Politics & Policy

The Cultural Marxism of Rio’s Opening Ceremonies

Dancers perform during the opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, August 5, 2016. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Brazil should be ashamed of its poverty, not glamorizing it.

The Olympic Games’ opening ceremony, in addition to its not being disrupted by terrorists, criminal gangs, or a massive attack of Zika-infested mosquitoes, was even reasonably entertaining. The symbology that Brazil chose to present itself to the world, however, was flawed.

The Friday night show started with a moving representation of the country’s history since the arrival of the Portuguese. But soon after it became clear that, for the organizers, this was only a preamble to what they considered the show’s apotheosis: favela boys performing some Third World version of break dance and a rapper duo — one of them only twelve years old — talking about girl power.

This should come as no surprise. One of the masterminds behind the ceremony was Fernando Meirelles, the movie director responsible for the critically acclaimed 2002 film City of God, the jewel of the favela aesthetics.

The Rio intelligentsia is fascinated by the city’s own poverty, as if the favelas were something Brazil should be proud of, rather than ashamed of. Imagine if the Athens Olympics had highlighted contemporary Greece’s corruption instead of the country’s mythology, or if Beijing decided to showcase its air pollution instead of the grandeur of China. 

Poverty isn’t Brazil. Hopefully, there will be neither poverty nor favelas in the Brazil of the future. But from where, then, will the tropical cultural Marxists get their mythology? Just as violence against blacks (real or imaginary) is an integral part of the continuing cultural narrative for the U.S. Left, so poverty plays a similar role for the Left in Brazil.

It is no coincidence that the ceremony made no references to anything that might be seen as erudite or somehow linked to the European tradition (for example, the magnificent architecture of Aleijadinho, the operas of Carlos Gomes, or the modern classical music of Heitor Villa-Lobos).

The Brazilian disciples of the Frankfurt School only know two laws:

‐ The only kind of culture that matters is popular culture.

‐ The only kind popular culture that matters is the one that fits into the ideological struggle of building a “new world.”

That is why, in the opening ceremony, the most popular kind of music in Brazil was completely ignored. Sertanejo, which was born in the rural areas and is still the only form of music appreciated in all regions of that continental nation, didn’t make the cut.

Despite having been adulterated by the music industry in recent years, sertanejo is still the best representation of the soul of the Brazilian people: a Christian, hardworking people that value family and tradition. Sorry, but the average Brazilian isn’t a bohemian drinking a caipirinha on Copacabana.

The ceremonies could have featured one of the most popular sertanejo singers, Sergio Reis, who sings about a poor father that raised six of his own children as well as one adopted son. In the father’s final days, the adopted son turns out to be the one who cares the most about him:

May God protect my seven beloved kids

But it was my adoptive son that helped this old man

It could have featured “Romaria,” a popular song by singer Renato Teixeira that portrays the deep spiritual devotion of the common Catholic man.

They told me, nonetheless

That I should come here

To request, through pilgrimage and prayer

Peace in hardships.

Since I don’t know how to pray

I just wanted to show

My gaze.

Instead, what the world saw this Friday were performances by a well-known marijuana apologist (Marcelo D2), a Beyoncé-wannabee whose songs rarely touch on anything but sex (Anitta), and an old-school leftist (Gilberto Gil, who at least has some talent).

Add in some climate-change preaching, and the night was complete.

#related#After the global-warming in the show, Brazilian commentator proudly announced Rio’s is “the smallest Olympic cauldron in history, so it will cause the least impact possible”.

Meanwhile, in the real world, local authorities couldn’t even depollute the waters of the Guanabara Bay to make it reasonably safe for athletes to compete in them.

And guess what? The favelas, which the leftists want to make sure remain favelas forever, are the main reason for that, since it is impossible to offer decent sanitation in those conditions.

The Third World cultural Marxists want to make sure Brazil will never be great.

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