Brazil: Temer’s Terrible Ten Policies

michel_temer_images_newsThe last six months in Brazil have seen an immense upheaval of society since the removal of Dilma Rousseff. A spiralling corruption investigation, controversial impeachment, mass protests, growing strikes and an Olympic games held in Rio in the backdrop of an economic recession have led to a tumultuous year.

Anger is running high at the newly appointed President. Many are claiming he is acting without a mandate and are calling for new elections to take place, a measure Dilma strongly advocated whilst the impeachment was raging on.  Continue reading

The World Cup of our dreams

9781908699916To drag ourselves away from the banalities of the Brazil 2014 TV studio punditariat Mark Perryman provides a World Cup reading list.

The professionally cautious Roy Hodgson just couldn’t resist it could he? ‘England can win this World Cup’ he declares on the eve of the tournament. Not if Roy consults the match histories elegantly provided by Brain Glanville’s classic The Story of the World Cup they won’t. No European side has won a World Cup hosted in South America, Central America or North America. No England side has made it past the quarter-finals in a World Cup for 24 years. No England side has ever made it past the quarter finals at a World Cup in South or Central America. Why should things be any different this time Roy? That’s not to say the next three and a bit weeks can’t be hugely enjoyable for football fans, England loyal or otherwise. Continue reading

When memory, disorientation and Kafka came to Brazil

K - Bernardo KucinskiBefore me is a thin volume, and its title is a precursor of the brevity to come. Yet despite this, K isn’t a short story, a novella, or a collection of fragments stuffed together in aspiration to one of these forms. It is a selection of glimpses into thoughts and states of mind, each fading in and out, like dimming pulses.

This is a structural quirk that emulates the disappearance of the Brazilian protagonist’s unnamed daughter and the desolating effect it has on her father. His hopelessness is limitless, the situation has no distinct end in sight, information given sparks up hope and then fades into the background amongst all the other lies.

This book is the work of Bernardo Kucinski, journalist, lecturer and one-time Lula-advisor, whose own sister was among the Brazilian “disappeared” of the 1970s. He begins K almost innocently, or deceptively, with the protagonist’s irritation at receiving post for someone who no longer lives at his address, and hasn’t for some time. The domesticity is touching, but it becomes dark when we realise it is a means to introduce the concept of ‘the disappeared’.

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England should play a game of low expectations

T shirtTonight England vs Brazil at Wembley marks the start of the FA’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations. Philosophy Football’s Mark Perryman argues that it is the perfect time to lower our expectations of England’s chances.

England vs Brazil, friendly or no friendly, is a tasty international fixture to mark the start of the Football Association’s 150th birthday celebrations. It will be a feast of free-flowing football, and England. Never mind, with the other home opponents lined up so far the Republic of Ireland (last qualified for a World Cup in 2002, at Euro 2012 failed to win a single game) and Scotland (last qualified for any tournament, 1998), England fans should be able to look forward to some home victories to savour. Although what exactly the players, manager and coaches will learn by playing such relatively lowly opposition is anyone’s guess. Continue reading