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July 20, 2014 | by  | in Conspiracy Corner Opinion |
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Conspiracy Corner – “A Cup Half Full”

I heard about the anomaly that was Germany scoring 7 goals against Brazil, and decided to fly to Rio to investigate if there was a conspiracy afoot. As I couldn’t afford to put up in a hotel, I’ve ended up slumming (literally) in the Brazilian favelas with a colleague known only as “El Conspirador”. We snuck into the final, taking advantage of the camera looking away when the streaker came on, and managed to climb to the top of the Estádio Maracanã for the perfect view to witness the winning goal. Doesn’t get much better than that. But as I turned around to behold the crumbling infrastructure and abject poverty from the glittering stadium, I thought that could be a whole lot better. If only we could look up from the ball.

As the lame-stream media has been spotty to report, reception to the World Cup from the host country has been mixed. The ten per cent of the population who own 75 per cent of the wealth tout the economic boon the games will bring to the country, funnelling around $14 billion to tourism-essential developments. However, the remaining population have protested the necessity of the Cup, saying that the money could be better spent to improve the region’s infrastructure and bring its poorer citizens out of poverty. Most of that money had instead gone to the police, who are paid to steer the tourists away from anything they shouldn’t see, such as the cartel-controlled slums. All eyes are on Brazil, but only where they want you to look.

I may not know how many bases there are in football or what club to use in cricket, but I know every Olympics and geographic Cup has its share of conspiracies. We demand a beautiful game, so the host country covers up its ugliness on a foundation of lies with the mascara of deception.

For instance, before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Putin demanded that façades be put up around the buildings to hide the dilapidated city. When Beijing hosted the 2012 Olympics, the city’s factories shut down production three weeks before the Games to clear up smog, and rumours abounded that the famous Bird’s Nest stadium was built at gunpoint from the military in order to finish it on time. The Bird’s Nest is perhaps the best metaphor for the fleeting boom these events provide. The stadiums are built to foster the visiting cuckoos, before being left to rot after the event.

El Conspirador told me that while the situation seems bad, the Brazilian populace has a remarkable ability to maintain a positive attitude in unfavourable conditions. There’s a motto here – “Sou brasileiro e não desisto nunca” – meaning: “I’m a Brazilian and I never give up”. It gave me hope. Paradise may be troubled, but it’s paradise nonetheless.


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