17 january 2004
the following is the first draft proposal of _the brazilian solution_. you will destroy and forget all previous versions. it is rife with errors, both grammatical and philosophical. i encourage you to drink of its spirit and breeze quickly over the physical face of the words. it may mention many ideas an Apostle has not; it may bear no resemble to what we randomly discussed last night.
in the case of the former, welcome to the Next Version.
in the case of the latter, please email us with the omissions.
_the brazilian solution_ began with a handful of individuals trying to escape a few of the more invasive rigors of first-world twenty-first century life. like work and social control and advertising and whatnot. a few individuals who wanted to practice their interior arts, from dancing to the morning dew to painting sobrerealistic overtures to _detourning_ otherwise innocuous fragments of fabric and housewares to pickling young mangos. we decided freedom wasn't to be found, that one (or four) had to create it.
the collective unconscious led us to choose brazil.
at some point, like any good entrepreneurs, we had some visions of expansion. some notion that a private paradise stank of escapism and solipsism in a world thoroughly penetrated by the evils we were trying to ignore. so we thought about how a private dream could be pried open, and smelted a ridiculous sort of neo-commercial compromise. the result is oddly shaped, below.
the idea is at once a public endeavor (a restaurant and a hostel) and a private workshop for various arts. it is an alternative model of Commerce, a re-envisioning of our relationship to The Planet, and an attempt to design and create a different social Universe. kind of like the Trinity, but post-capitalist. there's a lot of angst and smiling and situationist theory and music appreciation and late night "hamming" and liberation theology, but it's all built in and you'd never know if you hadn't asked.
ownership and decision making will be collective, cooperative. not "here is your 10% and go fuck yourself" like much applauded employee-owned airlines or "here is your nothing and go fuck yourself" like most other megacorporations or "here is your decent wage but i Own you" like a mom-and-pop business might be, but "let's figure this out together but you can listen to me when i know more and vice versa". there are many economically precise schemes on exactly how to do this, giving ownership commensurate with total labour time or whatnot, and we havent bothered examining them yet.
maybe we're also trying to overcome the idea of payback and equity and replacing it with the spirit of the gift. the idea of two people taking out their wallets and swapping money at a bar is just filthy. no one should have to do that. everyone should understand this. everybody who comes _will_ understand this.
this organizational part, this re-understanding of commerce as a means of bringing people together rather than making for their checkbooks, could be the most "successful" part of the whole endeavor. we imagine somewhat-similarly minded people accidentally running across _the brazilian solution_ and deciding to reorganize their (small-to-medium-sized) business along co-operative lines. there will be extensive documentation on some futuristic information highway website to facilitate this, to help cooperatistas Everywhere profit [sic] from our aftershocks and tribulations. enshallah. i have also imagined giant textured purple wolves connecting the northern sky, but with a little effort and concerted mango consumption, the realization of the former fantasy will be slightly more likely.
we are killing the planet. you can argue the case of how badly and how long it will last, but we're certainly trying our damnedest. a central part of _the brazil solution_ will be -- as radical as it may sound -- a recognition that the Planet exists and should be thought about from time to time. some people calls this idea "ancient" or "sustainability" or "permaculture" or "common sense for you foolish hyperrational western types". specifically i'm talking about plastic bags and chemical agriculture and thinking in terms of products and waste instead of "how i can use everypart of the buffalo".
this means the farm that we'll need for the green chiles and cilantro will be grown with the biointensive method of agriculture (reference below, if you make it). it means we'll use a solar cooker for the biriyani and jambalaya. it means we'll route the water so sink waste filters through the garden and the toilet composts neatly. that fences and theaters will be made of bamboo and tea cups and shot glasses out of clay. we will not sell books.
absolutely key to this idea is a stationary bike that some sort of magical engineer in the sky (god will give her to us) will build. a bike where you can exercise/work and attach different implements -- the first one will of course be the robotfoodprocessor and the second will be the blender so while you build the other attachments you can be eating hummous and pesto and receiving illumination from margaritas with the homemade triplesec i will be making. other important attachments will be the mill for grinding our own rice and wheat flour (for the different homemade bread everyday) and for running the stereo system or something (more advanced) or at least the weird electric dancing santas or christmas lights or what have you.
the cultural look-mom-no-hands feature of all this smarmy environmental bullshit is that the food will be so fresh you will find it unbelievable. it will be a home cooking of peasant food from all over the known world in the most improbable and inventive permutations. it will too fresh to smell and too hot to handle and the amount of amazing vegetarian side dishes will blow your buffet-loving little minds. this part will, of course, be the easiest.
note: the rice will be of various kinds colors (natural, tsk tsk) and flavours, and MAY EVEN BE MOULDED INTO DIFFERENT SHAPES. DO NOT BE ALARMED.
instead of waiting for the relations of production to change to such a degree that the current social structures become fetters on said relations and will therefore (breath) be torn asunder, we're just going to scrap the way people interact with each other these days (humiliation, fear, shame, alienation, aggression, (yawn) depression, etc.) and start over. we'll transcend capitalism's social relations from the inside out, not mucking with FDI or WTO but ripping the seams of exchange and alienation which bind us apart and getting to a place where were all one big happy psychedelic guerilla family, maybe "once again" and maybe for the first time. it will based on various invented and resurrected cultural and anthropological traditions resting largely on the Gift, the Guest, the Potlatch, the Dervish.
practically speaking your waiter will be your cook and your dishwasher besides. he will have a seat at your table and she will show you how to eat and help you construct your meal. everything starts out communal but you special people can get whatever else you want on the side and the dishes will be specially marked with poisonous toad poison so not even your (special) kids can touch it.
there will be a performance everynight in front of the walls kevin has directed us in painting. the architecture and furniture will be designed to make you swear this place was made for couples and then swear this place was made for capoiera (or kabuki or arm-wrestling or the anarchist puppet brigade or whatever) and then make you swear it was made to watch the sunrise. in all likelihood there will be plenty of good natured oaths, taken repeatedly. anyhow you will admire the walls and the architecture and sometimes you will admire the performance in the live bamboo theater and sometimes you will listen to the lecture in a language you might not understand but you will roll and flow and jive with the rhythym of the sister's sentiments so everything will be fine. and sometimes you, yes you, will be the performance.
did i mention the liqueurs will be homemade? they will be put to good use, with mangos and coconuts. a lot of this might have to do with guy debord and hakim bey, but it might as much have to do with jesus and thoreau and inviting people into your house for a good time and telling them to leave their wallets behind them.
the best milk in the south of argentina comes from an organic dairy in el bolson called Hommos (as in the soil) farms, who consciously and consistently prices his (extremely high-quality) milk and yogurt a few pennies below the major agrodairies because it's most important that poor/ordinary/common people get high quality food and that saving the planet and your childrens' veins doesn't become a fad like lattes or executive chairs or really nice pens or something.
if you're interested in starting a similar project or have successes or failures with such endeavors in the past, please contact us. don't worry about the language, somebody will figure it out.
there is, of course, so much more. we haven't even begun. literally.