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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hard times

   
Author Topic: Hard times
Eduardo_Sauron
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I found much camaraderie and fruitful discussions here.
Unfortunately this is probably my last post here (at least for a long while), for personal reasons.
It is possible that, in the following weeks, you will read some nasty things about Brazil (my country) and how things were so bad it was necessary to impeach our president - Dilma Rousseff.
It is not possible for me, right now, to make a long post about the disgraceful coup d'etat that just took place over here.
There is, I think, another brazilian guy posting in Hatrack, but I read some of his posts and he seems to be a pretty hardcore right-wing guy, so he'll say there was no coup, it is business as usual, etc.
It isn't ok. If you care about what's happening here, seek multiple sources. Do not believe in just one opinion.
I`ve been a teacher for many years. Worked amongst the poorest of the poor here in Rio de Janeiro, although I am a tenured professor now.
The coup d'etat we are suffering isn't about making life better for the poor. It's for the same self-serving elite who ruled over Brazil for centuries. Much of brazilian middle-class think that they are rich, and what is good for the Capitalists (with capital "C") is also good for them. In my humble opinion they are wrong, but I have no more strength or will to debate.
I am on strike. The University where I work is closed, I don't think it will matter, really don't.
Sorry for ranting.
Good night.

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zlogdanbr
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Well, since he seems to address me in particular as the "pretty hardcore right-wing guy", let me just say I like hardcore music for example, Dead Kennedys. Honestly I am much more into punk rock, because the style has more rock and roll raw energy and hard rock connections.

I am a HUGE fan of Motorhead though. They are known for mixing metal and hardcore, so that would not be all untrue. Actually I am listening to them right now.

I don't try to differentiate between chicken wings, either right or left are still decent foods, at least for non veggies.

Wait, sorry, I need to stop writing,because the air jet that is taking me to Paris is experiencing heavy turbulence right now, God, my French champagne has just wet my pants and God, I paid thousands of dollars for this flight.

I am going to Paris because I want to meet all the deluded caviar Brazilian left and sing songs of peace and love and once in a while I will try to debate but looks like they will all run away with a grin and debunk my arguments with "you nazi right rich guy who does not care for the poor or for the party and the revolution" and he is clearly homophobic and bigot.

What I did tell you people ? Gotta love our left.
[Wall Bash]

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zlogdanbr
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Wait one more thing I was checking the Brazilian constitution and and the term "coup d'etat" was not there. Should I consult any works of Gramsci or Marx, or just ask old fella Fidel ?
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TomDavidson
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Just so you know, zlog, Eduardo is a pretty universally beloved member of the community, and insulting him will not win you points.
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zlogdanbr
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Tom, he did insult me first. So it is ok to insult new members ? Please tell me what was so belligerently insulting of my part ?
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TomDavidson
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Are you not indeed a hardcore right-wing guy who'll say there was no coup? Are you insulted by that observation?
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zlogdanbr
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My God Tom. Just the few 6% of us here in Brazil think there was a "coup". Those that believe it ignore proven facts and ignore the constitution. If you put your friendship above everything...
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TomDavidson
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So you believe he insulted you by saying that you believe something you believe to be not only true, but understood to be true by all but a tiny minority?

What do you find insulting about that, then?

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zlogdanbr
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So you believe in the "coupe" and that I am a "radical right rich white elite who does not care for the poor" because you believe in your dear friend and because he has warned you all that I would say he is wrong ?

I cannot really criticize that because I give high value to friendship and that is not sarcasm at all.

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Rakeesh
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Perhaps something to consider, zlog, is that Eduardo is a member of a political group that you've been rather sharply and pretty venomously criticizing for quite some time now.

That's not a reason for you to change your mind on politics or anything. But it may be worth considering that it's possible you insulted him first. There's an interesting tie-in to discussions about Card here, in fact. A number of people here have felt quite criticized and insulted by Card over the years, by way of his saying a lot of extremely hostile things about groups to which they belong.

For example, as someone who voted for Obama twice and supports LGBT rights I am someone, according to Card, who hates America, loves our enemies, wishes to see America brought low, despises the constitution, has no respect for the law, has contempt for families, and actually desires to bring down the family unit. He's never mentioned me by name, or indeed almost anyone here. Nevertheless, for some odd reason I feel routinely and personally attacked in terms that are to me both hateful and deceitful.

I'm not saying you should change your mind about Brazilian politics. Even if I had anything like enough information to do so, I still wouldn't say that. I'm just addressing your remark that 'he insulted me'. That's certainly true, but it's also true that his insult was a response to a number of insults from you.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
So you believe in the "coupe" and that I am a "radical right rich white elite who does not care for the poor"
I haven't said what I believe.
I have observed that you are attempting to justify insulting Eduardo by saying he insulted you by correctly describing you. Note that all he said about you is that you're a "hardcore right-wing guy who doesn't believe there was a coup," which is not only true but -- as you've noted -- what you believe to be the only rational, reasonable position for any Brazilian to take.

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zlogdanbr
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quote:
Originally posted by zlogdanbr:
I really appreciate that you support your friend because as I said your friendship is laudable but honestly you are being irrational.

It is insulting to me as a Brazilian ( well to 94% of the Brazilian population that agrees with me ) that anyone considers the possibility of a coupe while it was proved ( yes proved ) that the government Eduardo supports is corrupt. There is nothing to do with:

Capitalism
skin color
political behavior.
sexual orientation
gender
bank account status

It is plain insulting that someone says that the impeachment does not follow the constitution and that those who approve it favor the white elite or that do not care for the poor.

It is plain insulting that someone tries to connect supporting the impeachment to a radical right wing tendency or tries to imply it for a huge majority that supports firing a corrupt president.


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zlogdanbr
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I really appreciate that you support your friend because as I said your friendship is laudable but honestly you are being irrational.

It is insulting to me as a Brazilian ( well to 94% of the Brazilian population that agrees with me ) that anyone considers the possibility of a coupe while it was proved ( yes proved ) that the government Eduardo supports is corrupt. There is nothing to do with:

Capitalism
skin color
political behavior.
sexual orientation
gender
bank account status

It is plain insulting that someone says that the impeachment does not follow the constitution and that those who approve it favor the white elite or that do not care for the poor.

It is plain insulting that someone tries to connect supporting the impeachment to a radical right wing tendency or tries to imply it for a huge majority that supports firing a corrupt president.

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TomDavidson
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So, to clarify, you are not insulted by Eduardo's description of you, but by the fact that he holds a different opinion of your country's political situation?
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Rakeesh
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Zlog, it seems to me there are three options here, goodness knows there are likely others I'm missing.

1) Political opinions, no matter how harsh, should not count as personal insults even if one person or the other belongs to the maligned political group. It seems pretty clear you don't hold with this option, but it's one option.

2) Political opinions, perhaps only when quite harsh, *do* count as personal insults if one person or the other is a member of a maligned group. Speaking plainly, if this is the standard you hold or wish to hold, your behavior is very inconsistent because you've done a lot of maligning of the politics that a person like Eduardo holds. Which means you personally insulted him a bunch of times first, again, if you hold to this standard.

3) Only Eduardo's attacks on a political group or idea count because he is wrong and/or lying so his attacks are false and thus count as insults. Your attacks, however, even though they are equally harsh, don't count as insults because they're true. That seems to be the standard you're holding to.

Which is your right of course. But perhaps it's worth considering that Eduardo if he holds to the first option has felt pressured by current events and your repeated attacks to lash out, or if he holds to the second standard then by his lights he's totally fair in attacking you, or that he might hold to the third standard except with the role of who is correct reversed.

Long story short: it's just my take on it, but it seems to me that you can say the sorts of things about political opponents in Brazil that you've said, or you can complain if they are venomously hostile to your political group, but to do both looks pretty ridiculous.

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TomDavidson
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I should also note that I don't believe Eduardo has "lashed out" at all. His entire observation is "the political situation in my country sucks, and while I know there's somebody else on this board who's recently offered an opinion, I think you should look to some other sources before choosing to accept his version of events."

Whether or not Eduardo's opinions are more correct, I think he worded them pretty gently.

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zlogdanbr
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I understand. I am not attacking him personally, I would not even dared to comment if had he not addressed me specifically. Still, it is impossible to understand what he defends because he defends people that are in the same level of Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro or whatever. I stop here.
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Rakeesh
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Cmon, zlog. Saddam Hussein? Either you know very little about him, or you're simply getting hysterical. I doubt very much for example whether any major political figures in Brazil have, say, used chemical weapons on whole populations that killed thousands. Or sponsored years-long torture and death squads. Or started multiple aggressive wars with neighbors that cost hundreds of thousands or even, ultimately, millions of deaths depending on how they're calculated. Or came to power by literally straight-up murdering rivals and then demanding, on pain of death, that others sign off on it. Or, the list goes on.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
he defends people that are in the same level of Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro or whatever
When I find myself unable to understand the contradictions of someone's personality -- "how can they be a good person and yet defend dictators?" -- I like to take a step back and check to make sure that all the logical steps producing that contradiction are in fact correct.

It is likely, in other words, that either Eduardo does not defend the individuals that you have in mind, that those individuals are not in fact villains on par with Castro or Hussein, or that he does not believe them to be such. So if that's what's making it impossible for you to understand what he defends, do the following:

1) Check to see what, specifically, he's defending;
2) Check whether he believes that what he's defending is necessarily tied to an endorsement of dictators he thinks are as bad as Saddam Hussein.

If not, discard the bit that isn't true for him, then see if you can understand his perspective.

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Eduardo_Sauron
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I did not lash out against zlogdanbr, nor planned to use my "older poster status" to browbeat anyone into submission. Far from it. I just stated facts about him I could garner by reading some of his posts. I Just didn't mention him by name because I forgot his nickname.

And... zlogdanbr, I don't know you, so I can't say if you are part of Brazil's economic ruling elite. It seems you are not, and it is worse and saddens me a little because, in my often misguided opinion, you are, in the end, hurting your best interests by belittling what you call "the Left" so brazenly.

I was feeling pretty crappy yesterday, so I forgot to link some articles about the situation over here.

As I told, I really don't know how much I will be able to contribute to this topic, since I am helping coordinate a teachers' strike and supporting students who are, right now, occupying 70 schools here in Rio de Janeiro. But you'll notice I tried not to handpick texts that would only bolster my personal opinion about the matter. Maybe they'll offer a more nuanced understanding about what is happening down here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/04/20/is-the-impeachment-trial-of-brazils-dilma-rousseff-a-coup/

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/24/glenn_greenwald_brazils_democracy_is_under

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/12/americas/brazil-rousseff-impeachment-vote/

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/05/12/brazil-senate-impeaches-president-dilma-rousseff/

http://www.ibtimes.com/brazils-students-occupy-schools-rio-de-janeiro-protest-conditions-ahead-olympics-2358525 => this one is not about Dilma Rousseff's Impeachment. It's about what's happening in schools all across Rio de Janeiro, right now. You'll also notice it includes criticism to strikes and occupation by students (although I support it).

I've been a political opponent of PT (Worker's party) for years. I think they forgot what they used to fight for and threw away the opportunity of helping Brazil to grow as they should. But the gains for the poor, Education and Welfare were very relevant, for the last 12 years. When I (and many like me) call what happened "a coup", we mean that a select group of people misused the Constitution in order to rise to power.

Only 5 democratically elected Brazilian Presidents finished their mandate since 1926. That is telling.

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Samprimary
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I admit mostly ignorance when it comes to the ins and outs of the Brazilian corruption crisis. I only know 1. it's really corrupt, 2. holy shit rio olympics, 3. everyone's unhappy, 4. zlogdanbr really really really really hates the left down there
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SenojRetep
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I thought this interview provided some useful context.
quote:
This was not a coup; this was a process that was approved by an elected parliament, it was sanctioned by the Supreme Court...You are correct in suggesting that the reason why the Rousseff administration collapsed was not so much because of corruption accusation themselves. The corruption accusations were a tool to get her out of power. Corruption is endemic in Brazil. The reason she fell was political.
Also, every time I see this thread title I think of this song. Which just shows that songs written hundreds of years ago can remain surprisingly topical.
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kmbboots
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I perform that song at least a couple of times a month. It is high on the request list. (Of course, most of the songs I do are not exactly new.)

So I also get that song in my head when I see the thread.

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