Amongst other things, the purpose of this blog is to try to destroy stereotypes, ones Brazilians have of Americans and more importantly, ones Americans have of Brazilians. It seems to me that Americans have such a skewed view of Brazil not necessarily due to a lack of information, but also because the mainstream media perpetuates stereotypes. As such, many Americans assume Brazil is a beach-lined jungle full of naked women samba-ing while men bounce soccer balls off of their heads.
Let's take a look at this week's TIME article about Lula, who is not only the president of Brazil but in my humble opinion, one of the most important and best presidents in Brazilian history. So how did the reporter begin the article about such a man?
"With their endless string of pearl beaches, heavenly climate and sensual bossa nova culture, Brazilians consider themselves uniquely blessed. So when the first of two gigantic oil fields was discovered off the coast near Rio de Janeiro last fall, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva saw it simply as further proof of a celestial bond. "God," Lula gushed, 'is Brazilian.'"
Besides listing the obvious stereotypes the reporter pulls out of his seriously uninformed ass, there are the usual culprits: "sensual," "string" (because what image does this word really conjure up?), and "gushed." Presidents don't gush. They just don't.
But this has got to be one of the most ridiculous lines I've read in a major American publication about Brazil:
The oil find could make Brazil one of the world's largest crude producers, but even without that bounty, the economy has been growing as vigorously as a guava tree in the Amazon rain forest, allowing Brazil to start reducing its epic social inequality.
Are you shitting me? I suppose I could compare the US economy to a slimy mole, digging itself deeper and deeper into the ground, but the New York Times certainly wouldn't publish that.
At least the writer salvages the last shred of his journalistic integrity by accurately listing some of Brazil's problems, but finished the article on such an obnoxious note:
Taxes are exorbitant, Amazon deforestation is rising again, and Brazil has one of the world's most wasteful public bureaucracies. To fix all those problems in two years would require much more divine intervention.
You know what else is in need of divine intervention, buddy? Your writing.