06 April 2010

Chuva Bíblica e a Cidade Olímpica - Biblical Rain and the Olympic City

There have been 94 95 deaths in Rio in the last 24 hours due to flooding (with updates eagerly posted on all major media websites). The Rio State Govenor was quick to point out that "the biggest cause of death was people living in risky areas." Well, yeah. Sergio, here's a little something  to chew on with your file mingon tonight: there's no such thing as a "natural disaster." Usually it takes a little longer to blame the victims. At least Cabral later admitted that the political elite were also to blame, referring to "the political elite" in the third person as if he weren't part of it. 

Lula happened to be in town for the banho da chuva and happily assured everyone that today's rain would not cause a problem for the 2014 World Cup or 2016 Olympics. The solution is on the way, Lula said, as money from the PAC 2 (Accelerated Growth Hormone Program 2) will be put into drainage projects and hey it's April 2010, the World Cup is in June 2014, plenty of time for this water to drain off. But it's of course all up to God, sez Lula: "When the man upstairs is nervous and makes it rain, we have to ask him to stop it so we can continue living in the city." Quando o homem lá em cima tá nervoso e faz chover, nós só temos agora que pedir pra ele parar a chuva para a gente poder tocar a vida na cidade." Does God get nervous? If so, about what? The performance of the Brazilian National Team? That wouldn't bode well for the World Cup. And why would rain be an appropriate response? I don't get it. 

Everything was closed today: school, government, stores, restaurants. It was like a good old fashioned snow day in USAmerica. I took the opportunity to get out to the Maracanã to check on the digging of those holes that marked the beginning of the 2014 World Cup construction projects. So I headed off to the site of the 2014 World Cup Final and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics:

This small installation is what the City and State Governments of Rio de Janeiro and the CBF used as evidence to tell FIFA that the construction project for the Maracana had begun within the required time-frame. While there are supposedly 4 holes being dug to test the sub-soil for geologic stability before building new access ramps, I was only able to find one. I was prohibited from freely circulating around the outside of the stadium by private security guards.

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