os grandes portugueses

The big thing of 2007 in Portugal, particularly on the TV channel RTP is the selection of the biggest Portuguese personality of all time of all things. They had a list of more than 100 people on their web site during December and now, in the past 2 days, they've revealed who are the 100 that were most voted on, and the 10 that received the most votes and that will be the 10 from which people will vote to be the top.

Here is the link to the 90 most voted - unfortunately, they don't have them in order:


Here is a link to the top 10:


Now, this is all voted on on people's own opinions, and that's fine, but me, having lived there for a little while, listened to my family, and just my own personal knowledge of Portuguese culture, I have a few comments of my own....

1. How is it possible that a politician that ran a fascist government of which I have ever only heard negatives comments about (from people that lived through it) and from which we had a very famous 1974 revolution could be in the top 10? He kept you hungry and poor people! He had a secret police that would kill you if you spoke badly about his government! I really just don't understand...

2. How are Vitor Baia, Helio Pestana, and Pinto da Costa great Portuguese? One is a goalie, another a 2-bit actor and the third a guy that runs a soccer team. What exactly have they done that would make them great? Seriously people...forget what team you root for or how cute the actor may be - what exactly makes them GREAT? The same things that make me great, but we're talking about the 100 greatest Portuguese personalities. I can understand how Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho are there, but these three?

3. Whoever put Ricardo Araújo Pereira on the list is a genius. He shouldn't even be on there, but since they put on the potential list, someone should have a petition to put him in the finalists because he should win.

Regardless of who wins, people will complain. People, including myself, are complaining now and for that RTP already has a winning program on their hands because people are talking about it.

Being in Canada, I have only seen the first 50 at this point on RTPi, but the 100 are already known, so once I've seen the actual countdown for the last 50, I may be able to comment further...


malik said...

and the winner is: SALAZAR! last night 41% of the Portuguese people voted for Salazar as to being the greatest of the great Portuguese.
interesting enough, today, monday, the papers--as much as they have an online outlet--don't comment on that, maybe yet. for the print editions it is too early to say because the results came around or after 24:00.
it is embarrassing anyway. let's see if the comments and their attempts to diminish this cultural and educational desaster will be even more embarressing. to give an early example: Jaime Nogeira Pinto who "defended" Salazar (that was part of the game, every person had a presenter/defender) said last night--with a whimsical grin on his face--that this had only been a "concurso" and insofar does not represent any real political or cultural set-up in Portugal.
the most notable inconsistency of this vote might be that the Portuguese population had given an absolute majority to the PS of José Socrates in the 2005 elections. PS is Portugal's social democratic party (in European understanding). i'm just saying that because the PSD of Barroso and Santana Lopes carry "socialist" in their name, too, although they are the conservatives.
this is a strange country indeed. to learn more i should advise to read the Portugal parts in Enzensberger's book "Ach Europa" which has been translated into many languages. published in 1989 it is a very funny reading and valid up till today.

Anonymous said...

It is true malik, it is an embarassment. Although, being the cynical person I am when it comes to the media, I think it's all a marketing ploy to get people talking and have this "concurso" all over again, but that's just my opinion! Regardless, either 41% of people in Portugal have quite a short memory, or they don't know the purpose of the program...I go with the latter :)
Uma Portuguesa

malik said...

i totally agree with the marketing ploy--as it has been in all the countries where this "game" has been picked up by the major TV stations. if i remember well, Bush43 was/is on place 5 or 6 of the greatest living men in the US right before Clinton. the Germans e.g. wisely excluded Hitler from any possibility of choice--referring to law. they might have feared some similar outcome otherwise. let's not get into details... this world is suffering from a collective amnesia, here, there, almost everywhere. it is highly disturbing.

kaicevy said...