Thursday, September 08, 2005

We know the suffering...

We know the suffering... VIII, originally uploaded by carf.

You see this painting behind you young man, it’s been here since 1963 and we’ve been here since 1963 (and long before that too, you know!)

Beware Wendell! With that indomitable look on your face, you’d easily be mistaken for one of us!
I know the honest choice is not always the easiest one, especially when one has so very little to choose from!

But believe me Wendell; crime doesn’t pay!
You know the suffering, we know the suffering...
...It’s historical!

A tribute to our brothers and sisters in New Orleans.

Read Billy Jaynes Chandler’s Book about Lampião and Maria Bonita (depicted in the above painting)
The Bandit King

The Greatest Bandit of all Time
"Greatest" is a highly mixed compliment, since many bandits have been violent, even sadistic sociopaths. But most bandits' careers lasted one, two, perhaps three years at most before being snuffed out by the (so-called) forces of law and order. But Lampaio (Virgulino Ferreira) was a highly successful bandit for 16 years, from 1922-38 in Northeast Brazil, a drought-prone region of great poverty and inequality that was long a fertile breeding ground for banditry. By that standard alone, he surely was one of the greatest. He was extremely shrewd and resourceful, and one reason for his longevity was that he avoided clashes with armed opponents whenever possible, though he could fight with the best when he had to.

Chandler has done a superb job in recreating the life and times of Lampiao, and due to the timing of his investigations this effort is unlikely to be surpassed. His 1970s research led him to many people who knew or encountered Lampaio, and the oral data he gathered becomes more valuable with each eyewitnesses' passing.

One of the major strengths of "The Bandit King" is Chandler's skill in addressing broader issues raised by Lampaio's career. The best-known is the question of "social banditry." The archetypal social bandit for English readers is, of course, Robin Hood, and the myth of social bandits has them "robbing from the rich to give to the poor."

Read the complete review of The Bandit King by Chimonsho (Turtle Island) or buy the book at

Photo by Gregory J. Smith, CARF, São Paulo - BRAZIL.

Painting: "Lampião e Maria Bonita" - 1963, 60 x 90cm. Oil on Board, by Orlando Mattos.
For the Official Website on Lampião, click here


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