Sunday, 27 October 2013

Radio Straka - Transmission 3

Today's broadcast considers Sao Paulo in Brazil at the time when Straka was writing there.

We have had some contact with Radio Straka and this was their message to us at the start of the transmission.

We hear very early on a variation on a phrase that we have heard before "What begins at the water, ends there."

There is some information about Cacareco a a Rhino that was elected to office, and is now synonymous with a protest vote in an election.

One thing we did notice today is that @Radiostraka's given name on twitter has changed to "Phyrrula Phyrrula" which we think means Bullfinch, and given that "There is much comfort and strength to be found in birds - V.M. Straka (1949)" then it seems appropriate.

Radio Straka Show 3 27.10.13 - Transcript follows

(rain?, chirping, rooster crowing, woodpecker, people talking, chimpanzee)

Music: “Tropicando” by Les Baxter

Hello again. So ah, some listeners maybe wondering who I am, what my name is, ah? “It would be better if you had many names.” That is from “Ship of Theseus” page 245. So, ah, today, I can known as Pyrrhula Pyrrhula, but ah, let us begin. I have done some digging. 

In 1958 Straka’s editor and translator, Mr. FX Caldera, of course, the writer of all those mysterious footnotes in “Ship of Theseus” sailed to Sao Paulo and never returned. Now, this show today explores the Brazilian scene in the period that Straka was writing. And we have some questions. We have questions like, ah, could Straka have swam from Brazil from Havan. Could he have swam? Could he have take Xerbex’s ship? After all, what begins at the water, shall end there. Now, as you know, the Amazon River runs through Brazil and it is in some places about a kilometer wide and it discharges about 209,000 cubic meters. It’s quiet a lot of water to begin and end at. So let us start with some music.

Music: “Sanfona” by Egberto Gismonti

So, yes, in 1959, Caldera is in Brazil, maybe also Straka, maybe he’s there. This was the year that the citizens elected a rhino to the city council. Yes, in 1959, the city council election in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It twas, well, the winner was, let us say, a surprise to say the least. He’s name was Cacareco. He was five years old, why I say he, it was actually a female rhino so it was at the local zoo so, yeah, it was a double surprise. She won by a landslide, actually, 15 percent of the all the votes, about 100,000 votes for her. So, this is actually one of the highest totals for a local candidates in Brazil’s history up to that date. Um, I have to ask a question (laughing). Did the people of Brazil not know that the rhinos are not actually local? Actually, they come from Africa. 

Music: (Zulu)

The candidacy of Cacareco came really thanks to a group of students who had printed up 200,000 ballots with her name on them. And the ballots were casts by the voters. And one of them commented, “Better to elect a rhino than an ass.” So, eh, now, Cacareco’s election caused quiet an outpouring of concern among Brazil’s intellectual classes. And one sci..sociologist described it as a phenomenon of the greatest sociological importance and worried that it indicated that Brazil was on the threshold of revolt. Um, one can not help but feel that Straka would have laughed at them. Now others interrupted it as a protest against food shortages (mispronounces), forgive me, food… I’ll say it again. Others interrupted it as a protest again food shortages, the high cost of living and political corruption. Now, the director of the zoo commented that he would ask Sao Paulo to pay Cacareco councilman’s salary, however, the election officials nullified all her ballots and a new election was held the next week. So, again they silence the voice of protest. 

I would like to use this track to make a comment on that. 

Music: “Funeral Do Lavrado” by Zelia Barbosa

Now, Cacareco died in 1962 but her memory lived on. “Voto Cacareco” is the term now used to signify a protest vote. Cacareco wasn’t the first animal elected to political office not even in Brazil. So Cacareco was not the first animal used to register a protest. We must never forget V M Straka’s rejection of the Prix Bourchard. Remember we talked about this before. in 1912 he sent a tufted capuchin monkey in his place to receive the Prix Bourchard. Yes, a Brazilain monkey.

Yes, this Erasmo Carlos

Music: “Sorriso Dela” by Erasmo Carlos

So, 1959, was also the second time Biennial São Paulo was held at it’s current site at the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion in the Parque do Ibirapuera. Now this pavilion was designed by a team led by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Hélio Uchôa and provides an exhibition space of about 35,000 square meters. So, the Biennial de Sao Paulo features both Brazilian and international artists and it is considered to be one of the most important art exhibits in the country. Question again. If FX Caldera did travel to Brazil surely he would have been involved in the Biennial. So, in 1959, the booming industrial center of Brazil of Sao Paulo whose population was 3,650,000. It like to boost of itself as the locomotive that pulls all of the other Brazilian states. The Bennial was a great art exhibition, it was a global gathering of art and cultural in Brazil. Question. Was at the great author, VM Straka involved? 

Now some music.

Music: “Margarida B” by Som 3
So you can tweet me at @radiostraka. It is one word, of course.

Now, is it possible that FX Caldera traveled to Brazil in 1959 to meet VM Straka and that they flew off together in the mothership.

Music: UFOs (album version) by The Undisputed Truth (monkey calls, echoes)

Now, you might think that crazy but is it a crazier theory than Straka was a reincarnated nun or that he was the last Spanish pirate. So, April 26, 1959, at midnight, Luis de Silva was going to bed or was asleep in bed and he saw a red hot disc in the sky. Now, he woke and felt a compulsion to go out to the garden. So, he did where he, he went out there, he found a note there telling him to return the next night at 1:30 in the morning. So, the next night he did so. And, he went into the garden and he felt paralyzed as a circular object appeared at an altitude of 300 feet. Now, from this disc a man descended in a spiral, were de Sliva’s own words, without touching the ground. Now he man wore a helmet and was clad in plastic clothing with gloves that looked like glass. And he told de Silva to return on Thursday at 2, at five passed 2, 2:05 in the morning. And then he went up again, in a spiral, back into his craft. Now, on Thursday the same sequence of events occurred, but this time three occupants came down from the disc, one at a time. and, the last of them, the third of them, ask de Silva for a sheet of paper and wrote a message in an unknown script on it. My question now. My question now. Was this a message from V M Straka. You have to remember too that some people have identify Straka as a Nazca King. and that the astronomical associations of the Nazcalites are well known. You have to remember this. You have to. So perhaps this is why VM Skraka as so many astrological references in his works. Hmmmm. This is, again, a good question.

Music: “Pultonian Nights” by Sun Ra

Ah, Sun Ra, Pultonian Nights

Now, I am thinking perhaps Straka was a football fan. It makes sense. It makes a lot of sense. Certainly, really, almost certainly, he grew up around the dawn of football. In Britain, the football association was found in 1863. If Straka was born in the same year he would have be 58 with “The Miracle of Blexonholm” was published. Straka would then have been 82 when Caldera says he went missing in Havan. So, Straka would have been 96 when Caldera moved to Brazil. So, maybe he was a little old or maybe he just retired but that is not to say that Straka was the same age as English football. It was to say that he was a European and that there are plenty on the list of Straka candidates. He certainly would have been alive when FIFA the international body of football was founded on the 21st of May, 1904, seven years before “The Miracle of Blexenholm” was released to European acclaim. So, well, have look at the list of World Cup locations in his lifetime. His, they are obvious background settings for his books. Even if you have to read between the lines. Is that a question? Maybe. In 1959, Straka’s editor of over 20 years travels to Brazil, the year after Brazil won it’s first World Cup, World Cup of football. Say no more. As they say.

Music: “Upa, Neguinho” by Luiz Arruda Paes

Among the themes of Straka clearly engages with in his books is the plight of indigenous peoples when they are subjected to imperialist oppression. Of course, “The Brigade,” “The Square,” and “Wineblood’s Mine” all deal the plight of the proletariat and “The Bridgade,” in particular, is fictional history linking contemporary, well, and real suppression of indigenous movements in Africa, Asia and the Americas. (clears throat). Now, “many current leaders of revolutionary movements have cited this novel as inspiration.” that is an editor’s footnote from “Ship of Theseus” ah, footnote 16, page 353, three hundred and fifty three. 

Now, many of Straka’s books from the satires of “Miracles of Brexeholm” to the “Winged Shoes of Emilo Alvez” highlight the degeneracy of the bourgeois collusion of the powerful. “A Hundred April in Aermz Eyes” (?) and “Ship of Theseus” deals with the plight of indigenous cultures. Now, think of the “Vipers Humor” and the “Painted Cave.”  Could there have been more poignant books about the plight of traditional cultures than these books? Do you think?  (sounds in background). Ah, the “Vipers Humor” itself was set in the Amazonian rain forest. In “Ship of Theseus” also Cordoba? mines are destroying an Amazonian community. So, Straka was aways interested in South America, and particular, the exportation of indigenous people. Ah, another footnote: “Straka was never more outraged. The endless condescension imperial outsiders have shown through history.” Look at that footnote on page 16. mumbling. That’s in “Ship of Theseus” of course, page 16, page 353. Again, that is a scan from footnote 16. So, perhaps Straka is now in Brazil as well. 

Music: “

So, now, I have noticed a fashion trend that echoes Hermes and reflects the wonderings of the eponymous hero of Straka’s novel “The Winged Shoes of Emido Alvez.” From winged Greek sandals to ? accessories, I saw butterflies and bow ties on the Spring 2010 cat walks, and Nicolas ? winged stilettos. I see Adadis winged sneaker, shoes. I watch for these things, you see, I watch for them. I notice. I see how the trendsetters work. But we should be free. Should we not? We should be free to choose our own style, our own fashion. “There is no greater sin in the worlds of Straka’s stories than the acquiescences to the limits of, that power political economical and social imposes on the individual.” This is editors footnote 9, on page 440. Hmm. Hmm. Yes.

Music:  (whistling, jazz)

This remote broadcast is brought to you by

En France,


fade out, chant, bird calls, talking backwards? echoing, drums, 


  1. OK- at this point it all just looks like background for the book- not really leading to answers to find right now.

    @RadioStraka replied to this:

    Just Thinking ‏@jst_thinking 26 Oct
    @RadioStraka Is the whole of your production "propaganda by the deed" for S? Ha!

    With this:

    Phyrrula Phyrrula ‏@RadioStraka 26 Oct

    Which I take a a wink that says "Yes, this is basically marketing."

  2. I should think there are a few items of useful information, if only we knew where to look (or listen) to them.

  3. Hey S. Files,

    Thanks for putting together these transcripts!

    I'm pretty sure the fade-out music for this broadcast was Naná Vasconcelos (another Brazilian musician, who performed with Egberto Gismonti), mixed in with some bird sounds.

    I'm not sure of the exact recording, but here is something similar:


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