BLM in Brazil
Full Transcript - Episode 24
Lula is freed, the non-news feed, a rare Mars deed, and the world's deadliest cheese!
PLUS - Shawn Moss joins us all the way from Washington D.C. to talk about doing business in Brazil, the BLM movement, and being a black gringo in Brazil.
S: I will just say this. The end of the story ended with this guy...he sobbed. He...he was crying uncontrollably on my shoulder! That’s...that’s the way the story ended and I’m not going to tell you how he got there! He apologized!
G: Yeah. Yeah, I think you picked the wrong guy there!
G: Hello, and Happy Easter, São Paulo!
J: Happy Easter, everybody!
G: I don’t know how to make the noise of Easter, but let’s make it anyway!
J: Well, it’s an Easter bunny. I don’t know wh...wha...what sound does a bunny make?
G: Um...I don’t know what a sound a bunny makes, actually. Maybe it’s a...if it’s a Playboy bunny it might be different? I don’t know.
J: That makes a different sound.
G: But Feliz Pascoa todo mun...everybody.
J: Ok. Happy Easter!
G: So, how are you today, Jay?
J: I’m...I’m doing well. Today, it’s...it’s a beautiful day. My...the schools have reopened, at least for my daughter it’s reopened. So, that’s great.
G: Ah, huzzah! You can get her out from under your feet finally?
J: Yeah, well, she wasn’t actually under my feet but it makes it a little bit difficult to work from home if you got a six-year-old kid running around.
G: It’s true and she’s not exactly...er...lacking in energy, is she?
J: That’s true. So, um, well, what do we have for today, Gee?
G: That’s a good question, actually. I think we’re gonna start with some news - the What Caught My Eye, and then we’re gonna have an interview of...
J: Ok, an interview of a special guest, who’s coming in.
G: A special guest, which we will talk about later.
J: Can’t divulge too much information right off the top.
G: And maybe a little bit of guru at the end.
J: And guru at the end, and lots of good fun.
G: Lots of fun. So, let’s crack on.
J: Let’s go!
J: Well, I think the...the...the biggest news...well, I don’t know if it’s the biggest news, but important news is that Lula has been declared free by the Supreme Court!
G: This is true. I saw that.
J: I think now there’s probably a lot of people out there that don’t know exactly who Lula is. I’m talking here about Lula Inácio...oh, no, no...his name is, sorry, er – Luis Inácio Lula da Silva!
G: There’s a reason they call him Lula, you know!
J: Yeah, his complete name. Er...Lula for those of you that...that don’t know translates into ‘octopus’, I believe.
G: Um, it’s squid actually.
J: Or squid, yeah.
G: Squid, yes.
J: So, squid. He used to be the president of Brazil.
G: President Squid.
J: He was jailed on corruption charges. So, he is now free and he can be re-tried in a court in Brasilia if it comes to that. I...I don’t know if they will actually try to re-try him again but that’s a possibility.
G: Well, it’s a lot more complicated now, of course, because the guy who was responsible for convicting him, er, Sergio Moro, then became involved in the government, so he’s no longer a judge and then, of course, the implica...the implications are – or at least the allegations are – that he was politically motivated and now it’s become a lot more complicated to re-try Lula, hasn’t it?
J: And the big question is – because the...the car wash, which was the, let’s say, the all-encompassing...er...judicial process that...that captured him...
G: the anti-corruption.
J: ...the anti-corruption probe – that jailed more than a hundred people, I believe.
G: Yeah. Way more. Yeah.
J: So, now that...that opens the door for the pot...potential...for all of these other people to become vindicated, as well.
J: Or not!
G: All the Gremlins will be out of the box again!
J: Yeah. Or not. We don’t know. So, the thing is, not a lot of...I mean...the people that are protesting, let’s say, or protested the fact that Lula went to jail were angry because they felt that the process was not correct. Nobody’s actually saying that he didn’t do it.
J: Because everybody knows he stole lo...lots of money.
J: Allegedly, yeah, of course, I can’t say that, but ok.
G: Everybody allegedly knows...!
J: Well, I mean, you have...you have, let’s say, you have a public money and then suddenly it disappears. Well, the money doesn’t disappear. It has to go somewhere!
G: Well, there were some assets that – that’s the thing, isn’t it? I think his sons, too, certainly accumulated assets then without any logical explanation as to where those assets came from, and that’s...
J: Yeah...yeah, they didn’t work and then suddenly they had these fantastic houses worth more than 5 and 6 hundred million reais. I mean, that’s not possible.
G: Of course the big question now is – “Is he gonna run in the election next year?” Are we going to see the showdown between Bolsonaro and Lula as the run-off for the presidential election 2022?
J: Yeah that’s...that’s a big possibility. Because you have th..the hard right and the hard left.
J: And there’s noth...n...nobody in the middle because as...the political climate right now in Brazil is similar to the US, and that’s very extreme – very...very polarized.
G: It’s less...less of a platform and more of a skateboard, really, the center, isn’t it?
J: Yes, it’s...it’s difficult right now.
G: But, er, yes, I...I’ve said for a while now, I think we need a passionate moderate in the center.
J: Yeah, but just don’t tell a Brazilian woman that you’re...you’re...you’re...you’re moderately passionate about her! Alright, so, Gee...what...what do you have for us?
G: Well, I...I been looking at the news and I was actually struck by how much ‘non-news’ there is in...in the news these days. Um, I mean, there’s some of these things you see in the news, they’re just...how...how can they possibly be considered news? I mean, lemme...let me give you some examples, here, and see if you agree with me.
G: These are all on international news sites like the BBC, CNN etc. Um, the first one is that the Swiss army are changing their uniforms to allow...um...women who are in the Swiss army to have more comfortable underwear, because apparently they had been wearing male underwear until that point.
G: So, do you think that is actually newsworthy of international attention, or not?
J: Er...no! And, I’ll tell you why. It’s definitely not newsworthy because have you ever actually seen a...a Swiss female? [Swiss music] ...don’t shave their legs... [Swiss music] ...don’t even shave their armpits... [Swiss music]...had a moustache.
J: Yeah, I don’t know...
G: You’re very reliant on not having any listeners in Switzerland right now, aren’t you? But the point is, you know, just because the requisitions department of the Swiss army changes its supplier or its...or its order, I mean, why...why does everybody internationally need to know about that? I mean, surely it is only of...of interest if you are planning to enter the Swiss army, which I assume you’re not?
J: No, at this moment, definitely not.
G: No, so, there we go. Now let me give...let me give you another example.
J: Ok. Let’s go.
G: Um...Apple is no longer making a female voice the default option on Siri.
J: What? Really, so...so it’s a male voice? Or it’s...it’s a...
G: Well, you...you...you got a choice, it just doesn’t automatically default to the woman is the point.
J: Oh, ok. Ok. So...?
G: Is that news?
G: Do we need to know this?
G: It must...it must surely be a slow news day if they’re giving you this?
J: I think the pandemic has affected the journalists’ brains a little bit, because that’s...that’s not news at all. That’s just gossip.
G: It’s...that’s...I...I dunno...I dunno who could possibly be interested in that. I mean, I don’t know. Alright, I’ll give you another one.
G: Asian men’s hairlines are receding faster than they used to.
J: Also not news.
G: Again, it’s because of lifestyle and blah...but I don’t know. I...I mean...
J: I mean...er...I rarely interest myself with stories about Asian men. So, yeah, that’s not gonna do it for me.
G: A New Zealand rugby commentator apologizes for mimicking a Japanese player’s accent. This is international news.
J: Now that’s funny but it’s not necessarily news.
G: I mean...I mean...
J: Now, come on, yeah.
G: Guys say silly stuff all the time, you know? Maybe the news is that he actually apologized? I don’t know, but...
J: Kind of a locker...a locker room humor, type thing.
G: Yeah, it’s kind of...you know...local. We don’t even know this guy. Do you know any New Zealand commentators? Is he relevant in your life? Do you need to know about this?
G: So that...for me this is non-news. I mean, most non-news is usually about...um...minor celebrities like the Kardashians or someone like that.
G: And, you know, most people couldn’t care less about that either but I...I...I just...I just look at the news sometimes and I think...um...“My goodness, wha...wha...what is news these days?”
J: Erm, my news is actually from...well, it’s kind of a combination of Earth and Mars together.
J: Because, I...I think that...that, at the moment there are six countries that have launched either, let’s say, probes or missions to Mars.
G: This is true.
J: And what’s fantastic about that for me is that now, for the first time ever, we will have a helicopter on Mars. Or we have a helicopter on Mars. And it’s set to launch within a couple of days. It’s...it’s been deployed. It’s out there. It’s sun powered. So, it’s solar-powered. So, it’s...it’s absorbing a bit of energy for the batteries now, and within a day or two we are going to have lift-off. The first-ever interstellar flight!
G: Very nice.
J: I think that...
G: This...this is a helicopter landing on Mars?
J: Yeah, i...It’s fantastic. And of course, the...the...the interest for science is that it opens up the possibility to study much more of Mars than by Rover. Rover, it would be the land-based vehicles. So, now you can fly and photograph many more things than you would be able to from the ground.
G: Just imagine the science behind that, though, in calculating exactly the velocity needed to carry a weight in a different atmosphere to the Earth’s atmosphere, with different gravity.
J: I mean, it’s...it’s...it’s a fantasy...its...for me it’s fantastic. I think it’s very, very interesting.
G: So, have they launched this? Does it fly?
J: It flies. There...the first test flight is...like I said...is...is scheduled for a couple of days. The first test flight...test flight will only be about 15 seconds.
J: But that’s enough to get it off the ground and make sure it lands softly. And then, what I have on top of that is, let’s say, the whole Space X...er...movement. Well, the whole Space X...er...everything they are doing with rockets. Because, Elon Musk has it up his sleeve to put a colony on Mars within the next 3 or 4 years. And that’s also very interesting but what he has done that NASA was not able to do...first of all to create a more powerful liquid-based engine to...
J: ...to go into space. And they have created the Space X Starship SN10. That’s significant because it can carry a crew of 100 people, and a payload of something like 8 or 10 elephants.
G: Wow. Well, you’re gonna need elephants up there!
J: Well, you’re gonna need something very...something very substantial if you wanna put people on Mars. So, you have to carry equipment. You know, ferry that back and forth. And the starship SN10 is significant because it’s completely, 100%, reusable.
J: And NASA was not able to do that.
G: So it’s...it’s recyclable?
J: It’s recyclable, yeah.
J: So, that...that...I think that...that’s really, incredibly interesting.
G: Wow. So, this is to get...for getting to Mars?
J: For getting to Mars and then for coming back home to Earth.
G: So, if...if you’re gonna transport one hundred people...because it takes about 3 months to get to Mars, doesn’t it? So, I’m just wondering where they all sleep, and eat, and...
J: I think a minimum is something like six months.
G: So it must be a huge thing?
J: No, it’s enormous! It...it’s really enormous.
G: Are you gonna get that in the air, out of...out of the atmosphere?
J: They...they’ve already done test flights with this thing from their...from their port in Boca Chica in Texas.
J: Very, very interesting.
G: Well, that sounds amazing. So, the future is here!
J: Yeah. So, i...it’s possible in...in our lifetime that we will take, let’s say, a weekend to the Moon.
G: Interesting. Well, that is interesting! Mars is definitely the topic of the month.
J: Yeah. So, that...that...that’s what else caught my eye. And what about you?
G: Um, I actually saw a little story about some cheese, actually. Do you like cheese?
G: Yeah, are you a cheese fiend?
J: Yeah, I like... I love cheese.
G: What’s your...what’s your favorite type of cheese?
J: Erm. I dunno. I like...er...I like the Dutch cheeses because I lived there for a while.
G: So, you like the creamy cheeses, then, yeah? What about...what about strong flavored cheeses like the gorgonzola.
J: Oh, definitely. Usually, the stronger, the better.
G: Well, you...you’ll like this cheese, in that case.
G: Um, this cheese is actually officially the world’s most dangerous cheese.
J: Most dangerous?
G: It is. It’s in the Guinness Book of Records.
J: I don’t know if I like dangerous cheeses!
G: Well, um, let me explain. It’s made on s...an island called Sardinia, which is...um...just off Italy.
J: And it tastes like sardines?
G: And it doesn’t taste like sardines. Actually, it does have quite a strong flavor.
G: And basically it is made from sheep’s milk, usually around June...the...er...coming up to when they...um...give birth of whatever. The milk’s ripe for making this cheese. And what they do is they take the cheese and they, presumably, go through the usual process of putting rennet or whatever, and then what happens is the Skipper fly comes and lays its eggs in the cracks of the cheese. And then as the maggots are formed from the fly...
J: Ah, no. This is disgusting! Oh my god.
G: No, this...this...this is what happens. The maggots hatch and then the...the larvae, or whatever, they eat the cheese, and it turns into this sort of soft creamy...um...
J: Gooey stuff.
G: ...cheese – gooey cheese, after about three months it’s ready to eat.
J: But after...but...wa...wait a minute. But haven’t the maggots eaten everything?
G: Well, they’re...they’re...they’re kind of processing this cheese. They are taking it from being a hard cheese, probably more like a parmesan and turning into more like a cream cheese. And then...
J: So their excrement basically turns it into a cream cheese?
G: Well, I don’t know if maggots do excrete, do they? I don’t know.
J: I don’t...I don’t know.
G: I don’t thi... I don’t think.
J: This sounds disgusting.
G: Anyway, what they do then is they...they cut the top off, and then all the maggots start writhing...
G: You’ve got different ways of eating this cheese, actually. You can...um...some people, some of the locals, they take the...the cheese and the maggots and they put it in a blender and they liquify it, and then they...they eat the whole thing.
J: Ergh, it makes my stomach churn just thinking about it!
G: Others just eat the cheese and the maggots as they are. And, you know, they just scoop them up and eat them down. And...and they say that the flavor is amazing.
J: But who is the guy that found this process out? That’s what I want to know.
G: Well, apparently it goes back to the Romans. The Romans were...um...in Sardinia a long time ago and they’ve used it ever since.
J: It...it sounds...it sounds...you know what it sounds like. It sounds like there’s...there’s this poor soldier out there. He had absolutely no food and he started eating maggot-infested cheese just to survive! And then he decided it was good and gave it to some of his buddies. I don’t know. It’s...aw...
G: They...they say the aftertaste lasts for hours. So...um...
J: I imagine. Yeah.
G: But anyway, it’s been illegal to sell this cheese since 1962.
G: There is a fifty ther...sorry, €50,000 fine for selling it, so...
J: You can give it away but you can’t sell it?
G: The...the...they do say, actually that the trend of eating grubs in general is on the rise in Europe, actually.
G: You know, in places like Scandinavia and a lot of these, sort of, fancy chefs. You know, they...they’ve taken... They all think they’re Gordon Ramsay these days and they all want to create...
G: ...something new and they’re using grubs and eating grubs and... So, this cheese could make a comeback. Anyway, it’s called Casu Marzu, if you’re interested.
J: I...I don’t even know what to say about that.
G: ...I think that is actually Latin, which is why it comes from the Romans, etc. So, er, yes, there you go. Next time you are in Italy, look it up and go and have some maggot!
J: Bah. Ugh.
End of Part One