Luis Suarez and biting is like British Royalty. Neither goes away. Suarez leaves England rehabilitated and holding various awards only to sink his teeth into a handsome Italian. The cannibal is now a gourmet. Swastika adorned Prince Harry once gave Republicans hope, an arrogant idiot who would fatally undermine the institution. But idiots have advisors. Prince Harry has planted a tree in the rainforest outside Sao Paulo. ‘Plant trees is what we do,’ said Prince Harry. No mention of the other occupation, the collection of millions in rent and Government subsidies. He made a trip to a social project in a non-typhus threatened favela. Prince Harry met the orphans of drug fatalities.
This is a World Cup that could be defined by blindness. We watch Royalty plant symbolic trees or smile at innocent child victims and assume it is a step towards social justice when, of course, it is the opposite. The smiles of the powerful help the exploitation continue.
The window of the suite that houses the ITV World Cup commentary team from the UK has been damaged by a bullet. Somebody took a pot shot without killing anyone. The commentary team remains. Only the best glass for the media, so everyone is safe. The bullet indentation is visible but rarely mentioned. Football is the circus that obscures everything, which is the intention. I am a football fan but it is depressing to read about the superior intellectual life of the British Working Class* that existed before football arrived.
Much more has been written about the bite of Luis Suarez than the demonstrations that continue in Brazil. Political protests have featured balloons that say ‘FIFA go home’ and English fans were attacked by Brazilians, not demonstrators, who used explosives. Little of this has been mentioned on British TV. Instead, we have disease immune favelas and residents with impeccable teeth blessed by the latest camera filters. And English football fans confirm in interviews that Brazilians are so friendly. Somebody should mention the £500,000 damage inflicted on a single Mercedes dealership. As once was nearly said, ‘The cries of the victims are not always just but we will never understand justice until we listen to them.’
Not much listening at the moment, unless you are Prince Harry planting a tree. The dealership is worth thinking about. 10% of Brazilians have to survive on less than $2 a day, half a pint of terrible lager in England. And yet a single shop will sit on the corner of a Brazilian street with over a $1m worth of stock. Meanwhile, doubt free neoconservatives proclaim we live in the best of possible worlds. Our Royalty speak to the poor, favelas look inspiring in Coca Cola adverts and nobody can deny the lucky people their Mercedes. Football is a narrative that only has two outcomes. One side beats the other or the two sides draw. Dull perhaps but it contains the only victories left to those who are without power and wealth. Come on, Brazil.
Howard Jackson has travelled extensively in Brazil. If you would like to read about his 11,000 mile journey around Brazil click here.