THE PARTY IS OVER AND RIO IS THE WINNER BUT THE FAVELAS THE LOSER

The stadium is now cleared of spectators. Volunteers and stadium staff are earnestly preparing to strike the big set. Some are tired, others are sitting restlessly trying to catch a breath after the amazing show.
Rehearsals have been done over and over again, starting over a year ago. The glitches, the demotivated that did not attend rehearsals and the numerous calls to do it “once again” all are now indelible memories of the journey getting to where the team wanted to be. It was, in fact, the best part of the Olympics, the preparation. 
It would not have been a true Brazil Olympics without the brand Brazil is known for, Carnival. The opening ceremonies did its due homage to the birth of this great country, but the closing was authentic Brazil and the performances were all testament to this gospel. 

The show could be easily placed next to the other best in show, China, as the most memorable. The one thing Brazil wanted the world to take aŵay is this – problems there are but the land is green, the sun continues to shine and the people know how to throw a party. Brazil pulled off sports largest party, the 31st Olympiad. 

Months, weeks even days before the opening the media spun its web of doubt. Infested water, a mosquito named Zika and of course the unloved cousin named crime, were reported to threaten the lives of those planning to attend. Few athletes took the bait and refused to attend. Countries brought additional luggage purely packed with repellents and water, enough to give every team member and every family in the favela, packets to last a month. 

Brazil was in fact dusted by the world media as the country plagued by pestilence and if you go, you do so on your own peril. Brazil was humiliated even before the first plane landed with their guests. The political strife did not help either as their President was facing a political earthquake she is hoping to survive. 

The process to creating this ubiquitous event of glitz and glamour was bumpy. In cases where the State needed land it was the residents of the favela that paid the price. A country daunted by millions of its people living below an already low poverty line, basic services seemed to be curtailed in favor of satisfying the wealthy sponsors and the many affluent citizens of Rio. Choices made were not equitable and people of the favela excercised the only power they have, the power to protest. 

It sent a message loud and clear as delays and sabotage prevented time schedules of spaces for the Olympics to be completed on time. Brazil pressed on, facing their realities and a deadline as the World was coming. A visibly shaking President of the Organizing Committee Carlos Nuzman was a happy man. In his closing speech, he declared the games would be one the people of Brazil can look back and be proud of for generations to come.
In a way, I think he is correct. The games did not lack any excitement or drama. There were many highs and as expected many lows. There were 27 World records and 90 Olympic records at the Rio 2016 games. 
The outstanding athletes Phelps of the US, Farah of the UK and Bolt of Jamaica were the stars of the games. There were other memorable moments as well too numerous to mention but for Brazil the sweet moment was the revenge victory over rival Germany for the gold medal in the beloved sport Soccer. Karma was so sweet an ale on the lips of the Brazilians. 

The lows were as low as they could go and the three that will be etched in the history of Rio2016 Games were the public refusal of the Israeli athlete to shake the hand of his Palestinian competitor and the blond athlete from the US that claimed he and fellow athletes were robbed at gun point when upon investigating the incident , was determined to be false, very false.


The other low point was the visible empty seats in the massive 70,000 seat Olympic stadium except for when Bolt was attending and the 80,000 Maracana stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held. No director wants to see empty seats. It says a lot about the planning of the event. If I were the director, I would have filled those seats with the people next door the Maracana. The favelas had thousands of people standing above their shanty roof top houses, that would have given an arm even a leg to be in the stadium. I think the organizers and the government lost an opportunity there. 

Every event has its drama and the event ghosts are always around determined to distract and displace every possible decision taken. Brazil faced their truth and stood back up on their feet 1 million times as much as they were knocked down 1 million times. For this Brazil can be proud. Nothing is more satisfying than to do something that your haters say you cannot.

I think Brazil had the last laugh. They can laugh at the doubters and be assured that the City of Rio has been tested and passed every test imaginable. The final test for Rio and Brazil is the test of conversion and innovation of the many facilities to serve its people. 
This will be its hardest challenge. I hope they face it with the same resolve as they did to open the games. Fairy tales they are but the land is green, the sun shines and the people not only can throw a party, they now have facilities that will move their people and country from being a great Brazil to an even greater Brazil. 
(C) 2016. Kwesi. All Rights Reserved. 

WHITE PRIVILEDGE TAUGHT IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR LIVING ROOM


A funny thing happened on they way from a party in Brazil. Three high profiled swimmers, by US standards anyway. were reportedly ambushed and robbed at gun point. This bombshell was dropped mid way through the staging of Brazil’s biggest party, the Olympics.

As you can imagine, no country, not even the US, would want such negative headlines in bold print splattered across every major news media around the world. Negative publicity means negative impressions of the country, regardless of the efforts thousands are doing to make the games a success. It was no surprise the authorities took these reports seriously and investigated post haste. 
The findings as you would have heard by now unless you are living under a rock, were conflicting, and Brazil exercised its rights to summon the ” victimized” as the Americans referred to themselves, to answer these conflicting questions. 
The proceeding events that happened could not have been written for a reality show. The parts were moving violently and what has been to date, an Olympic Games of highs and lows, surprises and excitement , the story became the focus and the games became that other story. 
It was depressing and the lines were drawn on both sides. From outright condemnation to acceptance of the behavior, the story never went away. Neither did Lochte. 
Waiting until his “brothers in arms” returned to the US, Lochte said he had “suffered enough” to come forward to discuss “the mess” he says he is in. In a classic “let me hold your hand gently ” interview, NBC’s Matt Lauer attempted to “ruffle Lochte’s feathers. It was an attempt for Lauer to come across as the ‘tough interviewer’. 
Millions like myself did not buy it. Lauer was more intent on saving face as social media was on fire. The dye had been cast. It was another classic example of what white privilege looks like in the comfort of your home. and the media, through its agent was upholding and reminding you of this unwritten standard of the way things are in good ole US of A. 
A friend wrote his response. I thought I would share it for you to read and draw your own conclusions.
Kwesi (c) 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger and James Feigen all thought they were in a third world country, and as such, their bigotry and newly-acquired gold accessories warranted them vandalising a hard-working family’s service station by urinating on the walls and trashing the place – – and then running to the USA media with claims of being robbed at gunpoint (as is “expected” in Brazil).

The Brazilian judge (in his quick wisdom) smelled a rat and sent for the rodents on the aircraft bound for the United States . As it played our, apologies were offered, the stories recanted and monies were paid (all of this as the world watches). 
All across America white privilege apologist in the people of Billy Bush et. al. seek to offer excuses for a 32 year grown ass man and his punk team members who cite “youth” and “immaturity”. Where were these voices when a young black girl stood on the podium (yes, their teammate) and (in her nervousness) forgets to place hand across her chest at the medaling ceremony? 
 What of the superhuman gymnast of color who (after endless flips) just can’t seem to keep her nappy hair in one direction and is slaughtered within the same circles? …oh how different the cry would be if Felix and her relay peers behaved the same way eeh? 
The cushy reporting from US media would not be afforded them I’m sure! All in all, America has a long way to go. The shackles are transferred from black ankles and is seemingly evidenced now in the minds of the once captors.
The incident in Rio only highlights who these thugs are in their heads and certainly it presents the opportunity for pause to thought. Ryan, Jack and James are damn lucky they weren’t black men behaving in the same fashion in their homeland – notwithstanding there would be three funerals sometime next week – the men behind their shiny badges would have seen to it!
Good going gold medalist! …Donald Trump would be extraordinarily proud of you! 
H. Pratt (c) 2016.All Rights Reserved.

WORLD CUP- WHY BRAZIL LOST

fans watching the game in Sao Paulo

fans watching the game in Sao Paulo

“This has never happened to me in a game of football. That a team so well-organised, so complete in every area can lose four goals in six minutes. In my 31 years I have never seen six minutes so without explanation.” Dani Alves ,Brazil defender.

The world watched as the patriarch of modern football lost in probably their biggest football game to a team they had previously beaten 2-0. In 6 minutes or 360 seconds the team stopped. They stopped thinking, playing and executing. Analysts worldwide will be studying this 6 minute collapse for years not only to make sense of what happened but also to create a lesson plan , a psychiatric blueprint if you may for teams to study and coaches to implement to save future teams from experiencing similar mental block.

Yes everyone, including Germany was shocked at the outcome but there is a deeper problem that exist in the team of samba football. Pressure, mentally and physically is a blighting factor that we all think very little of. We know what it can do and medical science has sound reference on how to deal with pressure . But frankly , a team of 11 men, with an assumed leader and no field marshall as accustomed to in training and bearing the weight of 200 million Brazilians on their backs is a daunting task that no one, including the Germans ,could handle. My only logical explanation is the 13th man, pressure, took a toll on the team. For centuries mankind has called on objects of poignant strength and alcoholic brew to deal with the madame. Unfortunately Brazil had no such luxury. Shrouded with a masks of happiness and confidence Brazil faced their fears, and blinked. Fear stood in their path and Brazil bowed, offering the only remedy they could have at that point, a total and submissive suicide.

A reporter from FIFA.com said it best…..
….In the time that elapsed between Miroslav Klose scoring Germany’s second of the evening and Sami Khedira their fifth, Joachim Low’s side showcased the poise and skill that made them one of the favourites for the title right from the start of the competition. Yet they were unquestionably aided in their task by a desperate Brazil side that simply collapsed from within.”…..(FIFA.com)

Despite the apparent embarrassment Brazil has taught the world one important lesson. To deal with pressure you have to call not on external remedies or fake social partnering. Rather employ your inner peace, search deep within for your inner strength, breathe and laugh. Let it all out. Scream, open up your lungs and scream. These will be the lid on the pressure cooker of life. But without a lid you will be like Brazil, a team that exploded leaving their brains on the ceiling of Mineirazo.

SEX SELLS.

brazil-t-shirts-main-3183941-1

BRAZIL

There is a storm brewing in the South American continent. The organizers and government of Brazil are fighting what they call the “bad image” to Brazil as it relates to sex tourism. They have managed to successfully ask the owners of a suggestive T-shirt, seen above, promoting sex tourism to remove it from the market. Adidas, the owners of this tee have complied. But has the government won this battle?

The 2014 World Cup is scheduled to be opened in the most sensual city and a country that features the most erotic carnival in the history of carnivals, Rio Brazil. Achieving the status of host country is no mean feat. Brazil had to produce, offer and guarantee more than what they could have imagined, half of which were not factored in or presented in their official presentation to the governing FIFA body. How could they? Its’ impossible. Brazil cannot realize or imagine the size of the social hospitality  that will suddenly balloon as a result of the event in their country. They may think they have estimates on how many people will attend the games but they will never know the real impact on the economy by way of direct and indirect forces of a social kind that always go with events of this size and scope , and that is SEX.

If 3 people out of every 10 go to Brazil for sun, sea and sand, the other 7 go there for sex, period. The country has become synonymous with the word and it is no one’s fault. Where there are beautiful people , a liberal lifestyle, large-scale poverty and endless entertainment sex happens. Sex Sells.

The government actions in trying to stomp out this natural proclivity to sex by the people of Brazil is in 2 words , absolute nonsense. The pot is boiling , take off the cover and let the steam out. You cannot control people’s desires. Seems like sponsorship dollars are speaking here or at least trying to cover the mouth of what I call “Brazilian flavourism”. Here it is , a country that sells the biggest open sex party in the world , Rio Carnival, and suddenly the country is trying to clean up their reputation and not associate sex with the country? That is like saying Germans don’t sell BMW, they only drive it. Enough already. Be true to self.

BRAZIL, google the word and you see  the statue of Christ, how ironic, Copacabana beach, beautiful people in skimpy beachwear and SEX. If the government thinks that thousands of people are only coming there for football only they had better start taking their  meds. As a matter of fact SEX drives more people to the country ; Sex and football, what an intoxicating mix.

Try all they want the government’s move has just made that T-shirt the hottest item for buyers of controversial items and they will be hard pressed to sell as many official FIFA tee  prior to the World Cup games as what will sell by the “official” sex tee.. People will buy the tee and arrive in Brazil waving their flags proudly going about their business and looking forward to what Rio will offer and there is nothing the government can do about it.

Gone are the days of trying to drown out the local Mom & Pop business. Big money has little control over people ‘s desires and wishes. Sure they can try to promote Brazil for what they want it to be, but in the mind of the millions of people travelling there today and for the upcoming games it is what it is…a sexual paradise hosting the world’s most popular game. What an orgy it will be.