28 February 2014

Shocking Normalcy

I wish that I were so creative as to make up the stories unfolding in Rio and Brazil for the World Cup. I was criticized a couple of weeks ago for failing to see the humor in the Visa advertisements that featured Imperial Stormtroopers on the beach with the slogan “Everyone is welcome at the World Cup”. Two days ago, OBobo, South America´s biggest waste of cellulose and the paper of record for Rio´s Zona Sul, pinched off this gem above the fold. This is the new uniform of Rio´s Mega-event Shock brigade. There were, as often happens in USAmerican papers when invading Oil/Banana Republics, fawning descriptions of the weaponry, training and mandate of the stormtroopers. It would be comical if it weren´t so terrifying. Please, if you are going to the World Cup, do not wear black, don´t bring anything to cover your head and bring your running shoes. As long as you consume in the right way, in the right places, and with Visa, everything will be just fine.

Speaking of consumption, there was a national furor this week about the “poor taste” that Adidas demonstrated in producing t-shirts for the USAmericans that highlighted the desire of foreigners to ravage Brazilian women. Tudo bem, agreed, the t-shirts were horrendous and heads should be rolling at Adidas (which it should be remembered has been FIFA´s principal partner since the 1980s). But if we look at the way that Brazilians represent Brazilian women to themselves and to others, it would appear that Adidas was only following the disgusting lead of classic machistas like OBobo´s Ancelmo Gois. In his daily column, Gois always publishes, every day, hundreds of days per year, photos of women that he finds attractive. His comments might as well be accompanied by an icon of a drooling mouth. One slobber for pretty, three slobbers for gostosa.  Every year this middle aged white man has a competition to see who will be the “Mulata do Gois” . Beyond the idea of a black woman as a sexualized possession of those with more power and privilege, the general sterotypes propagated by Gois, OBobo, and Carioca society in general towards women make it completely normal for a multi-national corporation to market the place of Rio and the people of Brazil as objects of consumption. If Brazilians are shocked by the marketing of the “natural beauty” of Brazil to foreigners, they should take a step back and consider how they represent themselves to themselves (with a tip of the hat to Andrew Downie).

The Utopia of Rio in 2014
As if to confirm my infinite posts about how Rio is a city that needs a smart system to watch it fall apart, the heavy hand of the mayor has again fallen on the resident population. The genie of urban planning has been let out of the bottle yet again, reorganizing all of the vehicular traffic in downtown while eliminating second and third options at the time of greatest road closures because of Carnaval. The mayor is trying to make things so bad in Rio that if and when any of his hare-brained transportation projects get done, they will seem like improvements on  the hideous conditions the projects themselves have imposed.

Put this on repeat: Rio does not have the conditions to host its own population, much less mega-events. When urban systems are stressed out, they break. When one breaks, others are compromised. The metro broke yesterday. There was a two hour traffic jam on the bridge. The BRT Transoeste is a disaster. A broken sewage line in Copacabana closed traffic. Murders, thefts and petty crime are on the rise. Is it any wonder that the federal government is investing R$2 billion in the World Cup security apparatus? The closer we get to the Cup the more local populations will be treated as insurgents / rebels. Rio de Janeiro might be turning into a Death Star that holds its own people in tortured poses while it reconfigures urban space to maximize the flow of capital into private hands. 


Anonymous said...

Put this on repeat: Rio does not have the conditions to host its own population, much less mega-events.

Apart from the Pope's visit and New Year's Eve. Perhaps you were someplace else at time?

Christopher Gaffney said...

Indeed I was here. The infrastructure folly of the Pope´s visit was only mitigated by the jeitinho carioca, public holidays and a massive security apparatus. New Years is not a mega-event but a million people on the beach that leaves many tons of trash, pollutes the water and stresses out Copacabana´s infrastructures. Mega-events are typically considered those things that have long term impacts on teh city, or in which the city has to structurally adjust to receive them. The Pope´s Guaratiba plans were rained out, but the gov´t shelled out millions to restructure the area. New Years requires full scale adjustments to the transportation system, but nothing permanent.


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