Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cansei de Ser Sexy

This was going to be a post about a Brazilian band called Cansei de Ser Sexy but already it's digressed into a rave about the crapness of our internet connection on this island.

Above is a YouTube of CSS's irritatingly catchy track "Move". You'll be able to stream that seamlessly but we here on Flores are denied that privilege. It takes about an hour to download it without it stopping to buffer every 0.5 of a second (he says not really knowing what "stream" or "buffer" actually means in any context other than tides or railways).

Apparently, it's due to our internet being beamed down from a satellite instead of through a fibre optic cable (thinner than a human hair, I gather) laid across the ocean floor. They've been talking about laying a FO cable to Flores for as long as we've lived here (nearly 6 years now) but nothing's happened. I expect laying something thinner than a human hair across hundreds of miles of ocean without breaking it is quite tricky. Although it must be possible because I watched a TV programme recently with Richard "Top Gear" Hammond on a ship which can pick up both ends of a broken FO cable and splice them back together again. Anyway, as Germany is being a bit beady about Portugal's expenditure just now (and who can blame them - I must say I have every sympathy with the Boche having to pick up the tab for southern Europe), I expect laying a FO cable to Flores has slipped down the list of priorities. Meanwhile, our satellite connection doesn't even register on the BBC's "Check Your Speed" test thingy.

So CSS vids on YouTube are an impossible dream but when you remember that people were starving to death on this island in winter within living memory (in the 1930s), it kind of puts the importance of broadband into perspective. Although I'm not sure I'd want to live without Brain of Britain and Eddie Mair on Radio 4 (said in a "I'd simply die without Mahler" tone of voice.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Cansei de Ser Sexy. We're not great music buffs but one of the Portuguese TV channels we watch heavily advertises upcoming gigs in Lisbon including Britney and Rihanna. CSS seemed very much the poor relations to these megastars but the trailed track "Move" really stuck in our heads and we were gutted when the date for the gig arrived and there were no more ads for it in the commercial breaks.

And then I got to thinking what Cansei de Ser Sexy means. Superficially, it's "Tired of being sexy" except should that not be Cansado de ser sexy? Past participle. Cansei is the simple past tense of cansar (to tire) so it seems to read "I tired (myself) of being sexy". Which surely ought to be reflexive - Cansei-me de ser sexy. Perhaps it's some Brazilian idiom which doesn't work in continental Portuguese. Perhaps I need to get a life and not dwell on it too much.