13 January 2012

Prove me Wrong

Everyone caught up on their 2011 posts? Good.

I have yet to hear negative responses or evidence to the contrary to my writings @ geostadia except for one guy that said “this blog is too negative, blah, blah, blah”. This either means that my observations are accurate (if not correct) or that I have amassed so much evidence  en favore of my arguments that the task of refuting them has become Herculean, Sisyphonic, Odyssesan, Olympic and Pyrrhic. There are debates to be had, however, and I hope that those who disagree with what I write take up the task of convincing me that the World Cup and Olympics are not fully part of the brutalizing machine of rapacious capital accumulation.

McDonald's. Don’t like it, haven’t eaten it in years. My grandfather used to take us boys there after a game of tennis for a milkshake and cheeseburgers. He would eat two or three ravenously while we crammed sugar-laden, highly subsidized potato and corn products (including the meat) down our pre-pubescent gullets. I am probably no worse the wear for my McDonald’s eating in my youth. That sugar high is just what I needed after running around, apparently. But to suppress the irony of McDonald’s supporting athletic competitions to show some corporate responsibility adds a twinge of sadness and despair to an already shite and contradictory state of affairs.

 I’m glad that McDonald’s has some CPR programs (uh, Corporate Public Responsibility, not heavy breathing and chest pounding though they probably have those too). I don’t know if they do any good, I haven’t investigated them. I hear they’re lovely but I doubt their motivations. Where are the independent journalists and academics talking about how much good McDonald’s is doing in the world so I can more fully inform myself about this wonderful company?

I am speaking from a place of ignorance regarding the flowering of humanity that results from McDonald’s generosity but in my estimation, the world would be WAY BETTER OFF if no one ever ate another bite of McDonald’s food or slurped another dose of entrenched and misguided public policy down their throats. Go on, please, convince me otherwise. While you’re at it, tell me why the Brazilian public needs to pay for McDonald’s VIP suites, hotels, limos, stadiums, advertising platforms, etc. for the World Cup and Olympics? Tell me about all of the great jobs created, the valuable experience of working with a team in a concrete box to deliver quality service to trusted customers. Tell me about the net positive effect tens of thousands of drive thrus have and how many trees were planted in the pqp (bfe) to offset childhood diabetes.

Usain Bolt apparently ran his world record 100 and 200 times after eating  Nuggets? I want some of that sauce but don’t want to play a game of chicken.  

There is a great talk radio show in Rio de Janeiro called Faixa Livre. Today, 13.1.12, there was a healthy discussion about the ongoing Macaranã tragedy (again, convince me). This is the link to the program: http://www.programafaixalivre.org.br/?id=1187. In the discussion leading up to the Maraca (rip) discussion the host, Paulo Passarinho, makes some very interesting about the two pillars of USA foreign policy: the flexible and continual use of the military to secure its interests and the inflexibility regarding the use of the dollar as the world’s currency. The show could be a useful exercise for you Portuguese language teachers and learners looking for a listening comprehension and critical thinking exercise.

In Rio, it’s a lovely afternoon of intermittent and dramatic rain that followed a lovely sun-drenched morning. From my perch in Flamengo I can see the Niteroi-Praça XV ferrys, imagining their putrid smell of half-burnt pão-de-queijo and feeling the push of thousands of people anxious to get home. The Charitas ferry isn’t moving at all, probably waiting for an opening at the dock. Does no one ever think about expanding and improving the use of water transportation? It’s a staggering collective myopia in transportation planning fronted by incompetence at all levels of public and private administration.  Nossa, só no Rio.

Next up: A VERY IMPORTANT VISIT from a VERY VERY IMPORTANT PERSON. Let’s see how the VERY DIFFICULT questions bounce off him.


Troy said...

The only problem I have with your blog is that it's such a displeasure to read. Please, could you adjust your font size. It is much too small for the amount of information that you are delivering. Not to mention, you have your text on a green background, which makes it that much more difficult to read. Every time I start reading a post on your blog, I have to stop midway through because I'm struggling to read it. Aparently you're not realizing this. Do yourself a favor, open up an artiicle from say... (www.nytimes.com)and set it next to your blog post, now read a paragragh in both. Now do you see the difference? Please, help us, your readers, follow your findings by increasing your font size to make your blog readable. And if you really want to go all the way, then get rid of the green background behind the text also. Otherwise, I think you are doing a great job with the blog. Keep up the good work.

Christopher Gaffney said...

ha. thanks Troy, have changed the font, am working on the background and will no longer torture your eyes.


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