We moved house today. This consisted of trying to sleep in and failing, folding endless black t-shirts, murderously cramming three months into one suitcase, trying not to break anything, and finally giving up the bathroom for lost. When we were done, the suitcase weighed more than him. Not a difficult proposition to be sure, but amusing. Today was my first glimpse of what he’ll be like at the airport in a week. Only a week. Already, a firmly planted seed of grief.
The new room is up Cambie street at 12th, dead centre of The Snarl like a hotel patient zero. The only Pros: I have a key, the beds are comfortable and across the street, City Hall looks like a toy.
The law is “a rare victory of the public interest over private, of order over disorder, aesthetics over ugliness, of cleanliness over trash,” Roberto Pompeu de Toledo, a columnist and author of a history of São Paulo, wrote in the weekly newsmagazine Veja. “For once in life, all that is accustomed to coming out on top in Brazil has lost.”
But advertising and business groups regard the legislation as injurious to society and an affront to their professions. They say that free expression will be inhibited, jobs will be lost and consumers will have less information on which to base purchasing decisions. They also argue that streets will be less safe at night with the loss of lighting from outdoor advertising.
“This is a radical law that damages the rules of a market economy and respect for the rule of law,” said Marcel Solimeo, chief economist of the Commercial Association of São Paulo, which has 32,000 members. “We live in a consumer society and the essence of capitalism is the availability of information about products.”
“What we are aiming for is a complete change of culture,” said Roberto Tripoli, president of the City Council and one of the main sponsors of the legislation. “Yes, some people are going to have to pay a price. But things were out of hand and the population has made it clear it wants this.”
We were going to have this here, when COPE was in charge. “Billboard free in five years.” It never happened.