Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why not come to the World Cup?

I have asked people not to come to the World Cup in Brazil. Why? Me? Boycotting the World Cup in my own country? Unthinkable.

Growing up, I have always been a soccer fan. Like many Brazilians, this was one of two things that made me proud of my country. The one other thing - my hero Ayrton Senna. Everything else was pitifully chaotic:
- Inflation
- poverty
- corruption ...
- and that feeling that we were lesser beings bc were Brazilians ... except of course when the national team was playing. Then we were giants.

My family talked about Pelé and a time when he won us three World Cups. But every Cup of my life had been a failure played with crappy soccer.

Till 1994.

 I lost my hero on May 1 in a fatal crash in Italy's Imola. A day I will never forget. Just like you will never forget where you were on 9/11/01. No words will ever describe the pain of losing the one person that made me feel like I had any value for being born where I was born.
Then 2 months later Brazil brought home the World Cup. It seemed only fair - that in a year of such a great loss, we fought so fiercely and brought home the World.

So why today do I stand against the World Cup in Brazil?    Maybe this quote from John Adams will help explain that:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
John Adams
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)
Priorities - I have always set them in my personal life. Before the movie money, came the credit card bill and the savings for that trip I wanted to take. Even the money I earned as a teenager (renting my novel to classmates) was administered like this. So shouldn't I feel the same about my country? Before being champions on soccer, I want my people leading a minimally decent life. I think the rest of the country is beginning to wake up as well...

Some argue that it is too late to boycott the Cup, that the money has already been invested, that there is no way to recoup those loses. I say, fine, let's take the loss. Right now what matters is that we are sending a message - we are not to be quiet anymore, Don't feed us your nasty bread and circus.

We should give up on soccer as our national pride for now, so that our grandchildren can have a safe and just country to enjoy their soccer games. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

No comments: