Back in My DayMagazine Art + Culture | 02 Mar 2016
“Back in my day…” is a phrase often heard among Portuguese ‘prophets of doom’. “There was respect!” is, normally, the refrain that follows, in between downing a beer and putting out another cigarette in an ashtray that’s already overflowing on a Monday afternoon. Is Portugal worse or do we forget the bad things as time passes; leaving behind just the good memories, as if in mourning? I find it strange that the Portuguese people has the memory of a vengeful girlfriend, who still remembers that one time that she was told she didn’t look good in a dress, and not the other thousand times when she was told she was the prettiest girl at the party. Is there a crisis? Yes, there is. Is there unemployment? Yes, there is. Is there selective amnesia every four years when it’s time to vote again? Yes, there is. There always has been, at least ever since people have been free to vote.
Is there less respect today? No. There is less fear to challenge authority, whether this means the government, your boss or the Church. The “cheap” generation, the “hard-up” generation and today’s “make-do” generation, is always better than the one before. Better how?
The end of the dictatorship and of censorship. More or less.
Racism and xenophobia are on the decline. With the exception of Syrian refugees, of course.
Women have the same access to education as men and salaries are becoming more and more equal. All that’s left is for men to be let into nightclubs for free too.
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Text: Guilherme Duarte Author, of the blog Por Falar Noutra Coisa [roughly translating to “And now for something completely different…”]
Illustration: Sara Pinto
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