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The metaphors of our Minister Posted by on Jun 11, 2019 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Economy, Entertainment, Literature, Politics, Video

Bom dia, queridos leitores! Como têm passado? Good morning, dear readers! How have you been lately?  Metaphors are a figure of speech that create new significados (meanings) through comparisons and analogies. They funcionam (work) very well in the literature, in poetry and in the arts when you want to express something. But do they work that well in politics? Brazil’s current Ministro da Educação (Minister of Education) of Brazil seems to think so.

Abraham Weintraub rose to power with promises to be more moderate than his predecessor, former Minister Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, who was no cargo (in office) for only four months. However, this is not what we have been seeing so far. To justificar (justify) some of his very contradictory medidas (measures) such as expressive cuts in public education, he has used some unusual, not to say strange metáforas (metaphors). In order to explain a 30% corte (cut) in higher education bolsas de pesquisa (research grants) and staples such as cleaning and personal care products, the atual (current) minister recorded a video along with President Jair Bolsonaro explaining the cuts with chocolate bars.

While Weintraub showed that only a small parte (share) would be “contigenciada” (“contingent”) – the term that the current governo (government) uses for the cuts – and that the remainder would be maintained normally, President Jair Bolsonaro did not restrain himself from eating some chocolate bars, basically ruining the already weak metaphor. Ironically, one of the chocolate bars used for his “math” is called Prestígio (“Prestige”), a very common doce (candy) in Brazil. In addition to being ruim (bad) in metaphors, he is also bad at math, seen as the quantidade (amount) of chocolate bars used to represent the budget cuts does not correspond to the actual números (figures).

On another occasion, shortly after two major manifestações (demonstrations) against cuts in public education took over the nation, Weintraub again attacks with his “lyrical spirit.” In his twitter account, the current Minister of Education published a video where he appears with um guarda-chuva (an umbrella) dancing the classic “Singing in the rain”. All this to say that it was raining Fake News about the budget cuts for the recovery of the National Museum. This chuva (rain) metaphor is in bad taste, since the most important museum in Brazil was actually destroyed by a incêndio (fire) last year.

Well, it is no surprise that the minister does not know how to create his metaphors well, since literature does not seem to be one of his pontos fortes (strongest suits). On a certain occasion, Weintraub confundiu (confused) the renowned Czech author Franz Kafka with the traditional Arabic dish Kafta. The minister has already indicated that his connection with leitura (reading) is confined to the alleged pocket guru and astrologist, Olavo de Carvalho, who happens to be the one who indicou (appointed) both Ministers of Education to occupy this position. What about you guys, what do you think of the way the minister uses a linguagem (language) to explain his political decisions?

If you want to know more about the fire in the National Museum and about Olavo de Carvalho, just click on the links below:

Who is Olavo de Carvalho?

The Museu Nacional fire

Uma semana incrível a todos! An amazing week to all!

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