Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who are you?

A: This guy.

Q: Don’t you have any better photos?

A: You bet.

Q: But like, something more professional?

A: Sadly, not really. I need to get that taken care of. But here’s more info on me.

Q: Can I hire you?

A: Yes. Here are my CV and information on my teaching and research .

Q: Can I interview you?

A: Probably. E-mail me here.

Q: I just looked and it seems like there’s a whole different site in Portuguese, and the translations don’t match up! What’s going on?

A: Yup. Posts are written in both English and Portuguese, depending on my inclination or the subject. Attentive readers will notice  that the translation are not always literal, which is by design–I am more concerned with capturing the idea of what is being written, and not the form, which means that certain posts will have different cultural references and expressions to refer to the same ideas.

Q: I don’t speak Portuguese or know Brazil very well. What do all these italicized words mean?

A: Too many people try to translate un-translatable words from Brazilian Portuguese. Instead, I opt to explain what they mean as best as I can. You can find a handy guide here.

Q: Why is suruba seletiva the name of your blog? What does that even mean?

A: Suruba seletiva means, literally, “selective orgy.” It’s a reference to a well-publicized comment by Brazilian Senator Romero Jucá. Protesting a proposal to loosen judicial protection for members of Congress (currently, anyone who is a member of Congress can only be tried by the Supreme Court), he countered that judges and public prosecutors should also be subject to the same change if it were to go through. With that, he made the fateful decision to say the following words on air:

“If the restricted judicial forum ends, it ends for everyone. An orgy is an orgy–it’s everybody in the orgy, not a selective orgy.”

It’s really a very illustrative description of politics in Brazil when it comes down to it.

Q: But I looked at the article, and didn’t he use the word selecionada (selected), not seletiva (selective)? Didn’t you make a mistake with your title?

A: I did indeed, but on purpose. Seletiva has been used by many people to refer to this quote since he said it, and I think it actually sounds better. It fits better with the theme of the blog, too–to extend the metaphor, politics in Brazil is an orgy for a select elite, not just any old group of people.

Q: What are you listening to right now?

A: This.