There is no shortage of Brazilian artists worthy being honored in 2019. Chico Buarque won the Camões Award; two Brazilian films received awards in Cannes. We also have lost many legendary Brazilian artists in 2019, including the actress Bibi Ferreira, the theater director Antunes Filho, the actor Caio Junqueira, the writer João Carlos Marinho, the singer Beth Carvalho, and many others. Our president, however, hasn't paid any attention to these artists.
When he spontaneously decided to honor a newly deceased artist on Twitter (remember that this is his preferred means of communicating), the chosen artist was Tales Volpi, better known as MC Reaça, who committed suicide on Saturday.
According to the president, MC Reaça was someone with the "dream of changing the country," endowed with "great talent" and that "will be remembered for the gift, the humility and his love for Brazil." The president also published tributes by Carlos and Eduardo, as well as the profile of support to the government "Isentões," according to which "Tales was one of ours! A strong fighter in the fight for the truth".
After all, how did MC Reaça's "great talent" help Brazil? What was his admirable example of patriotism? He only has one achievement: having produced the electoral propaganda funk "Proibidão Bolsonaro," which was successful in marches in favor of the candidate.
The lyrics are basically a sequence of insults and taunts to Bolsonaro's enemies. Nothing is proposed; there is only hatred and resentment: left-wing politicians, intellectuals, feminism, the supposed moral degeneration of youth, and so on. The act of voting for Bolsonaro was transformed into an act of redemptive violence, an imaginary revenge, a jubilant insult against all these dangers.
"I give CUT bread with mortadella / and for feminists ration in the bowl / The girls on the right are the most beautiful/ While the left has more for that bitch." This is the talent that Bolsonaro was referring to.
The same logic of this funk seems to operate, in critical areas of the government. There is, for example, no clear proposal for education. But there is resentment against a phantom of communism that it thinks dominate universities.
It is purely a policy of destruction. The cutting of funds is not perceived as a hard budgetary imposition, but celebrated as the revenge against a system that promotes "mayhem." Brazil pays the bills of so many "talents" who now take revenge for never having received the recognition they thought they deserved.
The circumstances of MC Reaça's death make the homage even more curious. Apparently (the case is still being investigated), Volpi, who was married, beat his mistress - possibly when discovering that she was pregnant - so bad that she is in the hospital. After that, desperate, he killed himself.
I would never say that the president condones acts of aggression against women. The homage was made, moreover, before the circumstances were known. But there is more to this parallel with reality: under the aggressive rhetoric of a supposed patriotism and the moral regeneration of society, they close their eyes to monstrous practices.
The choice of the honoree thus becomes a symbol of the ethos of the current government and its most vocal supporters. Propaganda, hatred, resentment, ideology, and aggression: who will deny that the homage was well chosen?
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon