Do you need help? Since 2020 this is the kind of question that became almost rhetorical. If you are feeling 100% all right and do not think you need any kind of help (financial, emotional or psychological), chances are you´re in a denial process and yes, you need help to get out of it.

I understand you. We are all humans and we try to defend ourselves in any possible way, it´s our instinct, but as I recently heard from an eminent Brazilian neurobiologist: if you have any common sense, you´re not feeling all right now. It is not the good, old “this world is a mess”. This time it is different. We are all facing something new (though, by the way we handle the planet, we could see it coming) and although optimism and faith are important tools in overcoming the pandemic, they cannot replace a sober, lucid approach to reality.

The only problem about this rational exercise is that reality has been quite bitter for a while now on a level that is hard for us, human beings, to handle. Financially, emotionally and psychologically speaking. With that in mind, it is not difficult to assume that we are all in the need of some sort of extra help. At least so I thought, when I reached out to one of my favourite jazz web radios.

I listen to their channels basically everyday and got pretty used to their catalog and I´ve realized that there was a lot wrong or missing information concerning the names of the songs in Portuguese and many Brazilian interpreters, specially female singers were not credited.

Trying to help, I wrote them this very respectful e-mail, starting by congratulating the team and offering my services as a volunteer to double check the content written in Portuguese. Then I clicked “send” and waited for the answer, with that warm feeling of self-contentment we experiment, when we believe we did something good. If you like happy endings, you might consider stop reading now.

The following day I got an answer (goodie, goodie), but their reaction was kind of disappointing. They claimed they do not have any Portuguese speaker on their team (so I figured and this is precisely why I volunteered in the first place) and, well basically that was it. They also said they would welcome any notice on missing or inaccurate information. Hum… ok, I guess.

Was I upset? A little bit. Can I say they were impolite? Not at all! Did they ask for my help? Nope. Maybe they considered my offer an inconvenience, who knows? Maybe it was just a bad day in the office. After all, as anything in life, offering and getting help is also a matter of timing.

Be seeing you!

G.F.

Are you a cat? If you are anyhow related to the jazz world, or even if you are not, you probably heard this slang before. Like many others from the same origin (“gig” comes immediately to mind) it belongs to he current mainstream vocabulary and has such a broad use now, that basically describes anyone who plays or likes very much jazz music. If you read my previous post, you already know that I am into animations and if you are a regular Red Flower Press enjoyer, you might even know about my researches in the visual arts field.

My first step towards becoming a cat had the help of many animated animals, among them the cats from the US sitcom Top Cat. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, the adventures of a gang of Manhattan alley cats leaded by T.C. had jazz almost as an extra character. From the main title theme to the looks of the cats, the jazz vibe is everywhere and I loved to watch it in the afternoon reruns.

The show forged my taste in many ways and it belongs to my fondest childhood memories. I remember being specially fascinated by the way the cats turned the alley into a multi-functional space. The police box phone was the highlight of their creativity and it has a lot to do with the way I deal with decoration, using objects for multiple purposes, alley style.

I never had music classes as a child, neither was taken to concerts and had even less contact to jazz, what makes those visual references so important to me. Gloria Wood singing The Woody Woodpecker song, Louis Prima´s I wanna be like you from The Jungle Book (check out the very nice story behind his participation), Henry Mancini and The Pink Panther theme, among many others, were more than an important part of my musical background, they were my first music lessons. Music will always find a way.

Be seeing you!

G. F.