Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Mutt Like Me

My President-elect will have to forgive me, but the copyright to this phrase belongs to this grey-haired lady here. To tell you the truth, my exact words were "a mutt like us." I was giving my own family as an example of people with roots in several continents, bloods so mixed at this point that the only box to fill out on official U.S. forms under ethnicity is "Prefers Not to Disclose." One of us, a product of a racial and multi-cultural hodgepodge, a true representative of the people of these United States of America, is now headed for the White House and Godspeed!

In a similar way (but with marked differences), Brazil is also a land of mutts or vira-latas, the funny, descriptive, self-explanatory Portuguese word (it literally means "overturner of trash cans"); down here miscegenation started almost on day one, with Portuguese officials taking Indian women (sometimes several at a time) as wives to guarantee powerful alliances with tribal chiefs. Not to mention, of course, what went on unrecorded by historians...Brazil has a President, now on his second term, who certainly qualifies as a bona fide specimen of this Southern hemisphere melting pot (in his case, a mixture of indigenous and white), and one who grew up in extreme poverty and came to power on a tremendous wave of hope and goodwill. I keep being reminded by my friends down here that his Workers Party cohorts, seduced by the irresistible combination of power and money, have been involved in numerous corruption and influence-peddling scandals. Whether Lula himself had any knowledge of what went on remains a mystery, but educated, middle-class voters are, shall we say, totally disenchanted. I keep telling myself that Obama is not Lula, even though I realize that, in order to run the country, he's going to have to make compromises. But it's not going to be politics as usual, for sure!

This is not the best photo I have of the most adorable mutt in the world, but I hope the mass of natural bouncy curls covering her face will help protect her identity.


Blogger Timberati said...

Your comment about the scandals around Lula struck me and I remembered what one of our presidents, also a man from humble beginnings said about that, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
- Abraham Lincoln

November 8, 2008 8:58 PM  
Blogger Sheila Thomson said...

True. It's only a few days after the election and I already found myself yesterday defending Obama (it's NOT the same thing...) against comments like "Remember Lula! People had so much hope for change, then..." Yikes!

November 9, 2008 7:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home