Thursday, September 28, 2017

José Antonio Was Not a Political Theorist



The writings and speeches of José Antonio are anything but works of ‘political theory.’ His speeches criticize, attack or defend, propose or destroy. They seek an immediate and active response from the audience. They do not remotely resemble the talks given at academic conferences.  

José Antonio’s speeches were crafted not so much to clarify listeners’ minds on economic matters, but rather to convince them that the solution to the well-known problems he enumerated lay precisely — at least in the case of Spain — in National-Syndicalism. His notable quotes have a similar style. 

Let’s consider, for example, the following famous phrase from José Antonio: ‘Revolution is the labor of a resolute minority impervious to discouragement.’ It contains many quite obvious intellectual and literary virtues. It’s a perfectly formulated, concise, and correct definition. But this is not the most significant merit of the phrase. When one reads it, one not only bears witness to an intellectual truth, but also feels at once obligated to embrace that imperviousness, that resolution. This is language that galvanizes, that pushes one forward. In other words, it’s the language of a leader, of a politician. It is not the phrase of an intellectual.    

José Antonio was a cultured man. This has nothing to do with how much he read. Rather, it means that José Antonio’s head and heart contained a complete, well-ordered vision of ‘his’ world. It is easy to reconstruct that vision — one need only read his works. But it is a mistake to believe that this vision constituted a new political doctrine. In reading his works, we find instead that his convictions, his political ideas, and his actions were intimately connected to the structure of his ideas and sentiments. This, in Spain, was a very rare thing in our political leaders. No wonder that so many confused a well-organized brain and heart with a political doctrine. 

Does this mean that José Antonio did not have a doctrine? No. He was a National-Syndicalist, and he contributed a great deal to that school of thought. Some of his ideas, of course, were borrowed from the JONS (Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista) and the first jonsistas. But two of José Antonio’s ideals constitute the linchpin of his thinking and his action. These ideals predate his relationship with the jonsistas. Perhaps they even predate his university studies. It’s not altogether surprising that ideals he learned from his family would be mistaken for ideas he received from his education or from some philosophical tradition. The first ideal is that of the greatness of Spain. The second is that of respect for man as the ‘bearer of eternal values.’ Clearly, these concepts are so vague and general that nobody can claim that they originated with José Antonio. Yet they are the marrow of José Antonio’s thought and the most fundamental and intimate reasons for his actions. 

I think it’s rather clear, then, that José Antonio was not a political theorist. He was no elaborator of doctrines. What was he, then? 

A politician. No more, no less. Which is no small achievement. Indeed, being a politician is one of the most difficult and glorious things that one can be in this world.” 

Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, prologue to José Antonio: An Anthology (1939)


*Translated from the Spanish by Pelayo Y. Flecha   

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Abdicação (Abdication)

Fernando Pessoa
The following is a poem written by the iconic Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. It is in turn followed by my own translation of the poem into English: 

Toma-me, ó noite eterna, nos teus braços
E chama-me teu filho.
Eu sou um rei
que voluntariamente abandonei
O meu trono de sonhos e cansaços.

Minha espada, pesada a braços lassos,
Em mão viris e calmas entreguei;
E meu cetro e coroa — eu os deixei
Na antecâmara, feitos em pedaços

Minha cota de malha, tão inútil,
Minhas esporas de um tinir tão fútil,
Deixei-as pela fria escadaria.

Despi a realeza, corpo e alma,
E regressei à noite antiga e calma
Como a paisagem ao morrer do dia.

Edward VIII, the British monarch who famously abdicated the throne in 1936, after having ruled for less than a year.

Take me, o eternal night, in your arms,
and call me your son.
I am a king
who voluntarily abandoned
my throne of dreams and fatigues.

My sword, heavy to my tired arms,
I deposited in virile and calm hands,
and my scepter and crown I left
in the antechamber, in pieces.

My coat of mail, so useless;
my spurs, which make such a silly jingle,
I left on the cold staircase.

I cast aside royalty, in body and soul,
and I returned to the old and calm night
as does the land at sunset.

Special thanks to the Government of Brazil for making the original Portuguese poem, which is in the public domain, easily accessible via the Internet. 



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bugs Bunny: One Thing Leads to Another

As this blog continues to establish itself, I'm adding yet another semi-regular feature. I'm going to be posting English translations of one of my most prized possessions: a 1976 Brazilian edition of a Bugs Bunny comic. This book was published by the Brazilian firm Editora Abril, and it collects what I believe to be Portuguese translations of 12 American Dell and Gold Key comic book stories from several different years. Unfortunately, the copyright page is rather blurry. But I can make out a reference to "Western Publishing Company, Inc., Racine, Wisconsin, E.U.A" and the following years: 1976, 1972, 1971, 1970, 1958, 1956, 1953. Sadly, I do not know who wrote or drew these stories. My translations of the stories into English will generally be faithful to the Portuguese versions, though I will also be mixing in some pop culture references. See if you can spot my references! Here’s the first story I am posting. Enjoy: 

Bugs Bunny 

In 


“One Thing Leads to Another” 

Pic 1: 

Bugs: Hey! Are you traveling somewhere, Elmer? 

Elmer (speech balloon): Huh? Yes… I’m going to my mountain cottage! 

Elmer (thought balloon): Ooh, that scwewy wabbit! I thought I could weave without him weawizing it! 

Pic 2: 

Bugs: Will you be there for long?  

Elmer (speech balloon): No… Just a few days! 

Elmer (thought balloon): Ugh… He’s gonna finish off my cawwot patch! 

Pic 3:  

Bugs: Well, don’t worry about your house! I’ll take care of everything for you, hear? 

Elmer (thought balloon): That’s what I’m afwaid of!

Pic 4: 

Elmer: Say, wabbit… wanna come with me? Your company would be a pweasure! 

Bugs: Of course I’ll go! 

Pic 5: 

Elmer (thought balloon): I don’t think this will be as bad as ending up without cawwots! 


Pic 1: 

Box: Hours later… 

Elmer: Open the door to air out the house! No one was here duwing the winter! 

Bugs: Okay! 


Pic 2: 

Bugs: Wha?! Did he say no one?

Mouse: Squeak! 

Pic 3: 

Bugs: Elmer! The house is full of parasitical rodents! 

Elmer: Huh? Do you mean mice? And I don’t have a mousetwap! 

Pic 4:   

Bugs: No worries! I’ll take care of ‘em! 

Pic 5: 

Bugs: I think we’d better pack our bags and get out of here! This cabin is too small for so many people! 

Elmer: No! Stop! 

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Don’t you want to get rid of the mice? 

Elmer: That’s no way to get wid of mice! 

Pic 7: 

Bugs: Do you know a better way? 

Elmer: Yes! Go to the city and buy mousetwaps! 



Pic 1: 

Bugs: If you’d rather I do that… 

Elmer: Come back wayter, you hear? 

Pic 2: 

Bugs: Hey! A kitten! Why waste money on mousetraps? 

Pic 3: 

Bugs: Elmer, a bowl of milk… fast

Elmer: Of couwse! 

Pic 4: 

Bugs: Thanks! 

Elmer: No wowwies! 

Pic 5: 

Elmer: Hey! Why did you ask me for a boww of miwk?  

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Do you know a better way to make friends with a kitten? 

Elmer: But that’s a wildcat

Pic 7: 

Bugs: Aw, come on. He seems so gentle… 

Elmer: Wook! The mice are wunning away! 



Pic 1: 

Bugs: Of course! I knew that would happen! 

Elmer: No, kitten! Don’t jump on the table! 

Pic 2: 

Wildcat: Hiss! 

Elmer: Cwikey! 

Pic 3: 

Elmer: G-get that fewine out of here, wabbit! She’s vewy dangewous! 

Bugs: Phooey! You just don’t know how to deal with cats! 

Wildcat: Lick! 

Pic 4: 

Wildcat: Roar! 

Bugs: Yeow! 

Pic 5: 

Bugs: He’s all yours, Elmer! 

Elmer: Mine? Now wisten here, you wascawwy wabbit! Do something about that fewine before I… 

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Okay! Okay! Let me think of something! Hmm… How do you get rid of a cat? 

Pic 7: 

Bugs: I know! Gimme a chunk of meat! 

Elmer: You can have these sausages! 

Pic 8: 

Elmer: Hey! Where are you going? 

Bugs: To look for a dog, laughing boy! Cats are afraid of dogs, aren’t they?



Pic 1: 

Bugs: Here, Pluto! Rin Tin Tin… Hong Kong Phooey… anyone! Free food

Pic 2: 

Bugs: Hey! There’s a police dog! Come here, Friday! Here’s the buoy!

Pic 3: 

Bugs: Whoa! Just the sausage! Not my hand! 

Pic 4: 

Bugs: Come on, Rinty! You’ll eat the rest inside! 

Pic 5: 

Bugs: Okay, Elmer! You can kiss the kitty goodbye! 

Elmer: Huh?!  

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Okay, Sparky! Sit down like a good puppy! 

Elmer: P-puppy? That’s a wolf! 

Pic 7: 

Bugs: A wolf

Pic 8: 

Wildcat: Hiss! 

Bugs: Wow! 



Pic 1: 

Wolf: Grr! 

Pic 2: 

Bugs: Well, There They Go-Go-Go! 

Pic 3: 

Bugs: Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to waste money on mousetraps? 

Elmer: Yes, vewy! 

Pic 4:

Wolf: Gruff! 

Bugs: Gee! I think he wants more sausages! 

Pic 5: 

Bugs: Oh, well. He deserves it, after all! We’re out of sausages, boy! Want a steak? 

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Thanks again, Doc. But now, please leave! 

Wolf: Gulp! 

Pic 7: 

Wolf: Grrrrr! 

Bugs: Yeow! Was it something I said? 



Pic 1: 

Wolf: Grrr! 

Elmer: Now he wants to wie on my bed!  

Pic 2: 

Elmer: What do we do now, you windsock? 

Bugs: Calm down, egghead! I’ll think of a way to get rid of him! 

Pic 3: 

Elmer: No way, no how! I’m going to city to buy a wifle! 

Bugs: A rifle? 

Pic 4: 

Bugs: But I hate gunfire! My ears are very sensitive! 

Elmer: I’ll bwing you earmuffs! 

Pic 5: 

Bugs: Well, I can’t give up now! There must be a way to get rid of the wolf… without setting the cottage on fire! 

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Let’s see… What might scare off a wolf? A bigger animal! I know… an elephant! 

Pic 7: 

Bugs (balloon # 1): Nah… there are no elephants here in the forest! Though I do recall seeing one once, that time I randomly made up that jazz about hunting rabbits with an elephant gun. I still don’t know where he came from, or whatever happened to him! 

Bugs (balloon # 2): Gee whiz! What could that be? 

Pic 8: 

Bugs: Holy Albuquerque! A man and a bear fighting! I can’t watch! 

Man: Grrrr! 

Bear: Grrrr! 



Pic 1: 

Bugs: Wow! That blow was as hardcore as the ones on TV! 

Pic 2: 

Bugs: Holy moly! The bear is running away like a… like a… scared rabbit! 

Pic 3: 

Bugs: What’s up, Doc? I saw your fight with the bear! Are you hurt? 

Man: Of course not! I’m used to fighting bears! 

Pic 4: 

Bugs: You don’t say? 

Man: Yes, sir. They even call me Eustace, the Terrorizer of Bears! I enjoy fighting bears more than eating… almost, that is! 

Pic 5: 

Bugs (thought balloon): I’ve got it! I’ll find a bear to scare off the wolf, and then I’ll call Eustace to get rid of the bear! 

Pic 6: 

Bugs: Say, Eustace… Would you like to fight another bear? 

Eustace: Yippity-Yabbity-Doo! Lemme at ‘im! Lemme at ‘im! 

Pic 7: 

Bugs: Just a cotton-picking minute, Doc! I gotta find a bear, first! Where will I be able to find you? 

Eustace: Right here, sitting on this old tree trunk! 

Pic 8: 

Box: Later… 

Bugs: It won’t be long before a bear follows this trail of honey! Heh, heh…



Pic 1: 



Bugs: Would you mind if I put some honey on the floor? 



Wolf: Woof! 



Pic 2: 



Bugs: Here comes one now! And it’s a darn big one! 

Pic 3: 

Bugs: Uh-oh! And here comes Fuddface! 

Pic 4: 

Bugs: Did you buy the rifle, baldy? 

Elmer: No! All the stores were cwosed! 

Pic 5: 

Elmer: I’m gonna turn on the firepwace, pwug up the chimney, and scare off the wolf with the smoke! 

Bugs: There’s no need! I brought in a bear to take care of the wolf! 

Pic 6: 

Elmer: A bear

Bugs: Yes! I think you should stay out of this! 

Pic 7: 

Wolf: Pant! Pant! Pant! 

Bugs: Now I just have to get Eustace! 

Pic 8: 

Bugs: There he is! Hey, Eustace! I found a bear for you! 

Eustace: Maybe some other time, okay? I can’t right now! 


Pic 1: 

Bugs: But why the rush?

Eustace: A skunk! The trunk I was sitting on caved in under my weight! 

Pic 2: 

Eustace: And the skunk that lived in there got a bit upset! 

Bugs: Yikes! 

Pic 3: 

Elmer: What now? Any more bwiwwiant ideas? 

Bugs: No! I hate to say this, but you’ll have to deal with this one on your own, Elmer! 

Pic 4: 

Bugs: Look! The skunk is going into the cabin! It must be looking for another place to live! 

Elmer: Oh, no! 

Pic 5: 

Bear: Yeow! 

Bugs: Calm down, Elmer. You’re rid of the bear, aren’t you? 

Pic 6: 

Elmer: Twue! But how am I gonna get wid of the skunk? 

Bugs: Why don’t you try smoking up the house now? 

Pic 7: 

Elmer: Because there’s another pest I have to take care of, before I deal with the skunk!

Bugs: Huh? What pest? 

Pic 8: 

Elmer: You! No cawwot patch is worth the sacwifice of towewating your pwesence! 

Bugs: Sheesh! How ungrateful can you be?  

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
DISCLAIMER: I do not in any way, shape, or form claim ownership of the characters, stories, or images featured in this blog post. Those rights belong to Warner Bros., Western Publishing Company, Editora Abril, and/or their successor companies. The purpose of this blog post is strictly for entertainment purposes, and for celebrating these great classic cartoon characters.