Eubioticamente atraídos

refuse + accept = prescribe

refuse + accept = prescribe

Tropicalist verb

Gilberto Gil
O Pasquim, n.39, August 19-25, 1970.

In conversations, I do well, I lie, lie again, kill again, kill, die,  surrender, involve myself completly, and the ball always ends up in the goal, I make goal. Like Garrincha, without knowing how, guided by breath,  by the hidden gratness of a poor, thin,  marginalized intelligence – of a universe parallel to that of culture. In conversations, I do well. Speech is fairy magic. It’s as if wasn’t mine. It’s a possession, a dance. We do it easily, by heart. Writing is different. The pen in my hand is another groove. Responlibility. It’s like the end of a carefully constructed, sophisticated circuit, the result of a powerful conciousness – na energy center that guides ideas so that they can be written, registered, capitalized, invested, reigned, enslaved, ruled. For me, writing is like submitting my mind to  military discipline. I hate it, it has no swing, it’s absurd. I hate it.

But a dolphin from the oceans of Rio de Janeiro disrupted my peace of mind, aided by the ingenuousness or stupidity of half a dozen people who sudenly decided that it was important for me to accept na award tht they gave me. The old Brazilian tendency to get involved in the domestic problems of their neighbors. Even if the guy lives in England.

For me, at this stage, to accept anaaward or not for the work I have done in Brazil is not important. Right now, I’m on the road. Last Saturday, I went by Festival Hall; tomorrow, later, and always, in other places, I’m wasted but I can’t find my way home. I repeat: refusing this award isn’t even slightly importan. I decided to refuse it to see if you are really interested in understanding something.

There it is. Because I don’t believe, like my father and friends in Brazil, that the dolphin was conceded to me by those who recognize my work and really like me but rather by those who despise me and are ignorant of my work. Ingenuousness. Although many people can truly respect what I did in Brazil (maybe even people in the museum), I think it is difficult to believe tha this museum truly wants to award someone who has clearly always been against the asphyxiating, moralizing, stupid, na reactionary cultural patermalism enacted by the museum in relation to Brazilian music. I have always been against alI forms of cultural fascism, which the museum -in its own way -has been representing, in part, in Brazil. If when I was there, I never directly attacked organizations like the Museum of Sound and Image, it’s because my work was already doing that. And if I had continued there, I don ‘t know what I would be doing; but in any case, I know that I would not be receiving any awards.

Of course I don ‘t believe in this award. From what I have learned, the museum continues on the same track, and, therefore, my continuing to refuse the award is only to make that very clear. If the museum thinks that with “Aquele Abraço” I was asking forgiveness for what I haddone before, it is mistaken. And I have no doubt that the museum really thinks that “Aquele Abraço” is a samba composed  in penitente for sins committed against “sacred Brazilian mus;ic.” The s’tatements of some ofits members and the letters I have received demonstrare this clearly. The museum continues to be the Same in January, February, and March: folkloric tutor of the Rio de Janeiro summer. I have no reason to accept the award given for a samba that they suppose was made in order to protect the “purity” of Brazilian popular music: I have nothing to do with this purity. I have three LPs recorded in Brazil  that demonstrare that. Let it be clear to those that messed up my groove and shaved my beard that “Aquele Abraço” does not mean that I have been “reformed,” that I have become “a good negro samba singer” as they would wish al1 blacks to do who really “know their place.” I don ‘t know what my place is, and I’m not anywhere; I’m neither seruing at the table of the white masters Dor am I moping about the slave quarters into which they are transforming Brazil. For that reason, maybe God took me from there and put me on a cold and empty street where at least I can sing like a bird. The birds here don’t warble like the birds there, but at least they still warble.

What my dad needs to know is that the museum was always against my bird song, that it always found it ungrateful, unharmonious, inauthentic, and uncomfortable. It was always against everything in music, on records, and on TV that has given a sense of the openness that is compatible with the creative freedom of a new and passionate Brazilian people. From what I know, the aristocratic and puritan shelves of the museum still don’t hold even one program of Chacrinha, the most beautiful television show in the world.

For me, the museum and Nazi fascism eat from the same table, and, exactly because they don ‘t understand that, my father and other ingenuous friends ended up eating from the same succulent and colorful buffet of tropical misery as well: salto evil, honey, bile, and faith (the general jelly that the jornal do Brasil announces -and O Pasquim as well?).

I believe onlya lack of faith can save us alI. And the price of salvation will be quite high and many will die without seeing it. And I will perhaps Dever see Narinha ~d e Marilia again or the marinavelousness ofBahia or the young man whom they killed yesterday whowas my colleague in the middle school of the Marista friars who were almost all Spanish and in favor ofFranco, and, because ofthat, the devil is winning, and, for that reason, I know that the angels will descend from the sky to help us and find, among the ruins, the city of men.

To be honest I’m not gore why I am prolonging this conversation. I, the museum, and Brazil are one thing only: the official Nazism, the political correctness of theleft, the nazi-cynicism of Nelson Rodrigues, the obsessive and impertinent lave of my father, the idiocy of an old man who threatens me by calling me a rascal (if  only I was really a rascal!),  the cheap sentimentalism of a good-hearted people who insist that I receive an award without considering that those who award me wish to award my capitulation and not my victory. Because ofthis, we are all confounded and brought together, including me and the museum. Because of this, I could well accept such a dolphin. But Iam far away, alone, and I’m not interested in all ofthis. Please understand: it’s easy, it’s elementary.

Even from far away, I understand everything. Even in England, the Brazilian embassy declares me persona non grata to news agencies. No award will make this situation disappear. You, who lave me and who respect me, know that I am not confusing you with my enemies; you know who my enemies are. Now that the terms have been defined, those that are notwith me are against me. And those that are with me have been for a long time because they perceived my lave for them long ago, not now, after having decIared my lave io’ ‘ sobs, in the middle ofthe street, already put out of my house, in a samba that merely says the same thing that the “alienated” ballad by Martinha says: I love you even so.

I should have split your head open with an axe so that you understood what I was saying. Maybe that is what I are trying to do right now. If the axe must falI, then the march will toa. It didn’t tom out well, it went poorly. Endure the falI and please calm down and understand. And don’t give me any more.awards. Go.aod take Cale to uóderstand the things I that are in the world –things  of the world, my black girl -and Paulinho da Viola, who is a good sambista, warned us more than two years ago io a samba: Refuse + Accept = Prescribe.

I prescribe a dose of “tatu” ant poison for this issue. There is neither a hera Dor a genius to be celebrated; there is nothing that merits ao award. We are all very poor, and I am already very, very far, selling my misery to eat.

Father, be calm. What I am doing is well done. Or  poorly done. But it is done, and done in such a way that have to put up with it. And if I don’t, God is greater than all and our faith will save us.

P.S. With the publication of this letter, the award is implicity refused. Let the dolphin return no the tranquil waters of its insignificance.

+Eubioticamente atraídos
Tropicalist verb