São Paulo Diary: Globo Takes a Gamble on Spiderman

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The
Terraço: slightly decrepit yet strangely graceful landmark across from the desert that the Praça da República has become.

As it happens, Robert had contacted the Globo network’s Fantástico and invited it to televise the stunt live — and according to him, the TV equipment is what tipped the security guard off.

He said his sponsors pay him the value of a luxury car for every climb, but asked that the exact amount not be published. His São Paulo adventure was bankrolled by the online casino Golden Palace.

Golden Palace, the online casino that grew their fame by utilizing odd advertising schemes, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of illegal online gambling in Quebec, Canada. —Casino Gambling Web, November 30, 2007

Maguila, o segurança, frustra a ”vingança” do Homem-Aranha: “Magilla [the Gorilla] the security guard thwarts ‘revenge’ of Spiderman.”

I read it in the print edition of the Estado de S. Paulo on the CPTM commuter train on my way back from Lapa — transferring at Barra Funda — where I have gone to see the feds about my visa and application for permanent alienhood.

As Chico Buarque says,

Eu fui pra Lapa mais perdi a viagem …

But that is another story.

In this case, a Frenchman known for accepting corporate sponsorship to scale tall buildings is prevented from scaling the Terraço Italiano — its rooftop restaurant is a lovely spot — after tipping a team from the Globo TV network he would be trying it.

The Globo team hems and haws and argues that it was merely there to provide (exclusive) “serious” journalistic coverage of [an event of compelling public interest] [a garden-variety (“Drink Slurm!”) paid publicity stunt] [a publicity stunt paid for by a criminal organization.]

Magilla the security guard pantses the man from France as he makes the attempt.

Maguila nem precisou de superpoderes para vencer o Homem-Aranha anteontem à noite, no Terraço Itália, centro de São Paulo. Tudo bem, ele rasgou o terno. Mas bastou esticar os braços, alcançar o tornozelo do “herói” e puxá-lo até arrancar-lhe as calças. Foi assim, de forma nada heróica, que o francês Alain Robert, de 45 anos – conhecido como “Homem-Aranha” por escalar os mais famosos prédios do mundo -, foi parar no 3º Distrito. Alerta, Adilson Marques da Silva, de 34, o Maguila, impediu que Robert descesse, pelo lado de fora, sem equipamento de segurança, 41 andares do Itália, um dos edifícios mais altos da capital.

Magilla did not even need superpowers to defeat Spiderman the other evening at the Terraço Italia in downtown São Paulo. It is true that he tore his suit in the attempt. But all he needed to do was stretch out his arms, grab the ankle of the “superhero” and pull until he pulled the man’s pants off. It was in this less than heroic fashion that the Frenchman Alain Robert, 45, known as “Spiderman” because of his habit of climbing the world’s most famous buildings, wound up in the 3rd District stationhouse. The alert Adilson “Magilla” Marques da Silva, 34, prevented Robert from descending, from the outside, without safety equipment, the 41 floors of the building, one of the tallest in the city.

“Era para ser uma vingança”, disse o francês, sem esconder a frustração. Em 1996, ele já tinha tentado escalar o prédio, mas também foi impedido. Desta vez, a idéia era descer pelas paredes e depois subir, porque chamaria menos a atenção do que fazer o inverso.

“This was to be my revenge,” said the Frenchman, without concealing his frustration. He made a previous attempt to scale the building in 1996, but was thwarted then, too. This time, the idea was to climb down the outside and then climb back up, calling less attention to himself than doing it the other way around would do.

Ocorre que Robert procurou o programa Fantástico, da Rede Globo, para mostrar a aventura ao vivo – e, segundo ele, a parafernália da TV deixou a segurança de orelha em pé. Por meio da Assessoria de Imprensa da Globo, o Fantástico declarou ter sido “informado de que ele tentaria escalar e foi lá para fazer a cobertura jornalística”. Para Maguila, o francês facilitou: “Ele ficou andando por aqui durante a tarde. Ele é conhecido. Lembro da cara dele, de quando escalou o prédio da Fiesp na Avenida Paulista.”

As it happens, Robert had contacted the Globo network’s Fantástico and invited it to televise the stunt live — and according to him, the TV equipment is what tipped the security guard off. Through the network’s press relations office, Fantástico stated it had “been informed he might attempt the climb and went there to cover the event journalistically.” In the view of Magilla, the Frenchman set the whole thing up: “He was hanging around here during the afternoon. He is known. I remember his face from when he climbed the FIESP building on the Avenida Paulista.”

Anteontem, Robert foi detido, depôs e foi liberado. Não se aborreceu com a passagem pela polícia, porque já enfrentou isso “umas 15 ou 20 vezes”. Mas não escondeu a bronca por ter falhado de novo. E desdenhou: “Esse prédio é feio e nem é tão alto. Já escalei os cinco maiores edifícios do mundo”.

Robert was detained, gave a statement and was then released. He was not bothered by the trip to the police statement, having faced the ordeal “maybe 15 or 20 times.” But he did not conceal his frustration at having failed again. He scoffed: “That building is ugly and isn’t even that tall. I have already climbed the five tallest buildings in the world.”

It is ugly — and yet it isn’t. The view is a local must-see.

Robert concedeu entrevista ao Estado no restaurante Terraço Itália, onde foi pego por Maguila. Da portaria do prédio até a mesa, seguranças não desgrudaram dele um minuto. “Olhe a atitude deste segurança. É um completo idiota. Para mim, isso é um jogo”, comentou Robert, sobre o funcionário que não desgrudava os olhos dele.

Robert granted the Estadão an interview in the restaurant atop the building, which is where Magilla grabbed him. From the reception desk all the way up to the lunch table, security guard never took their eyes off him. “Look at this security guy, he’s a complete idiot. To me, this is a game,” Robert commented about the building employee who was staring fixedly at him.

I hope he said this in French or English.

If you ever come to São Paulo and choose to enjoy a lunch atop the Terraço — the local equivalent of the Top of the Mark in San Francisco — my advice to you is: Do not antagonize security.

Seriously.

Courtesy is very important. You should be courteous to everyone, naturally, but you should be especially courteous to people who have all the training and equipment they need to kick your ass — or worse.

Robert foi correspondido nos “afagos”. Para o bombeiro do prédio, José Venâncio, o trabalho do francês é uma “imbecilidade total”, por ser feito sem nenhuma segurança. “Imagine se ele pula daqui, cai e morre. Onde fica a imagem do prédio?”

Robert’s disdain was reciprocated. The building’s fire warden, José Venâncio, found the Frenchman’s work “total lunacy” because he works without any safety equipment. “Imagine if the guy jumps off here, falls and dies. What’s going to happen to the image of the building?”

Cabelo a la Roberto Carlos, brinco no estilo do cantor brega Luiz Caldas, o francês gosta de couro: jaqueta como a do Crocodilo Dundee, calça azul royal e botas de couro de crocodilo. Esse era o figurino ontem do “herói”, que começou a brincar de escalar aos 11 anos, esnobou o diploma de contabilidade e resolveu se profissionalizar como “Homem-Aranha”. Ele não gosta muito do apelido, embora admita que ela ajuda na fama – e no dinheiro. Disse que patrocinadores pagam por uma escalada o equivalente a um carro de luxo, mas pediu que o valor não fosse divulgado. Na incursão paulistana, quem bancou a aventura frustrada foi o cassino online Golden Palace.

With his Roberto Carlos hair and Luiz Caldas earring, the Frenchman likes leather: A jacket like the one worn by Crocodile Dundee, royal blue pants and crocodile boots. He said his sponsors pay him the value of a luxury car for every climb, but asked that the exact amount not be published. His São Paulo adventure was bankrolled by the online casino Golden Palace.

Robert disse que está bem de vida – em 2007, fez 11 apresentações. Além do patrocínio, fatura com propaganda, documentários e palestras. “Falo sobre mim. A mensagem é sobre liberdade e coragem.”

Roberto says he is doing great — he did 11 shows in 2007. Besides sponsorships, he earns money from advertising, documentaries and lectures. “I speak for myself. The message is about freedom and courage.”

And Internet gambling.

Robert é casado com a professora Nicole há 20 anos e pai de três filhos. Disse que, para manter a forma, pratica escaladas em casa de três a quatro vezes por semana. Ele planeja se aposentar aos 50 anos e, a partir daí, apenas fazer palestras.

Robert has been married to teacher Nicole for 20 years and has three children. He says he practices climbing at home three or four times a week to stay in shape. He is planning to retire at 50 and confine himself to giving lectures.

Com a confusão, como fica a vingança? “Estou esperando para ver se eles (a administração do prédio) autorizam. Senão, é quase impossível”, despistou o francês, que não tem data marcada para deixar o Brasil.

With all the confusion, what of the man’s revenge? “I am waiting to see whether they (building management) will authorize it. If not, it’s nearly impossible,” the Frenchman, who has not yet marked a date for leaving Brazil, said vaguely.

December 5, 2005, Online Gambling Insider:

December 5 – The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, one of the world’s most respected online gambling jurisdictions, has issued a statement to clarify the news that the offices of one of their clients, Goldenpalace.com owner, The CyberWorld Group were raided and that the company was forced to pay one million dollars in fines.

Initial reports were that CyberWorld Group and their owners were found guilty of illegally operating gambling sites in the Canadian province of Quebec. Golden Palace and all of its sister sites are licensed licensed by the Kahnawake reservation’s Gambling Authority.

Chuck Barnett, a Member of the Board Of Supervisors for Mohawk Internet Technologies, clarified what had actually happened. ‘This action against Cyber World Group has little, if anything to do with the jurisdiction of the Mohawks of Kahnawake and does not affect us,’ he said.

“Although licensed by us, my understanding is that the offices of GoldenPalace.com were located well into the city of Ville St Laurent, a borough of Montreal, and that it was the offices of CyberWorld Group that were raided. This entity is not licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.”

On Globo’s adventures in the fuzzy realm of games of chance — leaving aside the TV Globo Rio reporter who was charged with spying on his law enforcement sources for the numbers rackets — see also

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Vintage roleta with bichos. Source: Musem of the Policia Civil, Rio de Janeiro

The Golden Palace pled guilty to criminal offenses in 2007, according to a Casino Gambling Web story datelined November 30, 2007:

Golden Palace, the online casino that grew their fame by utilizing odd advertising schemes, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of illegal online gambling in Quebec, Canada.

According to a French language news radio station the infamous online casino, owned by Cyber Group World, has pleaded guilty to two charges of illegal gambling and now must pay a fine of $2 million.

Cyber Group World, along with many other companies who run online casinos – that amount for over 60% of the Internet’s gambling traffic – are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is run from native Indian Mohawk land in Canada.

The Mohawk representatives claim they are able to issue licenses to online casinos because they are protected by the Canadian Constitution, which states in section 35 that native Indian rights are protected.

Joe Delaronde, a Mohawk representative, told CBC News that they have issued over 400 licenses and are well respected around the world for providing fair and properly regulated licensing systems.

The charges against Golden Palace, who have their offices outside of Mohawk territory in Canada, came about because Canada says only licenses issued by the provincial government are recognized by the country.

The case is similar to the American online gambling laws in that the answer to this dilemma is undefined and has never been ruled on in a court of law.

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