Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Life in hell

Once again my family in Brazil was the victim of a crime. Not any crime… I am talking about a senseless, nightmarish situation that could have simply destroyed the lives of at least 3 people.

But hey, that’s life eh? Just another day, another little unlucky episode in this great country. Nothing to see here, folks. Carnaval is just around the corner! Get drunk! Have some sex! We have not time for worries here.


Now, the one thing that really surprised me in this whole situation was the reaction of people around this crime. Look, I understand that Brazil is now a lefty paradise and that its culture is corrupted and retarded beyond salvation. But still, I’ve never seen anything like it (or maybe I’ve just been away for too long?). It is not just the usual blaiming the victim: it is the total inversion of values. It is now accepted that criminals have the power in Brazil and that their power is so established, so unchallengeable, that regular citizens can only do two things: try to hide and avoid being a target, or if it comes down to it, to be a good, well behaved victim.

So the moral implication of any crime in Brazil nowadays is gone. Crimes have now become a judgement on the victim. If you behave well, you might live. If not, you die and that is just what one should expect. And that new norm is just the logical consequence of all ‘principles’ pushed by the left. After all, you have to remember that criminals are the victims of society’s oppression. They steal because they are shamed by your opulence. And by the way, you only have what you have because your forefathers oppressed someone.

It is time to pay up for your crimes, evil capitalistic middle class. Money or blood, it doesn’t really matter.


The unavoidable response I hear from people in Brazil when I show my revolt against what is happening there is: “Oh, so you think the US is heaven on earth? There is plenty of violence there too!”

That of course, is correct. There is violence here. There is violence in every single corner of the earth. The difference is always on the details. In the US people are still able to defend themselves for the most part. In the US criminals are still persecuted and sent to jail. In the US people don’t see themselves as victims, even though they do get victimized sometimes. So yes, the US is not heaven on earth. But is farther away from being hell.


I hated Brazil when I lived there and I hate it even more passionately now.


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Here is the game for my brazilian friends: try to find all the Kafkaesque insanities in this little article (I am copying it here just in case someone sane decides to take this offline soon – I added bold to my favorites)
Entidade diz que só mulher pode participar de concurso de baliza na BA

“Em reunião realizada na Câmara Municipal de Camaçari (região metropolitana de Salvador), a Afab (Associação de Fanfarras e Bandas) da Bahia anunciou a proibição homens nos concursos artísticos de baliza realizados em todo o Estado. A equipe que desrespeitar a determinação, de acordo com a entidade, será desclassificada. O presidente da entidade, Edmilson Castro de Oliveira, afirmou que a proibição não representa homofobia ou qualquer tipo de discriminação.

Comuns principalmente em cidades do interior, as balizas integram a “comissão de frente” das fanfarras. Seus integrantes normalmente utilizam arcos ou pedaços de madeira forrados e decorados para fazer apresentações cênicas durante os desfiles. “Os dicionários registram que baliza é uma palavra feminina e, portanto, deve ser feita por mulheres.” De acordo com Oliveira, a decisão refere-se exclusivamente aos concursos. “Nas festas cívicas não existe nenhuma restrição, homens e mulheres podem participar sem problemas”, acrescentou. O GGB (Grupo Gay da Bahia) informou que vai “tentar convencer” a Afab a mudar de opinião e permitir a participação de homens nos concursos de balizas. “Não queremos criar nenhum atrito entre gays e mulheres, mas não vamos descansar enquanto não conseguirmos reverter esta situação”, disse Marcelo Cerqueira, presidente da entidade.

De acordo com ele, o ideal seria que a Afab criasse uma “categoria exclusiva” para a disputa masculina. “Acho que todos estamos de acordo que os homens têm mais força física e poderiam participar das competições entre si. Agora, proibir a participação de pessoas do sexo masculino em concursos é um exagero.” Há uma semana, José Júlio Silva dos Santos, 29, encaminhou uma carta ao GGB denunciando a “discriminação da Associação de Fanfarras e Bandas. “Estou muito triste com este absurdo, é preciso uma mudança urgente no comportamento das pessoas que dirigem a entidade”, escreveu o baliza.

Marcelo Cerqueira acrescentou que o fato de muitos homens “carregarem na maquiagem” durante o concurso não significa que as balizas induzem ao homossexualismo. “É evidente que há muitos homossexuais nas competições, mas o problema está na discriminação. Se for dessa forma, daqui a pouco outras entidades vão se sentir no direito de barrar homossexuais do futebol, basquete ou vôlei, por exemplo.” Cerqueira acrescentou que encaminhou um ofício ao Ministério Público para saber se a decisão tomada pela Afab tem amparo legal.”

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I wouldn’t be surprised if this came from the folks at Crooked Timber or Daily Kos, but instead this insanity about ‘Brazil being a world leader’ comes from the Financial Times.

First of all, what is this thing about a country being ‘cuddly’ or its foreign policy being ‘rainbow’? Are we talking about a country or a woman?

Second, what do these people think ‘world leaders’ are? Are we talking about financial power? Military strength? Cultural influence?

This might sound like my usual anti-brazil bias but honestly, what is this? Brazil is a big economy just because it has a lot of people… Maybe John Paul Rathbone should visit the country and tell us whether a mess like that can ‘lead’ anything. It can barely lead itself!

But the most irritating point is about foreign policy. Brazil is not a ‘nice’ country in this aspect. It is a coward one. Lula and his gang are good ol’ pinkos who don’t even try to hide their love for Castro. But differently from Hugo The Clown, Lula is not willing to pay the price for his beliefs. So he plays ‘nice’ with Obama because he is dependent on the US. He plays ‘nice’ with Iran because he wants some more international trade going on (like in the 80s, where Iraq was a big ‘client’).

So why not be honest here and just say that Brazil is doing whatever it wants with no clear principle in mind but its own profit? One could even argue all countries are like this (which I disagree) but please, stop with the ‘friend of many nations’ talk.

Principles are hard to define and even harder to follow. Economically, philosophically, it is what forms a culture. If there is one thing that Brazilian culture doesn’t have a concept of is being a leader.

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Steve Jobs recusa loja da Apple no Brasil

“O secretário Washington Fajardo, da Secretaria do Patrimônio Cultural do Rio de Janeiro, teria oferecido espaço na região da Zona Portuária ou em prédio histórico do centro da cidade.

No entanto, Jobs respondeu que “Não podemos nem exportar os nosso produtos com a política maluca de taxação superalta do Brasil. Isso faz com que seja muito pouco atraente investir no país.” Ele teria dito ainda que “muitas companhias high-tech se sentem assim também”. “

I’ve been saying that for a long time. Can you imagine what this means? To completely give up a 200 million market because of how messed up it is?

And if you look at the Apple Store website, you see that they have stores in some other countries that are in theory much worse shape than Brazil:

That tells me that Brazil still has a looong way to go to get out of its backwardness state…

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A friend send me a link to this Charlie Rose interview with Eike Batista. He was very proud as a brazilian and was again chanting the old ‘We are the country of the future’ song.

I did have to send back this other not so pleasant video to him, and to sadly remind him that it is much more probable that he finds himself in a cockroach infested flood than in a plushy oil job from OGX.

No need to say that my number of brazilian friends is decreasing at an alarming rate.


Is it just me or do you also get very concerned when you hear a billionaire like Eike say something like ‘I am very nationalistic now – I want to help my country’ or that his assets are now ‘strategic assets’?

By the way, nice tie Eike!


I understand that there is a chance that somewhere in the future Brazil becomes a great country. There is also a chance that the US could decline to a third world banana Republic.

But Lincoln put it best when he said that ‘The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.’ I think I would start believe this brazilian hype when people actually stopped talking so much about grandiose futuristic plans and focused more on short terms problems, like you know, unclogging your street drains.

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I was thinking to myself on my way back from Brazil: I have to try my best and write a post that is not 100% negative about my last trip.

I could talk about the personal reasons that took me there in the first place, but that is not my style. So I need to try to find something political or economical that seemed positive to me.

The sense I get when I visit there is that progress occurs in little spurts, something almost random. Look, a new pretty office building there. Oh, that avenue is not flooding as it used to be. But there is never a big change happening… Something like ‘we have completely eliminated problem X’ or ‘the government plan for Y has changed completely’.

This happens again and again. Even though I see many positive signs here and there (I visited a beautiful new Shopping Mall in Vila Olympia, a neighborhood that is now a fancy spot and it used to be low/middle-class when I lived there 20 years ago), the impression is that the country as a whole is pretty much the same. Old wounds with prettier band-aids.


I find it funny (and scary) that when I called Dilma by her well deserved nickname (‘the terrorist’) some people thought I was joking.


I wonder what all the pseudo-lefties would say now that the PSDB’s president claimed that his party is the ‘true left-wing’ in Brazilian politics. It’s not even the case of trying to redefine labels… What surprises me is that everyone is fine with this. Being left-wing in Brazil became a given.

Maybe this happens in part because the Brazilian people in general have no big frame of reference. What comes to my mind is that what Brazil really lacks is some kind of mythology. You know, some sort of founding fathers (would people even recognize Dom João’s face?), heroic past wars, hard fought economic principles, anything that would some sense of unity and direction to the country. Besides soccer and samba, of course.

Oh well, I tried.

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