Friday, August 23, 2013

Hazards of Writing On A Beach In Rio

End of the day at Ipanema

The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey on Two Rivers by Moritz Thomsen was a memoir travelogue I was reading during my travel to Brazil. The book came into my hands at a particularly propitious time from a friend. He travels a great deal and thought I could use the book as an inspiration.

I soon discovered from the book that I had come to Rio about the same age as Thomsen, who visited the city in the Seventies. His life and viewpoints were similar to my own. Soon enough I began to write a modest travel blog in the same style as his wonderful travel classic. 

Tomsen refers to his title as the state of paradox, of his being in two worlds at the same time, arriving and leaving, always conflicted by the joy of arrival and sadness beyond words of departure. 

My early writings in Temporary Carioca were done while sitting on the beach. The early notes were difficult to read because I had spilled a beer on them while sampling tasty beach edibles under an umbrella at Ipanema.  

Then once, a wave crashed nearby and got my paper wet.  The waves were persistent in calling me from work to play. And so I did. 

Daily I rode a bicycle to the beach, had a coconut drink and quickly succumbed to the allure of the Brasilian waters and never ending array of beautiful women to watch.

Much of what I wrote in my six months of posts was truly inspired and I am grateful to myself for the wisdom to keep writing these posts. Especially now as the years go by.

I will continue to add posts from stories that were not published in Temporary Carioca in this blog, Michael Shandrick.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Look Back At August 2012 and What's Happened Since

Detroit Now a Third World City

The Ruins of a Once Great City

On August 4, 2012, I wrote my first posting,  “U.S. Now A Banana Republic”. This post could have been written off as a rant by political comedian Bill Maher were it not for the fact that the entire state of Michigan is now in deep water economically and the city of Detroit is in default and bankrupt.  It has come to pass that the city cannot be saved.  Both the American system of government and the economic system resemble an oligarchy more than a capitalistic democracy. Remember: America came up with the Marshall Plan after World War II -- and now we can't save Detroit or New Orleans. Maybe the Detroit city fathers should turn the Detroit football stadium into a soccer stadium. All third world countries have soccer.  

What is Really Going On In Rio?

Last year, one of my first posting was about Julia Michaels who was writing about the turbulent changes going on in Rio de Janeiro in her blog Rio Real. She wanted to know how, with all the changes, could there still be parallel improvements in income equality and social justice.  She saw potential change amid so much chaos, so she kept asking: "Will It Last?" Julia got her answer just last month when a few million people across Brazil took to the streets to protest the changes that had disrupted their lives. The police are in disarray, the people in Rio are looking to dump their city officials and construction has come to a virtual halt on Olympic and World Cup projects. What happened to the promised social justice programs that were supposed to be built in tandem with the new soccer stadiums? For the answer: Read Julia's most recent posting.

Don't Go to Russia If You Are Gay

Vladimir Putin, evidently no longer worried that a handful of young female punk rockers could topple his regime, has moved on to torment gay people in Russia. With two of the Pussy Riot Girls remaining in a Soviet-era gulag the past year, Putin's new assault on civil liberties sets the stage for a Nazi-style repression unseen since Hitler began rounding up the gays and gypsies in the late 1930s. In any event, no one has told Putin yet that parading around bare chested after taking off his shirt at every public event is pretty gay by most standards. Putin himself no longer has control of events. Olympic organizers are giving Vancouver another look as an alternate site for the 2014 Winter Olympics, already plagued with delays and corruption and Soviet politics.

Arsene Wenger Refuses to Break Vow of Silence

A year ago the Arsenal manager lost his best player from the squad in a heart-breaking defection to Manchester United, which won the English Premier League title with the help of the striker's outstanding season. Meanwhile, Wenger's team struggled to a fourth-place finish and narrowly made it into the Champions League without a striker who could take Arsenal to a championship. Wenger endured several public protests in the streets by fans who wanted him fired. With the new season set to begin in several weeks, Wenger is no closer to landing a top striker. At one point Wenger had his choice of five of the world's best. In my post, "What Is Wenger Not Telling Arsenal Fans?” I thought he would have explained his reasons for not signing someone. He has chosen silence.  I am going to answer the question for Wenger: “ I’m not going to bankrupt the club chasing an over-rated striker who wants $50 million US to play for Arsenal." It's a reason he's often used in the past, but not one fans want to hear again.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pope Stops Time In Rio

Time stopped during Pope's visit

Pope Francis during his trip to Brazil created a miracle when he stopped time in Rio. 

City authorities noticed that during the pontiff's visit that the famous Hublot clock is now stuck at 365 days in its countdown. 

Will all work stop now on the Copa 
 It is now 11 months until the 2014 World Cup begins in Brazil.

It is not known whether work will continue on World Cup construction if the clock cannot be fixed. 

Already delayed by numerous obstacles, including mass demonstrations weeks before, World Cup organizers face further delays in construction, including a massive clean-up after millions of Catholics went to Copacabana beach to attend masses.