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gentoo emerge portage

I'm new to Gentoo and emerge.

How do I get past this point (look below)?

What exactly is going wrong?
It looks to me like I can't upgrade portage because bash is the wrong version...???

localhost ~ # emerge portage --pretend

These are the packages that would be merged, in order:

Calculating dependencies... done!

[ebuild     U ] sys-apps/sandbox- [1.2.17]
[ebuild  NS   ] dev-lang/python-2.5.1-r5  USE="berkdb gdbm ipv6 ncurses readline ssl -bootstrap -build -doc -examples -nothreads -sqlite -tk -ucs2"
[ebuild  N    ] app-admin/python-updater-0.4  
[ebuild     U ] sys-apps/portage-2.1.5_rc2 []
*** Portage will stop merging at this point and reload itself,
    then resume the merge.
[ebuild     U ] app-shells/bash-3.2_p33 [3.1_p17] USE="-plugins%"
[blocks B     ] <sys-apps/portage-2.1.4_rc1 (is blocking app-shells/bash-3.2_p33)

localhost ~ #

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YAY it worked...
I guess was just a little hesitant to do that...
I have exactly the same problem, but i'm not sure I understand this solution.
Can you clarify or explain how to "emerge the portage anyway".

emerge portage runs, tells me there is placked packages and to use emerge --pretend or directs me to look at a web guide.

emerge -p portage  gives:
[blocks B     ] <sys-apps/portage-2.1.4_rc1 (is blocking app-shells/bash-3.2_p33) as above.

How do you force it to do it anyway??

Many Thanks,