepper

Spread the cream cheese over the surface of the Salmon fillets

Chop the peppers into thin strips

Lay the peppers carefully over the fillets

 

Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes—Try not to overcook or the Salmon will dry out! It should be opaque in the centre

Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chopped basil, then drizzle each fillet with a teaspoon or so of Balsamic vinegar…

 

…et voila!!!

I like to serve this with steamed green vegetables or a green salad with avocado, plus some nice roast potatoes.

 

Macbook Red, Macbook Green, Macbook Bullying.

So my PC laptop is nearly dying. It keeps switching itself off at the most inopportune moments. I am terrified it will lose my 12.000 words worth of assignments for my finals at uni.

Seduced by the sleekness of the Macbook(particularly the Macbook Air, which is *just a little* above my budget), I decided to start doing some research into purchasing one of the more basic models…

I came across this page where a disgruntled Macbook user complains about the appalling customer service she has received after her spanking new computer was possessed by some kind of poltergeist. She even claims that she was burnt on the arm as one of the cables melted! Ouch!

  

Needless to say, Professional Housegirlie here was stupefied by the bad review, especially as most people seem to wank over their pieces of Macintosh machinery – But what really surprised me were the comments in response to this reviewer’s complaints!!!

  

Evidently, the disputes between Mac and Pc users are a thoroughly well-documented phenomena(although in my experience I can safely say that Mac users are much more doggedly defiant – and smug – about the superiority of their hardware. It is part of the reason why I am interested in going Apple.), I was still quite shocked by the extent of Macbook bullying going on. It was almost like complaining about Mac’s services was akin to blasphemy, like the act of purchasing an Apple computer involved signing up to a radical religious cult.

  

As a result, I feel slightly divided… The research continues, and I probably will end up with a beautifully designed, speedy piece of trendy electronic gadgetry at the end of it. But the long and short of it is that I am scared: On one hand, if it all goes tits up, I might have a similar experience to the disgruntled reviewer; on the other, I might become an uptight technological bitch. Life is full of pivotal decisions.

To Mac, or not to Mac?