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Conflicted…

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If anyone knows the artist on this, please let me know so I can give credit.

Yesterday, we watched the game with friends and celebrated when Brazil won the opening. My six-year-old daughter, with her playmates, also watched the game and happily cheered the Brazil team on within the safe and comfortable confines of our sports club, complete with playground where they spent much of their time. All the little ones wore jerseys similar to the one the boy is wearing in this image.  Which is why, in part, my feelings are so conflicted when it comes to the games my home country is hosting.

Obviously, the picture is a powerful one. It depicts the distance, both physical and economic, between the people of the country and the team that represents them. I tried to find out who the artist is, but it seems to be floating around the internet without credit.

When Carnaval time comes, nearly everyone is involved. It’s the futebol clubs and the samba schools from every neighborhoods that together put on the events. But the days that the children of Brazil dream about being a part of is a distant one for the majority.

I know that FIFA is an obvious target for blame, but it’s not like FIFA is secretly an evil organization. Everyone already knew that going in. And if they didn’t, they were just dumb not to do the research.

So what’s to be done? A picture like this makes me feel pretty powerless. I can become a citizen and vote against the PT. Before you PT’ers come after me (you know who I’m talking to, rhymes with Benner), can we all agree that the party either doesn’t understand long-term strategy or doesn’t care? That simply handing out money to the poor instead of investing in education isn’t a sustainable model. That changing the laws to protect employees needs to be done so that it doesn’t make them suddenly unemployable. That these types of tactics are only good for buying votes. That the window of opportunity is gone.

But will there even be a better alternative to put into office? Much like in the U.S., all the really smart and competent people won’t go anywhere near a job like that. Can’t a government hire a company to build a plan? Or does that only open up opportunities for more corruption?

I don’t know the answer. But something has to happen soon.

I want to enjoy the games and cheer on all the teams that represent all the citizenships of my little family (Brazil, US, Germany…) But I’ll be watching with this image always in the background of my mind to remember that not everyone is watching in the same kind of comfort that I am.

 

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Journalists bring Brazilian football to a worldwide audience in new eBook

bornagainbrazilian:

Now is the time to study up on soccer/futebol/football history to make interesting conversation during all those World Cup game parties!

Originally posted on A Brazilian Operating in This Area:

Just in time for the 2014 World Cup, journalists Mauricio Savarese and Euan Marshall have released A to Zico: An alphabet of Brazilian football, an independent eBook on the history and culture of football in Brazil. For now it is available only on Kindle.

Using an A to Z format, the authors selected 26 topics that provide an introduction to Brazil in a football context. There are chapters on important players and coaches, as well as the game’s struggles with racism and violence and the unique relationship between football and music in Brazil. A to Zico… combines the perspectives of a Brazilian journalist who grew up surrounded by the culture and a Scottish journalist who has immersed himself in it later in life. The book also includes hand-drawn illustrations from talented artist Harry Marshall.

In M… is for Maracanazo, the book details the 1950 World Cup final, which Brazil…

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Five More Great Gifts to Bring from Brazil (Sao Paulo Specifically)

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You’re coming all this way to experience the Brazilian culture and São Paulo scene, naturally you’ll want to return with something special in your suitcase. There are some great easy-to-get souvenirs you can pick up at the local feira (see … Continue reading

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Six Assumptions You Shouldn’t Make About Sao Paulo

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Ensuring good experiences is all about managing expectations. If you are soon on your way to São Paulo for World Cup activities, or for any other events, it is important that you don’t make assumptions about what might be here … Continue reading

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Why Figurinhas are Awesome for Little Kids

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Hey world! Are the rest of the kids out there as crazy about collecting and trading World Cup figurinhas as the kids in Brazil are?? (And, ahem, their parents are??) If you are not yet aware of this craze, this … Continue reading

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Who’s to Blame for the World Cup Chaos

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Don’t blame the players, past or present, who spent their lives dedicated to their dream, at the expense of everything, including education, for the chance to support their country and prove themselves on the field. Don’t blame the people of … Continue reading

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Vigilante Killings & Sub-par Education Vs. School Shootings

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There has been a disturbing trend on the rise in Brazil as of late. Vigilante vengeance. I understand why this might be happening. The police are unproductive, underpaid and often unqualified for their jobs. So people start to get that the … Continue reading

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