Brazilian Scratch Fever

During a planning session for a movie project about Brazilians in the USA, I ask the director Veronica M. why she is noticing the sudden attention on Brazil. She sees her country's profile everywhere, in the arts, in the news, though she lives in the Imperial City. She knows Brazil is talked about as an "emerging" culture as India and China are also talked about. But "City of God" was not made in India or China. Milton Nascimento has no peer in terms of American commercial success in China or India. We do not read a Chinese Amado. Why? I tell her I think Brazil is the nation most like the United States because of its genetic diversity: I think of China as a monochromatic society, even before communism, and India is infamous for its caste system, which extends even into the Patels and Singhs in America, refusing procreation with local Yanks in favor of maintaining pure blood, despite the kinks of DNA inherent to copulation by proximity. But this is a racist stance, even in 2007. It cannot be expressed without censure, I warn her. She weighs the opinion and understands that I am suggesting she invents a character who can drawl a controversy by suggesting "our music can be understood by anybody because we're willing to have a baby with anyone we want to." My silly opinion about the fascination and acceptance of Brazilian culture in the USA isn't what is important, Veronica understands, but the invention and expression of ideas is crucial in a life of exploration. And Veronica is an explorer, make no mistake, teaming up with a longtime pal from the Betapunks days, Andres Jacomix. He gets the Brazilian connection: speech is like desire, and shouldn't be repressed under any condition, which he knows as only somebody who grew up in the silent shadows of Chile could know. What a potentially cool team Veronica and Andres can be. I am like an old man prodding them, no longer juiced by my own energies, and I say a lot to them but mean only one thing, do what you do and not what I say . . . but do. They've got the itch, and I'm telling them, as I always have, as I always do, like a broken and shrill message: Scratch. The itch will go away, and everyone will want to talk about your interesting scar.