Brazilian Treehopper = Bocydium globulare
A 7.2 ton, 43,200 pages book, contestant for Guiness World Record. It contains all tax rules approved in Brazil since 1988 Constitution. Complied by lawyer Vinicios Leoncio in protest against the maddening bureaucracy faced by anyone trying to run a company in the country.
Yesterday it was the 50th anniversary of 1964 coup - yes, a Fool’s Day coup, something which was noted in retrospect by the military so they officially changed the date form April 1st to March 31 in school textbooks and official communications. However, the fools in case ended up being the supporters of the Constitution and their allies, Marxists seeing an opening to full revolution via ballots, both placing all their chips in that part of the army would stand up to defend president Goulart. Instead, faced with guns and tanks, no one had another reaction than playing possum, in terrified tonic immobility.
Recently, there was a hoax on Brazilian Internet about a supposed French article about the World Cup, accusing Brazil of a range of catastrophic problems. One of those caught my attention: Brazil supports all kinds of dictatorships abroad.
The hoax, probably fruit of some particularly bitter anti-World Cup protester or maybe our garden kind of right winger, resounded what was a real concern during the Bush (and Lula) era. Brazil did support Iran, Cuba and Venezuela, but that had more to do with a peculiar brand of Cold War nostalgia from our elected government of former Marxists than any national inclination. Traditionally, Brazil was the most vanilla country in international diplomacy, condemning human rights violations, wars and other ugly stuff as long as somebody rich was there to tag along and it didn’t hurt business. None of those countries enjoyed any real popularity in Brazil, particularly Iran, a puritan Islamic state antithetic to everything Brazilians understand about how to live the life.
Still, there’s a ring of truth to that. For many Brazilians, democracy is not an absolute imperative, but more of a general guideline, something that’s good while it works. When a clown is elected as the most voted representative and a compilation of rules about taxes takes a 7 ton book to write (more on that later), many cling back to a very old idea on these coasts: “people are still not ready for democracy”.
During last year’s protests, many people stood up to talk about “revolution”. Some of them in the naive teenager sense, “we stop doing bad stuff and start doing good stuff”. Others knowing too well that it means “provisional government”, the last one taking 19 years.
In the next posts, I’ll talk a little about the history of democracy and it’s opposite in Brazil.
Instagrammers Capture Protests in Brazil
Thousands gathered in Brazil’s largest cities starting over the weekend and running through tonight to protest what started as a fight against bus-fare increases and has evolved into one of the biggest movements since the nation’s military dictatorship ended in 1985. Protesters are voicing frustration about a variety of issues, including inflation, government corruption, tax rates and the cost and delays associated with next year’s World Cup soccer tournament.
In São Paulo, thousands took to Avenida Paulista to march and wave Brazilian flags. In Rio de Janeiro, marchers stormed Avenida Rio Branco. In Brasilía, protesters danced atop the roof of the Congresso Nacional. To view more photos, visit the #vemprarua and #protestorj hashtags.
I just raised this blog from a year of inactivity. Still, I recon it’s strange a blog with this name being silent about the protests. The problem is not I don’t consider them relevant, but that things are going on so fast I still don’t have formed any solid opinion, something I can say you didn’t hear from other sources. There’s a lot to be said and that will take take time. I’ll just reblog some pictures for now.
“The best of all gifts I’ve ever received in my life … I love you my daughter ❤”
The Tower of Babel, by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles, in Kiasma, Helsinki. A tower of vintage radios playing various stations/languages at once. Amongst the pile I found the exact same radio as I had way back in the 1990s.