Once in awhile, I take a look at international mainstream media stories about Brazil to show how stereotypes, misconceptions, and cliches are constantly perpetuated by the press, like this Australian story I discussed, and the infamous "like a guava tree" story.
So I decided to come up with a scale to judge mainstream media stories about Brazil, ten being the most stereotyped and one being the least:
10 - Thong Worshiper
9 - Samba Skank
8 - Amazon Injun
7 - Nympho Nut
6 - Beach Bum
5 - Kai pee reenya Kate
4 - Cachacahead
3 - Fox Newscaster
2 - Hungover Harry
1 - Professional Journalist
Let's take a look at this week's offerings:
Putting the brakes on car theft, BBC: It's no secret that I use BBC as my main source of news, and for good reason: they like to use facts in their stories. What a novel idea! As such, this author gets a 1 for sticking to facts and restraining himself from stirring in sensationalist little adjectives and tidbits.
Beer-Loving Brazilians Adapt to the Dry Law, Washington Post: Even though many Brazilians do love them some beer, just from the title we're going to have to add a point, and the use of the word "debauchery" also deserves another point. The use of the words samba, caipirinha, beaches, and beer all in the lead also win another point, even though the story is about drinking. Finally, a final point is given due to the implication that all Brazilians ever do is party and drink. Nevertheless, I happen to really like this story, and wholeheartedly agree that some laws in Brazil are meaningless because they are improperly enforced or not enforced at all. You sir, receive the honor of a Cachacahead.
Two sets of tales from Rio's underbelly, Seattle Times: Even though this is a book review about two novels from famous Brazilian authors, that doesn't excuse the writer from overdoing it. You've got your beach stereotypes, your hot Brazilian body stereotypes, your sex stereotypes, your tropical paradise stereotypes, and the bloody violence stereotypes. It's all there. I hereby proclaim this writer a Nympho Nut.
Girls, guys, and hair gel on Ipanema Beach, the UK Telegraph: Ok, technically this was written by an amateur and not a professional journalist, but it was picked as one of the best stories in the "Year of Discovery" travel writing contest the newspaper held, so it counts. Frankly, I think it's dreadful, between the poor writing and plethora of stereotypes she manages to wedge in merely five hundred words. You, madam, are officially a Samba Skank. Better luck next time!