Development goes down the drain
RAFAEL ARGEMON - While in Rio de Janeiro manholes explode like fireworks in a celebration of light, in São Paulo one of those manholes cut off a woman’s toe as she was on her way to a physical exam for a job after being unemployed for a year.
But in the country’s two main cities, as well as across Brazil, the round object that really matters is a soccer ball. Maracanã stadium, which was rebuilt for the Pan-American games in 2007, was recently demolished only to be reconstructed yet again, but this time for the small amount of R$ 1 billion (CAD$ 500 million).
Meanwhile, in São Paulo, the long standing dream of Corinthians to have its own stadium became reality thanks to a little help from their friends. The federal and state governments forfeited R$ 420 million (CAD$ 210 million) in taxes and threw in an extra R$ 70 million (CAD$ 35 million) from the public coffers so that the new stadium could meet FIFA requirements. Despite the fact that FIFA has been involved in constant corruption scandals, it has a semi-god status in Brazil.
And the people scream gooooooooooal with the background sound of iron lids flying through the air of the economy of the future.
This is where the country’s “soccer shoe” approach to life comes from: dribble adversities, ethics, and common sense. Dodge the law and imprudently score a goal against its own team. Why should we worry about city infrastructure, education, and health?
We already have bread. We want the circus!