Rio de Janeiro

Pop. 10.000.000

First European visitor; Gaspar de Lemos, year 1502, January (Janeiro)

Today the Christbastard is proudly looking out over the crowning achievement of his 2000 year reign of terror,
as thousands of Vultures circle in the pretty blue skies of this masterpiece of sin, murder, corruption and chaos.
I'lllove it !

O Rebentor, o maior bandido do maior morro no Rio.

altitude 700 m

The "Cidade maravilhosa" may well be the most beautiful city in the world due to the stunning natural
beauty of the location, even though the Cariocas in the name of "progress" have done their best to bury it
in slums & pollution. So, although most of the city itself is your typical 3rd world concrete block fest,
many splendid examples of its royal past can still be found around town, if you look hard enough.
Caveat; Rio is a dirty city comprised of ugly cement blocks blackened by either dirt, graffiti or mold.
It has almost no infrastructure and what's there is 50 years old and rotting. It has 2 short freeways
for a city of 10 million people!? so traffic of course is a typical example of Latino chaos & cluelessness.
Fortunately it is difficult to bury 1000m high towering granite walls in concrete. Miles of beaches and that
Hawaiianlike climate (lt is on the same latitude south as Hawaii is north) makes it deliciously sub-tropical.
The "marvelous" part of the equation no doubt has to be the hedonistic undercurrent this place is infamous
for, despite the fact that most of the people live in one religious delirium or another most of the time.
The people are generally dumb, superfriendly and of great spirit, despite poverty, crime, low wages & high taxes.
Another plus is its echo of Southern California "rollerblading along the beach boardwalk/smoothie/surfing"- culture,
albeit with a substantially greater percentage of street scum. If it wasn't for the scum factor you might be forgiven for
thinking you've landed in paradise Baby ! Add to that an obscenely funny and obscure language with bizarre pronunciations
and you have all the ingredients for a smashing good time ! (If you manage to avoid stray bullets, muggers & random acts of deadly,
extreme violence). Rio (& Brazil in general) being an excellent place to visit doesn't, unfortunately, make it a great place to live,
but that's another story...
(there are a few morsels of insight regarding THAT at the bottom of this page).

Bottom Line: Rio de Janeiro state is by far the most worthwhile place in all of Latin America to explore/hang out,
both culturally and geographically.

Here's some local music : UPF 1 , UPF 2 , UPF 3 , O Rappa , Marcelo D 2 , BAS , Saci Perere , Jardim
Hip Hop (pronounced "hippie hoppie" :) Sabotage , Sabotage 2 , Foda-se , Bossa Nova : Frevo mulher , Renato Vargas
Jobim , Elis Regina , Elis & Jobim Funk (pronounced "funky" :) Marcinho , Marcinho 2 , Marcinho 3 , Marcinho 4
Macumba , Ai Amor , Da Palinha , Experimenta , Lotada , Que Delícia , Quer Trepar , Capoeira : Os Mestres
Adeus Sereia , Sereia , Angola , Negro , Samba de roda

Brazilians do not understand nor do Rock n Roll music very well, in fact it sucks ! ( with a few exceptions ),
as do most attempts at any modern western music. In fact they often suck as bad as their (continental) European counterparts !
Now if THAT doesn't send you shivers then by all means explore, but be advised, one will be best served looking into more
African based genres but whatever you do, be sure to AVOID "MPB"!!!(Brazilian pop music) as it is especially rife with people
singing off-key as well as nursing a peculiar sense of melody (or lack thereof, shall we say).
Depending on how much Portuguese you understand you might get a laugh from a Rio phenomenon called Funk (nothing to do with real Funk)
It is lyrically crude, funny music that people with IQs of a Donkey shake their extremely fat ugly asses to
(literally as hard as they can, it's hypnotizing, kinda like a lava lamp !) in the favelas round Rio. Enjoy ; )

There is also an OK underground Punk scene in B with some good imitations of Oi and HC with some sounding
like Rudimentary Peni and other Good bands like Garotos podres sometimes sounding a bit like "Sick of it all".
Some, like Cólera, have been around for a while.
Thank God for Punk Rock! Without it there would be NO HOPE for Brazil.

Here are a few shots and comments from various parts of town
(I made most of this page in 2005)

Zona sul

(The "nice" part of town, 5% of Rio)

Click here to jump to Zona Norte (the hellish part of town)

The view from my window in Botafogo during one of many tropical storms





Moonrise - Sunset


Botafogo is a somewhat more "intellectual" / chic part of zona sul,
with cafés, bookshops, art cinemas and the highest concentration of old mansions from centuries past.
And the best view in Rio, of course :)

Night view from Sugarloaf.

That's 20 lanes of traffic !

Local tagger art

Brothers 2012

The Wild One having one of his Gary Oldman moments...

The scoop on Lifestyle !

Coconut on the beach, and Açai !!!, the main reason to be in Rio !
This poorman's food of the Amazon mixed with Guaraná syrup is delicious as hell and became very popular around Rio in the 1990s.
It is normally found at one of the hundreds of juice bars scattered around Rio, often with about 30 different kinds of other S American fruits
to choose from but beware when ordering your smoothie as you must remember to request that they don't dump a handful of sugar in it ! (it's the default!).
Juice bars are as common as gyms and are found on every block as are scummy and crowded supermarkets selling meats, fruits and vegetables, the latter
always dirty and of poor quality which is hardly surprising as Brazilian cuisine is bland and heavy and does NOT rank very high on any culinary scale but is a fair
bit better than the food in the rest of Latin America with the exception of "ceviche" found on the Pacific coast from Mexico to Peru.
Ceviche is the only delicious dish I've had in South America and it is divine indeed, there is no comparable dish in Brazil though, unfortunately,
it's all very heavy, bland, overcooked and salty here and uses greens mainly as garnish or as condiments, so vegetarians et others beware, you won't find an advanced
food culture here (Mc Donalds is considered fancy food here!) but you can make up for it by indulging in the above mentioned plenitude of south American fruits instead ; )
Brazilian food could be described as almost a caricature of what English food was back in the 1970s, usually over fried to 'shoe sole' standards.
Your best bet for tasty food are the "pay per kilo", "comida a kilo" eateries as you can choose & pick what looks the tastiest.
An excellent but expensive place is the "Porcão" on the bay shore in Flamengo which has an awesome and extensive buffet of world class food.
In most of Brazil salt seems to be the only known "spice" and is used in excess for lack of other options. One will even find the
(in the western world) ubiquitous salt n pepper team on your table missing a member as even pepper is an exotic substance in Brazil.
Quality bread is a challenge to find and cereal is a rarely used luxury product, real yogurt does not exist (only sugary kids' versions).
Fish there is lots of but unfortunately is rarely worth buying as is it often old or stored incorrectly and even when
fresh enough and stored on ice it is always sold with guts n all still inside !.?..
Wine is the most exotic substance of all (beer is king) and trying to ingest Brazilian wine can be as shocking
an experience as paying for an imported bottle would be. Quality tea is also hard to find (coffee is king).
Cars, electronics et other "luxury" items are 100-300% more expensive in Brazil than in the 1st world.
The high Tax burden coupled with low income means that Brazil is a country of expensive low quality goods.
Cigarette smoke wise Brazil is far more advanced than its stinking neighbours, or Europe.
Almost nobody smokes ! and it's prohibited in public places ....Awesome !
Surfing is mainstream, windsurfing is exotic and diving is unusual.
Beach volleyball is everywhere (especially the "footvolley" version).
Women's swim wear fashion has evolved to minimalist perfection,
while men's swimmers are poignantly stuck in the 1950s.
For a Country that is as obsessed with cosmetic surgery as Brazil
it is surprising how many REALLY ugly people there are on the beach !
In the USA the poor people are fat and the rich are slim.
In Brazil the rich people are fat and the poor are 6-pack.
In the US "suburbia" refers to the prosperous safe part of town,
in Rio "suburbia" refers to the fucked up poor part of town.
In the rest of the world rich people live in the hills with
awesome views, while poor bassstds are stuck the flatlands.
In Brazil the slums are in the hills with amazing views while the
rich for some strange reason prefer to live in the boring flatlands.
Don't ask me why, as all I'd have to say about THAT is that in Brazil
a LOT of things are upside down. Makes it a funny place to visit, I guess...

Here are a few pics of some local supermodels !!!

Factoid :You get 10% more beautiful for every 30 days spent in RIO !!!

...and 10% dumber for every year.

Praia Vermelha is our local beach.

This pleasant seaside walk next to the beach is the safest and most relaxing and excellent place in Rio.
A great place to jog surrounded by monkeys, native jungle and crashing waves...even some jungle trails.

Atlantic rainforest with some introduced species like Jackfruit.


Rock climbers are always hard at work in this rock climbing mecca.

Rio Sul

Sunsets can be intense affairs among these granite walls.

Urca is the safest and one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Rio.

Choppers in the Botafogo sunset. At morro da Urca (Sugarloaf).



The Rio Yacht club area, Urca

More Urca neighbourhood shots

One sunny Sunday morning we wake up to a few thousand slum dwellers from this state and beyond,
shipped in by some Christian evangelist cult on several hundred buses, clogging the normally empty beach.
The poor lost souls take to the disgustingly polluted smelly bay (which I would be afraid to dip my toe in),
as if it´s holy water...!?, while the band played on.... (hardcore J.C. tunes at hell raising volume).
By midnight they had all vanished ! ...a surreal experience. Praise Jesus !

The beach is packed again.
This time it's Red Bull putting on the show !
There are one million people on the beach and coastline surrounding the bay.
The Red Bull air race was a cool event.


The Flamengo/Catete beach area next door.

Flamengo. Night & day.

There are miles of walking/running tracks along these relatively safe middle class beach suburbs.
The main one is an 8km round trip with fantastic scenery.

One thing that sets Brazil apart from developed nations is the complete and mystifying
absence of marinas on such a marvelous coast with superb sheltered bays and no lack of millionaires.
I am somewhat puzzled as to where they park these things...?
Even the Rio Yacht Club does not have a marina, despite having about half a mile of perfect bay frontage !!!???
In fact it's more like a Country club full of posers than a yacht club sporting restaurants, tennis courts and
swimming pools. Brazilian priorities, I guess...

The only Marina in Rio is the small and strange Marina da Gloria downtown.

The Volvo round the world ocean race just blew into town.

Copacabana !
Tourist central, has few redeeming qualities and is not exactly a safe place due to a
torrid assortment of rough urchins of urban squalor crawling down from the many favelas (slums) surrounding Copacabana
to feed off the poor tourists (and locals). Here foreigners are likely to be approached by everything from hardened criminals
to beggars to a vivid variety of sex for sale, everything from stunning creatures of the opposite sex to diseas ridden
cumguzzling gutterwhores and creepy halfbreed transsexuals and transvestites, all seeking $$$ £££ and euros.
Caveat Emptor!!!
All said, it is the best place in the world to be for new year's eve when over 2 million people fill the beach
for the most stunning spectacle on earth ! with 24 tons of fireworks exploding off of half a dozen huge purpose
built barges positioned at intervals 300m offshore along the 4 km long beach. An awesome deafening show, probably
not even outdone by the allies in Berlin in 1945 ! After 15 minutes of constant bombardment the entire
city of Copa is covered in a cloud of smoke akin to a warzone ! Cool...hehehe

Update; The Rolling Stones drew in about half as many for a half assed free show
on the sand last week, plus a flotilla of boats.

The Upper class Ipanema next door is the home of Bossa Nova.
Here's some more, Elis Regina , Elis & Jobim , Renato Vargas , Frevo mulher

It's a relaxing if expensive place to hang out.

Em meu apartamento, Vinicius de Morais.

It has better water quality than Copacabana.

Jardim Botanico, Rio botanical gardens is even more relaxing.

Founded by the king of Portugal/Brazil, Dom João in the early 1800s as he fled Napoleon
and set up shop here in paradise. Understandably he did not want to return to Portugal !

The famous rows of Royal palms!

Parque Lage, next door, is a remnant from the mansion days.
That's Jesus up on the hill there, in the background.

Sun sets on Botafogo and Parque national da Tijuca, the 1000m high granite walled
rain forest covered mountain massif in the middle of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Driving around there is very reminiscent of the Hana hwy on Maui.

With lookouts like Vista Chinesa over Lagoa.

Within the park are lots of trails and waterfalls.

And weirdest of all,

this all is smack in the middle of a city of 10 million people !!!

Driving into Barra da Tijuca.
These monstrosities are actually what people around here aspire to live in !??
A great way to wreck otherwise beautiful scenery.

A few do live in real houses in this most desirable of Rio neighborhoods.

Barra shopping mall

There is no shortage of enormous shiny modern malls in Brazil ,
the contents of which provide stunning contrast to the surrounding slums ,
with half of the shops bearing English names that nobody understands,
and T-shirts sporting tragically miswritten meaningless slogans in "English".
All this would be almost as funny as China if it wasn't for this ridiculous subtly omnipresent,
misplaced admiration for the USA that permeates the already "valley girlish" atmosphere.
You CAN find an occasional refreshing "Foda-se USA" (Fuck the USA) T-shirt, so I guess it's a love/hate relationship.
Huge tasteless malls are a curious 3rd world phenomenon. Same thing in Asia. They love building giant malls for some reason ?
I guess nobody told them big malls are no longer fashionable. They seem awfully proud of them ghastly monstrosities though.

The canyon between rich & poor in Brazil is one of the deepest on our pretty blue planet.
In Brazil all roads lead to a slum ( favela ).
This road in the richest part of Rio flanked by the apartments of millionaires conveniently leads to the largest favela in Rio.
After all, masters must have slaves, that's why the slave quarters are right next to the masters'.

Even though slavery was abolished here a whole 120 years ago (the last major nation to do so)
you can still buy a slave (maid) here for a 100 bucks a month, the minimum wage in Brasil (many make less).
That's why here in "the land of tomorrow" even middle class folk have one ; )
In Brazil the top 10% of the population make 50% of the national income and the bottom 10% make 1%.
40% of the land is owned by 1% of the population and the indigenous population is still being massacred by rotten ranchers.
There are still tens of thousands of slaves in Brazil, mainly in Amazonia (Pará) but also in the cane fields and
even farther south. While this macabre show carries on the elite (Judges, lawyers, businessmen, estate owners etc.)
are, to use a local expression, "viajando na maionese" (traveling in the mayonnaise) trying to convince themselves that
they are living a first world existence by watching the nightly 8 pm soap opera that often lends support to such delusions.

Recreio, the last (most westerly) of the Rio beaches is the best of the lot.

Barring the beach beyond the mountains, Grumari.

The hideaway called Barra de Guaratiba, at "the end of the road" going west.

View of Zona Sul, Gloria to Lagoa, from the perch of Jesus up on the hill.

Zona norte

( The "bad" part of town, 95% of Rio )

Mercadão de Madureira is packed with Macumba cult artifacts & supplies, including live animals.

Macumba (like Candomblé) is an Afro-Brazilian slave cult incorporating catholic saints into a hilarious nutfest
carnaval of silly characters (Orixás) reminiscent of Hindu mythology, with a good dose of Voodoo thrown in.
One popular orixá is the mermaid goddess Yemanja. Here's another song about her.
Brazil has a much more vibrant and alive element of African cultures than the US mainly because
the region imported about 10 x as many African slaves during a much longer period than north America.
This is a Capoeira song born of that culture. Here is one more.
They sing of their longing for Africa, their arduous journey and their marshal art Capoeira disguised as a dance.

Deep in zona norte.

That's official Government electric work.

In Brazil as anywhere in the world, the poorest people are usually the friendliest.

In the neighborhood in which Marcia grew up...

...a few of her childhood friends are actually still alive !
Regrettably, many of them met a violent and early death. Everything from being set on fire alive,
dragged to death behind a car, tortured to death, chopped into pieces and laid on mom's doorstep,
or just plain shot. The anecdotes are as endless as is the creativity of the local bandit assholes
on how to kill their real or imagined enemies.
Walking to school in the morning was never dull, kinda like walking through the set of the "Texas chainsaw massacre",
nor was coming home from school, as it was occasionally delayed because of gun battles between police & thieves.
Sometimes at night it was even a pretty show with all the tracer bullets flying between the hills...

August 2007 update; These days during the civil war in the Alemão favela in zona norte I see one news report after
another about how kids can't concentrate on homework because of the constant sound of heavy gunfire.
Many die in bed once they manage to fall asleep because of stray bullets coming through the walls.
If they do manage to get to school safely they often have a hard time concentrating on the lesson
because of frequent gunfire outside. Parts of the government have even suggested teachers go through
training in how to take care of the students when heavy gunfire breaks out in the neighborhood. This
has met resistance among more politically correct persons in government who refuse to accept the reality
that 90% of the city of Rio de Janeiro is a War Zone.

When we called this victim in they asked "how many are there ? ......only one ! "
"Well that's gonna have to" In all fairness, it was a Saturday night.

Here's the aftermath of a gunfight outside my apartment in Zona Zul today (dec 2006 update).
I first thought that must be fireworks as new year's eve is just a couple of days away,
but Marcia could tell the difference right away.
What made it appear to be fireworks was the extremely heavy fire. A mix of machine guns and small arms fire.
This lasted for only 30 seconds. Marcia remembers many gun battles going on for hours !
Looking out the window what really convinced me it aint fireworks was people running all over the place and one dropping dead.
As the eager reporter that I am I went down to take a few pics while the blood was still fresh and the people still
wailing & lamenting these daily inevitable events in the "Marvelous city".

They peppered this police booth and nearby cars thoroughly in one of those " kill as many Cops as possible in 24 hrs " - games
that the trafficker scumbags like so much. But these cowardly morons kill any bystanders indiscriminately, like terrorists.
This time a "camelô" (a street vendor) and her son kick the bucket, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That's mostly their blood on the street there, not the cop's, although he was shot up severely these bungling
morons didn't even manage to kill him at almost point blank range but they put 55 holes in the booth !
Reinforcements who showed up all of a sudden took off burning rubber as info came on the radio.
They managed to kill over half a dozen bandits.
In this organized attack dozens of targets were hit around Rio. 25 Dead, twice as many in the hospitals.
11 buses burned, some with people still inside, "carbonized ", as they say.
Here's the somewhat erroneous BBC version of last night's events.

A sign of the times: Today (a couple of days after the above) Marcia went to visit mom in zona norte.
We are now having evening tea and she says , " Oh, by the way, while I was waiting for the bus a bullet fell from the sky,
landed between me and the guy standing next to me, and mom said someone machine gunned the local Carrefour supermarket yesterday."
Such relatively minor indiscretions don't even make the local news ! Not exactly Mr Roger's neighborhood, is it.

Over 100 people per day are murdered in Brazil and about 50.000 people per year are reported missing
with ~ 10% of those remaining unresolved every year (probably the ones nabbed by organ traffickers).
Rio now has the dubious distinction of being the most violent city in South America and the world,
as Medellin and Cali in Colombia have become considerably safer.
Here´s a couple more links , link 2 , link 3 , link 4 , from the BBC for your reading pleasure.

And here´s a sobering quote from the BBC,

"About 40,000 people are shot dead each year in Brazil.

The UN and disarmament groups are using shocking statistics
to put pressure on Brazil's parliamentarians.

The report's headline figure is that more than half a million Brazilians died
from gun-inflicted injuries in the past 24 years.

That is more than four times the number of deaths recorded
in the Arab-Israeli conflict during the past 50 years."

Quick math = 10 x more violent than the Middle East !!!

In case you care, on this site you can keep track of what's goin on in da hood.
"Mortos" means dead, "feridos" means wounded. This site counts dead police.
Counting since february 2007 (violent "unnatural" deaths only, of course).
Keep in mind that those are only the "official" ones. Most in fact never make it to officialdom.
Some are chopped up by bandits and vanish in the favelas and others are clandestinely executed by corrupt vigilante police.
A friend of ours who was tortured and shot 12 times in the face last week did not add to the above statistics,
nor did her friend who was shot at that same time.

Official statistics for Rio for the month of march are 640 murders, 4.861 street muggings,
815 muggings on public transport and 3.381 cars stolen.

Here's a new story on the BBC today (aug 2007 update)
and here's one more false hope inspiring one.

Favela access is always controlled by ultra-violent Sons-o-bitches
that you are well advised to steer clear of at all times, No exceptions !

Here the army and special forces are playing cat & mouse with the drugfuck assholes

Unfortunately, on this day a 16 year old kid bites the dust thanks to a "bala perdida" (stray bullet).
A common cause of death in Rio.

Welcome to JAIL !

The main force on the front line of this civil war is called BOPE "tropa de elite".
This elite force has the toughest job in "Cidade maravilhosa"
having to duck not only bullets but socio-political attacks as well.

This is their emblem

This is their vehicle, the "caveirão" (the big skull).
So called because this armored vehicle resembles a skull ("caveira" = skull) seen from above.

The caveirão is the subject of heated controversy as you can see in This article which reflects a typical attitude
put forward by Amnesty International and others with PC blindfolds on who do not accept
that policing favelas without the "caveirão" would be fatal.
One would last about as long as a virgin in a whore house....or a disarmed Israel.
Here´s a local news clip about it. And here's a BBC story.

Take a drive in a caveirão on You Tube.

Their website

oct 2007 update : A new film about BOPE "tropa de elite" just came out.
It is causing quite a stir in Brazil right now dramatizing the realities discussed above.
Here's a NY times article about it.
I haven't seen it yet but it sounds like it will be another counter terrorism
tool in the psy-ops arsenal in addition to the "BOPE funk" mentioned below.
Cabral (the new governor) will need all the tools he can muster now that the city
seems to be falling into the hands of organized crime in the form of private militias
who are fighting the traffickers for control of the less prosperous parts of town while
pretending to provide the "protection" that the government seems unable to provide.
Good luck to him, he needs it !

While he's at it He should consider legalizing weed in order to take
some revenue away from the traffickers, among other things.

Psy-ops play a part in modern favela warfare. To counter the illegal but popular gangster funk which glorifies the killing of police,
and brags of the bravery and invincibility of the traffickers and their "soldiers", some underground crew has produced an equally
offensive set of tunes informing what will happen to gangster types when the Caveirão shows up.
The BOPE funk is a lot closer to reality and may do a good job of re-educating some of the trafficker brainwashed kids.
Music after all is a very powerful force.
They apparently play it through the loudspeakers on some missions, surely to the great horror of Amnesty international & co.
This , This and This clip has the aforementioned music.

Here are a few more glimpses of BOPE & others in action, Chaos , Macacos.

Here's some clips showing Rio life with local music soundtracks : Zerovinteum a , Zerovinteum b
Premonição. Scenes to a Hip Hop sound track, and last but not least Gun's n Roses.

Solutions to this violent civil war are difficult to envision as the underlying socioeconomic,
political and cultural dysfunctions are too profound to fix in even a decade or two.
OF COURSE prevention would be better than cure but it's about 50 yrs too late now.
So for now "BOPE" is the antibiotic of choice and in fact the only realistic solution to fight
the plethora of vermin that plague the "marvelous" city. They are regrettably an essential
tool in preventing Rio from becoming soul mates with Lagos, Nairobi or Mogadishu.

This never ending civil war is especially lamentable considering that Brazil,
foreign policy wise, must be one of the most peaceful countries on earth as they haven't
had more than a couple of international wars in their entire history. This is quite impressive
as they have more neighbors (borders) than just about any country in the world. This "peace n love"
attitude may explain why half of the equipment of the armed forces is said to be antiquated and in a
state of disrepair or broken. I guess there is a lack of political will to provide enough maintenance
or funds ? (although corruption is a more likely reason)
The ingrained "culture of violence" of Brazil seems to be purely a domestic obsession, it seems,
having started 500 years ago with the Portuguese massacre of the indigenous population (a tradition which
is still going on today, by the way) and continuing as we speak with the emancipated slaves' descendants
killing each other in the Favelas, with a helping hand from the Portugueses' descendants...Oh whey....

Que pais e este ???!!!
The lyrics in this '80s masterpiece are SPOT ON ! especially the last verse !!!


In a land where extreme wealth is counterbalanced by extreme poverty, extreme violence
is counterbalanced by one of the world's more vibrant cultures of love, dance & music.
Even though they share the same sexually repressive and guilt-addicted superstitious disease
popularly known as Christianity, there is a general lack of the infantile feminist drivel that tends to
patronize the minds of some western women into a permanent state of paranoid delusional insecurity
and a mortal fear of appearing remotely sensual or feminine, not to mention SEXY...(god forbid).
This is why I sometimes find myself having to explain to foreigners that the scantily dressed local women
really aren't prostitutes, but that it's just the local dress code especially among the lower classes,
and to locals that some of the women tourists they see in Rio really aren´t lesbians, but that their
masculine appearance is simply a result of them having been bombarded and brainwashed
for decades by misdirected if well meaning feminism and political correctness.
Most find this either hilarious and/or lamentable, as they are used to men being men (obnoxious assholes)
and women being (and looking like) women, except in Copacabana of course, where men might be women,
women might be men, and transvestites may be either or.......a land of extremes.

Carnaval has its roots in pagan spring festivals that the cunning Catholic church over millennia incorporated
into that religion in the form of a holiday period during the two weeks before the traditional Christian fasting and suffering of Lent.
Good Christians are supposed to finish off any remaining meats, eggs etc. that are forbidden during lent,
feasting in a civilized manner of course. Hence the name "Carneval" or "farewell to the flesh".
There are countless other roots and expressions of this most human condition, expressed in Carnivals around the world.
Over millennia this ancient spring tradition has seen many forms, changing, adapting evolving and adopting.
The Rio version, at least a couple of decades ago, probably came closest to the ancient spirit of bacchanalian revelry,
characterized by unbridled freedom and temporary subversion of civil order, the "dangerous occasions of sin" that it was meant to be.
It´s also celebrated as the "big bang end" of summer instead of the beginning of spring, due to the hemispheral swap.
Extra insight; In Rio "Carnaval" doesn´t mean "farewell to the flesh", it means "HELLOOO to the flesh".

i.e. The Christcorpse death cult.

"Noooo, our christbastard is deead !
Let´s pretend to drink his blood and eat his flesh
every Sunday for the next 2000 years !"

Unfortunately these fucking cannibals are still busy trying to chip away at Brazil's centuries old culture of debauchery.
An uphill battle, let's hope. Even with the aid of Brazil's new PC brigade they are likely to eventually admit defeat,
as did the bishop of Pará 300 years ago.
Quote ;

"The wretched state of manners in this country makes me
think that I am living in the suburbs of Gomorrah,
very close indeed, and in the vicinity of Sodom".

Sadly though, a minority of locals these days even express some sort of perverse pride in
that it is now illegal to go topless on the beaches, though contrary to popular stereotypes Brazilians are actually,
despite being a sensual and open society, more prudish about full nudity than most Europeans !
Yes, it's true ! believe it.........or not.

Between the extremes of the mentally handicapped Muslim world inhabited by a substantial percentage of Psychotic
perverts and the politically correct western world Brazil would have excellent organic conditions for women
to be women were it not for the two cultural extremes imported from primitive southern Europe.
1: Machismo, 2: Catholicism. - The Machistas want to leash her while trying to rip her clothes off and beady eyed
Catholics want to slap the clothes back on (with superglue), while being perfectly happy to retain the leash.
The women of Brazil are surely trying hard not to become schizophrenic !

There are over a dozen samba schools in Rio, each from a certain suburb with thousands of members, all dancing
down the Sambodromo in "blocos" with dozens of floats (carros alegoricos) each with a certain theme, til the sun rises.
This goes on for several days until a winner is crowned.
This year Vila Isabel, sponsored by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela ??!!! took the crown.
Smaller party blocos are found throughout the city´s suburbs.
The craziest ones normally far from the tourist areas in the south.
The south has the most popular clubs though (such as Scala).

Wikipedia = The Rio "crazy dress" aspect of carnaval has its roots in the city’s bourgeoisie importing the practice of holding balls
and masquerade parties from Paris. It originally mimicked the European form of the festival, over time acquiring elements
derived from African and Amerindian cultures. These days it´s a freeforall of imagination.

Quinta da boa vista, the old royal palace area.
The Palace itself of course lingers in a state of dilapidated neglect, as the government of this town
(in the name of progress, while busy shaking hands with corruption)
has far more important things to tend to than maintaining pesky things such as historical heritage sites.
This state of mind though, is quite representative of the people's as private antique properties throughout town fare no better,
in favor of the hideous concrete apartment block housing favored by the population (even by the upper classes !?).

Centro etc.

There are a few traditional feeling areas downtown.

That's not the local Disneyland !
That's what all the fire departments in Brazil look like !

The historical hill getaway for the rich 100 yrs ago, Santa Teresa, is still one of Rio´s most interesting.

View towards sugarloaf from Santa Teresa.

Niterói, on the east side of the bay.

As seen from Catete.

And from the sugarloaf, with the entrance from the sea into the bay & Prainha de Piratininga towards Jesus.

Postcard. THAT is an INCREDIBLE coastline !

The ocean beaches beyond Niterói are relaxing and empty.
This is MarAzul.

Rio de Janeiro state

Minas Gerais state

Sao Paulo state

Paraná state


more Brazil

Below I keep my scribbles reminding myself about why I prefer NOT to live in Brazil permanently.
In a nutshell I've concluded that living in Rio is either for oblivious people with nerves of steel whom little will irritate
or for ignorant "brainwashed by familiarity" people who simply are unaware of Rio's objective relative reality.

Extra note to self; 1: NOT a useful Ocean environment (mostly cold half-murky water, no wind, few fish, no reefs)
2: Not a tax haven, no "retiree"-type visas (taxes worldwide income/capital gains)
3: 100% Continental, no Islands in sight ! True for ALL of Brazil : (

"The land of tomorrow", and always will be.


  • Brazil turns down the volume on the obnoxious macho-culture that pays women 30% less than
    men for the same job and denies them the right to reproductive choice and control of their lives.
    The perverse attempt of religious imbeciles to breed themselves into a state of world domination and in the process
    cause the deaths of 68.000 sane women per year around the world for the sake of their delusional religious fantasies
    results in millions of unwanted children, ruined lives, high crime rates etc. etc..
    In fact I often find myself being pestered or robbed by people who in a free country would have been aborted.

  • Brazil stops idealizing the U.S.A in general !
    Uncle Sam's sticky fingers in decades past are one of the reasons 70 million people live in slums,
    thanks to the all American gift of half a century of right wing military dictatorship.
    On old Brazilian money One can spy evidence of "who's your daddy".
    It says "The United States of Brazil" on them.

  • Brazil improves on its rotten education system, which puts them on par with the U.S. as having one of the most
    ignorant and easily manipulated populations on earth. Citizens of advanced countries will be shocked to hear that
    the nationwide standard is for kids to attend school for a puny 4 hours/day, no I'm not kidding, and that's
    through high school !!! So no wonder at the plenitude of (academically) feeble minds around the nation.
    Poignantly play schools are great in Brazil, in keeping with the playful, kid-appreciating, enjoy life! spirit.
    Education in Brazil is especially important because here an ignorant population doesn't only fall prey
    to the manipulations of corrupt politicians and violent criminals who rule 1/3 of the population with
    a reign of terror, they also have to contend with the theological landscape of a banana republic hellbent
    on turning the population into Religious drones of one type or another.
    Take every brand of evangelical Christianity, sprinkle liberally with various Afro-Brazilian slave cults,
    garnish with a healthy dose of insane fundamentalist freaks and you have the backdrop above which
    the most powerful terrorist organization on earth (the Catholic church) looms like an evil spirit
    (or stinking turd) with all its religious impediments to clear thinking, and under the bane of
    which millions of poor souls (especially women) suffer untold horrors !

    By the way, there are plenty of holocaust denial in Brazil ! oh shock! horror!
    The reason though, somewhat novel, is that many have not heard of 'the war"(WW2),
    Nazis or even dear ol Adolf ! Many do not know what Jews are either for that matter,
    though most have heard of them thanks to the Bible ; ) All goes to the above paragraph.

  • Brazil redrafts "bolsa familia" and other well meaning social programs that give silly monetary
    incentives to ignorant broke mothers to have as many unwanted kids as possible, conveyor belt style.

  • Brazil makes and enforces some modern sewer laws. That omnipresent stench of raw sewage is a bit of a turn-off,
    as is the peculiar Brazilian male habit of urinating in public places. Pretty stoneagian I say.
    It would be refreshing also if Brazil stopped treating the ocean as a toilet in general.

  • Brasil gets rid of all those ridiculous annoying "jobs" that should not exist, such as doormen, scumbags
    "watching" your parked car, clerks pushing the button for you in elevators and pumping your gas at gas stations,
    not to mention the army of useless high pressure sales parasites (working for a commission) descending upon you
    like a load of bricks as soon as you enter any store. Full service ! Your ONLY option in Brazil !

    P.S. Curious observation; In Brazil tipping and voting are mandatory as opposed to voluntary.
    Having to tip in a self-service restaurant once upon a time was pretty funny I tell ya.

    P.P.S. Another curious obs; Most large "cheapo" store chains (Lojas Americanas, Casa e Video etc.)
    practice bait and switch techniques over 50% of the time ! (empirical evidence) Check your receipts !

    P.P.P.S. 2009 update; People are still queuing in banks to pay their bills every month...unbelievable !

  • Brazil cuts out 3rd world police state antics, like requiring everybody to carry id at all times etc.
    You can't even take a long distance bus without id.

  • Brazil applies the Law equally upon everyone. Up until now rich Brazilians have grown accustomed to
    being able to buy immunity from the rule of law.
    Recent high profile examples are the billionaire
    Daniel? Dantas getting away with racketeering and the case of wealthy Brazilian relatives of the US boy
    Sean Goldman getting away with child abduction. To this I might add the apparently VIP treatment that
    wealthy detainees get when they are arrested. I am told they get a special,"civilized" cell
    (apartheid from the riff-raff) while they wait for the bribes to work their way through the system.

    Brazil's billionaires also have a tendency to be self-aggrandizing assholes (Batista), no philanthropy in sight!

  • Brazil works its way down the list of "most crime ridden place on earth". Everyone knows that life is cheap in
    south America but in a "land of tomorrow" one should not have to fear losing body parts, sold to the highest bidder
    if checking in to a hospital, nor should one have to put up with some bandit jumping the cue by putting a gun to the
    head of a physician and saying "treat me now". This apparently is so common that physicians refuse to work in many
    hospitals around Rio. One should also not have to fear for one's life if choosing to live in a house instead of Rio-style
    concrete bunkers (apartments) with bars on the windows. Not being able to withdraw money from an ATM after 22:00
    because of the high levels of extortion kidnapping is also not most people's idea of utopia !
    Add to that everyone speeding through red lights at night (with their headlights turned off!!!?) because of
    the fear of imminent bandit attack if stopping, coupled with generally lax laws on murderers and violent
    criminals is likely to cause even the most optimistic patriot to consider going on permanent holiday

    If One had the right hardware (which would be hard to find in Brazil) One could undoubtedly kill anyone One
    wanted to all the way up to the president, with impunity. One can get away with it as there is no "C.S.I.- Rio"
    in Brazil. The 40.000 (forty thousand) assassinations per year are treated more like road kill than "who dunit"
    investigations. As the bodies hit the floor, the main concern in this tropical climate will be "Get this cadaver off
    the street before it stinks up the place, pela amor de Deus (for the love of God)". "Graças a Deus (Thank God) there
    is only one cadaver!". "You are right about that Sir, fica com Deus(be with God), I'll see you tomorrow, se Deus quizer
    (God willing)". "OK, Vai com Deus(go with God) and be safe meu irmao". "Yes, I will, and good night to you, dorme com Deus
    (sleep with God)". "Tchau". The above are the most common expressions in Brazil and would be the ones uttered on those
    dirty God forsaken streets all over the Country. All I have to say about that is, Meu Deus no Ceu !!!....Allah Akbar!

    The above may inspire comments like "life is short & cheap" or "life is precious and unique", take
    your pick. Either way it does create this gnawing urge to leave despite the black cloud having a silver
    lining (an otherwise relaxed & friendly vibe) as one gets tired of having to look over one's shoulder
    every minute of every day. I try to spend only a couple months a year in this town for that reason.
    The odds of being knocked off by some Dildo with a pea-sized brain & a gun are just too high.

  • Brazil improves on its road culture (or lack of it). I'm not sure exactly what is required to get
    a traffic fine in Brazil. Running red lights with your headlights turned off doesn't qualify, nor does
    speeding, cutting people off or weaving all over the place as if Go-kart racing. Staying in your lane
    is considered as ridiculous as using your indicators. You can do all of the above right in front of a
    police car with NO risk of being pulled over as the cops are as 'out to lunch' as everybody else.
    The Police drive as poorly as the rest of the populace as they have very little training (in anything) and
    "professional" is an exotic concept, they drive with the all the emergency lights perpetually turned on
    and turn on the siren when they get tired of rush hour traffic but, ironically, few bother pulling aside.
    Driving schools actually do exist in Brazil, I just don't know what they teach, probably the same
    as the public schools...nothing. It all makes more sense when you realize that many people actually
    buy their drivers driving is the norm, not an exception.
    Most will not hesitate to go down one-way streets the wrong way, at night, with the headlights turned
    off of course. Why? dunno, my suspicion is that these boneheads think that they are 'saving' electricity
    and therefore money...and of course driving 'stealthy', 'incocnito' with all your lights off at night
    and your windows (including the windshield) tinted to 80% makes your car invisible to accidents and/or
    the Police....ooops, forgot that you don't have to worry about the makes you invisible to God!
    That's it! See! how just a little bit of brainstorming solves even the most mysterious of Rio conundrums!
    Yielding to an ambulance with flashing lights & sirens is also considered optional, by the way.
    Tailgating is common, but not quite as bad as in Europe which of course is the world's premier hemorrhoid culture (especially
    Germany and Austria) where tailgating at a 100 mph is considered perfectly normal, as are generally
    aggressive and neurotic driving habits perpetrated by a population inevitably and always high on Nicotine.

    Also, if driving around Brazil be sure to bring the Hummer. Leave the Ferrari at home. It would not
    get very far due to 1' high, often unmarked, car breaking "speed bumps" liberally distributed by
    the government in the least likely places. Also be prepared to pay toll for potholed 2 lane roads.

    2012 note; In less than 24 Hrs of looking out my window I see 3 people dead in the street in different
    accidents thanks to Brazilian street behaviour, drivers & walkers equally to blame.

    Brazil doesn't have the 15 us cents per gallon gasoline of Venezuela, but it is the world leader
    in alternative fuels. Traffic in B stinks less than in other parts of the world due to a large % of
    vehicles running on natural gas and alcohol. In fact traffic smells like your average bar !
    The alcohol (ethanol) culture unfortunately is anything but ecological or enlightened,
    as the fuel is extracted from the cane fields at enormous environmental and human cost,
    not much changed since the slave days.

    Brazil also has an immense bus culture, buses everywhere !
    Caveat; Most bus drivers seem to feel that they are Ayrton Senna incarnate, so hang on for your life !
    You also feel like you're entering a prison, squeezing through narrow gates that count the passengers,
    as employees (in this case the cashier) in Brazil obviously cannot be trusted not to rob their employer !?
    There is a Metro & an amazing amount of taxis, so there's no need to have a car in RIO (except for hauling stuff).
    Another reason not to own a car in Brazil are the ridiculously prohibitive cost of buying a vehicle.
    It is roughly double or triple the USA. Taking into account Brazilian wages the cost is over 10 x higher.
    This is caused by Brazilians apparently being willing to give car manufacturers a high profit margin on top of sky
    high auto taxes. This of course cuts down tremendously on traffic. Very ecological ! (I wish that was the reasoning)

  • Brazil wakes up from its insane tax (& tariff) culture. Your socialist republic is BROKEN Mr. Lula !
    Not that it ever was the envy of any nation (except Mozambique perhaps), but by having the world's highest taxes
    one is led to believe that Brazil's middle class would be the principal one and that poverty had been eradicated.
    A quick look around reveals the opposite, the poor in fact being the main class in society, as if it was still a right wing
    dictatorship. Where is all that tax money going ? Obviously not to the "welfare state" that the tax rates would imply.
    I assume all that tax bullion is supposed to trickle down through the public sector, but looking at any public school
    or hospital it's quite obvious the loot goes missing somewhere along the way, perfectly in keeping with basic 3rd world
    tradition, into the deep pockets of some corrupt greedy bastard. Good ol Brazil still has far greater social & income
    inequality than most countries in the world, including the capitalist ones.

    A few examples of the consequences of all those excessive VAT type consumption taxes are ;
    Brazil has the highest mobile (80 USA cents/min for a local call !) and fixed phone rates in the world, roughly 10x higher
    than Europe or the USA. Cars, electronics & wine are about triple, internet and books are roughly double the cost
    that they are in the rest of the world. Gasoline is $4/gallon ($1/liter), like Europe.
    All this is in absolute dollar terms ! Now imagine these costs in a country that has an average (not minimum) wage
    roughly 10x lower than the USA !!!
    So in purchasing power terms these things are priced like Russian caviar !
    Cars & Real Estate are things that most can only dream about owning in their lifetime.
    A Honda Accord type basic "nice" car will cost a Brazilian roughly 10 yrs of gross income (average wage) !
    I really wonder why people put up with it ? Revolution ? Lula ? are you afraid ???
    .... maybe you should look into the corruption and the price fixing rackets by cartels and big business that
    creates the collusion in prices of everything from cell phone rates to cars & electronics as well Mr Lula?
    The only reasonably cheap products are basic survival foods (rice & beans) that the state maintains
    reasonably cheap by government force for fear of starvation scandals breaking up the rackets.

    Bottom line = something's gotta give ! Either prices in Brazil will collapse, or wages will rise astronomically.
    The current situation is a 'reductio ad absurdum', as simple as that.
    I guess Brazilians are just super crafty (jeitinho ;) people because I see lots of cars on the roads, plenty
    of electronics in the homes (even in slums !?), mobile phones in every pocket...I'm still scratching my head man.
    Oh, and interest rates are double digit by the way (Brazilians also pay the highest credit card interest rates in the world)
    so normal mortgages are basically unheard of. When buying a property, by the way, you are on your own. Title companies do
    not exist. You basically have to do everything a Title company does on your own, or pay "a guy" to do it. This is quicker
    than the years it would take you to fight the bureaucrats. He will use traditional tactics like "connections", pay-offs etc.

    2009 Update: Now here's a fabulous tidbit that I don't want to forget, hence this note.
    During the great power blackout of 2009, when most of the Country was plunged into darkness,
    in Sao Paulo there was one lone point of light illuminating the dark city. It was a counter board,
    counting how much tax the Brazilian people have paid so far this year. I'm rolling on the floor man,
    that is so sublime ! Also supremely ironic, I say, as all those truckloads of tax money are supposed to
    maintain the power grid in tip top shape !

    Psssiu...Lula...pssiuu...I have a suggestion ! Why don't you do what other countries that have extreme consumption taxes do,
    scrap income & capital gains taxes, become a tax haven ! Just joking dude ; ) I guess it's a good thing to keep all of the
    above taxes after all, it may not be good for the economy or the people, but at least then Brazil is no.1 in something !
    + it's very ecological, I'm all for it actually, you have my vote. Sticking with that creed I do implore that Brazil leave
    those newly discovered "biggest oil deposits in the world" off the Rio coast alone. Extracting all that oil and burning it
    is a sure death sentence to this planet. Fortunately for planet earth Lula is an anti-consumption environmentalist and
    will surely leave that oil alone ; )

    It IS ironic though that a "socialist" government would make the lives of poor people unduly harsh by slapping such an excessive tax burden upon them.
    This fiscal excess has of course created a black market of cheap tax free goods smuggled from neighboring (normally priced) Paraguay.
    peddled by street vendors (camelôs) throughout Brazil. The government clamps down on these guys confiscating their wares, with the
    excuse that they are merely enforcing the law. The truth of course is that the tax addicted government is being deprived of their "drug".
    This motivation is fairly transparent although anti-piracy media campaigns on TV will try to convince you otherwise, equating the buying
    of a pirate DVD with bank robbery. The cause of the intellectual property rights holders overseas most certainly is the least of the
    government's concerns, but it makes for a convenient excuse. The motives for this very selective enforcement of this particular
    "irregular" situation among hundreds of seemingly far more pressing ones in Brazilian society begs the question, who is robbing whom ?

    On top of all this Brazil suffers from state controlled banking and capital controls as well as endemic corruption,
    incompetence and BUREAUCRACIES that would keep even the best of countries in the gutter forever. I'm not sure
    where these immense bureaucracies, rules and regulations originate from as following even the most basic laws or
    logic seems against Brazilian DNA as evidenced by everything from driving habits (running red lights, not using
    headlights at night, both standard behaviour in Rio) to corrupt politicians and a million other things. The Brazilian
    soul is anything BUT Bureaucratic. The funniest thing is that these bureaucracies, rules n regulations are often
    zealously enforced in the weirdest of situations/locations as if desperately trying to make up for the general chaos
    in Brazil in silly and irritating token fashion, like having to wear a life jacket while snorkeling in a clear water
    spring for example, there are many more examples....these people are LOST....! The more I ponder the subject the
    more it makes sense actually. Unmanageable bureaucracies are after all a corrupt politicians best friend, their
    lifeblood, a tangled web to hide their evil deeds behind.....Voila! SOLVED !
    A note on the banking culture: Cost of an international bank wire in the west=$20, cost in Brazil=$275.
    Brazil is also the only country I've heard of that that does not allow you to transfer money abroad in
    local currency. The reason of course is the scam culture, they force you to exchange your funds with
    them (and loose a few K $ on a rip-off exchange rate) instead of getting a normal interbank rate abroad.

    At least Brazil is giving it a shot these days as One can see serious attempts by well meaning law enforcement and
    investigators on the nightly news nailing one corruption scam, racketeering operation or dirty cop gang after another.
    You do get the feeling though that the poor bastards are trying valiantly to hold back the tide with a 2x4....?
    It is indeed a shame that a substantial part of the riches gained from Brazil's raw materials extraction
    industry is going to subsidizing corruption and inefficiencies. The people of this country MUST shake the air
    of complacency regarding the overwhelming government bureaucracies that plague this nation. This mentality is a
    legacy of the military dictatorship which conditioned the Citizens to consider the Government all powerful and
    to believe one has no choice but to be subservient to it. Interestingly, and poignantly, none of the torturers,
    murderers or human rights abusers of that regime have ever been brought to justice. It is high time this
    mentality of authoritarian impunity is exorcised for good out of the National psyche, like a stinky fart that
    has been lingering for way too long..... overstaying it's welcome by decades.

  • Brazil lowers the outsized wages of Politicians and subjects them to the kind of scrutiny, oversight and
    accountability needed to control an unruly child. That way the job wouldn't be such a magnet for every scumbag
    with corrupt intent out there ! This applies especially to the Billy-Bob small-town politicians.

  • Brazil STOPS cutting down the bleedin rainforest (Amazon AND Atlantic) !
    It is NOT the way to the future, it is the way of the past, and practiced by self centered,
    planet raping, strip harvesting, ghastly freak nations of yesteryear. NOT to be emulated !!!
    Brazil now wants developed nations to pay for protecting the Amazon !?!
    That does not seem to jive with Brazil being the great emerging BRIC nation of
    Brazilian popular psyche. Is not the great land of tomorrow capable of refraining from
    committing this gruesome rape on its own ? (all those tax-billions...?) I guess not...
    Funniest thing is, Brazil is contemplating restricting access to the Amazon by foreigners
    saying "it's ours" "It's ours !". Well, it seems you can't even protect it on your own, you
    fucking Dillweeds ! Or could it be that B is not the emerging economic powerhouse of popular myth ?
    One would expect an emerging "land of tomorrow" of 200 million people to have more than 2 large corporations, no?
    Have you ever heard of a Brazilian car brand ? A Brazilian technology brand ? A Brazilian invention ? A leading
    University ? ... You can't really be expected to be taken seriously based on runway models and football alone.
    At least B is a fair bit ahead of African basket states that need help tying their shoes and brushing their teeth,
    but it would be awesome to see B actually take the lead in something. This is your opportunity ! It will be greatly
    appreciated by posterity ! TRY to do it (save the Amazon & the World) without the help of "the white man". OK.

  • Brazil stops dubbing foreign language TV shows and films ! (a common, goofy worldwide phenomenon)
    This is just fuckin irritating ! plus it kills an opportunity for Brazilians to get used to hearing other languages.
    Only in movie theaters do they not destroy the original soundtrack.
    ....oops, I forgot, half the population is illiterate, they can't read subtitles...nevermind.
    Some improvement on the TV weather reporting would be fantastic also. It looks like something out of the 1960s.
    There is something called satellite & computers these days. At least the Globo news reporting is world class.
    An odd TV phenomenon for such a disgustingly religious country is the plenitude of programs that feature a squad of
    scantily clad dancing cheerleader style bimbos "supporting" just about any show, unthinkable in the western world.
    In keeping with this fabric of Brazilian culture I think adding another public holiday to the already crowded holiday
    calendar would be most appropriate and appreciated by young & old, rich n poor alike, "Bimbo appreciation Day"!
    Another peculiar show I must not fail to mention, in the context of weird stuff, is the "Programa do Jô".
    It is the main talk show in Brazil and is a goofy carbon copy of the Tonight show or Late show, copied all the way
    down to the cup on the table and the comments from the band leader/sidekick. Joe is an intelligent man with a
    sharp wit but he looks like a cross between the Fat Bastard (Austin Powers) & Santa Claus + dresses like
    a Circus clown with giant glasses but despite all this it falls flat as he's about as funny as a train wreck.
    Now that's some wild whacky stuff ! Johnny Carson would say.
    Brazil has also carbon copied a bunch of other silly shows off USA TV, everything from Big Brother to Wheel of Fortune.
    There's about half a dozen main channels on network TV (like the USA), with Globo being the big one.
    Globo in fact is the 5th largest media company in the world ! only trailing the big 3 in the US and the BBC.

  • Brazil gets some collective psychotherapy in regards to the inferiority complex induced oversensitivity
    to any criticism of Brazil, be it Red Bull F1 jokes about what to respond to with a "no", when in Brazil, or
    today's joke by Robin Williams saying Rio got the 2016 Olympic games by unfair competition, sending "50 hookers
    and a pound of blow". Then there's last year's scandal about the Hollywood film "Turista", a horror flick depicting
    organ traffickers in B. What's it gonna be next year..? The internationalmanofmystery's Rio page? None of the above examples
    are anything more than people calling a spade a spade, jokes inspired by REALITY. hehehe. What can I say...Theeerapy !
    This suggestion really is no joke as, apparently, the Rio Olympic committee today said it is considering suing Robin
    Williams !!!??? Ever heard of free speech ? I guess that's a "first world thing", nevermind. The more I think about it
    there really is a phenomenal, almost neurotically persistent defensiveness in Brazil, leading the national psyche into
    a state of chronic denial of anything being awry in the nation. I'm specifically remembering the midair collision
    between a US private Jet and a Brazilian Airliner. The fault of the disaster obviously laying squarely on the shoulders
    of 3rd world military operated Brazilian air traffic control, but, of course, they tried to blame the US pilots...
    surprise...surprise. Another example is the most popular line of all whenever discussing geo-politics; "..but every
    country in the world has violence". This is kind of like saying "every Country in the world has money", well yeah,
    there are a few pennies in Laos, that must mean that Laos is equal to Japan ? Yep, Brazilian logic, or just another
    example of how hard it is for some to accept that when it comes to gratuitous violence Brazil, and the rest of Latin America,
    are very very VERY Wealthy indeed ! The derailed patriotism, or whatever you want to call it, is mainly due to ignorance
    of course, as everything they know about other Countries is from Hollywood films or news disasters. This blindfolded Patriot
    phenomenon is not unique to Brazil of course, but it seems especially naive/tender here. Many Americans also live on their own
    twisted plain of reality with masses of brainwashed right wing rednecks harboring equally naive delusions of grandeur.
    Try to tell them that the European economy is bigger than the US' or that standards of living are higher in
    northern Europe than in the USA and be prepared for an ignorance induced, almost religious, chauvinistic tirade, hehehe,
    more of a superiority complex dysfunction than the Brazilian inferiority dysfunction. The end result though,
    is the same. Open your eyes guys ! It's OK to be somewhere in the middle of the chain. You need not be the first
    or the last link, as long as you're not the missing link! hehehoheyyyBAHAhoYYEAHH!!

    Trying to work on that sense of humor as well might be helpful. It will get the reality closer to the myth,
    that Brazilians are relaxed laid back people, and will lessen the risk that the populace need seek therapy
    for the dreaded BPD (Boring Personality Disorder), a very difficult disease to cure indeed ; )
    .......And stop taking yourselves so seriously, nobody else does.

  • Brazil stops paying excessive attention to color. In a country where over half the population are
    mongrels it is surprising how racist the national psyche still is. The weird angelification of "white" was
    never more irritatingly obvious than when a fat black woman laid eyes on my son and exclaimed, with that baby
    loving shriek, "Oh my God, he looks just like Jesus !" Hmmm I did not know our lord n savior was Scandinavian,
    I guess you learn something new every day. But seriously, it really is amazing that out of the daily 30 !!! or so
    compliments about 25 will include how "beautiful and white" he is. Come on Bozos ! listen to yourselves !
    I guess this explains the distorted race statistics that reflect this desire to be whiter than you are.
    My own subjective race stats using the ol` "eyeometer", would show demographics as 5% white, 5% black,
    5% Native American, 20% Hispanic, 65% mixed. The term "Hispanic" is not used in the Latin world for the above
    mentioned reasons. They like to think of themselves as "white", which means that people of Portuguese heritage
    will check the "white" box in any survey, as will people who are, let's say, 50% Portuguese, 30% native and 20% black.
    That's an interesting concept of "white", kind of the reverse of the USA where you are "black" if you have 10%
    Negro ancestry, forget the other 90%.

  • Brazil cuts out the bizarre custom of giving Teutonic surnames as given names
    as well as using first names from cultures that have nothing to do with Brazil.
    English & Russian first names seem especially popular, inevitably butchered both in spelling
    and pronunciation as the culturally clueless lower classes among whom this habit is rampant
    are oblivious to the origins of their names. They simply pick it out of thin air or out of
    the credits of some foreign film or's an absurdly funny phenomenon !
    The mispronunciation is what makes the whole thing worthwhile though. Judith is a killer example.
    It is pronounced "Ju Jitsu" (yes, like the martial art) and Brad becomes "Predjee" hehehe. That's as close
    as they get ; ) It is probably also the only place in the world where you can have a Dutch family name as your
    first name and nobody blinks an eye !!! Try "van der Ley". "Hindenburg" and "Wellington" are popular kidding !
    Mr. Ed Nilsson will be proud to hear that in the land of tomorrow they've combined his first & last name into a
    fabulous first name "Ednilson". Truly challenging to keep a straight face when you meet a black dude with that name !
    Oh, there are lots of black Erics (pronounced "Eeriiki") & Ericas as well, of course, and many Jaksons.
    The most hilarious part comes when I "Latinize" my name and add an "o" ...the inevitable response will be
    "..but...Ricardo is not a gringo name ! what's your name really ? ".....hehehe, yeah.
    At least it's just funny as opposed to Orwellian pathetic as it is back in the Motherland,
    Portugal, where they have a short list of Government approved names of Portuguese heritage
    ONLY that you are allowed to use !!!... I know...too bizarre to be real.?!..but it IS !
    The Portuguese language is also hell-bent on re-naming every city and Country in the World.
    Have you heard of Nova Iorque? how about Tóquio? why not swap the "n" in Berlin for an "m"
    and drop the "d" from Madrid, Yeah that sounds better, Madri, the new Capital of Spain !
    In keeping with that, why don't we henceforth refer to Rio de Janeiro as "River of January"
    and Sao Paulo as "They are Paul". I look forward to seeing package holidays to "River of January"
    in the travel agents' windows all over Manhattan, Nova Iorque, and Londres, England on my next visits! heheheh.
    Oh, and another great one is the English sport "football" which has been pidgin-Portugizized into.....
    "Futebol" !!!! Yeah !!! Why not be consistent and translate it (like all of the above)... "Pebola" !
    I'm glad to be of assistance, all I'm asking for is consistency, you're welcome, carry on...
    On your visit to Brazil ask someone to say "smart phone", it will crack you up!..."ismakchtchifooni"

  • All the above may seem like a whole lotta strife, ranging from daily annoyances to threats to
    One's continued existence but unfortunately I am merely scratching the surface here, this list
    is in fact rather incomplete but I don't have the patience to mine more morsels of discontent
    from within the bowels of Brazilian culture as the full list would be extensive indeed.

    2012 Update, and reflection on chauvinist hate-mail ;-) received from time to time.

    The funniest thing are the most simplistic expressions of banal chauvinism put forth by the average, ignorant, well-meaning Brazilian patriot,
    here's one that I hear frequently, in fact so frequently I suspect it must be part of some official political agenda or maybe it was expressed
    in some 'Novela' that I missed:

    "Brazil is
    too big to be able to administer efficiently and you just can't compare a new
    Country like Brazil to European Countries that have had centuries or millennia to evolve".

    Now that one always makes me fart with bafflement. Last time I checked the USA, Canada & Australia were the same size or bigger than Brazil and
    seem to functioning OK, relatively speaking. The aforementioned are also "newer" than Brazil. So....a small country, a historic country
    (with LOTS of time to evolve) in Europe should be working flawlessly, an epitome of prosperity and cooperation = Greece....!...??? OK.....

    BTW, it is actually the "newest" Countries in Europe that are working the best.
    The smallest Countries in Latin America tend to be the most thoroughly fucked-up ones.
    Brazil actually has lots in common with Greece (& the PIIGS) and is probably heading down a similar path;
    protected professions, wasteful public sector, corruption, tax evasion and...the Pope.
    Drug trafficking and gun violence is another popular excuse, but guess what, the U.S. has more of both.

    In fact the stream of never-ending completely lame-ass, idiotic excuses can be compared to what comes out of your bunghole after a night of binging
    on red hot Indian curry and some strong mixed cocktails. I wonder if these chauvinists ever actually reflect upon what they say, probably not...

    2012 re-affirmation in a nutshell:
    I maintain that the real reason for Brazil not being what it might be is corrupt Latin mafia culture conditioned by the Catholic Church to be subservient
    to authority, hence the penchant for dictatorships throughout the Latin world be it southern Europe or Latin America. Also, a strong theocratic tradition
    that loooves to ignore human rights seems to have led to inefficient red tape state control of every part of life once they turn 'democratic' with 'freedom'
    in all its forms being the last priority. In B this inefficient Government beast is serviced by an immense army of over-paid public sector drones maintaining
    an Ocean of red tape for a living. This is why the most desirable jobs in Brazil (contrary to any advanced Nation) are Government do-nothing jobs that allow
    these parasites to leach off the overburdened Brazilian taxpayer for life, yes these are "protected" professions dished out for life to the "deserving" as one
    would expect in a 3rd world dictatorship. Beyond costing Brazil Billions of $$$ a year in unnecessary and over-inflated public sector wages (like Greece & Italy)
    this bureaucratic monster severely undermines the future of the Nation. These inefficiencies are subsidized by an economy based on exporting commodities and layer
    upon layer of taxes that makes everything twice as expensive as almost anywhere else in the World. Using state-controlled firms and taxpayer subsidized loans to
    build up industries that are protected by high import tariffs smacks of protectionist anti free-trade shenanigans. I wonder why the rest of the world isn't coming
    down on Brazil like a load of bricks as they do on China for unfair trade practices, currency manipulation etc. Brazil actually has a lot in common with the "BRIC"
    powerhouse China. Like China Brazil is a currency manipulator that through central bank intervention refuses to let its currency rise because it is, like China,
    a primitive, protectionist export economy. Brazil though is growing at a fraction of the Chinese pace being the poorest performing of the so called "BRIC"
    Nations (growing at 1 % this year), Link, Link. Capital controls and intrusive meddling in the economy by economically unsophisticated government bureaucrats,
    from the president on down, has also made Brazil one of the most business-unfriendly Countries in the World. Studies show that in Brazil it takes
    18 steps to accomplish something that in Singapore takes 2. Also incredible real estate bureaucracies (personal experience). Being 100% mono-lingual
    (difficult to find anyone who speaks 1 word of English) doesn't help business either. More new investment is now flowing to Latin American countries such as
    Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru that hitched their economic stars on free-trade deals, rather than Brazil's protectionist model. All four are growing faster
    than Brazil. Having a Commodities export and (domestic) services economy that lacks any real value added manufacturing based on patents and innovation also leaves
    Brazil very vulnerable to any slowdown in the rest of the world. The new middle class that is responsible for the illusion of newly found Brazilian prosperity is
    in fact mostly an artificially created phenomenon not unlike the Real Estate scene in the developed World pre-financial crisis. Millions of citizens gorging
    themselves on this new thing they've discovered and which has recently been made available to them in excess called 'Credit' is mostly responsible for the new
    'middle class' (and the coming credit bubble & following collapse). Deja-vu sub-prime. I guess Brazilians didn't learn anything from watching the show in the rest
    of the World...I've coined the crisis to come the "dez vezes sem juros"-crisis.
    Then watch the "real" (currency) fall off a cliff like your favorite base jumper (without a parachute).
    Inflation is FAR higher than the laughable 5% that the government admits to! Add to that the stalling economy and say hello to your ol friend STAGFLATION.
    B won't be able to QE their way to economic growth(not that that's an option in Brazil) as the problem is the bureaucratic quagmire, taxes and systemic
    dysfunction + corruption, stagnation, inefficiency, red tape etc etc... Until all that is addressed there will be no long term economic growth.period.
    Slashing interest rates is a futile exercise....weakening the currency is a futile excercise and brazils version of QE (exessive lending through
    government controlled banks to create the illusion of consumer strength and economic growth) is a futile excercise.
    B will need to get rid of Dilma & Guido (dumb & dumber) at the helm and their arrogant mis-management of the economy for things to improve.
    Brazil is heading for troublesome times.....

    Do not despair however, there are Brazilians with their head on straight, few and far between they are,
    but they do exist, thousands of them actually and their numbers can only grow as the world becomes more and more globalized,
    they may soon even outnumber the numb-nuts and turn Brazil into a country worth living in Today instead of daydreaming of the "Land of tomorrow".

    If you still feel you need to contest my fantastically erudite insights about Rio de Janeiro please do not hesitate to drop me an e-mail,
    I am always here for you, BUT before you e-mail me bitching about the existence of freedom of expression and blaming Me for what's wrong
    with Brazil please know that I did not make Brazil the most expensive, corrupt, bureaucratic, violent, religious and dirty Country in the World.
    Dude...I'm just the observer. Chill !

    This page has turned into a Blog My God !

    Boa sorte BRASIL !!!

    Good luck with the World Cup next year!!!
    boy is it gonna be embarrassing....and the Olympics...iiieehh...!

    The chicken is coming home to roost baby! Let the endless parade of scandals begin!...drumroll please...
    Cazuza said it best..."Brasil, mostra sua cara...."

    It's 2013. I'm outta here, moving to Fiji. I've been adding to this page for a decade now !
    Won't be updating it no more. Let this page be a peek at Rio de Janeiro as seen through the eyes
    of a desgraçaado gringo filho da puuuuta! during the decade of 2003-2013.

    Last entry: June 2013, UPRISING ! Wow! The people are finally waking up, better late than never!
    Nationwide protests against corruption!!! Good luck to the brave!

    Dropping in from 2014 :......... Surprise Surprise ! & What's new... and ATM and PIMCO summary. & Pre-Cup round-up.

    O Brasil e um-sete-um mesmo ! Que vergonha do Caralho !!! Espancados pelos turistas Alemaoes !!!

    IT'S 2015 ! Congratulations Dilma et al.! You have managed to drive Brasil into the ground !
    The currency has crashed (now at 2.70), inflation is rampant, the economy is stagnant and
    unemployment is rising and it is becoming all too clear why everybody wants to work for the
    Government with the massive corruption scandals involving the State owned Petrobras.
    Hey, don't say I didn't warn ya,......... BUT on the bright side, Brasil continues to WAKE UP !. God bless.
    An example of the still very sick Brasil is this respected reporter being fired for contemplating the truth on the air.

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