Here's some humor for y'all from 365 Motivos para Odiar o
Brasil (365 Reasons to Hate Brazil). This book,
published in 1995 by Circo Editoras in SP is wicked funny. Unfortunately, Circo went "poof" in 1996, so you might have a hard
time scaring up a copy.
Its author is the supposedly "Visconde da Casa Verde", but I suspect that Toninho Mendes, Furio Lonza and my old
pal Glauco Mattoso had something to do with it. Most of the work had originally been published years before in Angeli's
Chiclete com Banana magazine. (It's worth pointing out here that the book is purely an exercise in spleen and not to be taken
seriously, especially as my opinion about Brazil!)
Here're some highlights (my translation). I'm reproducing them here to give you folks a taste of Glauco's sense of
humor. He's one of the best Brazilian writers of our generation, but sadly unknown outside of São Paulo. Glauco went blind
several years ago to glaucoma (como ele mesmo
diz: "Quem tem glaucoma é Glauco Mattoso..."). I don't intend that my
translation be a challenge to his copyrightthis is merely an attempt to bring his biting sense of humor to a larger audience.
Glauco's current work can occasionally be seen in the pages of
Caros Amigos magazine.
So without further ado...
#22: Train Surfers. Not content with our 1717 beaches, some Brazilians still find it necessary to surf on top of
commuter trains. The advantage this modality has seems to lie in its innate degree of extreme peril. At sea, the most that can
happen is that a shark will run off with one's leg. Atop a train, one's chances of being completely turned into lunchmeat are
much, much higher.
#36: The Butantã Snake Institute. Only in a country of confirmed gossips would a poison treatment center be
considered a matter of national scientific pride.
#53: Baby trafficking. Brazil is missing out on a rare chance to write off our national debt through the legalization of
baby trafficking. The Church has done its part by prohibiting the pill, rubbers and abortion. The poor continue to screw like
animals. Now all we need is a practical and objective government to turn what is currently one of our greatest problems
(abandoned children) into a golden parachute. Not only would this provide Brazil with the capital to develop, but it would also be
the perfect way to give back to the Europeans the heritage they gave us.
#68 God, because he's Brazilian.
#75: Avenida Paulista. From afar, they say it looks just like Fifth Avenue. Up close, however, it looks more like a
#78: USP, the only free university in São Paulo, which is almost exclusively attended by the children of millionaires.
And whenever someone poor manages to get in, there's no bus to take him there.
#85: Coffee. The only black that's free to come into all Brazilian houses through the front door.
#93: Christ the Redeemer. We understand why he's turned his back on the city of Rio de Janeiro, but did he have to
turn his back on the rest of us as well?
#98: Provisionary Taxes. One of the few things that last forever in Brazil.
#102: The Portuguese, for pure incompetence. They had the country in the palm of their hand for more than 500
years and the only thing significant that they built in all that time were bakeries.
#113: Roberto Carlos. First, for having started out his career by cursing everything and everybody to hell. Then, for
having repented, advising Jesus Christ that he's still here. Now the only true hell that's left to us is being forced to listen to his songs.
#115: Acarajé. Nothing is as fake-o as this. In Bahia it's filled with vinaigrette dressing and in the rest of the country
it's the Bahiana who's fake.
#117: The metro, because it's frequently described as "The only thing which really works in this country," meaning
that nothing else does. Not a good sign...
#124: Pre-dated checks. The definitive proof, if any were needed, that Brazil is truly the country of the future.
#143: Dengue. The disease is older than samba and, as far as we can tell, won't be eradicated any time soon. Neither
will samba, unfortunately...
#151: Jô Soares. What good is it to be the biggest (and we mean that literally) comedian in a country made up of
#155: Computer graphics and website design, for convincing every unemployed Brazilian slacker that he's really
an existential graphic artist.
#162: Regina Casé. Brazil thought that one Dercy Goçalves wasn't enough so now we have two.
#163: Hebe Camargo. Even though Brazil's only had TV for 50 years, she's been on the tube for something like 75.
#165: Xuxa. For having preformed the "miracle" of transforming 95 percent of Brazilian childrenwho have dark
skininto the biggest contingent of frustrated infants on the face of the Earth. Since this Barbie Doll's rise to stardom (which
only occurred due to a black man's aid), all the children of Brazil want to be blond.
#166: Pelé. For not knocking Xuxa up when he had the chance.
#170: The Amazon. We're tired of hearing "The Amazon is Brazilian!" That is precisely why the rest of the world is
so worried about it.
#187: The hammock. Where multitudes lay eternally, waiting for someone to change the words of the national anthem.
#188: Globo Network. Tune in your TV to Rede Globo and you'll not only hate Brazil, but also your parents. After
all, they could've watched TV instead of screwing and bringing you into the world to be tortured by Roberto Marinho.
#189: Telenovelas. Lies, all lies. The rich are all rich and evil. The poor, poor and noble. Throughout the whole
performance, everyone runs around seeking their true father and/or mother and the cruelest doubt is whether or not the
children are legitimate. As if this were a problem which ever seriously bothered the bastardized Brazilian family! The rest is just
pompous bullshit by Lima Duarte...
#193: The peixeira. Now there's an appropriate name for you! A knife that was made to open the bellies of fish
which has now become nationally known as the ideal device for opening up the bellies of Northeasterners in bar fights.
#195: Bossa Nova. Here, things move so slowly that we're still calling a fifty-year-old music style "new".
#204: The Beach. Rusty beer cans, dog shit, crying children, crabs biting your feet, sun oil that burns you, "natural"
sand-filled sandwiches, hit-and-run robberies, a bloody hot sun beating down on your head and people scampering all about
selling peanuts, binoculars, shrimp, beer, caipirinhas
and their mother. Have fun!
#218: The Atlantic Rainforest. The gringos get pissed because it's almost completely devastated, yet this is just
further proof of our national incompetence. If we had our act together, we'd have chopped the entire damned thing down by
now and nobody would be crying about the little that's left.
#269: Corruption. They say we're the world's biggest racial democracy. So what? I mean, what's that done for us? It
seems that the only thing we've gotten out of it is our national tendency to try to get away with murder. After all a people
which mixes the exploitative greed of the Portuguese, the cheapness of the Spanish, the Italian "cosa nostra", the usury of the
Jews and other Arabs, the indolence of the Africans and the complete incapacity of the American aborigines could only result
in this cauldron of corruption which we call a nation. But so what, right? After all, there's corruption in other nations, too.
Yes, but we Brazilians just had to add our creative touch with the concept of impunity.
#311: Ronald Biggs. While our thieves find refuge overseas (or at least send the money they steal there) this English
crook decided to shelter here. Who's smarter?
#325: Identity. The only thing Brazilians have in spades. You need a work permit to hold a job. You're obliged to
have an electoral certificate, even if you don't know whom you're voting for. You also need a CIC, which we all use to fraud
the Income Tax Service. And still, after all this identificatory paraphernalia, the Brazilian does not feel himself to be duly
and sufficiently identified, needing an ID card as well. But even this is not enough: he also needs an authenticated
photocopy of this, together with proof of residence and an authenticated signature duly stamped as "recognized" by a notary public
who's never seen him before in his life.
#331: The Northeastern Drought. Which, ever since it was discovered, has paid off in profits worthy of note in the
Guinness Book of Records. This is truly our biggest and best-administered public enterprise.
#339: The Zona. Back in the good old days, young hicks came here to pay to have their virginity removed. Today,
the only real brothel worthy of the name is operating in the halls of the national congress.
#343: Football fans. What a bunch of faggots! You really have to be in love with men in order to sit sweating for
hours on end in the middle of 75,000 of them, holding on to your flag, scratching your nuts, belching, farting and every once
in a great while screaming "Goooooooool!" Really. Poofters, every one of `em. Plus, they do that
"la ola" thing which is just so
#364: The authors, Furio Lonza, Glauco Mattoso and Toninho Mendes, who promise they'll soon write up 365
reasons to love Brazil.
#365: The 365 churches of Salvador.
Thaddeus Blanchette is a 35 year old immigrant to Brazil who has been living in and studying the country most of
his adult life. He can be reached at email@example.com