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.