The Carny Nation (I) *

The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese, 'Revolução dos Cravos') was an almost bloodless, leftist, military-led coup d'état, started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, that effectively changed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship to a liberal democracy after two years of a transitional period known as PREC ('Processo Revolucionário Em Curso'), characterized by social turmoil and power dispute between left and right wing political forces. Although government forces killed four people before surrendering, the revolution was unusual in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. The population, holding red carnations ('cravos' in Portuguese), convinced the regime soldiers not to resist. The soldiers readily swapped their bullets for flowers. It was the end of the Estado Novo, the longest authoritarian regime in Western Europe (but not the last to end; Francisco Franco ruled Spain until his death in 1975). The revolution is often simply referred to, as its celebratory holiday, 'o dia vinte e cinco de Abril' (the 25th of April).

* title half-taken from Nick Cave's song called 'The Carny' (a sad story about a traveling carnival, a freak-show troupe, and a deadly horse) that makes a pun with the word Nation. It starts like this: «And no-one saw the carny go / And the weeks flew by / Until they moved on the show / Leaving his caravan behind.»
Nothing to do with 'carnation', though. Maybe resembling the remains, and the aims, of the 'portuguese revolution' nowadays, somehow, and, further more, this case could be applied in a symbolic way to the description of how the Past - the moribund portuguese regime: The "Dog-boy, Atlas, Half-man, The Geeks, the Hired Hands" and, of course, "the dwarves" - went away, down the well, with no glory. But I'm not sure. ;-)

Anyway it ends like this: «Until nothing was left, nothing at all / Except the body of sorrow / That rose in time / To float upon the surface of the eaten soil.» «And a murder of crows did circle round /First one, then the others flapping blackly down.» «And the carny's van still sat upon the edge / Tilting slowly as the firm ground turned to sludge.» «And the rain it hammered down.» «And no-one saw the carny go / I say it's funny how things go.»
This beauty fool and dark music was on the Wim Wender's movie "Der Himmel über Berlin" where I first saw Solveig Dommartin and heard this song, that can be dug down here.
Strange how all of this came to my mind... If there's any connection upon it, please let me know.


1 Comment:

  1. ring said...
    E a segunda parte, quando vem?

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