Full Transcript - Episode 8
Mexican beer virus, a prison break, a Duke incommoded, and how not to order paçoca!
Announcement: The following is a public service broadcast on behalf of The Samba Buzz. The producers would like to apologize for the unsanitary language in recent episodes. It is quite unbecoming of the high moral and educational character demanded and indeed exemplified by the leaders of this noble country. Please be advised that all future references to bodily functions, sex-for-sale, or deviant behavior will be fully investigated and moderated. Carry on!
J: Gee, I’m actually a little bit shocked. I didn’t realize the f…the…that the pod police were going to come here onto the show.
G: It’s about time they, er, found us, actually but, um…yes.
J: But I’m…I’m worried…now I’m scared about what I’m going to say. I can’t…I can’t talk about any fun words anymore. What am I going to talk about?
G: No, no, no, no, no. Definitely not. No, no. If you’re going to use any palavrões, it’s gotta be in Portuguese.
J: Welcome everybody!
G: Welcome everybody!
J: Welcome to our second pod in January!
G: Indeed. 2020.
J: 2020. Well, how was your vacation?
G: My vacation was lovely. Thank you very much for asking. I went to Fortaleza. And Fortaleza – they’ve got lots of sand. They’ve got sea, which is very blue and nice and fresh. And the beach was lovely. We did some buggy rides. Er, we saw the dunes, and we had lots of good food.
J: What did you eat?
G: We ate…well, I wanted to order siri but they di-didn’t have any siri. They only had caranguejo. So, then I thought to myself – ‘well, what’s the difference?’
J: What’s a siri?
G: Well, I understood the siri to be the red crab. And I understood that caranguejo was a blue crab. But I don’t know the difference. I don’t think that people know the difference up there either.
J: I have no idea. Well, hopefully somebody will know.
G: Um, anyway the ca…caranguejo was lovely. It was very tasty.
J: Oh. And di-did you eat it with butter or, um, moqueca or…
G: I had the casquinha do caranguejo. Normally it’s a casquinha de siri.
J: So…so you just ate it right out the shell?
G: Um, no, no. They actually crunch up a bit of shell and…
J: Ah, ok.
G: …they mix it all together and it’s very tasty…
J: It’s crunchy!
G: …and, er, goes down well with a nice cold beer.
J: Ah, I bet.
G: And you? Where…where were you for your trip?
J: I went to Parati.
G: Parati. Very nice.
J: I love Parati. Tha-that, for me…I think I’ve been there now 5 times…
J: …and every time I go, I enjoy it.
G: And what did you do in Parati?
J: I went to the beach. I drank, er, Jorge Amado. Er, it’s a different drink…that’s a different story.
G: Is that a cachaça?
J: No, it’s not. Well, yeah, it is. It is and it isn’t! And…
G: Nothing’s ever straightforward with you, yeah?
J: No, then…then I went to…er…the waterfalls. They have a Poço do Tarzan, which is like the Tarzan little mini lake.
J: We have a nice restaurant there. And I had a wonderful time in Paraty eating out.
G: Sounds lovely.
J: Y-yeah, the gastronomy there was fantastic.
G: Sounds very civilized.
J: So, any…anyway, what do we have today, Gee? What’s on the program?
G: Well, I believe we have another guest. We have Peter coming in, yes?
J: Yes. Peter. Peter Harris. Musician.
G: I’m looking forward to talking to him. And we’ll have our ‘What Caught My Eye’, which we’ll kick off very shortly. And the guru.
J: Alright, here we go!
G: Let’s go!
G: What Caught My Eye was the Coronavirus, actually.
G: Have you been following the Coronavirus?
J: Well, it’s kind of hard not to. Everything is about Coronavirus.
G: So, do you feel it’s a big threat?
J: No. Why, for me it’s just another virus. I don’t think it’s got quite the…the…let’s say, the pandemic proportions that everybody says it is (sic).
G: Cos they’re closing…er…, well they’re not closing airports but they’re putting travelers coming from China on (sic) quarantine.
J: They did the same thing with the la…last Ebola outbreak in the United States also.
J: There were also people that died from the la…the last Ebola outbreak, I remember.
G: So, they’re treating it like Ebola, then, yes?
G: But I think, possibly, it’s a bit of an over-reaction. How many cases would you say they have had so far?
J: In…globally, or in China, or Brazil?
G: Um, globally up to yesterday, the latest count.
J: Er, 500?
G: Erm, there were 4500 confirmed cases.
J: Ok. How many people died?
G: And the running total was 106.
G: Hm. So how do you think that compares to the last brig…big outbreak, the, er, the SARS. You remember SARS?
J: No. Was that the crazy pig virus?
G: The SARS was another type of…yeah, it might have been the pig flu, something like that. There was a big hoo-har about SARS.
J: Because I-I think, what I remember we had the crazy cow virus. Then there was the crazy pig virus. Then there was some kind of avian flu virus. Then there was Ebola virus.
G: Exactly! There’ve been…
J: And then, and now Corona, which is kind of a beer, right? The beer virus!
G: The beer virus! Exactly. That’s definitely a conspiracy by AMBEV, I think! But, um…no but SARS – there were 8000 cases.
G: Out of all that hullaballoo, there were 8000 cases, of whom around 770 people died. So the hit rate was quite high with SARS.
J: Well, it was pretty high, yeah.
G: So this particular virus, the Coronavirus, the, um, the death rate is much less than it has been for…for SARS, yeah?
G: So how would say… One hundred years ago, we had another outbreak – very similar actually – in 1918 there was an outbreak of something called Spanish Flu. Did you hear about that?
J: Er, the Spanish Flu. I’ve heard abou…yes, the Spanish Flu.
G: Um, how many cases of Spanish Flu do you think there were in the outbreak between 1918 and 1921?
J: Er, oh I think you are talking 20,000 perhaps.
G: There were 500 million.
J: 500 million?
J: So I was…I was a bit low!
G: Er, how many people do you think died out of that 500 million?
J: Five hundred…let’s say 10 million died?
G: 50 million people died.
J: Yeesh. Again I’m low.
G: So, 10% of people who caught the…the virus died.
J: That’s…now that’s a virus!
G: And that’s more…
J: I tell you, they…they don’t make them like they used to!
G: They don’t make ‘em like they used to. That’s more than twice as many people died in World War 1.
G: They don’t really know where it originated, actually. Um…in-in the United States, actually there were 675,000 cases.
G: So, this was really a global pandemic.
J: So…so, actually the flu killed many more people than the other viruses that everybody’s so worried about.
G: So, when you put it in context, the…the SARS and this current Coronavirus, I mean, they…they don’t even register on the same scale as the Spanish Flu.
J: Well, ok, that’s true in…in terms of total numbers now but perhaps that is a result of precautions which governments have now learned to take because of the Spanish Flu? I don’t…I don’t know.
G: Yeah, but in terms of the sheer mortality rate, then obviously the…the Coronavirus seems a lot less deadly than Spanish Flu.
J: Yeah, that’s…
G: So I guess I’m…what I’m saying is…I guess to… When we’re waiting for the next sort of human, er, death knell to sweep the world.
G: Then probably the Spanish Flu is a good thing to measure the…a benchmark to measure against.
G: I guess I’m thinking possibly there’s a bit of an over-reaction, especially with modern medicine, but...
G: There we go.
J: There we go.
G: So, that’s…that’s what I’ve been keeping my eye on this week.
J: I like that. That’s good.
G: And what about you, Jay? Wha…what caught your eye this week?
J: Well, what caught my eye this week, er, was actually a little bit related to what we talked about last pod with our economist.
G: Ah, Mr Rabelo, yes.
J: Yes. If you remember, he mentioned that Brazil was going to auction off some of its oil assets.
G: He did.
J: And I have an update related to that. Erm, last week in Davos, the…Paulo Guedes, er, said that the government – the Brazilian government – is changing the rules to give foreign oil companies an equal shot to win…to earn government contracts.
J: In…in general. And that’s also going to specifically apply to the oil fields.
J: Of course that’s a big package. There’s much more, er, related to that. So this is going to apply then for toll roads, for airports, or maybe electrical supplies. Basically, anything that the government wants to auction. And so I think the…the…that’s…Brazil seems to be going in the right direction to attract foreign investment.
G: And you’re proposing we make a bid?
J: Well, I’d…I’d like to, sure. I mean. I don’t have a lot. It’s going to be a very small road that I’d like to bid on.
G: I think we should buy a road.
J: But, I mean, it could be a small road and I could charge a…a normal tariff and we’d still be happy.
G: I think that sounds a great idea. You got any money, by the way?
J: Er, hm, I’ll try to find some.
G: Oh, ok.
J: So, Gee, what else do you have for us?
G: Have…have you ever heard of Cambé? Do you know where Cambé is? Anyhow, there is a small jail in Cambé…erm…it holds…it’s built to hold 36 prisoners.
G: So it’s quite a modest jail, and currently it’s holding…how many…how many would you guess?
J: Where’s it at? What country?
G: Paraná. North of Brazil.
J: Oh, I’d say, probably ten times that.
G: It’s holding nearly ten times – 208 prisoners, currently.
J: I was close.
G: And these prisoners are not happy about this.
J: I can imagine. Er…there…the…yeah…you’re basically sleeping on somebody else’s lap.
G: So, what they did – they managed to get hold of a cell phone and they decided to do a You Tube video recording their complaints about the jail, which include: rats…er…scabies.. – you know scabies?
J: No, I don’t know what scabies…
G: Scabies is that nasty little mite that digs under your skin.
J: Eesh. It’s…it’s…it’s a skin related condition.
G: It’s a skin bug. It’s not very pleasant.
G: Tuberculosis – another word I’m not going to say again today…
G: …and, um, various other diseases. So they’re saying – ‘It’s horrible in here. We want to be moved somewhere else where the conditions are better.’
J: It’s not humane.
G: ‘In fact, it’s so bad in here, we’re going to get out and we’re digging our way out right now!’ And they show their hole…their tunnel that they are digging…on the video!
G: But the only problem is the police got to see this video.
J: Of course! Why…why on earth would you sh…?
G: So now…
J: They are obviously not very bright prisoners.
G: …they have, um, basically reinforced the jail, and they’ve decided that they are…they’ve closed the tunnel that they were bigging…digging as well.
J: Ok, but they are still stuck on the same amount of space?
G: And they are still stuck there. So unfortunately it hasn’t really helped them much, the video, and…um…except to deny them their great escape plans.
J: My story, it’s a little bit more international. Maurizio Cattelan. He is the artist…er…we talked about it…er…a couple of pods ago and he made a particular toilet.
G: Ah, that guy, yes. Yes, yes, yes.
J: Yes, yes, yes.
G: The man who likes to sell bananas instead of golden toilets, cos…
J: Yes, he made a golden toilet. And I have more details about that particular golden toilet.
J: Anyway, Maurizio Catellan has the habit of naming his artworks, as most famous artists do. What was the name of his last artw…let’s say the banana? Do you remember?
G: Right, yes.
J: Comedian. Comedian.
G: Comedian, yes, yes, there it was. Yes.
J: Would you like to take a guess at what…what he had named the golden toilet?
G: Er, John?
J: Actually, previously that toilet was on display on the…at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
J: Ok? And people were actually using it as a toilet in New York. It’s made out of gold!
G: Alright. If it’s ma…
J: I would like to go back to what the…the curator for the Guggenheim Museum had said about that toilet.
J: Ok? So she said a-about the artwork. Now she’s viewing it as a piece of art. She’s viewing it not as a toilet. Of course it’s…you talk about ‘functional art’…
J: …well this would be in the definition of functional art. Er, she said the idea that it is very welcoming and inviting for anyone to use it, and that’s the heart of the message that the artist wanted to…that the artist wanted to show.
G: Just like America, right.
J: I dunno. Yeah, I guess that’s it.
G: Especially now Trump’s there.
J: Yes, and she says that you can have a very intimate, private experience with a work of art, and that’s very fascinating on many levels. Now…now if you listen carefully, you will know there’s a tone of sarcasm in my voice.
G: Yes, I-I can understand actually.
J: But anyway...
G: Well I guess somebody’s having that private experience all to themselves somewhere in the world, no?
J: With…with a work of art.
G: Unless they melted it down and made some cash, of course…
G: …which is probably what I would do in that situation.
J: While it was being on display there, the Trump administration took office and they requested the Guggenheim Museum to lend them a Vincent Van Gogh, er, painting.
G: So what…is this in exchange for the toilet or what…what’s the deal?
J: No, no, no. Let me get back to there. So, the Guggenheim Museum said – ‘We cannot lend you the Vincent Van Gogh mus…er…painting. It’s not available.’ But they offered an…er…alternative, and they said – ‘We have this golden toilet here. This is also from a famous artist and you can have that instead. And we in fact, we will give you instructions how to install it in The White House, in case you don’t know.’
G: Ok. Right. They are very similar things, really, aren’t they? Vincent Van Gogh and a…and a loo. But, yes.
J: Anyway, it was offered to The White House, White House refused. Er, and the next place it was supposed to go to was called the Benheim…Blenheim Palace in England.
G: Blenheim, please. That’s the pronunciation.
J: Ok, Blenheim, ok.
G: Blenheim – it’s a famous palace near Oxford. It’s very nice.
J: Erm, if you remember, the golden toilet was stolen from a place in Britain.
G: Yes. Security is a bit lapse there, I’m afraid.
J: No, they had no security! They…basically. So, I would like to describe what happened during…during that theft.
G: The toilet was in a public convenience, was it? Nobody thought anything about it.
J: No, the people were using the toilet.
G: Do you think they knew the toilet was there or they just needed the bathroom?
J: No, it was on display and it…it was actually being used by the people.
G: So they just went into the bathroom and they discovered the toilet was made of gold and they decided to walk off with it?
J: No, you can imagine there’s a long line to go use a gold toilet.
G: Ah, well yes.
J: Visitors were given three minutes to be kind of alone and have their moment with the toilet.
G: Good grief.
J: 3 minutes. And there was a standing line of people for this. Yes.
G: My goodness. And this is England, too. How embarrassing!
J: This… this is England. So what happened was…let’s say, the early morning of September 14th, 2019, robbers kind of waltzed through the front door there. They went to the bathroom. They cut the…the toilet because it was attached – it was in use at that museum…at…at not……at the palace. And they walked out the front door, basically with the toilet, and they drove away and nobody could find it. Do you know…do you know who the dukes are of Blenheim?
G: I think it’s the duk…er…no I don’t!
J: It’s a famous cigarette.
G: Erm…Marlborough, yes.
J: Yes. The Duke of Marlborough.
G: Yes. Duke of Marlborough. Oh, the good old Duke of Marlborough.
J: He might know quite a bit about cigarettes but he knows absolutely nothing about security!
G: Ah. Clearly no.
J: Anyway, a spokesperson for the…for the duke said…was questioned afterwards, and they said – ‘Well look, you have this gold toilet here – why was there no security, er, to take care of this gold toilet?’ And..and I will give you what…what…what his brother said. His brother’s name is Lord Edward Spencer Churchill.
G: Wow. So, actually, he’s quite famous, I believe.
J: Well, that’s a proper name, isn’t it?
G: Well yes. I…I…I…I yes, I might have heard of him before, but…
J: Ah…I think you probably have. He said, erm…he was asked why a golden toilet was left unguarded. And he said – ‘It’s not going to be the easiest thing to steal. It was hooked up to the water and working. Er, in addition to that, a potential thief would have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I…I hadn’t planned on guarding the toilet.’ This is l…it’s not my words. This is the words of a…of Lord Edward Spencer Churchill.
G: O-obviously he doesn’t know how valuable dung is, as well, these days.
J: No, he has no idea.
G: Otherwise he would have factored that into his calculation. Did they recover the toilet?
J: No, they…er…as far as I know, they have not…er…recovered the toilet. There’s speculation perhaps it was melted down and sold off as gold. Nobody knows. That’s my…er…that’s what caught my eye this week.
G: Now I feel much more informed on who Mr Cattelan is, and his personal history. And that’s very interesting.
J: And the significance of that toilet.
G: And the significance of the toilet, as well as the banana.
J: There we go. So anyway…
G: And the importance of relating to art in a very intimate way.
G: Thank you very much.
J: It’s not necessarily…so you see, it’s not necessarily what you do but the argument behind it.
G: Exactly. It’s all in the eye…it’s all in the beholder.
J: Thank you.
G: Or the holder in this case. The vase.