ctt wtf

E pronto, mais uma logomarca sucumbe ao síndroma do inócuo. Perde História, perde relação tangível, visual e contextual, perde distinção, perde qualquer elemento que a comprometa com a realidade. Sim, porque nesta era de especulação financeira, as imagens dos serviços têm igualmente de ser especulativas,.. ou seja, têm de nos remeter para o vácuo.
“ctt”. E mai nada. 
A imagem do carteiro a cavalo, além de evocativa e poética, era pedagógica: remetia para as origens da profissão. Agora ficamos com uns caracteres amnésicos facebooky e com umas cores previsíveis que aplicaremos nas selfies em que os nossos sorrisos são já esgares em tanta sofreguidão de cosmética digital.
“Perde o cavalo, mas está mais colorido”, dizem. A gargalhada que esta frase me inspirou tresandou a cinismo.
Cansa, esta erradicação, deliberada e voraz, da poesia e do sentido das coisas. E o design podia ser tão o oposto disto: celebratório em vez de protocolar. Sofisticado, em vez de redutor. Evocativo em vez de amnésico por decreto.
Nesta obsessão de “futuro”, esquecemo-nos além do mais que o bom design é igualmente patrimonial. Aqui, deitámos abaixo mais um pouco do nosso património. Os originais sobreviverão algures em museus do design ou bienais algo nostálgicas… quando, em verdade, o nosso próprio quotidiano podia ser um Museu do Design. Sem este “ctt”, obrigado.

Three months on

Three months today since I had my arms and shoulder smashed to pieces… Long enough to realise how lucky I was among the bad luck, as I was promptly assisted by the best professionals, had a tireless guardian angel by my side as the ordeal happened… and most decisively, the extent of the damage was such that it could have left me permanently incapacitated. It did not. This was confirmed to me by the doctors a while afterwards, and is such a change of perspective on things.

I am lucky in that I will likely regain most of my mobility. I’m sticking to a rigorous schedule of daily exercises, even adding some extra time beyond what has been prescribed. Most importantly, I am saving a thought for the many people I have come in contact with that have not been so fortunate: as a culture, we are so focused on “the perfect body”, and yet our social fabric is full of bodies struggling to reconquer simple movements and tasks we are used to taking for granted. I’ve seen hardship, resilience, compassion, even humour, amongst a lot of people who have been dealt so much worse than I have.

If anything, these three months have reminded me of the literal fragility of our human condition, but also presented me with shining examples of real -challenges-. Let’s cherish this word and respect it for what it signals: not a stupid soda guessing game or the like, but the sheer will of those in truly difficult situations. Me, I’m OK.




Prince, Matt and I

A lifetime ago… Prince was alive, I was living in London and @matt wood and I clubbed regularly… In the late Summer of 1998 Prince landed in London for four gigs in three days. We made it to all four… and made it to the official videos that were filmed throughout. Here I am in my glorious youth at an intimate Cafe de Paris gig, capacity 300… a revealing close-up of yours truly bobbing my head at 1:08. It all went by so quickly… the gig and the glorious London days.

You can no longer go home: you will instead build a new home.

Trauma is such a journey. Once medically stabilised, it takes a while to realise life will not go back to what it was – both because the body has changed, and because one’s mind and narrative now live somewhere else.
I appreciate this challenge, even if derived from an unfortunate accident: allowing Life to change you, and reinvent yourself accordingly, namely in ridding yourself of whichever dead ends might have been lurking.
All this said, it’s not all new-agey existential ruminations: recovery still includes very tangible pain and frustration. But hey, it will pass – and will be replaced by other kinds of pain. And joy.

João Gilberto: a bridge

Besides his incalculable contributions to the reinvention of Brazilian popular music, João Gilberto, who passed away yesterday, managed a bridge between the easy listening of Bruno Martino and the luxurious sound surgeries of Jon Hassell… Jon himself has mentioned in various instances how much Gilberto has influenced his “post-orgasmic” (his expression) approach to music performance.


BM version

JG version

JH version


Re: AI, algorithms, FB blunders and the like.
We sh*t the bed with the tools we develop. We then create tools to unsh*t the bed. We then create tools that undo the unsh*tting. We then…
… could we just have some potty training instead?

Moon in Mars

We laugh because of the supposed ignorance: the Moon is part of Mars, ha ha. Meanwhile, what is really happening is no laughing matter: reality and truth are being overtly shattered and re-shaped into all kinds of forms that fit the agendas being pushed.

Brexit is essentially the same phenomenon: you provide people with an insultingly over-simplified choice, then watch as the outcome is twisted and morphed into a paradox that bulldozes any chance of ever applying wisdom into politics.

And meanwhile we teach ourselves to enjoy it all as some mutant circus show, as it is the only way for our souls to endure their own agony.



Conan the shaman

Conan Osiris yesterday: expectations were high and he did not disappoint. The presence of traditional Portuguese folk music idioms was definitely on the fore, as was dubstep: the mix was potent as ever. The energy throughout was ecstatic.
There is something of the Prince mastery of the stage and the crowd somewhere in there. Speaking of crowd, great to see how diverse it was, different ages and aesthetics… so the appeal is indeed broad. I was amazed at how most of them seemed to know every single lyric, but in retrospect I guess it makes sense – given that it was such a small venue, most of the tickets had been snapped up by the superfans.
Conan seems to hold true devotion among this broad segment of the public: I hope he keeps evolving and pushing into further uncharted sound and cultural territories, at this point it seems he can do no wrong with the fans. Quite a task, but he’ll do it, he’s a born shaman.