OK, little point in pretending. I haven’t even ‘tried’ to get involved in the spectating of the soccer World Cup. That’s probably because I mainly don’t care who wins, loses or gets bumped off on the mean streets of Rio. Well, I do care about the bumping off part, but otherwise, some countries will win and some will lose and all told it’s all better than going to actual war.
But I did notice that Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode the other night concerned Brazil so I thought that might put me a bit in mode in order to gain some semblance of appreciation for it all.
But, it turned out that the episode was focused on the town of Salvador (or Bahia), way up the coast from Copacabana Beach. Didn’t matter to me because there was barely any mention of people fanatically pursuing a dumb ball around a field. I liked that. Much as Bourdain always so entertainingly does, the focus was on food, booze and colorful people from the assorted places he trots to on the globe. I’d like his job.
As for the Rio part, I don’t know much. As for the Brazil part, I am ashamed to suggest, I also don’t know much. Here is my lore about one of the most populous countries, and one of the largest countries in the world:
– I know of Copacabana Beach where tears-in-the-eyes-beautiful-bronzed girls where the teeniest gluteal cleft enhancing dental-floss thong bikinis on the planet. If you’re not prepared to show off your bum stay off that beach, I guess.
– Brazilians, though they find their heritage in many sources, including Africa, speak Portuguese.
– The samba originated there.
– You can’t do better than the bossa nova for musical sexiness, especially Girl from Ipanema sung by the inimitable Astrud Gilberto. Don’t believe me? Check it out on YouTube.
– Brazil, as I said, is very large and it borders literally every country on the continent of South America with the exceptions of Ecuador and Chile.
– Brazil has the most extensive rain forest on the planet with all sorts of pretty cranky critters therein. It also clearcuts it left-right-and centre so they can build ranches to run cattle on so that the maw of McDonald’s can be fed. Actually, I have heard that rather than growing grain for cattle, they grow a ton of soya beans. So all those hippie vegan soya munchers are actually doing more harm to the planet than Mickey-D’s patrons. That’s my story, anyway.
– Even recently native tribes have been discovered who have never had any interconnectedness with the outside world. Lucky them. Now that they have been discovered they’ve decided they prefer iPods to Blackberries. They do, however, find Justin Bieber to be remarkably immature, but kind of don’t mind Miley Cyrus.
– Brazil has had a goodly number of not pleasant governments. They have had leaders that make Harper look like Mr. Rogers, and critics have tended to be ‘disappeared’ over the years.
– Brazil also has Carnival each year and the excesses thereof make New Orleans’s version of Mardi Gras festivities look like a church picnic. Yep, it is a really sexual country, I am told, and who am I to dispute that?
And that pretty much finishes me in terms of Brazilian lore. After my brief visit to Colombia last fall I am quite keen to visit other South American countries, so who knows? I might get to Brazil someday. I have always fancied a trip up the Amazon.
And you will notice how I wrote this whole thing without very much mentioning the World Cup, and not mentioning the niceties of soccer at all.