late lovers

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By EUGENIO BUCCI*

“Promotional covers” violate the good old customs of the press

On a Sunday, the respectable morning The State of S. Paul arrived here at home with an advertising dust jacket. You know what I'm talking about: an advertising sheet covers the front page of the newspaper; in the place where the most important news of the day should be, all you see is an advertisement. This has been happening a lot lately.

Before, it would have been unthinkable. The simple hypothesis that an advertisement could carpet the entire front page would arouse the fury of the newsroom. Photographers, reporters and editors – not to mention ushers, office boys, the printing staff and the owners – would take offense at his professional pride. “Where has it been seen before?”, they would straighten up. “Our front page is not for sale!”

Now, it's normal. Turn and move, when taking the specimen from the Estadão of the plastic bag (blue or yellow), we come across this non-journalistic front page, a marketing front page. A stamp, in the upper left corner, with red, capital and oblique letters, warns the public: “promotional cover”. In the header, it even looks like an ordinary first page; there is the logo in dark blue, or almost dark, and there are also the date, the year of foundation of the secular periodical and the little horse in gray with the herald who, in the XNUMXth century, trumpeted the news. From the header down, however, it's all different: instead of headlines, merchandise dominates every square inch.

Last Sunday, the merchandise of the time was a brand of underwear and underwear, interested in boosting sales on the occasion of Valentine's Day. I don't know what those who now read me think of this (thank you very much), but as for me, well, I was taken aback. To be honest, I was mesmerized. I couldn't detach my tired retinas from the photograph in which a man and a woman embrace, with their eyes closed. In the scene, in black and white, both are almost naked, the only thing covering their parts are skimpy underwear – with the advertiser's brand, of course. I kept looking, looking nonstop. The image excels in realism, you can almost hear the whispers.

My scare, however, did not come from the aforementioned semi-nudity. Naked people are seen in the media everywhere, at all times, in the most varied conjunctions (carnal, including), under the most implausible pretexts. I am no longer surprised by any of this, nor am I scared. Discovered bodies populate billboards, television, the Internet, medical information leaflets and jewelry store windows. What astonished me, on Sunday morning, was the age group of the models, already past the third age. With all due respect, we could say that he and she are elderly, which does not prevent them from squandering sensuality, passion, or, in the vocabulary of Baruch de Espinosa, this copulatory lust: “the desire and love to unite bodies”. My scare came from this: I really didn't expect this geriatric eroticism.

But I loved it. In the entertainment industry, it is not common for scenes hot have as protagonists girls over 17 years old and boys over 25. The absurd fetish that there is only beauty in new material has become an imperative imperative: with the exception of some wine brands, only what is brand new has value commercial. I enjoyed seeing the disobedience to this imperative – and I even found both figures attractive. Amidst the sexless conservatism of journalistic texts, I vibrated with the libido of aging skin thirsty for sticking to each other. In 1988, I interviewed actress Lélia Abramo, then 77 years old. “Love is a grip,” she commented, between one response and another. Never forgot. Publish only now.

I always throw away all the “promo covers”. I'm not even aware. This time I saved it. She is here with me as I write. I keep looking. I must have identified myself. The other day, while shaving, I noticed in the mirror two wrinkles on my sad forehead. The creases start just above the nose, between the eyebrows, and move towards the hair I no longer have. They are two vertical grooves, more or less parallel, like the Tigris and the Euphrates. I don't want to ground them, erase them, attenuate them. I am proud of these lines. I see in them some personality, as well as a lot of history. Wrinkled, I get better. Perhaps even more dapper, I perk up, contemplating the lustful appetite that lends a fleeting aura to my pet “promo cover”. We always knew that “love is the privilege of mature people”, but we were always silent about it.

There is just one more thing I would dare to note here. The concupiscence of the black and white couple perhaps has a metaphorical function: it represents the early mating dance between journalism and advertising. Before brother-rivals, the two now snuggled eagerly in an attempt to save the business. Promiscuous links sometimes appear, but hope is worth it. “Promotional covers” are against the good old fashions of the press, but hopefully they make up for it. I cross my fingers, although that expression, “crossing my fingers”, is also old-fashioned.

* Eugene Bucci He is a professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP. Author, among other books, of The superindustry of the imaginary (authentic).

Originally published in the newspaper The State of S. Paul.

 

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