My school friend Oliver Jinks aka FrankenTsar wrote an excellent article for my blog about the Fifa World Cup and its affects on Brazil. I also asked him to tell me a lil something about who he is and what he is and why he is… This is what he said :

Abandoned and subsequently raised by a pack wolves in the Siberian Tundra, this literary and analytical genius stole, fought and wise-assed his way through school and into higher level education, earning an MA, and generally spends his time getting high, reading human rights related news, pissing about on reddit, and trying not to get scratched by his cats.

FrankenTsar got a 2:1 Bachelor in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the age of 20. Field work in Ukraine and Azerbaijan steeled his nerves and liver. This was followed by attending a London university and attaining an (almost First, damnit) MA in Human Rights, a mix of theory, current practice, and human rights law.

His genetic make-up includes Polish and English, as well as slightly thinner Belarussian and Irish roots.

Likes: Hallucinogens and similar substances, cheddar, the ladies *tips fedora*, socialising, puzzles/brain-teasers
Dislikes: Tidying, cat scratches, anything that could infect cat scratches, angry cats, claws of all kinds.

Interpol has revealed top secret information that this individual received high school education alongside lamanlemlem, thus, especially in connection to laman, must be treated as highly dangerous.


Brazil’s Glory (Update: slightly tainted)

All Hail the FIFA World Cup, currently being held in Brazil. Nothing can be equated to the, dare I say, art-form, of physical prowess, strategy and teamwork that these world-famous players train for. Well, okay, you kick a nearly spherical object from side to side, hoping it goes out of bounds in the right area on the opposing sides of the grassy rectangle. Well, maybe you can also just see it as a mix of geometry, timing, and physical attempts at approximating the two to successfully get the ball into the opposing rectangle. I personally see it as a bunch of manboys (I mean, biting? That happens in kindergarten, as does crying from light injuries) playing a game and getting obscene salaries because so many people are into watching manboys running around and sweating for extended periods of time (Ad money, yo). I will not get into the patriotic/nationalistic side of things in this post.

A plethora of riches?

The Brazil World Cup was expected to be the most lucrative and big World Cup ever (maybe due to inflation, who knows) Some estimations (by one of The Big Three credit rating agencies: Moody’s) put the expected revenue stream at $11bn (here). This was calculated via tickets sold, estimated hotel usage, rate of consumption of overpriced junk food, and of course the now re-legalised selling of alcohol at football events, amongst a slew of other factors (made illegal in 2003). It appears that Budweiser, a sponsor of FIFA made it a condition that its piss-beer is to be sold at every event (here and here).

“Durr. The selling of beer in stadiums is part of football fan culture and will also be part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” a FIFA statement sent to CNN states. The report allegedly had some dried drool on it and felt sticky.


 “Beer must be sold at all venues hosting matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, football’s world governing body, Fifa, has insisted.“, the BBC reports.

“Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke said the right to sell beer must be enshrined in a World Cup law the Brazilian Congress is considering. “

Problem is, there was a very good reason for the banning of alcohol at such sporting events. A University of the State of Rio de Janeiro report entitled A Sad, Perverse Achievement records 42 deaths (or here) within a ten year time-frame. (Red-hot extra, riots, arson, looting after 7:1 defeat to Germany: football and violence related, alcohol a strong possibility) But I guess Brazil’s politicians in charge of deciding to host the Cup got cartoony dollar signs in their eyes. Well, other people (sorry, don’t know by whom) are estimating (or pegging, if you’re into that) the costs to exceed $14bn which has pissed a lot of people off. This article indicates that expenditures in preparation of the Cup far exceeded, possibly double the planned budget.

 “Protesters claim that expenses in preparation for the World Cup were double the budget, and that the extra money came from funds reserved for education, healthcare and public transportation.“Source

Let’s be realistic, please

Not only is that a horrible statistic/figure/number (choose your favourite synonym, and get it tattooed or something), the comparative aspects (I could find) are more daunting. Brazil’s 2009 budget on social security (including social welfare, housing, etc) was $20.8bn, so the Cup’s expenses are about 70% of that. Here’s some more numbers. The 2013 estimated GDP (or GNP, who cares) was $2.416 trillion. Well, that puts social security near the last place on the agenda. GDP per capita is $12,100, sounds alright no? Well, here are to more factoids to keep in mind: That puts Brazil in 105th place in the world. Yeah. Next. The population estimated to live under the poverty line is 21.4% (given the World Bank’s revised figure of $1.25/day. Sure, that includes indigenous tribes living in the jungles, but also far more citizens. Ever heard of the Gini coefficient? It measures income inequality, where 0 indicates the GDP is completely equally distributed to the populatrion and 1 (or 100 for those who prefer to work fewer decimal points) would mean just one person has all the wealth. Brazil’s coefficient was estimated at 54.7 by the World Bank, and 50.8 by the CIA (both in 2011), though this year it’s 51.9; that’s 13th place from the bottom for the WB, and 19th for the CIA.
Note: most facts up there come from the CIA World Factbook, yeah, the CIA has done many shitty things, but they do do their homework on basic info
To be fair it’s been getting better:

Screen shot 2014-07-10 at 2.13.34 AMBut don’t be fooled, keep the y-axis in mind, it ain’t from zero, otherwise the changes would look like baby-sized stairs.

So, glory and riches? I think we can sadly shake our collective heads at those two. Politicians on the outside, politicians on the inside and another, cause I am generous. Politicians in the coming weeks. Confused? It’s an internet thing, look up “rustling jimmies”.

An international convergence of cultures

Right, nearly done. They say international sports events brings together like-minded people with a love for the event’s main attraction, whatever sport it may be (though with American sports it may well be for the cheerleaders). Well, while researching (aka typing key words and phrases, then praying to Google) I came across a bad and a (good? Possibly good? Soul-crushing to feminists?) examples. As for tourists coming and enjoying the culture and being good guests, well lookee here.

Screen shot 2014-07-10 at 2.15.23 AM

That guy sees her, he is obviously aware of the implications, she is a starving girl, or young woman, trying to make the best out of rich tourists coming to her country and being wasteful with food, and maybe some other stuff. With what looks like a bit of a smile he tosses his garbage. At least he is not aiming at her.

And then there’s this. My reactions went from amused, to disbelieving, then went through the puberty phases of bewildered and perturbed, only to study and graduate at mild disgust. Prostitution is legal in Brazil, fair enough, it’s the reasons some or many or most of them become prostitutes that needs addressing, rather than the (oldest?) profession itself. [On that note, that claim is bullshit, cause there would have been payment involved, so hunters and gatherers must have been the first professions, cause otherwise she is just a slut. Trading sex for another service is not a (near-)monetary exchange, so I won’t count it.] Here you go. Are ya ready kids?!

Screen shot 2014-07-10 at 2.16.39 AM

That’s right, prostitutes have been taught English to better entice tourists, explain the rules, and inquire about sexual preferences. Okay, this may make the entire transaction quicker and easier, possibly ensure their safety a bit more, and enable higher cash-flow. I don’t know about the pimp situation there, I guess there are independent workers and others where a kind of pimp, or pimp group are in charge. Sure, they are getting transferable skills, English is the most important language in the world (before China becomes Super Power Number One), and they can leave tat profession and try for other stuff, possibly in a slightly different part of the tourist industry. But reading about this still leaves a sour taste No, not a salty one, you pervs.

I guess I’ll wrap it up with a quote. The source doesn’t quite fit with the quote, but duality is a part of the human condition, so shut up.

“The hand that gives is among the hand that takes. Money has no fatherland, financiers are without patriotism and without decency, their sole object is gain.”