Terra has the Brazilian take on the upcoming FOX film “Turistas” — but the comments on a fictional travel warning on the film’s fictional “blog” — I guess it is supposed to be, like, the blog of the characters in the film — are a bit more, er, direct:
I am brazilian and these things doesn’t happen in brazil like that, i am sure that USA is more violent than brazil…
Which is a fair comment.
Bad things happen here like crazy, but not “like that,” and generally not to gringos.
It is much, much harder to kill rich gringos and get away with it than it is to kill poor Brazilians and get away with it.
Which is embarrassing and also a bit of a relief. There is that card you can play, if need be.
But it’s not just that.
Brazilians of all kinds actually tend to like us.
They don’t necessarily want us Yankees to go home, I think, as Neuza says is shown in the film.
Some of them — a lot of them — would just like us to behave ourselves a little better while we’re here, that’s all.
And in my case, the feeling is mutual — the liking of them, I mean.
It’s not that the myth of Brazilian congeniality is utterly false — Alckmin cited Gilberto Freire’s famous theory during his concession speech on Oct. 29 — and that the capacity for ultraviolence and the holding cheap of human life is absolutely true, even if São Paulo rush hour traffic can give you that impression.
Brazilians are, as a culture, an incredibly friendly and loving and generous and hospitable people who are capable of living with — or forced to live with — and sometimes engaging in, astonishing levels of savage ultraviolence.
What’s really astonishing to me, however, is the capacity for tolerating the savage ultraviolence committed on their behalf, and in their name, among the more “civilized” and “enlightened” sectors of the Brazilian population, in the name of the “democratic rule of law.”
By the way, to be fair, recently you are starting to see scattered incidents of the Rio “parallel power” — the Comando Vermelho and the Amigos de Amigos — singling out tourists as part of a strategy for globalizing its public relations message.
There’s a very funny and grim joke floating around here about a planned al-Qaeda attack on Rio gone wrong, in which, in the end, the terrorists decide to leave Brazil alone, and get Brazilian police & thieves to teach them how to really engage in random terroristic violence. Continue reading