quarta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2018

To Freddie, with love

It's been days since I watched 'Bohemian Rhapsody' on its opening day and I can't shake it off.

For several reasons, it messed up with me. Good movies or books or songs are supposed to do that, don't they? And why do I need to speak up about it? I've been mulling about this for these days, why would I blog about how Fred Mercury influenced my teenage years. And, after all, here I am.

Growing up in a small town in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, in pre-internet era, it was very hard to keep up to date with the world. We had a few glimpses of what was happening in the cosmos through TV and radio, and - in my case - my English course teachers. Two guys who lived in Rio and worked in my small town during the week. Really cool guys over their 35's, they had lived abroad at some point, gays (I know now), and guess what? Both looked liked this:
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Really, I swear. 
Tight jeans, tight t-shirt, black belt, moustache.

We're in the middle of a political maelstorm (I suspect our left politicians here are envying Trump resistance, only they are far- faaaaar- from Obama. Let me not start here talking about the biggest embezzlement in our history.) with the election of a new president and the discussion of several changes. One is 'politics free school'. Left-right inclinations aside, a teacher DOES HAVE a lot of power over students. He/she can influence likes and dislikes, how one aprehend the view of a different reality. 
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That's what they did to me. Like Sidney Poitier played in 'To sir with love' and Robin Williams in 'Dead Poets Society'.

I liked them, a lot. Respected, looked after their knowledge of the English language. So, the way they looked - very, very different from the other guys in my small city - was... ok. It was just the way they were. So what? Big Deal.
The music they liked, the books they recommended, the movies... We were prone to like as well. They were cool guys.

That's where Fred Mercury comes in. 
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There was no effort to love Queen, the songs are awesome to this day. 'Don't stop me now', 'I want to be free', 'Hammer to fall'. 
Nowaday, my 9 yo son likes some of them, can sing 'We will rock you'.
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But only by watching the movie, soooo many years later, I realized how much Fred Mercury and my teachers shaped me. I had the wrangler jeans, loved them. Guess I even still have a wrangler denim jacket... The sneakers, I use them because I really think they're cool - even if my plantar fasciitis scream when I spent time in flats. 
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So, in a cool, twistedly aged and weirdly up-to-date way, Fred Mercury impersonated my teachers in the 80's and I'm sorry I was so young when he was around. Didn't get to attend a concert live, didn't know about his cats, never learned his B sides, science was slow for him, but I also didn't care about his affairs.
But he is in several of my books. The Magical Tour - the very last - is in '45 days in Europe with Mr. Darcy', the teacher's influence is in 'The Prince of Pemberley'.
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Now, I do what I can - and have been doing since I watched the movie: watch again the Live aid concert.


BTW, that opening sequence on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' ... OMG!!!

disclaimer: all images came from google search 'bohemian rhapsody' 'to sir with love' and 'fred mercury'