Another of those lessons I mentioned a couple of posts ago: we went through an episode of “Gente Que não Sabe Estar”, which is a sort of portuguese version of those american late night satire shows fronted by Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel or Seth whatsisface. In this case, it’s Ricardo Araújo Pereira, who has the requisite mixture of humour and ability to look credible in a suit. This is a challenging lesson for me because aside from the usual problems of trying to follow rapid-fiire portuguese, I have very little clue about who is who and what the hell it’s all about so I have had to do quite a lot of research. Here are some pointers, some from my teacher and some cribbed from Wikipedia and elsewhere
Joe Berardo (the creepy-looking dude in black, flanked by two very overworked lawyers) is a businessman who is somehow mixed up in a scandal regarding the recapitalisation of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos when it got in trouble a few years after the 2008 crash. It emerged that he had 980 million euros in debt to the bank and refused to pay interest because er… it would cause some sort of unspecified harm. He was fished out and dragged in front of the Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito, and that’s what the footage is in the show. It’s a strange mixture of careful distancing of himself from the scene of the action and ridiculous failure to read the room. “This is costing the people a lot of money” / “Not me though!” being just one example.
Right at the start there’s a missed pun opportunity owing to this being in Portguese and not english, so “Bearardo” does not happen.
“Se queres ajudar um homem não lhe dês o peixe” at around 1:25 is the first half of the portuguese equivalent of the old saying “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll eat for life”
“pipa de massa” = “a load of dough”, where dough is money, just like in an old american gangster movie
“Os juros” = interest
“as dívidas” = debts
“As ações” = stocks and shares
“Os títulos” = share certificates
“a garantia” = collateral
Floribella is a sort of soap opera about a young singer. Lots of bright colours and shonky acting, but it has heart. I skimmed through the pilot (below) and was sort of fascinated by the spectacle of someone speaking portuguese with a strong german accent. I thought she was spanish at first but her name’s Helga Schneider apparently. The theme is “não tenho nada mas tenho tenho tudo” ( don’t have anything but I have everything), which as he says, is an astute allegory about high finance.
I thought the “coleção” was a charitable institution that collects money for good causes but it turns out, no, it’s an actual collection of artworks and he’s a bit confused about whether he owns it or the foundation he runs owns it. Hence the hand-waving from the lawyer. He also seems to have given share certificates as securities for the loan, but they are valueless because the paintings can’t be sold without his permission… oh god, my brain is starting to hurt.
There’s an analogy with “monopólio” (Monopoly, the game) around 11.00-11.30 just before the magic trick with the cups.
Spooky bit at 20:30. Where did the lady in the light jacket go after disappearing behind Margarida Mano?
“Comer” in the context of the bit about Rui Rio at around 21:35 means “shag”. He’s not talking about cannibalism.
Postscript. Apparently my wife met Berardo when she was young in Funchal and is far from impressed with him as a human being.