Hey World, Let’s Cut Brazil Just a Little Slack

Brian Winter – Americas Quarterly, 08/01/2016

After being kidnapped by uniformed police in Rio on the eve of the Olympic Games, a young New Zealander proclaimed on Facebook that Brazil “is well and truly f***ed in every sense of the word imaginable.” Many others agreed, from the Australian athletes who arrived in their dorms to find overflowing toilets (and a fire, and then thieves) to Brazilians themselves, 63 percent of whom believe the Games will cause more harm than good to their country. Indeed, if there’s just one thing in this crazy polarized world that Trump-bashers and Hillary-haters, Sunnis and Shiites, and Argentines and Brazilians could seemingly agree on right now, it’s that, man, it sure would be nice to have a do-over on the site of the 2016 Olympics.
http://bam.nr-data.net/1/4962ac208a?a=1081763&v=963.8b1290f&to=bldWYEJYD0FUU0VYWlcdYUZZFk5bW1RUSRtJWkQ%3D&rst=1467&ref=http://americasquarterly.org/content/hey-world-lets-cut-brazil-just-little-slack&ap=22&be=199&fe=1080&dc=569&perf=%7B%22timing%22:%7B%22of%22:1470153795247,%22n%22:0,%22f%22:0,%22dn%22:0,%22dne%22:0,%22c%22:0,%22ce%22:0,%22rq%22:0,%22rp%22:0,%22rpe%22:37,%22dl%22:0,%22di%22:756,%22ds%22:756,%22de%22:1089,%22dc%22:1275,%22l%22:1281,%22le%22:1313%7D,%22navigation%22:%7B%7D%7D&at=QhBVFgpCHE8%3D&jsonp=NREUM.setToken

Some predict the angst will pass once the events actually begin, although there are reasons to be skeptical of this. Because unfortunately, there’s no way to paper over Rio’s problems, which are also for the most part Brazil’s problems. Visitors will be mugged; athletes may get sick; fans may be stranded because of lousy logistics. But at the risk of being shouted down by an army of freshly pickpocketed, sewage-soaked sailors, I propose that everyone cut Brazil just a tiny bit of slack during these next few weeks. Why? Because its main sin in hosting these Olympics was a sin of ambition – and that is precisely the kind of sin the global community should be most willing to forgive.

To explain, let me briefly take you back to 2009, when Rio won the right to host these games. As everyone knows, Brazil was in the middle of a long economic boom that lifted 40 million people out of poverty, put the country on the cover of The Economist, yada yada yada. Even then, it was clear that hosting an Olympics in a democracy in the developing world – arguably for the first time – would bring unique challenges. There would be no “magic” ability to sweep away protesters, pollution or environmental permits for efficiency’s sake, as Beijing had done at the previous year’s Summer Games.
http://bam.nr-data.net/1/4962ac208a?a=1081763&v=963.8b1290f&to=bldWYEJYD0FUU0VYWlcdYUZZFk5bW1RUSRtJWkQ%3D&rst=1467&ref=http://americasquarterly.org/content/hey-world-lets-cut-brazil-just-little-slack&ap=22&be=199&fe=1080&dc=569&perf=%7B%22timing%22:%7B%22of%22:1470153795247,%22n%22:0,%22f%22:0,%22dn%22:0,%22dne%22:0,%22c%22:0,%22ce%22:0,%22rq%22:0,%22rp%22:0,%22rpe%22:37,%22dl%22:0,%22di%22:756,%22ds%22:756,%22de%22:1089,%22dc%22:1275,%22l%22:1281,%22le%22:1313%7D,%22navigation%22:%7B%7D%7D&at=QhBVFgpCHE8%3D&jsonp=NREUM.setToken

Read more…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s