07 June 2010

Kaká – the unholy warrior

The key to Brazilian success in the World Cup is Kaká. Dunga’s system is predicated on absorbing pressure and counter-attacking. I’ve been making the metaphorical connection between Dunga’s tactical scheme (destructive creativity) and Lula’s embrace of free-market capitalism with its waves of creative destruction.  Kaká, as the team’s major star, is an embodiment of Brasil, the seleção, and just about everything that is wrong with modern football.

Kaká is the perfect embodiment of capital, religion, and patriotism. His naked and shameless commercialism was on display during a press conference the other day when he started kissing the Adidas Jabulani world cup ball. The ball has come under fierce criticism from nearly everyone except those who Adidas is paying to make out with it for the international press corps. Real Madrid is sponsored by Adidas, Kaká wears Adidas boots, Kaká makes money for Adidas, Adidas loves Kaká, and Kaká loves Adidas so much that for his next trick he is going to inflate the Jabulani without a needle.

Hands in the air, lips moving, eyes rolled back in the head? A crack addict getting arrested? No, Kaká in his pregame ritual. Kaká is so pentacostal he’s hexacostal, wants to be a pastor after playing. I’ve got no problem with that, but the Igreja Renascer em Cristo to which Kaká belongs is much more than a church, it is a money making machine that has turned into a political party, hiding its naked worldly ambitions behind a veil of sanctimonious righteousness that keeps bringing me back to the idea of throwing a basket full of snakes in the locker room.

It’s difficult to imagine a country where national identity is more involved with the fate of the national team than Brasil. The streets are decorated green and yellow, the stores are running out of televisions, people are planning weeks in advance for the first round games, nearly every conversation I overhear on the street, metro, bus, small gatherings, parties, is about the Seleção. Kaká is the most well-known Brazilian player (outside of Brazil) and as the fate of Dunga’s team depends on the former world player of the year he has become an ever more important figure in the national consciousness. Unfortunately for Brazil, this pretty boy from São Paulo doesn’t know how to dance (and is out of form and a bit injured besides) and that is going to mean a quarterfinal exit for the Seleção Brasileira.

The World Cup in Brazil is a strange mix of popular festival, nationalistic chest pounding, nostalgia, hopeful anticipation, and resignation. I have yet to meet a Brazilian that does not have an opinion about the World Cup, or that is planning on doing something other than watch Brazil play. There is not much love lost for Dunga’s side here and even though they are ranked number one in the world and a heavy favorite to make it through to the final, many people are secretly hoping that they will lose with dignity, so as to not valorize the futebol de resultados that defines the modern game (political and financial gain at the expense of popular culture and spaces, increase in social discipline via blind devotion to god and economies of scale, the cold abandonment of a perceived national style).

No comments:


2014 World Cup Rio de Janeiro Maracanã FIFA 2016 Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics Eduardo Paes CBF Copa do Mundo 2014 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Ricardo Texeira World Cup 2014 Vasco da Gama 2010 World Cup White Elephants mega-events APO UPP BRT Brazil football Flamengo Lula Orlando Silva violence ANT Aldeia Maracana Carlos Nuzman Dilma Eike Batista Rio 2016 Sergio Cabral 2007 Pan American Games Campeonato Carioca Corruption IOC Jerome Valcke Novo Maracanã stadiums BOPE BRASIL 2016 Brasil 2014 Engenhao Joao Havelange Maracana Policia Militar Vila Autódromo Aldo Rebelo Botafogo Henrique Meirelles Medida Provisoria Metro Revolta do Vinagre Sao Paulo Sepp Blatter World Cup 2010 forced removal Carnaval Elefantes Brancos Fechadao Marcia Lins Minerao Morumbi Odebrecht Porto Maravilha Rio+20 Romario Security Walls South Africa South Africa 2010 TCU Transoeste protests public money public transportation slavery transparency x-Maracana Andrew Jennings Argentina Audiencia Publica Barcelona Brazil Carvalho Hosken Comitê Popular Confederatons Cup Copa do Brasil 2010 Cost overruns Crisis of Capital Accumulation EMOP FERJ Favela do Metro Fluminense Fluminese Fonte Novo IMX Jose Marin Leonel Messi London 2012 Marcelo Freixo Maré Museu do Indio Olympic Delivery Authority Perimetral Rocinha Soccerex Transcarioca bicycles consumer society debt idiocy militarization transportation 1995 Rugby World Cup 2004 Olympics 2015 Copa America Banco Imobiliario Barcas SA Belo Horizonte Bom Senso F.C. Brasilerao CDURP CONMEBOL Champions League. Mourinho Complexo do Alemão Copa Libertadores Cupula dos Povos ESPN England FiFA Fan Fest Istanbul 2020 Jogos Militares John Carioca Kaka Manaus McDonald's Obama Olympic Village PPP Paralympics Providencia Recife Russia Salvador Soccer City Taksim Square Tatu-bola Urban Social Forum Vidigal Vila Olimpica War World Cup Xaracana attendance figures cities corrupcao drugs estadios football frangueiro futebol mafia planejamento urbano police repression porn privitization reforms shock doctrine taxes 201 2010 Elections 2010 Vancouver Olypmics 2013 2018 World Cup 2030 Argentina / Uruguay ABRAJI AGENCO ANPUR ANT-SP Amazonia Ancelmo Gois Andrade Gutierrez Anthony Garotinho Arena Amazonia Arena Pernambucana Athens Atlético Paranaense Avenida das Americas BID Barra de Tijuca Blatter Brasil x Cote d'Iviore Brasileirão 2013 Brasilia Brasilierao Bruno Souza Bus fares COB COI COMLURB CPI CPO Cabral Caixa Economica Canal do Anil Cantagalo Celio de Barros Cesar Maia Chapeu Mangueira Chile 2015 Choque do Ordem Cidade da Copa Class One Powerboat Racing Clint Dempsey Comite Companhia das Docas Copa do Brasil Corinthians Cuiabá Curitiba Dave Zrin David Harvey Der Spiegel Eastwood Edge of Sports Escola Friendenrich Expo Estadio Expo Urbano FGV Fonte Nova Gamboa Garotinho Geostadia Ghana Globo Greek Debt Crisis Greek Olympics HBO Hipoptopoma IMG IPHAN ISL Iniesta Internatinal Football Arena Invictus Istanbul Itaquerao Jacque Rogge Jefferson John Coates Jose Beltrame Julio Grondona Julio Lopes Julio de Lamare Knights Templar Korea Lei Geral da Copa MAR MEX Manchester United Mangabeira Unger Maracanã. Soccerex Marina da Gloria Mexico Milton Santos Molotov Cocktail Mr.Balls Neymar Nicholas Leoz Nilton Santos Olympic Flag Olympic Park Project Oscar Niemeyer Pacaembu Pan American Games Parque Olimpico Pernambuco Plano Popular Plano Popular do Maracana Plano Popular do Maracanã Play the Game Pope Porto Alegre Porto Olimpico Porto Seguro Portuguesa Praca Tiradentes Preview Projeto Morrinho Putin Qatar Quatar 2022 RSA Realengo Regis Fichtner Roberto Dinamite Russia 2018 SETRANS SMH Santa Teresa Santos Sao Raimundo Sargento Pepper Security Cameras Smart City Sochi 2014 South Korea Stormtroopers São Januário São Paulo Teargas Templars Tokyo 2020 Tropa do Elite II Turkey UFRJ/IPPUR URU USA USA! Unidos da Tijuca United States government Urban Age Conference VVIP Via Binário Victory Team Vila Autodromo Vila Cruzeiro Vila do Pan Vilvadao Vivaldao Volta Alice Wasteland Workers' Party World Cup 2018 Xavi Zurich apartments atrazos barrier beer bio-fuels bonde capacities civil society comite popular copa sudamericana crack crime dengue dictatorship estádios favelalógica feira livre fiador flooding freedom of information furos geral graffiti guarda municipal host city agreement identity infrastructure ipanema istoe labor rape riots schedule school shooting security segregation social movements stadium state of exception supervia tear gas ticket prices torcidas organizadas tourism traffic tragedy trash trem-bala velodromo wikileaks xingar