The blood taboo - 10/10/2021 - Maria Homem

One of the most impressive creations of human ingenuity is in the cave of Lascaux. About 17,000 years ago, humans painted hundreds of pictures on their walls: they wanted to thank and ask the gods for a successful hunt. Thanking and asking is the basis of cults, Paleolithic or modern. This was food, social bonding and survival. Usually the degree of intelligence of the gender is measured. Homo by their level of culture (#stay a tip, Brazil).

Right at the entrance there is the biggest cavity of all, the Salão dos Toros, with dozens of them painted on its walls. The biggest figure in the set is the “great black bull”, considered a masterpiece of prehistoric art. Curious: it still seems to make sense for us to put big bulls in our modern sanctuaries. The most recent was placed last week, in front of the São Paulo Stock Exchange: this time a synthetic “Golden Bull”. If Brazil is anchored in a kitschy and imitative aesthetic, the bronze bull on Wall Street is no less representative of this lineage. We patriots bear the mark of the shame of others for this tacky and colonized submission.

As we know, the human, anthropophagic symbolic capacity swallows everything around it and transforms animals, stars, all bestiary into projections of itself. In other words, the stars are us, the animals, the gods are us and the nonexistent and fanciful creatures are also projections of human attributes. Ants, cicadas, whales, bulls, dragonflies, Sagittarius, scorpions, Celts, mermaids and all the list that not even Borges could complete. Human attributes, all too human, with their conflicts, vices and virtues.

If a bull is a power and symbol of the rich, a pig is the savings of the poor: the old piggy bank, as a psychoanalyst friend recalled. Before inventing currency as an abstract symbol, land and animals were what we had to store and demonstrate wealth. At the time of the daughter’s squeeze or wedding, we sacrifice an ox.

And behold, today we take a picture by touching the bag of the “Golden Bull”. The testicle is the reproductive powerhouse of our current thought system. The golden bag full of coins presents itself as the contemporary phallus. No fear, no shame, no scruples. The golden calf is on the stock exchange and all we want is to fill the bag more and more. And eliminate whoever gets in the way of this project. We are still at this stage of civilization, believing that accumulating money and the corollary of exploitation would be the solution to the malaise that inhabits us.

The “Golden Bull”, we were told, would represent the strength and resilience of the people of Brazil. But the Brazilian people, who have been having more awareness, more Enem and more organization, seems to have found this formulation very cynical and counterattacked, in a real and virtual way. He made stickers, graffiti, performances and memes about the poor golden bull, who went on to say “Hunger” and “Tax the rich”. And he turned into a ravenous bull with his ribs showing, like real people who starve and collect bones and expired food from the garbage. Fabianos, Whales, Bibianas and Belonísias handling crooked plows in their dry lives. The hungry children who are now passing out in classrooms. Of course they will try to prevent it, but we are learning to read, including attitudes.

I write on Black Consciousness Day and finish on Enem’s censored. “Golden Bull” exists as an inverted mirror, as the totem of power for consciences and people to be subjected. So that one does not have, precisely, neither conscience nor knowledge. Will it work for how many centuries?

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