Innocent Mosquitoes

Brazil Report – The Big Kiss Off

Dilma Rousseff

It ended with a kiss off from Rousseff. The wise guys on the South Side dreamed they could take over from the know-all mugs that say Brazil needs social inclusion. But what about the poor wise guys, say the South Side bosses, social inclusion only encourages the mugs. But after twelve years in power, the big mugs keep control of the big house. Wise guys in the press say the victory was a whisker. But 72% of the vote in the North and 52% in the home state of wise guy Aécio Neves means the kiss off dame tells her grandchildren she was a special mug. The babe will also mention when she was tortured by the military mob.

But it could still mean sleeping with the fishes for the dame. The deal with those guys from FIFA to bring the World Cup did the mugs no favours. Stash was directed away from the mugs that worked the streets. Soon the Olympics circus comes to town and that hoopla could mean showdown number two. But give credit where credit is due. The babe deserves a T-shirt and a poster. She fought the South Side when the mob was military. Those days the South Side was something.

And Dilma is a dame that South Side wise guys can talk to. Marxism puts wise guys to sleep but pragmatic capitalism shows respect. Aécio Neves is a wise guy but the hood calls himself the candidate of change, an economist, something real fancy. The wise guy might be smart but he cut no ice. Too many of the mugs knew he was not on the level. The dame is right. Sometimes you should give a handshake. A smart wise guy knows it is not all up against the wall and a slug in the belly.

Business has been bad but the football fix helped the wise guys, and so did that Hydro Dam deal. Dilma ain’t such a bad dame. Europe pulled the rug from their South Side, and the poor wise guys in Venezuela you don’t recognise.

The good old days when we could let people starve in the streets, they are over. No wise guy looks at the Bolsa Familia Program without wanting that bread. But the smart wise guys are patient. What goes around comes around. Soon these people with money in their pockets will want what we do best. And it will be different from the education and the vaccinations that the kiss off dame demands. Wise guys put a smile on the faces of the mugs on the streets. A wise guy was told by a judge the other day that the Bolsa Familia Program reduced poverty by 27.7% in the first four years.

See, the idea is everybody has money for food and clothes. Wise guys from the South Side say where is the respect in that? Well, it is different but money is money, and what goes around comes around is what the smart wise guys say.

Howard Jackson has had three books published by Red Rattle Books. His next book, Nightmares Ahead, will be published by Red Rattle Books in Spring 2015. If you want to read more about Brazil click here.


Brazil – Women Without Men

Noiva de Cordeiro

Nothing chills like knowing what you want can only be achieved if you are excluded.

‘Our town is prettier, more organised and far more harmonious than if men were in charge.  When problems or disputes arise, we resolve them in a woman’s way, trying to find consensus rather than conflict.  We share everything, even the land we work on.  Nobody competes with anyone here.  It’s all for one and one for all.’

The town being described is Noiva do Cordeiro.  Translated to English that means Bride of the Lamb.  In Portuguese, like Spanish, the same word means girlfriend and bride.  This must cause confusion but I am old and I keep my distance.

Noiva do Cordeiro is 50 miles from Belo Horizonte in the middle of Brazil.  The founder of the town was a woman.  Maria Senhorinha de Lima settled there in 1891 after being branded an adulteress in her own town.  There is a tradition of strong independent minded women.

The town has some men but they leave in the week to work elsewhere.  This arrangement also exists in certain towns on the north western coast of Spain and it has produced similar results, communities managed by women.  But in Noiva do Cordeiro the women also form a majority of the residents.  The men are scarce.

Nelma Fernandes, said, ‘Here the only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us, everyone is a cousin.   I haven’t kissed a man for a long time.  We’d like to get to know men who would leave their own lives and come to be a part of ours.  But first they need to agree to do what we say and live according to our own rules.’

The rules are attractive and so are the women.  Noiva do Cordeiro is renowned for the beauty of the women.

Rosalee Fernandes, a cousin of Nelma, said, ‘The whole town came together recently to help buy a huge widescreen TV for our community centre so we can all watch soap operas together.  And there is always time to stop and gossip, try on each other’s clothes and do each other’s hair and nails.’

I am not a fan of soap opera but my nails definitely need doing.  If that sounds like a sneer, it is not.  This week 13 men filmed themselves escaping from a Brazilian prison.  The video footage suggests a cynical narcissism beyond women or at least the women of Noiva do Cordeiro.  In another prison, inmates protested against the conditions inside the prison.  Four prisoners died, two were beheaded.  The man who was found alive in a Brazilian morgue two hours after he was put in a body bag was luckier.   Compared to the world of men and the institutional competitiveness that may or may not be authentic, the shared widescreen TV looks increasingly attractive, especially when there are no men to hog the remote control.

Rosalee Fernandes explains, ‘We have God in our hearts.’

Call it what you want, Rosalee, but whatever it is it inspires me.


Howard Jackson has had 3 books published by Red Rattle Books.  His 11,000 mile journey around Brazil is described in Innocent Mosquitoes.  His next book is a compilation of horror stories and is called Nightmares Ahead.  It will be available in 2015.


If you want to read more about Brazil click here.