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Poster of HP's Patronus rewritten if JK Rowling was really Portuguese.

Sausage: The non-magical patronus! It has to be better for a dementor attack than mere chocolate. Did the books tell you that? No. Come on, JK, you lived in Portugal. Throw us a bone from your billion dollar Scottish castle!


And how poorer are you who do not understand.  And I mean this both the luso-ignorant and those who don’t read Harry Potter.  I mean, if you’ve never choked on the stench of the neighbors curing the intestines for sausage, you, my friend, have not lived.  And HP speaks for itself.   I love my Harry Potter, but with a half-billion in box office sales, he can afford someone poking fun at him.

Sorry for the terrible graphic.  It wouldn’t let me steal the BIG graphic off Facebook.   But you can see more with the lovely link under the poster.

It’s from The Portuguese Kids, of course, everybody’s favorite Portuguese East Coast comedy troupe.  Oh, when will they yet again come to Cali?  They were in San Jose two days after I had surgery… so that wasn’t going to happen.  It would have been tragic to see a show and not have been physically able to laugh.  They hail from Fall River, Massachusetts, which apparently is teeming with lusophones who never have to go prodigal like Yours Truly here.  They do incredibly funny imitations of their immigrant parents as they were raising children and working in this odd landscape of America.  “What better way to celebrate the Portuguese Culture than to laugh and remember your childhood?”  they ask in their bio.  And yes, what better way?

When I read that, however, a chill comes over me thinking of my mission of  breaking past the guns, germs, and steel about why nobody outside the community understands who we are… No Bombs.  No Fast food.  No Crime families.

Here’s my downer for the day:  this humor is still an inside joke.   It’s Portuguese comedy for other Portuguese people, mostly people who had immigrant parents.   It’s barely even for the immigrants themselves!!

I’m certainly not saying that these guys are not brilliant and can’t go far with their talent.  “The Back to the Festa” YouTube clip had me in stitches.  I just wish we could somehow tweak this and make it for a wider audience.  It would sell us better than anything else I’ve seen to those in America who, when you say you’re eating Portuguese food, make jokes about consuming cork.   They will no longer HAVE to joke, due to the  brand new, clear picture in their head of creamy, lovely cod and potatoes.

This stuff should be just funny anyway; the immigrant-first generation child conflict is centuries old and is always the same, even with the quirk of each culture who dips its collective toe in the American pond.  Come on, out there.  If this was a bunch of Italians doing the same thing, you would laugh.  You wouldn’t be any more or less clued in.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding was accepted by an American audience.   But damn it, those Greeks got the fast food down.  So the bastards had SOME name recognition.

Just enjoy and support the Portuguese Kids.  They’re hilarious.  And they are going to be part of the Guns, Germs and Steel of our eventual recognition and takeover of American pop culture.  Okay, really, just recognition.   Without anyone bombing anywhere or being to blame for the obesity crisis.

This poster also reminds me of something that’s been bugging me for a while.  Everybody write a nasty letter  to J.K. Rowling (or don’t since I know personally I’d end up apologizing in it and telling her how much I loved her books) for her making the only reference to Portugal in the entire eight book series was the evil founder of Slytherin House, pureblood aficionado, and eventual ancestor of Voldemort, Salazar Slytherin.  Really?  It goes over 90% of the readers’ heads but for those who it doesn’t, was I just revving myself up this morn for thinking about political oppression?  For the stories my mom would tell of her having to shove towels under the door jamb if her parents were talking about politics so the PIDE wouldn’t hear?   I’m not saying you can’t use Salazar’s name, I’m just saying geez.  You lived there for years.  You had a child there.  And you couldn’t throw in any other more…. positive references?  Why couldn’t Harry find one of the horcruxes with help from the Cock of Barcelos or something?

I guess we should just take what we can get.  She could hardly name it “Hitler” house. Too obvious.   Just go with Hitler’s fascist colleague, I guess.

I leave you with a treat.   The images aren’t stellar, but the line “we can hear you on the other side of the store!!” should ring a few bells for more Euro types than just Luso-types!

And no SPELL CHECK, I did not mean BARCELONA two paragraphs up!!  Ah, the trouble I’ve seen….

About A. Savage Ross

I used to know as many Portuguese words as I knew English words. This was long before I knew words like "ephemeral" and "fleeting" and "gripping self-consciousness." Fast forward a few decades (and ill-fated classes) I am trying to learn how to string actual Portuguese sentences together and sound like an intelligent person.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Sh*t Portuguese People Say « Prodigal Lusophone

  2. Elena da Costa

    I just discovered your blog through this other blog:

    I’m also Portuguese-American, second generation, mid-30’s, and I work as an arts administrator. I live in San Francisco and would love to meet you.


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