There's this book by Saramago, and now they made a movie out of it.
I guess I never read Saramago, the long paragraphs putted me off. So the movie was for me a good place to start. And I did start. And it was amazing to find, on English, an English movie with an English director, that old same morality that priests have been teaching us Portuguese for centuries: it is better to suffer an evil than to commit an evil. The good are the humble and meek.
And so there we have it, a girl who can see, that did not abandon love for the sake of selfishness, a model of morality...
But, as things go on, we start to comprehend the absurdity of it all... she is so good that she will let the bad guys go on and on in their evil doings... wtf??
Is this morality? Contemplating evil and destruction and doing nothing? Is this the right behavior? Would it be better to stay on the side when Hitler ravished through Europe with his madness, or, as the Americans did, was it better to stand up and say: that is quite enough!
Boy! I love Portugal, and I really love to have been born in an inconspicuous place open to the world, but this is, by far, the thing that I abhor above all in Portuguese culture: the thought that just to do nothing, to let it be, perhaps waiting for some divine justice to set in, is not only morally admissible, but the moral ideal that we should aspire too.
By the contrary, I believe that all Existence is made upon a dance and that when you dance, you dance with everything that you got. If you can find love and poetry and romance of course you go for it,. But if someone wants to fight, you fight back, and it is not the good one that always wins. Many times it will be the one with the best strategy, with the greater vision.
To exist we need to fight for our space: vegetarians and omnivorous are equal in this respect: we need land, we keep other beings from existing because we exist. This happens with the planet, with the solar system, everything precludes something else from existing. My physical body prevents some rocks from existing, all of the live animals on earth prevent an oxygen-free atmosphere from existing.
At the basic level we must fight. Perhaps we fight for the right not to fight. Perhaps we build prisons so that, just by seeing them, no one will take more than its share. Perhaps we build vaccines so that we won't have to fight diseases. But the ability not to fight is based on a previous fight. With the environment, with previous cultures, with other lifestyles.
We cannot be tolerant with intolerance!
We must fight back when someone attempts to suppress our way to live in freedom and peace.
God bless the USA and their fighting spirit. With l the mistakes they have made in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Central America, and many other places, I much rather prefer their military defense of freedom rather than the sick complacency that affects our Portuguese morality.
In that sense, I think this is the most pro-militaristic, pro-Republican, pro-war movie that I've seen in my entire life.
I'm usually a pacifist.