An Open Letter to Brazilians Who Can’t Handle Some Foreign Criticism of Their Country – during the Olympics and at any other time.


Dear Brazilian That Falls Into The Title Category,

Wake up!

Brazil is a beautiful country with beautiful people and everything within its borders to essentially make it a paradise on earth. There is enough sun to power the country through solar energy. There are minerals and agriculture enough to trade and feed the population. There is enough human power to have a nation of workers who can produce national products to make the world marvel. There are beautiful beaches, historic cities, modern mega-cities . There is a rich cultural history in music, arts, literature. There is even exquisite cuisine from a lot of the states in the Northeast. Brazil has quite possibly everything going for it to make it a first class country, a safe haven for its own citizens, and a respected nation in the world  without the need to start global conflicts and fight in endless wars. Yet – you are none of these things. That is your fault. You brought this upon yourselves – and now that the world had a microscope focused squarely on you and saw your warts up close and personally, they wasted no time commenting on them, and you wasted no time getting your feelings hurt.

The interesting thing about Brazilians who complain about foreign criticism is that many of these same people are making the same criticisms of Brazil. Their only reason for getting upset is because these are foreigners – which to a crying Brazilian, doesn’t give them the right to criticize. That is absurd and plain stupid.

If you go into someone’s house and they treat you badly, their house is falling apart, the tap water they offer you is brown, the bed they make you lay on is full of bugs – do you just sit there and smile? You can still love that person, and be gracious for allowing you to sleep under their roof as opposed to the street – but you have every right to make a critical analysis of that person’s environment. If you care about the person, your criticism should at the very least be constructive. If you don’t ever have to see the person again – then you you should feel free to say what is on your mind without a filter. These are called opinions, and everyone has the right to share them.

Another interesting thing about Brazilians who feel hurt by foreign criticisms is that they love to criticize other nations. Their attitude is absolutely negative. This negative attitude manifested itself in the “Gold for Booing” that Brazilians fans received during the Olympic events. You are the biggest sinners when it comes to talking trash about other countries – I was born here but grew up in America and identify as American, I know! America is absolutely destroyed by many Brazilians who have never even set foot in the country once.

You are very quick to talk out of your ass, but can’t take the heat when it comes back at you. This shows not only your hypocrisy, but your lack of self-esteem, because by and large if you criticize a foreigner’s countries two things will happen: One, they may actually agree with your assessment, or two, they won’t give a flying fuck and continue with their life as scheduled.

A final point about why foreigners have a view of your country that you would rather them not have is the fact that your country exports these things. Long are the days of Jobim being Brazil’s best export – and interestingly some Brazilians treated him like a national traitor as they did with Carmen Miranda a generation before him. Now, instead, we have the export of sexed up Carnival and Gay Pride parties, Buttman magazines, brain dead modern Brazilian funk and modern Sertanejo music , and one favela movie after the other which glorifies the violence of Brazilian ghetto life. This is the image you put out!

How many foreigners know that a city as rich and diverse as São Paulo exists or that Curitiba is considered a model city for urban planning? How many people know of the rich African cultural history of the state of Bahia or the endless food choices that come out of MinasYou export shit and then expect foreigners to see paradise. It’s a joke, and the joke is on you. Because foreigners will continue to come here and have sex with your people, buy cheap drugs, go to some good parties and leave, while commenting on the good and bad that they experience. If you don’t treat your own country seriously, how do you expect others to?

So, what is the answer?

Stop crying about getting shit on by the international press and foreigners and start making steps to make your country better – not for them(!) but for yourselves. Like I said above, Brazil has all the right elements to be a paradise on Earth – and not just for a foreigner looking for a new playpen, but for its own citizens.  But due to  your constant deflection of blame and lack of capacity to look some hard truths in the face, you don’t allow for that paradise scenario to play out.

Every time you shed a tear about what you believe is unfair criticism of your country, another Brazilian kid won’t be in a good school, another hospital won’t have the necessary equipment to treat someone, another river will continue to be polluted, another politician will steal your hard earned money, another innocent person will be robbed or killed, another favela ghetto will expand instead of retract, another police officer will act as if he or she is above the law, another right to opinion will be stripped, another classic book won’t be written, another teacher will be underpaid, another hard worker will have to spend three hours in traffic for sub human minimal wage, another cruel scenario will play out for the media to expose – and unfortunately for your little crying soul,  another foreigner will laugh and count his foreign currency until his next trip to the land of milk, caipirinhas, cheap cocaine, ass, and honey.

Sincerely Yours,

A Concerned Foreigner With Brazilian Roots


“If It Don’t Apply Let It Fly” – to the Brazilian who get it.

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27 Responses to An Open Letter to Brazilians Who Can’t Handle Some Foreign Criticism of Their Country – during the Olympics and at any other time.

  1. Bob Johnnycakes says:

    “If you don’t ever have to see the person again – then you you should feel free to say what is on your mind without a filter.”
    It appears that the author of this doesn’t conform to common decency standards.
    You say that you grew up as American. That didn’t need to be said, it was easy to tell from the arrogance of this letter.
    It is extraordinary that someone would take time out of their day, just to insult an entire nation.
    But, the author seems to have all of the answers. So, perhaps, instead of wasting time on dross like this, get up and do something about it. Perhaps that would be a little too much for the keyboard warrior who wrote this ‘open letter’.

    • p. ray says:

      Thanks for reading Bob. I actually took out some time out of me late evening to write this as a response to a piece published in HuffPost Brasil.

      If what I said is insulting – then Brazil will forever be doomed. I began with endless platitudes because that is the Brazil I wish I could see. I have lived here for 7 years and have tried to be part of the solution but Brazil tends to punish those who are trying to move the country in the right direction.

      I do what I can in my little space and with the people I meet around me. Hopefully the country will one day take a turn towards a better direction on the social level – and Brazilians will begin taking their own country more seriously.

      Although born here, I did not grow up here. I didn’t create this mess. This is a Brazilian problem that needs to be cleaned up by Brazilians. I can only offer my opinions – if they want to cry about it or consider them and make changes is up to them.

      If telling someone their house is falling apart falls under some decency faux pas, then bring it on. I would rather let someone know the truth – and again while offering some solution (otherwise its just useless whining) than just leave them to their own devices. Personally I think that ignoring evident problems is more indecent and less caring – and truly does show arrogance. It’s the attitude of having fun in the fucked up playground because I know I can go back to my castle on the hilltop.

      Again thanks for reading.

      • Renan Almeida says:

        Dear author,
        It would be interesting to know if you have tried yourself to do something to change your “own room/reality” in Brazil.
        I live in Sweden, and when I am not happy I change my own environment, not the society, I try to fix at least my little environment.
        Have you tried to fix what you were unhappy with?

      • p. ray says:

        Yes. I stated that already. In fact it’s all I can do because I am powerless to change institutions which people apparently love. I can’t built schools or new communities. I can’t raise every child. That’s Brazil’s job. But where I can help I do – while trying to also keep a roof over my head. Hard to help others while you are trying to stay afloat.

        The good news is that society seems to be shifting slowly towards a better mentality as more Brazilians travel abroad and have access to more information via the internet and other mediums, but there is still a good portion of people that prefer things to remain the way they are — malandro culture prevailing.

  2. babblingbrazilnut says:

    I do think Brazil has the capacity for great things and I suppose as a foreigner we possibly see how things can be improved with a clearer eye than someone who was born and raised here. It is the same for me at home in Ireland: when I met my Brazilian he had a lot of observations to make about Ireland, its failings and its successes and that was fine. I didn’t mind. He was right. His observations were spot on.

    Instead of getting all offended wouldn’t it be great if Brazilians could take on board some of the criticism and run with it? Strive to provide a safe environment to live in; be renowned as a country with an incredible education system. Protect that oh-so-breathtaking natural beauty that attracts so many to visit. And continue rooting out all that corruption, you’re doing a great job and Ireland could take a leaf out of your book on that score! Be the country that we know you can be. I am happy to live here and raise my son here, but what’s wrong with wanting to improve?

  3. jt says:

    p.ray… First of all, clean up you language. Good, educated people don’t need swearing in their vocabulary to make a point. You sound like a total arrogant person in your point of finger at all Brazilians!! All the examples you gave we Americans have it here at home and more. Brazil doesn’t have mass school shootings like we do. So as far as crimes go ” Prison rates in the US are the world’s highest, at 724 people per 100,000″, Crime is a big factor here in the US as it is in Brazil. I wish that the Brazilians were as effective in putting behind bars as the US,

    As far as the trash that you said Brazilians export “novelas, etc..”,I agree its trash, but Hollywood export way more trash and is decaying American family morals. Your choice of word is evidence!!

    It’s good to be frank and honest with people but a critical,Righteous know it all.will not like you, has no right to go unfiltered without a response!!

    The truth is, I”m also Brasilian/American and proud to be both . I was an orphan in Brasil till the age of 12,at which time I was adopted into a wonderful American family . I’m now 49 and my wife and I adopted a 12 year old from that same orphanage, It’s not that we don’t see the problems there or here, i’ts the we choose to get involved and help to fix the system one step at a time.

    A better way is not to give up on your country(Brazil), but to roll-up your sleeve and help..and keep helping one person at a time.

    • p. ray says:

      Hey there jt

      “Fuck” and “Shit” are such a wonderful words — so I’ll pass on the “cleaning up”. I usually don’t use that many expletives, but I felt like it this time. Although I do try to use them sparingly – no Terantino over here. 🙂

      You make the point that Americans have the same problems, which I don’t agree with completely but let’s go with the premise. If someone criticizes something about America, do we cry about it? No, often times we agree with assessment and try to do something about it – although the victim mentality is starting to grow there too. But accepting criticism (both internal and external) and trying to do something about it is how a society moves forward. Brazil simply loves to point the finger.

      Comparing crime in Brazil to crime in America – come on? Unless you are in a known dangerous neighborhood you could have written your message here on a fancy iPhone or laptop while walking down the street without even thinking twice that someone would come around and rob you. Brazil has about 50,000 murders a year. It’s only less safe than some war zones! It’s apples and oranges.

      And although the mass shooting in America are troublesome – they are an American issue that people are doing their best to fix and debate. Americans won’t get offended if you bring that up – they will listen and offer their opinion whether it be agreement or disagreement. And yeah, I wish there were a better prison system in Brazil too (although I sense you meant that sarcastically). What I don’t like about the American prison system is the amount of people that incarcerated over victim-less crimes, which is why I support changes in drug laws. And of course there is the racial disparity.

      Hollywood doesn’t export trash. It makes good movies and it makes bad movies. That is Hollywood. Although I haven’t been to keen on what has been coming out recently – there are still wonderful pictures that come out of Hollywood. Most of the writing talent has gone to television shows of late though – which the rest of the world is eating up. Have you seen some of the stuff Netflix is putting out – pretty decent. I stopped watching television shows after LOST but now I am hooked to the small screen again – I sold my television though, so it’s all via internet. No comparison to what comes out of Brazil.

      I never claimed to know it all – I am only commenting on what I see. And most of it is just echoes of what other Brazilians say about their own country.

      And I am glad that you can help the kid that you adopted. I am adopted too. But also don’t dismiss that the life you are living in America makes it much more possible for you to adopt one two or even more kids and help out in general. Here in Brazil I have a cousin who I practically adopted as my own son. I would love to have enough money to send him to a good school, but him in martial arts classes, or even have him live with me – but it’s close to impossible. I have to struggle half the time to keep myself afloat – and I make what is consider a C to B class salary! One of the things I sorely miss how much time I could dedicate to volunteer work in America – here forget about it. I did become a registered clown and do visit some orphanages low income projects – but that is when time permits.

      So yeah, I do help one at a time, because it’s simply all I can do with the resources that I have.

      Thanks for the comments though – and send that kid a big hug for me. I am sure he will thank you later for being raised in America.

      See, I used no bad language 🙂


  4. David Fuller says:

    Bob Johnnycakes…..I find it interesting that people who have lived in Brazil for years and then express an opinion about a country that just can’t seem to pull themselves together are always classified by the locals as “Gringos” and “arrogant”, I think that the author had good points about why Brazil continually fails at being progressive and remains to be a 3rd World Country. I do think that he could have dropped the expletives used in his letter. You chide the author for not getting up himself and doing something about it. The author was born here and that may give him more rights and more credibility to do some things. But as a foreigner…………not hardly! If Brazil is going to make vast improvements then the changes must come from within. Demands for political justice, human rights, justice in the work place must come from the Brazilians themselves. I was at a restaurant a few weeks ago and my wife and I were talking about the sad state of Brazil’s political affairs. As an experiment I asked the waiter what he thought about Temer who had just taken over for Dilma. He didn’t even know who Temer was. This is just one small part of the problem where a country demands by law that each citizen vote……but do they really know or care who they are voting for?

  5. Renan Almeida says:

    Brazil is a big country. Too big sometimes.
    And unfortunately a lot of what is exported is actually not something we are proud of, however big part of the Brazilian population still consumes it.
    Criticizing is not the answer. Brazilians might get offended when you criticize “their house” because they understand that you are indeed right but they also don’t have means to make thinks better. Brazil is still underdeveloped and still has a lot to improve, but the problems are not as shallow as you put. I agree with many of your points, you are right. But I disagree about the reasons for your unhappiness. Be raised in Brazil without coming from a rich family is an everyday challenge. In order to change the country a whole mindset need to be fixed. Hopefully one day we will be able to make it work.

    • p. ray says:

      Thanks for the comment Renan.

      I am not offering a quick fix, but at least a minor change from the victim mentality that Brazilians have. I see that this slowly happening.

      As soon as Brazilians begin to grasp that their destiny is their own, then they alone can make the necessary changes to move up in the world.

      No one likes to have their house criticized – not even me. But if the criticism is legitimate and founded in reality and truth I swallow my pride and listen.

      I just find it funny how there have been a bunch of stories from Brazilian journalists complaining about foreigners rightfully criticizing the country ( I say rightfully because these are legitimate qualms that even Brazilians admit are real) – where instead of doing some self analysis they simply sling mud and call us names.

      If I remember correctly, Brazilians were actually the ones who were complaining that the international press was not covering the real issues going on in Brazil and giving a glossed over version of the World Cup. The Brazilian press was the one trashing every bit of the organization. Eventually the international press caught on and now they get upset? That to me is hypocritical.

      But again – thanks for reading and thanks for the comments!

      • Renan Almeida says:

        Thanks for replying Ray.
        You have raised a very nice point:
        “Brazilians were actually the ones who were complaining that the international press was not covering the real issues going on in Brazil and giving a glossed over version of the World Cup”

        Exactly! And that was a way to try to change their reality!
        Nobody is happy. It is frustrating to live a normal life in Brazil and this comes since the Portuguese arrived (year 1500). Corruption, inequality and other issues. Do you truly think majority of the population likes it? Problem is that the population itself also is corrupted in many situations. The malandro is just a person that gave up trying to be nice. The change must come from two directions: from the bottom and from the top at the same time. My oppinion is that educations is a solution.

        In my very honest words: Brazilians are not weak. We have tried to fight the system, we might try everytime. But most of us fail, and majority give up becoming corrupted and accepting this reality, which indeed might be hypocritical when thinking that we also complained to the media to raise up our issues. “Maybe” it is like: “Hey! Please help out! We don’t know what do to anymore! Take the country over or whatever”. It might seem a bit of gap of proud, but we have some proud deep still, and that is what hurts when you use words without understanding how deep the problem is.

        Don’t think that we don’t do anything. You have no idea about the Brazilian life neither you tried to understand it. As I said before: in my opinion education is a way out, mainly languages, because if our country learn English (for instance), we might get more aware of how much we swallow from the government and how much better we can be. Criticizing is not the answer.

      • p. ray says:

        I agree with most of what you said — except that criticizing is not the answer.

        Criticism is what allows us to take time to analyze ourselves and others. This is healthy and promotes development.

        Brazil is a country of contradictions – and you are right, I will never understand it. LOL

        Thanks for writing.

  6. Ibrahimovic says:

    Perfectly expressed!!!

    Brazilians are usually very aggressive and condescending towards foreigners. I live in Brazil and have been for many years. Brazilians never pass up a chance to insult foreigners, and to call us gringos. A very ugly behavior. I’ve had to fight Brazilians with sticks, since they came at me with bottles for talking to the Brazilian ladies that threw themselves in my arms and spoke in English to me, which the guys couldn’t.

    To Renan Almeida:

    I am Swedish and I wonder why you escaped your country, if it’s so great?
    And if there’s things to improve in Brazil, what the hell are you doing in Sweden? You know what you’re called in my book? Hypocrite. By the way, NOBODY in Sweden has ever made you feel segregated by calling you utlänning/gringo, and if they have it has rarely happened. In your country it’s more of a rule, than exception. Do don’t run from country, only to cry when a gringo is trying to write a letter about the issues of Brazil to try to help. Välkommen till verkligheten, brasse. Is that how we should speak to you in Sweden?.. Não né, bicho? Fala sério, vei.

    To the author:

    A great initiative with a very accurate description of Brazil and Brazilians. The funny/sad part of it is reading the comments from the Brazilians, doing just what you described, calling your letter “an insult to all Brazilians”, when the facts are that in the midst of the Brazilian misery, they love to crack down on us and to try to put us in our place. Until Brazil solves their problems, Brazil will remain in the bottom of economy, social stability, health-care, education, crimes, domestic violence, cheating, etc etc. Maybe people like Renan should go home and help, instead of complaining when the gringos tries..

    Peace out

    • p. ray says:

      thanks for the comments. i teach a Brazilian girl who over there in Sweden studying immunology. she is still getting accustomed to it, but is really enjoying her time.

      • Renan Almeida says:

        Hi “Ibrahimovic”,

        You have understood me slightly wrong and also the Brazilian context where you live.
        1. I ask you to read what I replied to Ray in my comment above.

        2. FYI “Gringo” is not an offensive word in Brazil. Of course this all depends the way a person would tell you. But, in general this word is not offensive as it is in the LatAm Spanish speaking countries.

        3. I left Brazil to Sweden to work. I was invited by one of your companies. If this company would be in China, I would be in China now. And since you were so offensive in your comment: Remember that we treat foreigners very well usually, which is not the case of your country. Sweden is very hypocrite and very segregated, way more than Brazil. In Brazil foreigners become Brazilians. In Sweden, Swedes with parents from different countries are never considered as swedes. Plus, Sweden is small, and only get to be big due to its big friends such US, Brazil, India and others. Sweden has always been a “brown nose” calling it “diplomacy”, but this is your way to survive. I understand.

    • Renan Almeida says:

      I forgot to ask:
      Ibrahimovic, and why do you live in Brazil too?

  7. Ibrahimovic says:

    My response to “A letter to all the gringos”.

    This “Letter to gringos” is pure nonsense!!!

    First of all, you don’t welcome foreigners with open arms. Tourism might do that to make money on us, but the minute a gringo invests, you get jealous, angry, rude and even violent sometimes.

    Secondly, “In Brazil the justice may be slow”..
    It’s not slow, it’s nonexistent. Everytime a fight occurs where I own a hostel, and somebody calls the police, or if some gangsters are playing that braindead music favela funk from the drunk of your car and somebody calls the police because they can’t sleep, noooo police appears. I even bounced into a wanted pedophile and called the national number for child abuse. But the police on the telephone asked me to report it the following Monday.. That’s how much the law exists.. I had to go to the worst gang in my neighborhood to remove the pedophile. The only law that exists in Brazil is the laws of the street.

    Third.. taken very seriously.

    “We are sorry if we gave you the impression that women here are easy, and that they exist only to satisfy men’s sexual desires.”

    I’ve never seen a gringo behave disrespectful to Brazilian women. What I see daily are Brazilian men walking up to women at parties, grab them by their waists and force-kiss them. There’s no respect for women in Brazil.

    I do agree that the Americans that lied about being robbed, when they in reality peed on the walls and broke a door in a gas station was the biggest scandal of the whole Olympics.

    The second biggest scandal was clearly all the booing from the Brazilian audience during Olympics.

    But fala sério..
    Maybe the author of this article should help improving the manners of Brazilians before writing a ridiculous article.

    And it’s been a long known fact that Americans behaves arrogant, ignorant and dumb while visiting other countries and on home turf.

  8. Hugo says:

    Hey Ray,

    As a gringo in Brazil myself I can say I agree in many points, I can see the flaws in the society and I can see how on one hand many people abuse the system over and over always getting away with it and on the other people get desperate or even hopeless seeing how problems seem to have no way to be solved, people who don’t care outnumber people who care. I am also still pissed at the people who booed foreign athletes at the olympic hehehe.

    However, I don’t know if many countries take well criticism from foreigners, here’s more evident because there are so many things to criticise and they put themselves in the spotlight. I still find the text condescending, even on a reply your wrote “If someone criticizes something about America, do we cry about it? No, often times we agree with assessment and try to do something about it” do you seriously believe that? Most of the Americans I’ve met (I’ve been in your country many times, spending reasonable amounts of time and part of my family lives or were even born there) feel they come from this star spangled awesome place that is just perfect, that’s why the majority don’t travel abroad, why would you go somewhere else if they are in the best place in the world they say. Obviously there are many (usually who lived abroad) who can see the problems in the corrupted political system you guys also have with all the lobbying or the white supremacist society being implemented, and who also don’t just buy that same old story of “we are taking freedom to this or that country” like if only countries with Oil, or with some important geopolitical position to keep Russia on a leash need freedom. I know it seems I am wandering off but here’s my point.

    Most of the criticism to Latin countries comes from countries like the USA, France, Spain, etc countries who have abused for centuries their position to screw other countries always getting some profit. Imagine how Africans feel when France comes and tells them to keep their shit together when they have first exploited their countries for centuries and now keep doing it via some dictators they support and who hand them over the resources. Or many countries in Latin America that have witnessed how the influence of the USA supporting regimes that mistreat the common people but who grant uncle Sam whatever they need to maintain the strategical position as a world power.

    Summarising, all the things you criticise are true, that’s out of the question, I hope people get more and more involved, this country and all Latin America deserve better, but since you are directing this to the people who can’t take criticism, I can tell you many of them don’t take it not because it’s not true or they don’t see it, many don’t take it because it comes from “you” with that condescending tone. imagine you have a flatmate who never lets you sleep, and every morning tells you that you look like shit, that why don’t you sleep more, well, many people in developing countries and third world feel like that with the critics. Not to say people here have not dug themselves in the hole they are, but many other countries played their part too facilitating it.


    • p. ray says:

      Well, Hugo. If they can’t take it – despite it being true (as you stated and they agree with) than I think that is more their problem than mine.

      I wrote the piece in a pretty tough tone, because that seems to be the only tone some people here seem to understand. I have learned quickly that politeness is not a virtue in this country. Nearly yelled at a few people this very morning for this very reason.

      Brazilians need to toughen up.

      As for my feelings about Americans. Yes, I believe that 100%. They may not agree with you, or brush you off, (and perhaps it is a superiority complex) but Americans are certainly not going to cry if people criticize them. We get it from Latin America, from Europe, from Asia — Canadians seem to tolerate us well enough LOLOL.

      Sadly, the victim mentality, and lack of respect, which is so prevalent here IS slowly creeping into American culture. We see this by the rise of someone like Trump.

      But The US is still far from Brazil in terms of social lack of cohesion.

      Thanks for reading!

  9. Hugo says:

    I agree with you that Americans won’t cry, and I know people generalize a lot with you guys, but the second part of what I quoted is what I find happens rarely “often times we agree with assessment and try to do something about it”. Brush it off is more often than not the approach hehehe. That lack of cohesion accentuates with the current crisis here, a few years ago, when Brazil was the miracle many of these flaws were not that evident, If a crisis this hard (that I seriously doubt will happen) hits the USA I am not sure how much social cohesion would be left there. It’s easier to not give a fuck when you have all basic needs cover and have access to distractors like tech gigs etc.

    Let’s hope Brazilians copy the politeness of Canadians who even treat you guys well :p


    • p. ray says:

      Got to love those Canadians.

      But I don’t man, even in its own twisted ways Americans are still searching for answers. What is scary is where they are looking for those answers. So I still am partial to believing that Americans aren’t completely willing to brush things off.

      Trump has brought a new air of arrogance which even his own twisted Republican party thinks is above the limits of good taste, but the rest of the population (agree with their stances not) seem to be more willing to accept some criticism and try to mold the country into something respectable – if the political talking heads they elect actually do something is another issue.

      Though I am was not a Bernie supporter I think that the wave of support that he received shows how much people still care – and conversely, the decline in the polls that Trump has had shows that the majority of Americans don’t want to be represented by a crass person, who shows no regard to another person’s opinion.

      Then of course there is the average 50 to nearly 70 percent of the population who won’t even vote – who make up the average American who just wants peace, prosperity and no bullshit.

      Like Brazil, it’s a big country, and certainly doesn’t come without its major flaws. I just think that they are other ones.


  10. J De Melo says:

    Here’s a small story about Brazil that is a great example of “the Brazil problem.” My city paid some million reais to renovate the local lake. They dredged it, cleaned all the garbage, installed a new paved walking path and biking lane, new LED lampposts, re-stocked it with fish, new workout area, trash cans every 50 feet. Within a week of its reopening it was trashed again. The fish are gone – picked off by fishermen with 10 poles at a time (no exaggeration). Trashcans were burned and are now useless. Swings were stolen from the small playground. Garbage is absolutely everywhere. In the water, on the ground, everywhere. For a few weeks I would take my kids to walk around the lake with grocery store bags and pick up garbage. (Trying to set an example because the litter mentality is one of my biggest issues with Brazilians….) The reaction was always the same, “Wow, that’s really great that you’re taking care of the lake and helping to keep it nice. More people should do that.” Spoken in the same moment that the person throws a picole wrapper on the ground. “One, they may actually agree with your assessment, or two, they won’t give a flying fuck and continue with their life as scheduled.” Unfortunately my experience has been that life continues as normal whether they agree or disagree. It’s infuriating.

    • p. ray says:

      that is a such a sad story. journalist/commentator Bob Fernandes gives a wonderful analysis of “corruption mentality” in Brazil. He makes the great point that there our neighbors are always the corrupt ones. — The are always the corrupt, but never the corrupter –. He goes on to say that politicians don’t fall out of the sky, people vote them in, and people (from down the lowest rungs of society) act in corrupt manners, but they can never see this in themselves. The go to is to always point the finger.

      Your story exemplifies this perfectly – and sadly.

      Thanks for reading.

      Here is a link to his talk.

  11. Laysa says:

    Why don’t you stop being so full of attitude and go and give these suggestions to the brazilian government. Sitting in your comfortable american house and criticizing another’s government is very easy. But oh well, what can you expect of people who love to give suggestions to every other single country right?!

    • p. ray says:

      I live in Brazil.

      And the government is not the problem – politicians don’t fall out of the sky. People vote them in. Corruption is part of Brazilian daily life.

      I just sent this video to another poster here, and now I share it with you.

  12. Pingback: A List of Things We Should Not Talk About – because talking about them only makes them worse | Brazusa's Blog

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