You know the one about the parrot?

The parrot joke is a national institution. The first trot of global proportions involving a laurel took place in the 17th century, when these lands were not even two centuries old. It ended up in Essay Concerning Human Understanding, by John Locke, book I, chapter 000, the possibility of man not be the only rational animal, since Sir William Temple, in Memoirs of what passed in Christendom from 1672 to 1672, reported the existence of an old rational parrot in Brazil. Maurício de Nassau knew the animal and neither confirmed nor denied the story, but a judicious witness managed to get an interview with the parrot, who reported being born in Maranhão, raised by a Portuguese and working guarding the chickens. The detail is that the parrot did not speak English or French, so the interview was only possible with an interpreter.

Centuries later, in the year of 2010, another prank between a Brazilian and a parrot had taken on global proportions: the campaign to save the galvao birds had become trending topics all over Twitter . It was the year of the World Cup, Twitter was not used much by Brazilians yet, but the few who used it tweeted a lot “CALA BOCA GALVAO”, dissatisfied with that exalted announcer who narrated at the top of his lungs all the feelings of the most famous players or those who had just become country. If you were born yesterday, I explain that he narrated with the same frenzy as a radio announcer (every Z-series game narrated on the radio is very agitated, even if it goes from zero to zero), he just didn’t identify anyone and said things like “Brazil advances ”, without specifying the player. All the radio broadcaster’s enthusiasm was for the emotions on the field, the private life of the players, the weather, the opposing country, etc. In short: for most viewers, a bore in wellies. Changing the channel was not an option on open TV. As the 7-1 had not yet traumatized the nation, Brazilians were on Twitter cursing the announcer a lot. Such cursing made the phrase go up in the trending topics and, in that, it ended up intrigued by the gringos, who are always very serious and wanted to know what cause was the one that moved Brazilians.

Save the galvões!

Brazilians gave false answers, which the gringos believed. It’s hard to believe that no one has tweeted that Galvão was the boring TV announcer who bought the World Cup rights. In any case, as the New York Times explains, a well-received explanation claimed that the galvão was an endangered bird. Paulo Coelho joined in, but with less success, stating that “Cala Boca Galvão” was a translation of “silentium galvanum”, a homeopathic remedy.

Humorists from the late Não Salvo website fleshed out the version, produced a video with English text and hired a British announcer to read the following message: “Help us save the galvões. ‘Cala Boca Galvão’ is a Twitter campaign focused on spreading the word about the galvão, a rare bird native to Brazil. Each year, more than 300.000 are killed during carnival parades. Their colorful feathers are sold on the black market, and if this carnage doesn’t stop, they’ll become extinct faster than you might think: the last couples of hawks live in the Amazon rainforest, but they’re dying out because of climate change. Now Brazilian scientist Frei Galvão is working on a capsule to protect birds from these effects, so we need your donation via tweet. Every tweet with ‘Cala Boca Galvao’ generates a donation of US$0,10 to the Galvão Birds Foundation. One second to tweet. One second to save a life. Help Brazil. Help our rarest birds.” The locution ends with the close-up of the innocent look of a parrot.

All it took was a little skepticism not to fall into the prank. The “galvão” presented is a parrot. The feathers of the samba school parade, artificial, are immense, bigger than a lot of parrots, and of a very different shade of green than the animal. Furthermore, how is it possible that more than 300.000 galvões are killed each year, if only a few couples of hounds lost in the forest? At this point, the cause of extinction suddenly shifts from samba schools to climate change. Redemption comes through Science. The scientist Frei Galvão, in addition to having the name of a saint, has the image of Chico Xavier. The medium’s speeches about his mission, taken from the biographical film, are attributed to the savior of the galvões – who needs money to make the capsules in which the animals will live apart from the climate (they will reproduce themselves via artificial insemination, provided by the Galvão Foundation?). With a tweet, “a donation will be generated” like this, num fiat. The fact is that the gringo doesn’t even need to take 0,10 from his pocket to do this good deed.

The business boomed and was considered the biggest virtual prank in the history of the internet. Of course it wouldn’t stick, if it didn’t meet the expectations of the average gringo tweeter.

Very current narrative

Em In just over a minute, the trot managed to capture the pattern of “enlightened opinion” in the first world. Nature is in danger because of climate change, but through Science humanity will find a solution to the problem. The mystification of Science was already evident in 2010, as Chico Xavier does not look like a scientist and, in the film, he looks like an important religious.

In the midst of this climate catastrophe that threatens lives, enlightened opinion has a priority: the parrot, I mean, the galvão. Saving innocent little animal species is more important than helping poor children or Chinese slaves. To solve the problem of poor children, the right thing is to promote abortion; and, instead of worrying about the real slaves, the right thing is to anthropomorphize animals and defend “animal liberation”.

Man, presented in the form of a Brazilian, is a species maleficent that persecutes the galvons because of their feathers. In fact, evil only exists – global warming, the extinction of galvões – because of man, who is not as enlightened as the average gringo tweeter. Men of color appear dancing samba with the feathers of galvões and selling their feathers on the black market. Climate change is illustrated with a factory puffing smoke in the middle of a forest. Ah, those Brazilians! They’ve been up to no good before electing Bolsonaro!

At the end of the speech, the icing on the cake: you, sitting on your couch, will be able to solve this great plot in the world. With a tweet, you become a good guy and, at the same time, show everyone that you are a good guy. The passive formulation of the wording makes the agency not questioned. If the donation “will be generated”, there is no reason to ask who will donate. The donation will be generated as pumpkins are generated, without asking who makes the pumpkins.

We can’t help but notice that a voiceover in English with a perfect British accent testifies in favor of the veracity of a campaign spent in Brazil: who dictates what Civilization is is rich Europe. If it’s ugly to be Eurocentric now, it’s only because some Americans who quote French people say it is.

Morals of history

It is a mark of educated and educated people to consider that people are worth more than animals. It is in the vast European HDI middle class in the Alps, and not among the illiterate northeastern porters, that we will find these beliefs. Middle and upper class Brazilians do this too, because they are chic and try to imitate the advanced peoples of Europe. If they are shabby and enter a federal, they will do the same thing, because they entered the federal and need to ascend in that environment.

But the prank should have served to show how ridiculously easy it is to deceive this literate type. It proved that these people believe in anything, as long as it fits into the Anthropogenic Apocalypse Salvation narrative via Science and fulfills a small series of requirements that have nothing to do with argumentation or science. The video appeared to be first world and to have a lot of money involved; if it was a less produced video and with a Brazilian accent, it wouldn’t stick as much. Another important thing is knowing how to deal with emotion. The voiceover is emotional, the piano in the background is sad, the focus on the parrot-victim’s gaze makes any Brazilian laugh, but it shows that there are scenography tricks capable of giving even the parrot an air of innocence.

In short, you can see how easy it is for a gringo to create an NGO and extract money from his Muggle compatriots. Don’t you, with your Brazilian accent, want to compete with the gringo who has mountains of euros or dollars and a first world network.

This growth in the influence of NGOs takes place pari passu with the signaling of virtues fostered by social networks. Note that, given the nature of the campaign, it was impossible to help the galvões in private. Quite contrary to traditional Christian morality, which did not recommend the ostentation of charity, this new morality assumes that everything is ostentatious. Tweeting is doing good and the cost is zero. Now, if the donation was “generated” with a significant amount of money coming out of the donor’s pocket, wouldn’t he have the impetus to go to Google to see if the Galvão Foundation really exists? When morality comes at zero cost, people have more reason to be flippant. It is not for nothing, therefore, that they feel free to have an opinion on any thorny subject that turns hashtag.

)Parrot yesterday and today

As there is this obsession with race in the rich world, we must give them a chance and take into account the fact that illustrated gringos can be motivated by racism. First, we observe that parrots are better at moving them than a snotty poor child or a starving slave. The Brazilians are insensitive colored who kill little animals and pollute the environment. The galvao bird, of which you are now aware, is “ours” (their) and needs international help to be saved. Saved from whom? Brazilians, responsible even for climate change. Here there is only black setting fire to everything and killing little animals.

What is the worthy role that a colored can play in this plot? The good savage or exotic mystic. Then take her little brunette girl in a headdress to talk about romantic things (stricto sensu, romanticism) at the UN and melt Nordic hearts. The expression “Indian chest” is not known to them, who find these beautiful “Indian women” in a bikini on display very normal. On the other hand, when the Indians present the very human need to obtain sustenance from their own land, they have no hope of achieving as much empathy as a girl with a headdress who talks to animals and trees.

Every now and then they decide to defy Western technique and embrace some exotic sage. It could be Gandhi or John of God. That’s why the image of a religious as a scientist came in handy – maybe scientists are more mystical around these parts and use a lot of prayer in the protective capsule of galvons. It is hard to believe that scientists there (ie, here) are people like us (ie, them).

Again, it is the unity of human nature that is in question. The average rich-world literate who fell for the prank is no more sensible person than the street vendor from Rio who appears in the video. Brazilians are not caricatured villains who want to destroy the planet due to cognitive impairment. They would do better if they looked at us and thought: “they are people like us”.

Interestingly, the 17th century prank call that caught Locke took place precisely at a time when part of humanity was trying to define human nature and, seeing so many weird people in the tropics, wondered if those people were really people like us. The rational parrot would be proof that it would be possible to divorce humanity from rationality. If gringos were more sensible and understood that a man is a man, they would not be so susceptible to prank calls with parrots.

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