June 17, 2007

· Misc

One way or the other you probably know Ary Barroso’s song Aquarela do Brasil, either because you’re all up on classic Brazilian music from the 1930s and 40s or, like me, you have watched Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece Brazil, for which it’s the main theme. I show a clip of Brazil in my Complex Organizations class, were we follow the paper trail through the mass of clerks up to Mr Kurtzmann’s office. How odd, then, to hear it twice in the space of half an hour this afternoon: once looking at a TV spot for Michael Moore’s new film Sicko, and then later (via Gruber) in the trailer for Pixar’s new film, WALL-E. And in all these cases, the music is used to emphasize the perils of counterproductive routines and the promise—true or otherwise—of being liberated from them. They’re trying to send me a coded message, I’m telling you. Dum dum dum, dum dum dum dumdum …

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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